Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring Justice Delayed
It's been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister's sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn't actually do it, Detective Will Kincade of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will's cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week--including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.
“Patricia Bradley has everything you’re looking for in inspirational romantic suspense—the perfect blend of mystery and romance. Her characters leap off the page and will stay with you long after you finish the book. Justice Delayed is one book I couldn’t put down until the very last page.”
--Mary Ellis, bestselling author, Midnight on the Mississippi and the Secrets of the South series
Brock: What was your inspiration for writing Justice Delayed?
Patricia: I’ve wanted to write a book about cold cases for a long time, and since I grew up in Memphis, it was the perfect location, especially since I have an advisor who is part of the cold case team there.
As for this particular story, when I wake up every morning, I spend a few minutes letting thoughts run through my mind. If I were writing, it would be called free writing, so I guess it’s free thinking. One morning I wondered what if someone on death row received a letter stating he had not committed the murder he was convicted of? And what if the letter writer had proof. But then the letter is stolen and the writer is murdered. And Justice Delayed went from there.
Brock: Tell us about the main characters? Who are they, what makes them unique.
Patricia: Will Kincade wanted to be a policeman since he was a kid along with his best friend, Brad Hollister. Andi Hollister is a TV reporter who drives her family and friends crazy with the risks she takes to get a story.
Brock: Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Patricia: Will is ashamed that he and Brad locked Andi in the shed when she was 10 and they were 12 so she couldn’t tag along with them. Especially since she’s now terrified of being in enclosed places. Andi is driven to prove herself, but no one knows how afraid she is when she interviews a dangerous person like the gang member.
Brock: In three sentences words, what is this book about?
Patricia: Diamonds. Deception. Justice
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Patricia: I discover who my characters are, and then I usually plot out the end of Act 1 where something happens where the protagonist(s) is thrown into solving the crime, then in the middle of Act 2, my protagonist(s)learn something that changes everything. I also know what the black moment is and usually how the story ends. Of course, my characters may have other ideas about all this, and then I go with them. J I don’t always know who did it. I was writing this story one day and a character admitted to the murder. And I thought, so you’re the one who did it.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Patricia: My heroine deals with trust issues and my hero deals with unforgiveness. My hope is that readers will identify with how they resolve these issues.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Patricia: I love to write Romantic Suspense.
Brock: How many books are planned for this series?
Patricia: Four initially, but it is set up to continue indefinitely.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Patricia: I have the Memphis Cold Division on speed dial, and my detective there has been wonderful to answer questions. I also had to research maximum-security prisons in Tennessee. And how to cause a tie-rod to come loose. On that last note—I was in Gateway at 7 am one Saturday waiting for the mechanic to arrive so he could explain how to do that. I only wished I’d had a camera when I asked him.
Brock: How do you strike the right balance in your book?
Patricia: I lay down the suspense line first, along with a little of the romance and faith lines, then I go back and fill in those last two until I have the right balance.
Brock: Are you working on the next book in the series?
Patricia: I am working on the second book, Justice Buried. It’s a story set at the Pink Palace Museum, a famous landmark in Memphis. I was privileged to tour the Palace from the attic to the basement, and there are a lot of places to hide bodies there! I’m thinking about the third book that is about an Elvis impersonator killed fifteen years ago.
Brock: Can you give us a hint at the next book in the series?
Patricia: Justice Buried is set at the Pink Palace in Memphis and is about a security specialist who is accused of murder. She has to clear her name or her career is over, but her investigation draws her into the path of a killer, and she finds herself fighting for her life.
Brock: Do you plot or outline the entire series before you begin writing, or do your books take on lives of their own? Or is there a combination?
Patricia: I usually plot out the series, but then each book takes a life of its own and doesn’t even remotely resemble the outline and sometimes even has new protagonists.
Brock: If your book changed as you wrote it, how is it different than how you originally planned?
