Agent Laura Bradford Looking to Build List

Writing and Illustrating

bradfordheaderlaurabradfordLaura Bradford established the Bradford Literary Agency in 2001. She considers herself an editorial-focused agent and takes a hands-on approach to developing proposals and manuscripts with her authors for the most appropriate markets. During her own misadventures as a writer, Laura came to understand the importance of having a friendly but critical eye on your side, a career strategist in your corner and a guide who can lead you through the travails of publication.

Her recent sales include books placed with Berkley, Grand Central, Harlequin, Kensington, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Sourcebooks, Hyperion, Flux, Macmillan, Adams Media, Egmont USA, John Wiley and Sons and Mira Books. She continues to actively build her client list and is currently seeking work in the following genres: Romance (historical, romantic suspense, paranormal, category, contemporary, erotic), urban fantasy, women’s fiction, mystery, thrillers and young adult as well as some select non-fiction.

She is a…

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The bondage of a writer’s life

    It’s the high and lows of a writer’s drug. Memorized by the seduction of the lusty pulls of characters. Their demanding efforts to control your every thought. You wake up during the night only to realize someone is missing, seduced or worse murdered. They don’t let you rest until you write what they want to say. Confessions, doubts, secrets, and lies. They argue about their accused sinister acts. Then they make love, caressing your movements, combing their hands through your hair, warming parts of your body that have gone untouched for weeks because your time is consumed by their nagging wants. Gentling brushing your lips with their fingertips, you try hard to ignore the passion they crave. All the while, the chills rake down your back. You become paranoid, the watchful eyes over your shoulders, they tug at your hair, individual hairs of teasing like spiders in a web.

“Write about me. Say this. Do that. I want to be the hero. My name, say my name. It was me I killed them. Bathe me in the blood of their hopeless lives. I won’t tell.”

It’s a warped world. It’s a game of mind-blowing adventure of make believe. The ghost hunt from within a writer, never to leave the soul. We bond with the characters that we create. We live in their shoes, many at one time. We hurt when they hurt; we feel the pain, the anger, and the pangs of intimate hunger.

Is it a curse or some sort of mental state that a writer must suffer through day and night? How does a writer distinguish between all the people within their head without going insane?

The Eye of Lies

T. Wharton Johnson

When I began to write The Eye of Lies I had no real plan of what the story was going to be like. For more than twenty years I had the same dream night after night. For some reason the dream just stopped in my early twenties. But it still haunted me. I often thought of the dream and wondered what it meant, who were the people in it and why I’d dreamt such terrible dreams. Still today at the age of fifty I have night terrors about murder and people I don’t know. So when I was asked to write a short story the only thing I could think of was my dream. So there it began, the root of my first novel. As days passed by and into weeks and months I realized I wrote the story I needed to read, the story of strength from a girl whose…

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Writing From The Heart

Writing from the heart There was a lot of hesitation, by me, when asked to write the story of my daughters married life. For one I don’t know much about abuse, another, this is my daughter.

Never did I see signs of abuse…hindsight now when I think about the excuses she used, falling up the front steps, cutting vegetables in her hand, the miscarriages, the weight loss. There were so many signs I didn’t put together. I loved my son in law. We never know what goes on behind closed doors.

A few years ago, he was diagnosed with several disorders, hospitalized for a brief time, and put on meds, which he refused to take. He also was a ‘closet’ cutter. It was the day my daughter came home from work and found him bleeding in the bed holding their one-year-old daughter threating to cut her throat and take her to the grave with him that she decided it had to end and end at that moment. She was stabbed while grabbing the baby but was able to get outside and call 911.

She did go back to him. Two more children and 3 years later he left them homeless on the side of the road. It was November. Still she kept all this from us. By Thanksgiving of that year, she had moved in with us as a ‘separation.’ Of course me thinking it’s just a little spat and will blow over encouraged her to work things out. If I had known….

My daughter has kept a written journal of everything. She, in so many ways, has become an inspiration for me. She finished college with a degree as a paralegal and has taken on the justice system to fight for her rights as the sole provider of her children all while working a full time job. She turned her pain (although I don’t think it will ever go away) into a strength and motivation for others.

