eBook publication of FALLING IN LOVE, Stephen Bradlee asked
a friend, who is a national reporter, to interview him about
Q: Congratulations on
finishing the book. As we both know, that can be a very
Q: What is Falling
In Love about?
SB: It is based on the
true story of a young women’s battle to overcome sexual
addiction. My concern was that the title, Falling In
Love, would shout “light comedy.” I wanted to make
sure that the cover and the blurb made it clear that this is
a story about recovery from addiction. It is an inspiring
story but definitely not a comedy.
Q: What drew you to
SB: Sherry’s courage.
What she goes through to get to where she is at the end of
the book is incredible. The first line of the book promises
that Falling In Love will be a great story and I
certainly think the book delivers.
that drew me to the story was how it could be told. During
the second half of the book we actually see Sherry making
small but steady strides in her recovery, even though she is
always on the verge of falling back into the abyss.
I remember when I saw Pursuit of Happyness. For
two hours we watch Will Smith’s character’s depressing
struggle with homelessness. Then at the end we see a card
saying that his character becomes a multi-millionaire. Can’t
we see just a little bit of his success? In Falling
in Love we get to see more than a little bit.
Q: What was the
biggest challenge in writing the book?
SB: Sherry wanted her
story to be told to help others in recovery but she also
wanted to remain anonymous. So I had to change some of the
events in the book but still keep the emotional impact of
the original event. That was much harder than I had
imagined it would be.
Q: You have
ghostwritten several celebrity autobiographies. How was
writing this book different?
SB: The main difference
is that since Sherry wasn’t a celebrity I didn’t have to
worry about getting her voice right. After years on talk
shows, celebrities have very distinctive voices. That
voice is easy to do for 15 minutes but almost impossible to
get right for 350 pages. A ghostwriter’s best compliment is
when a celebrity’s mother says, “I don’t know why you hired
a ghostwriter, the book sounds just like you.” Also, much
of the book is taken directly from the transcription
tapes. So it is Sherry’s voice when she is, well, under a
lot of stress.
Q: Has Sherry read the
SB: I don’t know. It
has been sent to her but I haven’t spoken to her since that
weekend when she told me her story.
Q: If she hasn’t read
it, why do you think that is?
SB: She’s already been
through the story twice. Once, living it and once telling
it to me. Maybe she’s not yet ready to relive it a third
time. She still lives day to day and is continually
concerned about slipping into a relapse.
Q: So I suspect she
isn’t doing any publicity for the book.
SB: That is true. It is
also in part why I wrote the book under a pen name.
Q: But considering
your day job, you are fairly well known certainly in one
area of the film business. One picture of you and that will
be the end of your anonymity.
SB: (laughs) So I guess
there won’t be a photo accompanying this interview.
Q: Your ghostwritten
celebrity autobiographies have been best sellers. You must
know agents and publishers. Before you decided to
self-publish, did you first attempt to publish the book the
SB: In a way. I did
give the manuscript to an editor and after a six-month
wait, I was offered a
contract. In the end, I turned it down.
SB: Well, today,
publishers put out hundreds of thousands of books every
year. But because bookstores have very limited shelf space,
a traditionally published book only has a few weeks to begin
selling or it is headed for the remainder stacks.
Falling in Love isn’t in any known genre or by a known
author or about a known person. It may take some time to
find an audience. With self-publishing, the book can take
as long as is necessary for word of mouth to work its magic.
Another reason is
that once a traditionally published title is
remaindered--that is when the publisher stops promoting and
‘selling’ the book--the author gets the rights back in a
specified time, usually a couple of years. The editor sent
me a boilerplate contract which basically said that keeping
the title as an eBook on Amazon or Barnes & Noble constituted the
publisher keeping the book on their list, that is in theory,
still promoting and selling the book. Obviously, they could
list it as an eBook at no cost to them for basically
forever. So we theoretically we might never get the rights
back. On the contrary, if Falling In Love did sell
well, they would have the rights to it for my lifetime plus
70 years. That is a very long time to give up the rights to
your book. I’m sure I could have negotiated a better deal
but in the end, self-publishing just seemed like a better
way to go.
Q: Although this may
change soon, by today’s standard, a book isn’t officially
considered published until it is a print book. Are you
giving yourself an out by just publishing it as an eBook?
You could still go back to a publisher later in case
self-publishing doesn’t work out.
SB: (laughs). Maybe,
but I doubt it. I intend to publish Falling In Love
in print in a few months. I don’t think that time
span is long enough to determine if indie publishing is a
success or not. Also, I’ve spent my entire career writing
‘for hire.’ I thought it might be interesting to call the
shots on editing, the cover, distribution, marketing,
pricing, etc., all the things that I let publishers do, and
sometimes, as far as I could tell, not do. This will be a
challenge but hopefully, it will also be fun. And if I mess
it up, there will only be one person to blame (laughs).
Q: Best of luck with
SB: Thanks. We can
always use that.
This is interview is free to anyone who would like to
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