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        with Stephen Bradlee


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    For the eBook publication of FALLING IN LOVE, Stephen Bradlee asked a friend, who is a national reporter, to interview him about the book. 

    Q:        Congratulations on finishing the book. As we both know, that can be a very difficult task.

    SB:      Thank you.

    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 the story?

    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.

                Another thing 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 book?

    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 traditional way?

    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.

    Q:        Why?

    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 it.

    SB:      Thanks. We can always use that. 

    This is interview is free to anyone who would like to republish it.  

    Just please credit that it was first published on: http://www.fallinginlovethebook.com

     

     

     

     

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