I couldn’t read past the first page of her journal, it was harsh the stuff he made her do to prove her love to him. I wanted to vomit. She gave me permission to write her story but asked if I’d write it as a fiction/nonfiction novel. A story people can relate to whether man or woman, child, or aged adult. She doesn’t want it to be preachy of course but to bring the awareness to those who are taking the brunt of the abuse and know they have choices.

I have tried to this point not ask her about details other than what she has already shared and what I had read; it brings on a lot of emotion.

I can do this. I have to do this.

 

 

 

Karma and the horse that nearly killed me.

Karma.

We all know the word and I’m sure some of us know the repercussions of it. I wonder, as a writer, how many people have realized what they have thrown at another person has actually came back to them in a karma fashion.

Here’s a little story of my own of a horse I bought that nearly killed me.

Karma comes back to those who sin.

Six years ago, I met “Jack” who dealt with horses. I’m an experienced rider and have trained a few horses so it wasn’t as if I had never been around them, I had been riding since I was 7. Fast forward 38 years….Jack told me he had just the right horse for me.

Now I knew a friendly horse is a good thing, a pushy horse is not and a shy horse is one that may or may not have been abused. So caution is always the first and foremost important trait in searching for the right horse for the right rider. I also wanted a horse that was experienced around young children.

As I got to know Jack over a few weeks he showed me a very large stallion. WOO he was huge, a bit bigger than I was looking for but I fell in love with him. He nuzzled into my neck, licked my fingers, and had eyes that any momma would coo over.

My first red flag should have been he was too friendly and Jack was too eager to get rid of such a friendly horse for almost nothing.

He even threw in the saddle, bridle, lead, and comb. A comb? Really oh boy. Lol We saddled him up that day and I hopped on, he was a bit edgy with the saddle on (red flag #2) but soon settled down and I rode him around for a few minutes.

It was a done deal. I actually walked him home, we lived that close. I introduced him to my much older mini and they got along great. Days went by and the two were like brothers. I named my new (no name) horse Legend. (He soon lived up to the name.) So Outlaw and Legend became great friends and I doted on them both.

At 17 ½ hands tall and 1100 pounds Legend soon began to show signs of being pushy, rearing up and nipping at Outlaw.

I had no choice but to become more firm with his behavior, letting him know real quick where the boundaries are and my space verses his. Playful as a pup his nuzzling large nose flared with huffs but was soon blinking those eyes of, “I’m sorry.”

Over the next week I worked with him on reining and saddling, he still wasn’t comfortable enough with the saddle and rider so I had some work to do.

As I lead him out to the pasture one day I turned to pet his nose before releasing his alter. He reared up. I backed away and thought WOO. No biggy. I walked away to show him I wasn’t impressed.

The next day I saddled Legend and climbed aboard. We walked around for a while then he did it, he reared up. There I sat on top of what felt like a mountain. I leaned forwarded, petted his mane, and said, “Well I’m so proud of you now down because I’m not getting off.” He listened and went down on all fours.

What he did next almost killed me. And I know this story seems long but truly, I’m getting at the karma.

It was the first warm spring day after what seemed like weeks of cold rainy weather. I hadn’t worked with either horse in almost a month. I brushed and saddled both horses, walked them around and fed treats. I decided I’d work a little more with Legend and take him for a walk around the property, something we often did.

Two and a half weeks later, I woke up on life support in ICU. I thought it was another writer’s nightmare; I was in one of my horrors, one I couldn’t wake from. I had tubes in my throat and nose so I couldn’t talk or move my body. My eyeballs were the only thing that moved. My daughter understood my blinking and she put my glasses on my face. In huge letters on the wipe off board, I saw the date, two weeks of my life had vanished. During that time they said it had snowed, my daughter miscarried her baby and spring had fully sprung.

Sounds of alarms, machines, and air pumped into my lungs made it all become a reality that I was truly in a bad place. (And I mean bad by this was not a nightmare but real life)

Questions started pouring through my mind of how I got there, what happen, who did this to me and what was the outcome going to be. Did something fall from the sky? Did the earth open up and try to swallow me? What?

