Every once in awhile, a new author comes along that blows you away with their first book. Let me introduce you to an author that fits into that category, Richard Bradford. Here is what he says about his book on his website...
"Look, if you’re searching for some cute little book about vampires or werewolves, this book isn't for you. If you’re looking for a love story set in the 1800’s where grown men walk around in turned up collars and top hats, this isn’t for you either. This isn’t some neat little cookie cutter book with trendy words, a flashy movie-poster cover and a plot thinner than a runway model. No, this book is the real thing. This is a book so original, so intriguing, so captivating that you will beg for more. This is one of those books that your friend tells you about, not because they saw it on some talk show’s book club, but because they’ve read it four times and can’t put it down. This is one of those books where if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could only take three things, this book would be on your list right above water. Yeah, this is one of those books."
I have to concur, yes, this is one of those books! Yes, this book was gripping. Yes, I could not put this book down. This is the book I have been telling people about. I first picked it up one night at midnight thinking I would just read the first chapter to see if I would like it. Three hours later, my eyes could not stay open any longer. This story moves quickly but does not feel rushed. The two main characters are high school aged, but this does NOT feel like a "high school" book. Aura and Zack are both smart kids that you learn to like from first meeting them. Here is a little more about what the book is about...
"Aimed at readers ages 13-30, Bradford wastes no time jumping into Seventh Earth with an intriguing opening scene that captures his reader's attention and lures them in for a ride full of excitement and romance.Entrenched with thought provoking symbolism, Seventh Earth welcomes readers to the world of Aura Maples--a quirky seventeen-year-old who would like nothing more than to glide through her final year in high school well below the social radar. But after mysteriously passing out in English class and falling in love with the engaging, athletic "new kid", Aura realizes that getting through her senior year at Willits High unnoticed may be a little tougher than she thought. And as if all this weren't enough, her body begins going through some very bizarre changes that have nothing to do with the hormonal madness of late adolescence.
At her wits' end and desperate for answers, Aura finds herself face to face with a stranger who seems to know exactly what she's going through and why. But there's more in the bargain: along with the desperately sought answers comes a mind-blowing story that will change her--and perhaps everyone's--life forever.The first thing I thought of when I finished the book was, "When is the next book coming out?". This story just flies off the pages. You read this book and think that there is no way that this is a first time author. His writing style is mature, it flows and it captivates. What this all comes down to is that, you are going to have to read this book and experience this for yourself. I use the word"Experience", because reading this book is like taking a fast moving ride, with twists and turns and breathlessly finally getting off.
Here is another little excerpt from the book to wet your interest...
"Here's something I need to show you, she said above the soft patter of the rain. Turning toward the fallen log, she could see the little clump of purple flowers growing out of the rotting bark above her that she had reached for when she slipped. She raised her hand toward them, and the flowers, as if picked by an invisible force, broke free from the bark and floated smoothly down to her waiting hand.
After I finished reading the book, I quickly shot off some questions for Richard about him and his book. Of course he sent back some great answers.
1.When did you first get the ideas for the book "Seventh Earth"?
The original idea for Seventh Earth actually came from my wife. A few years ago we were house sitting for a family and one night she woke me up and told me about this idea. I instantly fell in love with it and began writing. It’s interesting because the final story of Seventh Earth is much different than the original idea. For example, the entire story involving the two main characters Zack and Aura were not at all part of the original idea.
2. Is this your first book written or your first book published? Now that I am writing books, I know that there is a big difference here.
Seventh Earth is the first book I have finished writing. I currently have two other books that are in various stages of being written, one is the sequel to Seventh Earth—which I hope to have finished by the end of this year. The second is an urban fantasy novel about a teenage guardian angel who finds himself being hunted by the dark side
3.Do you have any authors that have influenced you or your writing through the years?
There are many authors that have influenced my writing. I grew up reading John Grisham and Tom Clancy books. I love the mystery, action and intrigue each of those authors bring to their pages. However I would have to say that much of my writing now is inspired by authors such as Scott Westerfield, Suzanne Collins, Stephanie Meyers and Ian McEwan. I think each of these authors has the ability to captivate an audience and tell a great story, and I like to think of myself as not so much as a writer, but as a story teller who likes to write.
4. Can you tell me a little about this series? How many books will there be ? Will they center around the two main characters in the first book or will other main characters take center stage?
There will be three books in the Seventh Earth series. I am currently working on the sequel which takes place a short time after the first one ends. The sequel will continue to center around the two main characters, Aura and Zack and will also include the Reficul which is the evil alien race in the first book that drives much of the story. I will also be introducing some new characters that will be playing some major roles—characters readers will both love and hate. I am very excited about the sequel as it contains a few twists that readers will not expect but it will also carry over some of the themes from the first book. I tried to infuse quite a bit of symbolism in the first book and I am going to carry that over into the next book. I want it to be something that someone can read several times and learn something new each time.
#5 Why do you think people will like your book? I know why I liked it!
Most people tell me that when they start my book it’s difficult to put down. I had a really good editor that taught me a great lesson—to leave out the parts that people normally skip. I have tried to implement this principle in my writing which has seemed to pay off as the story moves along keeping readers entertained from start to finish. It’s also a book that appeals to a wide audience in that it straddles the line between action/adventure and a great love story.
#6 Which character can you relate to more in your story, Aura or Zack? Is there one that you like better than the other?
Zack is the character that I relate to most. In fact, the character Zack is based on my experience in high school. Like Zack I moved up to Willits right before my senior year. I didn’t experience everything Zack did but his character is roughly based on me. This helped in creating Zack because I could look to myself to and how I would react to certain situations. I think this brought a level of legitimacy to the character and made him more real and more relatable to the readers.
#7 Are there other genre's of books that you would like to write some day?
Before I started Seventh Earth I was actually writing a young adult chick lit book. I’m not sure if I will stray too far from the young adult urban fantasy/sci fi realm in that I really enjoy reading this genre and enjoy writing in it. There is something about losing yourself in another worlds that you have created that is highly intoxicating.
#8 What is your best advice to beginning writers who hope to be published some day?
My advice would be to write what you are passionate about. There has to be passion in your writing. The second you are not fully engaged in your writing your readers will notice and will walk away. If you write from the heart your words will contain power and will be the means of inspiring others. If you write just to write, your words will be just that, words.
Now the BEST part of today's blog post...You can WIN a free copy of Seventh Earth!!!!
You need to do the following things to receive as many entries as you can. After you do these things you will need to come back here and leave a comment letting me know what you did.
#1 Become a follower of my blog. If you are already a follower, let me know when you leave your comment about everything else that you did.
#2 Post about this contest on facebook and Twitter with links back to my blog. They will count as separate entries.
#3 Post on Richard Bradford's facebook page letting him know you heard about him and the contest here at my blog.
#4 Go to Richard's website and sign the guestbook.
OK, so there are 5 ways that you can enter the contest. I hope to see many entries here, because it will be well worth your time so you can win a copy of this fantastic book ,that I am giving 5 stars to on goodreads.com.
If you would like to buy your own copy of "Seventh Earth" go here to purchase.
About the Author
"I am a graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in International Law and Diplomacy. Although originally from California, I currently live in College Station, Texas with my wife, four kids and two dogs.