Interview with Brad Graber
Author of After the Fall
Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I was born and raised in New York City but have lived in Buffalo, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, and now in Phoenix. No – the law isn’t after me.
If you currently reside somewhere besides where you were born, what’s the story that lead from there to here?
I attended SUNY at Buffalo and Washington University in St. Louis. Then, I moved around the country working as a healthcare executive. Phoenix was my last stop before I decided to embark on a second career as an author.
What made you decide to write and publish your first book?
Coming from the Bay Area, I was amazed at how much I loved Phoenix and Arizona. I wanted to share that feeling. The best way was through a story that crossed different ages, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds. My debut novel became The Intersect. And then with my 2nd novel, After the Fall, I was once again able to incorporate some of Phoenix into the story.
How would you describe your books to first time readers?
My books are all about relationships. How we touch each other’s hearts. How strangers present when we need them mot. About compassion and understanding as we journey through our lives together. And about the value of family. My second novel, After the Fall, is about a teenager being raised by her grandmother who tries to unravel the secret of her mother’s mysterious death. I like to think of it as the lies we tell…and the secrets we keep. Of course, that is done out of love. And it happens all the time. Just think about your own life. Now how much do you really know about your grandparents?
Who do you feel is most likely to connect with the topics you write about?
My audience tends to be predominantly women over thirty who are political and culturally sophisticated. But I also am read by a diverse audience. The key ingredient seems to be life experience. Those who find the novels satisfying know that life is not always a straight path from here to there. There are twists and turns. And surprises along the way. Those are the stories that interest me the most.
What unexpected or surprising thing did you learn during the process of writing and publishing?
There is an eager audience for what I have to share. But to be well-read as an author means that you have to get out there and be visible. I’ve done book clubs and book parties across the country. I write a humor blog, There, I Said It!, which helps maintain those established relationships. I’m building a speaking presence. But all this requires commitment and time. And oh yes. You have to continue writing. My third book, What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream? – will be out before the end of the year. It is a recap of the best essays from my blog. And I’m in the middle of novel #3: Boca by Moonlight.
If you could, what advice would you give to your past self before embarking on this journey?
Achieve through small steps. I currently journal the work. Each day, I log in at least three accomplishments because there are times when you’re not quite sure if you’ve achieved anything at all. Especially if you’ve been editing a scene for an hour or two. So breaking the work down into small parts helps keep you motivated. It also shines a light on what you need to do the next day. And that’s helpful!
How many people would you ideally like to reach with your books?
I’d love to get my first 10,000 readers. That’s the goal in my head. Why that number – I can’t really tell you. But I suppose having a number in your head at very least provides the journey with a sense of direction.
What has been the biggest challenge and frustration during the process to date?
As an Indie author, you’re not always accorded the respect by the industry that you might immediately garner if you were traditionally published. But I love being in charge of my own work and creating my author platform.
What’s your biggest strengths when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
I like to think that my writing conveys a talent for natural humor. So even when I’m writing about a serious subject, there will be a balance. On the publishing side, I’ve been able to gather a team about me who are very talented in terms of editing, layout, and cover design. As for marketing, I have a pretty good sense of how to get my work in front of the right audience. And I’m very willing to put in the time and effort to make that happen.
What’s your biggest weakness when it comes to book a) writing, b) publishing and c) marketing?
There are certain behaviors that I need to screen for even when writing the first draft. Not every character should be “winking” unless they are all wearing contact lenses that need to be rewetted. And I can be very impatient with how long it takes to bring a new book to the market. You really can’t rush it. But sometimes, I just grow frustrated. And it is often difficult to get in front of the right audience for my work. That requires a bit of trial and error and a level of commitment to the discovery process.
When do you think you will write your next book?
My third book based on my blogs is out by the end of the year: What’s That Growing in My Sour Cream? My fourth novel is currently being written: Boca by Moonlight. The story of four golf buddies as they navigate the rough dating waters of Boca Raton. You know, it’s not all beach, sun, and romance.
Are you self published or did you use a hybrid publisher, or a traditional publisher?
Self-published at the moment but hoping to eventually be picked up by a traditional publisher. Either way, I’m planning to have a long and fruitful second act.
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