Patricia: Wait a minute and let me get up off the floor. J Something important always changes about my books. In Justice Delayed, I thought Andi was a newspaper reporter, but once I started writing, she let me know she was a TV reporter, and the murderer changed twice.
Brock: Were any scenes or characters cut from the book? Can you give an example?
Patricia: I am a very lean writer and scenes are rarely cut. If anything, I add scenes.
Brock: Where do you like to write?
Patricia: I love to write on my screened-in deck where I can listen to the birds sing.
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
Patricia: I’m blessed to be a full-time author.
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
Patricia: I like to have at least five months, but I have written one in four.
Brock: What do you hope readers take away from the series?
Patricia: I want them to take away hope.
Brock: Expound on the spiritual themes in the Justice Delayed.
Patricia: My books deal with problems Christians have in their lives—forgiveness, distance from God, guilt, trust issues, lack of faith—they’re all there. I hope the way my characters work out their problems will give hope to my readers.
Brock: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Patricia: When I was 35 and these people came to live in my head. They wouldn’t go away until I wrote their stories.
Brock: What are some of the strongest influences on your writing?
Patricia: God first—sometimes I have to depend on Him for the next sentence, and He has been faithful to give it to me. Also, teaching I received from Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck—they have shared their knowledge and encouragement to so many, and I was blessed to be one of them. I learned how to craft a story from them.
Brock: What’s your view on e-books and the new publishing revolution?
Patricia: I like e-books and believe they will encourage reading. As for Indie publishing, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s easier to get your book out there, but so many Indie authors don’t hire a good editor for their stories and a lot of badly written books end up getting published. But cream always rises to the top. I prefer to be traditionally published. Revell, a division of Baker Books, is the absolute best! They really invest in their authors, marketing their books and offering so much encouragement.
Brock: What was your favorite book as a teen or child?
Patricia: I read Exodus by Leon Uris when I was in the 10th grade and even now, that book impacts me.
Brock: Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book.
Patricia: Actually, my editor sent my first book to me, making sure I received it on Christmas Eve. It was heart stopping when I tore open the envelope and realized it was Shadows of the Past. And I cried when I held it in my hands. Nothing will ever top that, but I was excited when the box of books arrived later.
Brock: What are your hopes for your future as an author?
Patricia: I have so many ideas for books in my head, and I hope I have a chance to write every one of them.
Brock: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
Patricia: I could not write a book without knowing God was there, giving me the gift of telling a story.
Brock: Coke or Pepsi?
Patricia: I rarely drink carbonated drinks, but usually buy Coke if I do.
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
Patricia: I love to cruise the Caribbean and will take my third cruise in March.
Brock: Favorite season?
Patricia: I love the leaves and crispness in the air in the Fall.
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like coco, raspberry tea, animal crackers?
Patricia: When I’m writing, I consume hazel nut coffee by the gallon
Brock: Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Patricia: I have 2 and I note them on each book I sign—Psalm 37:4, 7: 4:“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” 7: “Wait patiently for the Lord to act…”
Brock: Favorite pasta dish?
Patricia: Anything Alfredo.
Brock: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what are some examples?
Patricia: I listen to the light Classical Music channel except when I’m writing suspense, and then I listen to Batman Returns and The Phantom of the Opera.
Brock: What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Patricia: I’ve been bucked off a horse two times, and one of those times, the saddle came with me.
Brock: What was your day job before you quit to write full-time?
Patricia: I taught abstinence and how to have healthy relationships to junior and senior high school students. It was quite an experience. Maybe I should have put that in the one thing most people don’t know about me.
Patricia Bradley is the author of Shadows of the Past, A Promise to Protect, Gone without a Trace, and Silence in the Dark. Bradley received the 2016 Inspirational Readers Choice Award for the third Logan Point book, Gone without a Trace, and has been a finalist for the Genesis Award, a winner of a Daphne du Maurier Award, and winner of a Touched by Love Award. Bradley is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at ptbradley.com.
Author Twitter: @ptbradley1
Author Pinterest: pinterest.com/ptbradley
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