SIX MINUTES WITH JENNIFER BRADBURY:
Author Jennifer Bradbury joins LitPick today for Six Minutes with an Author! Jennifer is the author of River Runs Deep, A Moment Comes, Wrapped and Shift. Jennifer has lived in India, worked as a guide for rock climbing and backpacking trips at a boys’ camp in North Carolina, and is a one-day Jeopardy! champ!
How did you get started writing?
I think I first realized how much I loved writing when I was in ninth grade and took my first journalism class. I'd always loved stories, and having that opportunity to learn to write well and write a lot really showed me how much I loved telling stories. I didn't dream of writing fiction until I'd been teaching high school English for a couple of years. At that point, I'd read hundreds of young adult and kid-lit novels in order to help my students find books they might enjoy. At some point in all that reading I began to feel the pull to try inventing stories of my own.
Who influenced you?
Many people influenced me. My high school journalism teacher, Gail Kirkland, my college thesis advisor Dr. David Lenoir, dozens of other great teachers I was fortunate enough to work with over the years, my own ninth grade student writers, and some really supportive and encouraging friends and family members. And all the writers I read and admired (and still do!) influence me.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I don't single out favorites (though I wish I did as they'd make answering questions like this much easier!). I am a sucker for a compelling setting, and it tends to be the element that proves the starting point for any book I write as well. Places are powerful. One of my favorite settings (and stories!) is the colonized world in Patrick Ness' Chaos Walking trilogy.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Read, read, read, and write, write, write. It's also important to give yourself permission and time to write badly so that you can learn and improve as you go.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I live in an 1911 farmhouse in dire need of remodeling, but one of the first things we did after moving here was convert the old milking parlor into my office. It’s a pretty great space to work and I'm so grateful to have it.
What else would you like to tell us?
River Runs Deep was inspired by real events and some remarkable people. I hope the story I've invented might lead some readers to want to learn more about people like Stephen Bishop, Mat Bransford, Nick Bransford, and Dr. John Croghan.
Jennifer, thank you for spending six minutes with LitPick! Your office sounds lovely and as though it has a story to tell as well. What an inspiration setting for working!