Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I’m Hanleigh Bradley, author of a couple of series. The Rules Series and The History Series. I’m twenty seven years old and completely bonkers.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m British. I was born in Scotland but live on the south coast of England. You’d never know I’m Scottish, I sound more English than some English people.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I come from a big family, lots of siblings. I haven’t settled down to start my own yet. Not quite ready for that so I write it instead.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
On May first, my most recent book Forging History went live. It’s amazing to have The History Series finally finished.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2015 when I wrote Broken Rules.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I used to write as a kid. I don’t think there was a particular moment when I first considered myself a writer, I just always did.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I can’t really say. With each of my series there’s something I’m trying to show. In Rules, I wanted to show the world how much we define ourselves by what other’s expect. How if we’re not careful, those expectations can crush us.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was always a given that I was going to call in Broken Rules. I just knew it. I had my three titles for the series before I had the characters’ names. Broken Rules, Enforced Rules and Revised Rules. Broken is all about stepping out of the mould and allowing yourself to step over the line of what’s allowed and what isn’t. Enforced Rules is about chickening out. It’s about those moments when you circle back on yourself and undo all the good you’ve accomplished because you’re too scared to break the rules. Revised Rules is about learning that not all rules are bad but that you have to choose the ones that matter to you.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I use a lot of British phrases. All my books are set in the UK so that seems apt. Sometimes I struggle to get inside my characters’ heads.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are bits and pieces from my own life but mostly it’s just fiction. My family are sort of hard work, like Aurora’s family but nowhere near as extreme.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. I’ll write anywhere so long as it isn’t raining.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I got them designed on fiverr when I first started.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each series has a message. So my most recent series, The History Series is about two characters who have known each other pretty much their whole lives. They have History but it’s not the good sort. There is a heck of a lot of pain between them and the series is all about letting some of that awfulness go, whilst realising it’s a part of who you are. We can’t just delete it or erase it. You just have to live through it and then move on to write the next bit of your history.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I read a lot of brand new authors because of my work with Author Friends With Benefits – a membership group for authors and readers. It means I get to meet newbie authors and get to read some of their work. I’m currently editing Aleisha Maree’s debut novel and it’s going to be amazing. I’m also currently reading an ARC of Haylee Thorne’s Tomorrow. It’s insanely good. She’s only starting out but she is going to be a Rockstar. I’m not sure I can pinpoint on favourite author. I love a lot of different authors from different genres. So when I read Historical Romance I read M.C. Beaton and when I want a little contemporary romance the list is a tad long. And then I sometimes read YA. I like authors that make me feel something.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Early on, I didn’t really tell anyone so in the main I was my only support system. Now that’s really changed. I have a whole list of authors who support and encourage me. They are amazing and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I also have a couple of readers who are incredibly supportive. I get messages on Facebook occasionally from readers, telling me they’ve read one of my books. It’s always great to hear what they think.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Hell yeah. Writing is my life.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There was one scene that I struggled to write. I’d like to redo that scene. I sort of chickened out with it. I should have done a better job of that one chapter.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt a bit about myself. Who I am, the way I think. I tend to find writing to be an eye opener. Every book I write takes me on a journey of self discovery.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have actors in mind for all my characters. It helps me keep in mind what they look like. I’m a very visual person. Aurora would be Rachel McAdams. Landon would be Theo James.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write, don’t worry about whether it’s any good, just write. Write what comes naturally and go with it. You can work on improving it later. If you are just starting out, the best thing you’ll ever learn is that book marketing never ends. You’ll need to promote your first book even when you’re on your seventh. You promote, promote and then promote again. The other thing I would recommend is that you engage in the community. There’s a lot of authors out there who will be able to support and encourage you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thousands of things. I’m quite a cynical person but I’m holding out that all my readers will find their Happily Ever After too, not just my characters’.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading an ARC by a new author, Haylee Thorne. She’s amazing and her book is seriously out of this world.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. I don’t think so. I remember I had a book about a Fox in a Box. It had a siren noise button.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Books? The occasional movie? Politics? All of the above.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jane Austen. I was reading Jane Austen’s books at the age of twelve. I’d have so many questions for her about what it was like to write in a literary world that was dominated by men.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a little random. I play guitar (terribly), I run (not often), I binge on Netflix (far too much), I knit (I’ve been knitting the same scarf for years), I sing (in the shower), I draw (occasionally), I walk (with my dogs).
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Mostly I watch political dramas like House of Cards, Designated Survivor and Madam Secretary. I’d love a British political show; so if anyone knows one, let me know. I watch the Vampire Diaries. I don’t watch a lot of soaps (unlike the rest of England), but I do watch Hollyoaks almost every day.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food – macaroni cheese, Chinese and pizza. Colours – grey (yeah I’m that weird), green and blue. Music – I like Indie and acoustic stuff mostly.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t. That is too bleak an idea. Writing is a part of me. I could do any job in the world but writing is something that completes me. A job is a job. Writing is so much more than that.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Gosh. I don’t think I’m going to have a headstone. I want to be cremated. I want my family to throw my ashes over the side of a boat in the middle of the ocean. I want to become part of the immensity that is the unknown.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Absolutely. My blog, newsletter and everything else you could possible want to know about me can all be found on my website www.hanleighbradley.co.uk
Damaged Intimacy. It’s currently available for pre-order before it’s release on July 29th.
Website – www.hanleighbradley.co.uk
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorhanleigh/