Carpinello's Writing Pages is pleased to introduce you to author Brad Swift. Brad is a prolific author who writes fantasy and science fiction for children/middle grade readers, and YA. He also writes for adults.
First, here's a bit about Brad:
My name is Brad Swift, and I write fantasy and science fiction. Much of my time is spent these days writing visionary fiction for children and young adults to inspire them to become joyful lifelong readers by introducing them to the pure pleasure of reading. Books like the Zak Bates Eco-adventure series and Spacehoppers. I believe reading for pleasure stretches the imagination of young readers in ways that TV, movies, or video games do not. I also love to encourage young people to write their own stories, knowing that some of them will grow into the world’s future authors as I did.
Before pursuing my combo career as a writer and personal development coach, my primary life goal was to become a small animal veterinarian. I have a great love for all the animals of the world and especially for those with who we share our homes, dogs and cats. So, when I set my aim to become an Indie author, I combined my love for books with my love for the animal world and for Earth. One of my favorite series growing up was the Tom Swift, Jr. series, so I decided to write about a boy who loves animals and magic. In book one, Dominion Over All, Zak meets Ra-Kit, the last living magic cat, and her flying dog companion, Sampson. The three make up the foundation of the Zak Bates Eco-adventure team. Books 2 and 3 are Endangered and Ghost Elephant.
The Junkyard Dogs, Book 4, is scheduled to be released later in 2021. I've included an excerpt from it. As a teenage zoo-owner and the head of an eco-team that’s been tasked to overcome global warming and protect endangered species, Zak Bates is as busy as ever. Despite much help from a truly stellar multi-species coterie, his life, in a word, is wild, and it seems that things are about to get hairier.
When the eco-team receives word from the Council of Animals of the Spiritual Frontier about a curious disturbance amongst New York’s animal population, it soon becomes clear that something truly sinister is afoot—or apaw—and, worse, the plague is prodigious.
Across the city, scores of store owners, led by real estate mogul, Stanford Ivory, have started using and abusing junkyard dogs as living burglar alarms and stray cats as mousers. Having been abandoned at birth, Faith Bandara is particularly sensitive to such abuse. She resolves to use her empathic abilities to save these sentient beings from a life of servitude. Faith and her street-smart friend, Midge Meadows, join the eco-team to do just that, but will it be enough to turn the tide against such ruthless forces?
As Zak and his team begin to dig deeper, they find that the truth is worse than expected. Yes, someone must save these animals by bringing the syndicate’s crimes to a stop. The only question that now remains is where exactly to start.
Here's a peek at The Junkyard Dogs:
Zak had yet to figure out how a cat who didn’t own a phone was able to send him such messages, but then again, she was a magic cat and he’d seen her perform feats much more amazing than a little electronic hocus pocus. He was still contemplating how she might pull off the feat when he saw his best friend, Allie George, approaching.
“It looks like our little magic friend is meditating,” Allie said, and Zak nodded.
“Has she ever done this before?” Zak asked.
“I’m afraid you’re right,” Ra-Kit said. “We don’t have time to travel to Sri Lanka, even by warping, but we can do the next best thing.”
Well, first I get a fragment of an idea then spend time noodling on it, journaling about it, walking around thinking about it, and often talking to Argos, my dog, about it. He’s not much of a talker but he’s a helluva listener. After a few days, weeks, or months doing that, I start to outline the story, mostly using the Seven Point Story Structure. That’s usually when I begin to realize I don’t know everything in the world about this particular story (and that takes quite a bit for me to admit it because I think I know everything. :-) ) Most of my research either comes from the internet or from conversations with people who know more about a given subject than me. It’s not unusual for me to also take time researching various aspects of a story in the midst of writing the rough draft as well.
Well, since I’m working on my 29th book, I’ll save the readers from discussing all of them. Besides my books for kids and young adults that I write as W. Bradford Swift, I also have several fantasy and science fiction books for adults under the pen name of Orrin Jason Bradford. This includes my ‘opus’ six-book SF series, FreeForm, a combination of aliens/first contact, and genetic engineering gone bad. Then, there’s also my two volumes of urban fantasy stories, Fantastic Fables of Foster Flat. As it says in this series, blurb, “In the beguiling spirit of Ray Bradbury’s novels and ‘The Twilight Zone’ series, this supernatural assortment stands as a testament to the fable’s lasting power.” And last of all, one of my personal favorites (but don’t tell my other book children I said that), Babble, which is book one of the Cosmic Conspiracy series with book two, Rabble, due out in 2021.
I’ve just finished book four of the Zak Bates Eco-adventure series, Junkyard Dogs, which should be released sometime before the end of the first quarter of 2021. I’m in the brainstorming (which means a lot of walking and talking with Argos) on book five with the working title of Polar. My goal is to have that finished and ready for release sometime in the second or third quarter of 2021.
Well, since I maintain a small coaching practice called Write On Purpose where I primarily work with aspiring authors, I’ll direct my advice to that group. Boy, what is the number one thing I could offer? Well, let me start by paraphrasing one of my favorite authors, Ray Bradbury. “The first million words don’t count,” or perhaps to say it in a more positive way, the first million words are practice and in one sense all the subsequent words are the same.
Yes, two primary additional things. First, in the summer of 2020, a combination of the COVID epidemic and my personal desire to connect with young readers and parents in a more personal way led my audiobook narrator, Ben Fife, and me to create the Zak Bates Eco-adventure Readup series as live, interactive Zoom-based hours to connect with kids and their parents or guardians. They've been so much fun that we now are inviting other children and young adult authors of fantasy and science fiction to join us in our Guest Author Readup Series.
Second, one of the simplest and most economical way to check out my Zak Bates’ books is to receive an ebook AND audiobook copy of book one, Dominion Over All, on my author website.