Then I hear my daughter ask if I wanted her to paint my toenails. I felt the wetness of a tear drop from the corner of my eye. My son said he had to leave as he bent down to kiss my cheek and my husband held my hand. Awe my hand I felt his in mine, I can feel his warm touch.

As the next few days went by, I motioned to be taken off life support. I made my decision not to live like a vegetables for my family to visit on weekends and holidays. The doctors hesitant said I was already a miracle and taking out the tubes would be harsh and couldn’t be put back in if I couldn’t breathe on my own. I motioned again with the only arm I could move. By the next morning, I was sitting on the side of the bed waiting for help to go to the bathroom when my husband walked in. Shocked he was angry at the doctors for not waiting on him to take the tubes out yet crying at how happy he was that I was alive and sitting up breathing on my own. A mix of emotions we wept together and knew it was going to be a struggle. I’m a person of determination and wasn’t about to settle for a hospital bed, or death.

Now as months went by, painful as they were, I learned to walk and talk again. It wasn’t easy. My spine had been snapped in 2 places, my shoulder blade broken in half, my lung punctured, 12 broken ribs, my spleen, and left kidney had exploded and I had some brain injury with memory loss. In time, I remembered the last thing I was doing before waking up in ICU, walking Legend.

Yes, that huge baby nearly killed me. With the injuries I had, we figured out what happen. On the day I walked him I did a no-no. I put my left hand under his chin to lead him in a circle. Thankfully, I had gloves on otherwise, I’m sure I would have been missing a finger or two. As I walked him he must have reared up, his new habit, he took me up in the air with him, snapping my back and shoulder blade in half and knocking me unconscious. When he came down my body like a rag doll fell to the ground like a jackhammer to concrete, my hand still hooked under his chin. His chest pounded my body into the dirt. My husband found me lying in the pasture and then a helicopter took me on a lifesaving ride. I don’t remember any of that of course, a good thing because I’m afraid of flying.

Now you’re wondering what the Karma is right? Well remember I said the guy Jack was too eager to get rid of the horse? Well come to find out a year later he knew the bad habits of Legend but it didn’t matter to Jack. If he could make a buck over what he could get from the slaughterhouse than he’d sell any horse to anyone. Yes, I said slaughterhouse. Jack was a poseur. He talked the talk of being a straight up cowboy who would never sell a tainted horse to anybody but what he really did was steal horses and sell to the slaughterhouse for money. This horse though he hadn’t made up the fake papers yet to sell on his next load. I came along and fell in love with what seemed like a perfect well-behaved horse. I also didn’t know that when I went to look at the horse Jack had doped him with a calming shot. The same that vets give horses before they float their teeth.

We of course had gotten rid of Legend before I came home from the hospital, making that decision was difficult but Jack was willing to take him back and put him out to pasture. Retire a young stud.

Jack, well almost one year and two months after my accident he was found dead in his truck on the side of the road next to the pasture where he hid his stolen horses, Legend stood nearby.

Was it the Karma of Jack’s deceitful life that killed him or the curse of Legend?

Why Writers Should Use Twitter (and HOW to USE It Effectively)

I don’t get Twitter but I’m learning. Great advice, thanks.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 8.51.29 AMFor the last couple posts, we’ve been talking about how to use Twitter effectively. Too many writers are like Stormtroopers—lots of shots fired  tweets that hit NOTHING.

I can admit, when I got on Twitter (when it was invented) I didn’t get it. I would—KID YOU NOT—freak out when people I didn’t know followed me. WHAT? Are you, like, a stalker? Yes, I was missing the ENTIRE point of Twitter. Hey, we all start somewhere.

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Do you have to do Twitter? No. No one will take you to writer jail because you didn’t. Is it wise to use Twitter? ABSOLUTELY.

I strongly recommend Twitter for two main reasons. First, couple Twitter with a good/consistent blog and this is your best formula to go viral. Secondly, Twitter helps us find READERS (and helps readers find US).

Going Viral

We will rarely go viral from Facebook because the nature of…

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