I metÂ Miriam Bradley at the 2012 Carolina Christian Writers Conference and then got to know her even better at both the Christian Communicators Conference and the Christian Communicators ADVANCED Conference. I soon discovered we had a lot in common. But I never realized we were sisters separated at birth! Read on and you’ll see why.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for Miriam and you’ll be entered into the drawing for a free book!
Now, let’s get started. Welcome to the Christian Writer’s Den, Miriam. I’ve read several of your books and I couldn’t wait to have you with us. So, here’s the first question: What inspirational influences led you to write?
First, I would say my grandparents and parents who actively used historyâ€”general and personalâ€”to influence those who came behind them. For instance, Grandpa Jones wrote three books about his life. He was a real cowboy who at eight traveled by covered wagon with his family from Kansas to Nebraska in 1913. Reading those books about his life is amazing. He wrote how he talked and even today, when I read them I can hear him in my head. And he wasnâ€™t alone. My other grandparents were quick to share stories.
Secondly, I would say the books I read changed me. I was a voracious reader and one of my favorite places was the library. I loved mysteries, specifically mystery series. I am very character driven and I donâ€™t care so much about what is happening but to whom it is happening! I dreamed of writing the Christian Trixie Belden type series someday. Only, my characters would age. It made me crazy that they were always the same age but there were three different Christmas mysteries!
The third thing would be the items my elders chose to record and save. My mother died when I was ten. Many years later my aunt sent each of us a collection of all of the letters my mother had typed on carbon paper to her parents and sisters. They were weekly missives from 1959 until two weeks before her death in 1973. In those letters she wrote about the daily events, the funny things we did, the bad days, the good days. Those letters were so influential in my desire to record stories. I was also captivated by the photo albums and old things my parents and grandparents saved.
What a beautiful legacy you’ve received from your ancestors, Miriam! My grandparents were storytellers, too. I remember sitting for hours with my grandma in her porch swing as she told story after story about life and family. AND Trixie Belden was my favorite character, too! Everybody went on and on about Nancy Drew, but I never could identify with her. She was much too rich, too beautiful, and too proper. I, on the other hand, was quite a rascal. But enough about me. I’m curious to know what opportunities these influences have led you to become involved in?
After three of my grandparents died within six weeks I decided to record some of their stories in picture books for children. So, I joined a writers group and took a Writerâ€™s Digest correspondence course. I quickly realized that picture books are hard. You only get a few words. I like lots of words. I also learned that I should write what I know. So, I wrote a childrenâ€™s mystery book about cousins who visit their grandparentâ€™s ranch and encounter a mystery. This was based heavily on personal experiences at our grandparentâ€™s ranch in Nebraska with ourâ€”you guessed itâ€”cousins. Sadly though, we never had a mystery in real life. The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Missing Watch was self-published in 2009. Since then, I found a publisher for two more in the Double Cousins Mystery Series, as well as a collection of pieces celebrating the legacy of godly and practical wisdom I received from my grandparents and parents. This non-fiction book, All I Have Needed–A Legacy for Life, has a section with practical ideas for recording history written by my husband, Bruce Bradley.
Promoting and marketing the books led to opportunities for speaking to students and adults. I love teaching on the writing process and encouraging people to celebrate and record their own legacy! I also have a passion for encouraging children and young people that they can be whoever God wants them to be.
Okay, this is unreal. My first book was a mystery based on my cousin and me when my family visited Tybee Island AND I speak not only to adults about writing, but I also teach writing to kids in schools, libraries, and bookstores! I know you still work as a registered nurse. I’m curious to know how you balance those very different careers.
Itâ€™s hard to believe I have been a nurse for almost thirty years. Nursing has been a versatile career for me. I can control my schedule which allows for my writing-speaking life. In addition I find it hugely beneficial to have both ends of the age spectrum in my life. At work I care for people struggling with the effects of age. I love hearing their stories, when possible, and gaining from their wisdom. Then, on my â€śdays offâ€ť I visit schools and rejuvenate by being around the energetic and enthusiastic children! It is the best of both worlds.
Okay. I know this sounds like I’m making it up, but I promise I’m not. I was an RN for almost 30 years AND I wrote my first book when I was working three days a week in ICU. Did you realize we had so much in common? I love it! Okay, I think that’s the end of my blabbering, so please share with us how readers can find your books and learn more about your speaking opportunities…and I’ll be quiet this time…I promise.Â
I would love for them to visit my website at www.MiriamJonesBradley.com. My books are available online as well by ordering them through local bookstores.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Miriam. And for putting up with my gushing over our similar stories. Don’t you just love seeing how the Lord brings like-minded people together?
Friends, you’ll want to be sure and check out Miriam’s books for children and for adults. And if you need a speaker for children or adults, you’ll want to get in touch with Miriam.
And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Miriam and you could win a FREE book! Be sure to check back next week to see if you’re the winner!
BIO: Miriam Jones Bradley has lived â€śfrom sea to shining seaâ€ť, but spent most of her life in the Great Plains.Â She has worked as a nurse for the past 29 years. She enjoys speaking about the writing process and recording memories. In addition to the Double Cousins Mystery Series, she is the author of All I Have Neededâ€”A Legacy for Life. She and her husband, Dr. Bruce Bradley, make their home in Hendersonville, North Carolina.
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