Welcome to our Featured Author Corner! From time to time, we will feature authors of different genres for you to get to know. It is our hope that you will discover authors that you might not have known about and spread the word. We’ve had the pleasure of meeting some very talented authors along the way, some that stick out in our mind, which we want to share with you.
Today, we have the pleasure of sharing our interview with Deborah Bradley, a very talented, children’s book author. Deborah wears many hats and does it well. Deborah, who is a Bostonian, spent 10 years of her adult life in Sydney, Australia, but is now back in Boston, where she lives with her young family. Deborah is a proud mom, which is a resource for many of her books, as well as the owner of Boston Tourism Made Easy, a website for Boston Tourism.
We have had the pleasure of reading several of Deborah Bradley’s books and honestly, they have all been amazing. Each of her books teaches a wonderful lesson for kids and make the perfect opportunity for parents to talk to their kids about important topics. The two books that had the largest impact on us were “Dancing Daisy” and “Princess Ruby: The Friendship Wand.” We loved Dancing Daisy because it is the perfect book to help toddlers become less fearful of the dentist. Deborah did a wonderful job of making the dentist seem like a fun place to go. What parent couldn’t use a little help in that department? Her book is perfect to read to toddlers before their very first dentist appointment.
In “Princess Ruby: The Friendship Wand” we loved the very real feelings that we felt coming from Princess Ruby’s little cousin as she was continually made to feel left out of things that Princess Ruby and her older cousin were doing. The elementary school years are filled with turmoil, hurt feelings and a constant worry of feeling left out. You can tell that Deborah had a first-hand experience with the situation that occurs in the book, which adds such a special element to her book.
We hope you enjoy our interview with Deborah Bradley and that you get a chance to read one or more of her wonderful children’s books.
How did you become a children’s author?
After about a year as a full time mom, I started feeling the need to create/produce something in the world (and *hopefully* earn a bit of money too!). For a few years I spent all my extra hours building Boston Tourism Made Easy. I worked hard, had a great time and learned loads. Then, shortly after the birth of my second daughter I finally gave myself a bit of time off. During this time I came to the realization that I felt ready to move on. Given that I was already comfortable in the online publishing world, I started hearing about Kindle book publishing and it caught my attention. To get a taste for it, I created a couple of kids books about animals. I put them up for sale and little by little, sales trickled in (exciting!). Soon after that, my eldest daughter went through a couple of specific events that spoke very strongly to me and the storylines for my first story books (as well as my new identity as a children’s book author) were born.
What are your latest releases?
My two latest books are “Princess Ruby: The Frienship Wand” and “Tambourine Queen.”
Where do the ideas for your children’s books come from?
These days, mostly from my girls, their friends, and day to day experiences. I also collaborate with my mom (e.g. The Tambourine Queen) who is able to bring in stories from her life as well as take inspiration from my girls.
Is there any direct inspiration for “Princess Ruby: The Friendship Wand”?
This book was inspired by my eldest daughter. She had been in a situation where another child consistently ignored her and left her out. It made for a very challenging afternoon. I was so inspired when, instead of breaking down, she simply stated to the other child just before we left, “(Child’s name), I didn’t like you today.” I saw a strength in her in that moment that I found absolutely beautiful.
Who do you write these books for?
My books are mostly for kids ages 3-8. I certainly find that more girls read the books than boys given their princess nature, but it’s got a great lesson for all kids. Any parents that want their kids to have an awareness of the impact that they have on other people to help them build and maintain wonderful friendships throughout their lives could read these books with their child or children.
So, outside of being “Deborah Bradley – Children’s Author” what do you do?
I am a mom to 2 (almost 3) girls and I maintain my Boston Tourism Made Easy website. Before children I enjoyed dancing and yoga during my “me time,” which one day will be possible again.
Being an independent author can have its challenges. What do you find to be the most difficult?
I’d have to say the marketing aspect of it. I’ve been slowly trying to get my head around marketing in general for several years now. It’s hard to know how much to try to learn and manage myself and how much to try to look to someone else to do it (and how to know who’s going to do it effectively!).
Many authors experience writer’s block; how do you handle it?
I try not to look at it as writer’s block, but there are definitely times the inspiration is not flowing. The best thing I can do is give myself a little time, do something to re-energize myself (eat something yummy, put on some fun music, be productive in some other way, etc.) and then I tend to be able to get moving again.
Your kids are old enough to understand that their mom writes books, what do they think?
Overall I think they like it. In fact my 5-year-old sometimes “writes” her own books now and talks about doing more of it in the future. Interestingly, while she was “willing” to listen to my books and liked the pictures on the Kindle she was never overly enthusiastic. However, there was a huge shift the day my first proof arrived for “Princess Ruby: The Make-Up Ballet Class.” She opened the box and took it out like it was a prized possession and now she’s much more likely to ask to have it read to her!
What were your favorite books as a child?
The one book that has stayed with me all the way through childhood, eight years in NYC, ten years in Sydney and is now being read to my kids back here in Boston is “A Light In The Attic” by Shel Silverstein.