Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Repeat Offender: F.T. Bradley

Internal Affairs has been doing some investigations and found out we have to call one of our own authors (who works for this very site!) back in for questioning. Though we usually let our suspects go with a warning, we found this author has plenty to answer for. Hopefully, we'll get some clues about how authors write more than one mystery while keeping the stories fresh and interesting.

To answer our questions, we're bringing in Repeat Offender F.T. Bradley, author of Double Vision (Harper Children's). Along with writing, F.T. Bradley works on Sleuths, Spies and Alibis. You can read more about her in our About Us section. If you'd like to be caught up on her last interrogation (or read it all over again), you can find it right here.

Before we bring her in, you can read about her new book here:

 Washington, DC. Where spies are everywhere.

Lincoln Baker is just a regular kid. Okay, so he had this one undercover mission in Paris and, sure, he might have saved the world, but that's ancient history. He's done being a junior secret agent for Pandora.

The trouble is, Pandora isn't done with him. They've received a threat on the president's life from an agent named Dagger. Now they want Linc to go to Washington, DC, to protect the first daughter, Amy. As if that's not enough, George Washington's legendary coat, rumored to make its wearer invincible, is missing. Pandora needs to find it before Dagger does. Unfortunately for Linc, his by-the-book agent nemesis, Ben Green, is already on the case.

With Amy's help, Linc will have to dig deep into the history of America's first spies to beat Ben at his own game and stop Dagger before it's too late.

Is your second mystery part of a series or is it a standalone?

Double Vision: Code Name 711 is the second book in my MG adventure series featuring Linc Baker. This book was a blast to write--largely because Linc is such a fun character, but also because it allowed me to get lost a bit in my research on Washington, D.C. and George Washington. 

In each Double Vision book, Linc has to find the double of a famous artifact, only the double has mysterious powers. This double of George Washington's coat makes its wearer invisible... Cool, right?

What did you find most challenging about writing this novel? How did you overcome this challenge?

At first, I wasn't too inspired when I started researching George Washington. No disrespect to our first president, but he looks a little serious on the dollar bill... So that was challenging.

But then I started researching Washington, and found out he was a spy in the Culper Ring, a group of deep cover spies during the Revolutionary War. George Washington was code named 711. Once I had that bit of information, I was completely inspired. The research drove the story, honestly.

What did you find easiest about writing this novel?

Linc really makes the writing a breeze--his funny voice, crazy antics, and great heart are the best part of the Double Vision series. He may be a troublemaker, but he always does the right thing. Letting him run with the story during the first draft is always the best (and easiest) part.

Did you approach this novel differently having already written and published one mystery? Or did you use more or less the same approach?

Having established my main characters made it easier. I just had to stay true to Linc, Ben, Henry and the agents of Pandora (the top-secret organization tasked with retrieving the dangerous artifacts). The most challenging part of writing a series is making sure that the second, third, etc. books also work if you haven't read the first, but not boring your devoted fans with too much explanation. 

My process otherwise was pretty similar: I start with an interesting location, historical figure and artifact, and plot an exciting thriller from there. And then I add some cool gadgets--every spy needs those...

What are you most proud of in this book?
Finding that nugget of history, that George Washington gave orders to the Culper Ring, allowed me to bring history to life. I was able to show that just like Washington, Linc has a very strong moral compass: he does what he knows is right, even when the outcome isn't certain. That takes guts and character. 

I'm most proud of making George Washington and his choices and bravery relevant today. I hope the book connects with readers, and that it might make its way into a classroom or two. George Washington is cool.

Okay, F.T. It looks like we're going to have to let you go again... but if we catch you writing another mystery novel we're going to have to haul you in for further questioning!

Want to win a fabulous DOUBLE prize? Fleur's publisher is giving away a copy of DOUBLE VISION and the sequel CODE NAME 711. Click on the Rafflecopter thingie to enter! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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