Four-time Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Mystery—Rainey Nights (2012), Molly: House on Fire (2013), The Rainey Season (2014), and Relatively Rainey (2016)—and 2013 Rainbow Awards First Runner-up for Best Lesbian Novel, Out on the Panhandle, author R. E. Bradshaw began publishing in August of 2010. Before beginning a full-time writing career, she worked in professional theatre and also taught at both university and high school levels. A native of North Carolina, the setting for the majority of her novels, Bradshaw now makes her home in Oklahoma. Writing in many genres, from the fun southern romantic romps of the Adventures of Decky and Charlie series to the intensely bone-chilling Rainey Bell Thrillers, R. E. Bradshaw’s books offer something for everyone.
“Her name is Jane Doe? Really? You aren’t joking?”
“Yes. Her father’s name was John Doe. Her mother’s last name was Smith. Jane Smith Doe, that’s her. Her dad said he guaranteed her anonymity for life. Thought it was funny.”
Forty years away from Doe’s Ferry, it didn’t take long for word to get around that Jane Doe had come home. Most people remained unconcerned with her arrival—memories of young Jane having been long forgotten or never known. But like any tiny place with tiny minds, the whispers at her sudden reappearance revived old rumors and fanned long cold embers into a blaze.
“With your history, you can see why this sudden appearance would concern me.”
“My history? Which part? The part where we were cradle to grave friends, all of us, or the part where one of us died, three of us lied, and one of us went to prison.”
“I’m assuming that means this isn’t a nostalgic trip home.”
“No point in pretending…”
There were those who wished Jane had stayed gone. Most folks were willing to let the past die with the ones that lived it—but not Jane, and not the person who sent the package that summoned her home. Wrongs needed righting. The time had come for the truth of what happened at Doe’s Ferry to come to light. Jane Doe has come home to amend the record, to make it right: Emendare.
Welcome to gay mystery authors with Brad Shreve featuring interviews with some of the most renowned authors and up and coming talent and LGBTQ mysteries, suspense and thrillers. Plus, Justene is here with her weekly recommendation.
Brad Shreve 0:28
Before we get to Justene’s reviews This week, we’re going to do shout out to a few people. This is this is going to be something special. We’re finally starting to get some reviews and these are our first reviews, we want to give some special thank yous to these folks. And so I’m going to start out. The first one is from John Conover. This is long overdue. He did he posted something on Twitter. I’m going to read and what he said is “I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the interview views with Michael Craft and Michael Nava on gay mystery authors podcast. I’m so thrilled and all caps, THIS PODCAST EXISTS. Check it out.” Thank you, john. And then on Apple, we got a review from Drewcifer. And he put “tremendous show. This show is a peek into a great genre of literature. You’ll love it.” exclamation point.
I’ve had a couple, Wild3 on Apple “Loads of fun. Brad does a wonderful job coaxing authors to talk about their books and process, gems of wisdom and experience for authors and readers alike.” And then JSKleinschmidt also on Apple says “great content and interesting interviews.” I’m hoping the great content refers to our segment because it has an interesting interview separately.
Brad Shreve 1:55
And then the last one is Allofthisapps i think is how I think it’s pronounced. Yeah, but anyway, that’s the best I can do. They simply put “Love it great podcast.” So it’s nice and simple. Like I said, we’re not gonna read these off every week. But we’re doing this this week to encourage people to please give us some reviews. If you liked gay mysteries genre and would like others to come in and find out that we’re here and join, give us some reviews so that when they see the show, they can see the reviews and will listen in like you are so you can do it on Apple, you can do it on Stitcher. A lot of the other apps out there have reviews on them. So please do so.
I think we should still give shout outs the people who leave for for us even if we don’t really read the reviews word for word. What do you think, Brad?
Brad Shreve 2:45
That’s a pretty good idea.
Yeah. So if you want to get you on a shout out on the show, go leave a review.
Brad Shreve 2:50
If you do nothing else, do a rating we got quite a few five star ratings, but reviews are much better. writing something up just means something special makes us feel good. And like I said, hopefully brings others into watch the show. The other thing is, if you have a suggestion for us, or would just like to make a comment, what you can do is go to the contact page on our website, www,gaymysteryauthors.com. On the contact page, there’s a phone number where you can call and leave a message. Or if you prefer, there’s one of those standard contact forms you can fill that out and send it into us as well. So either of those would be great. A review was great, sending us a contact or phone calls great. Whatever. We would love to hear from you. That’s what it comes down to.
People can also send us their books to review Brad. They can either send the inquiry through the contact form which ways we will reply or they can just send us the ebook, preferably in a mobi format, directly to our email, which is email@example.com
Brad Shreve 3:59
And we want more of those. Justene wants more than she can possibly handle. Yes. So please get those in. She’s been asking for those.
And if you’ve sent books and I haven’t gone to all the ones we have, so don’t despair. There are my list.
Brad Shreve 4:16
Speaking of reviews, I don’t even know who you’re reviewing this week or what book so, I mean, to hear what you have to say,
Well, I dug around a bit and looked at through some of our submissions, and I came up with one that I was in the mood for called the Stuffed Coffin by Dieter, Moitzi
Brad Shreve 4:38
I like the title.
Yeah, I thought it was a good title. And it is a classic mystery. It starts out in classic mystery trope. Young man goes on a holiday that he had originally booked to this boyfriend, and then he and his boyfriend break up so he’s taking his holiday alone, and he’s interested in all the gorgeous young men better at this resort on a Greek Isle. There’s a romance was one of the young men, but it takes up not too much of the story and it it fits in. It provides his own plot twists within the story, a little bit of misunderstandings and the denouncement. We’re all part of the mystery.
Brad Shreve 5:22
Nothing wrong with a little romance
nothing long as little moments but I you know I hate it when you got a mystery and the romance is tacked on. And and this romance is interwoven and it works beautifully. Now the book is translated from the French. The translation is very smooth book itself is is well written. The resort is on a Greek island. It’s a fictional Greek Island with a fictional town, but he describes it all beautifully the the feel of the air, the scenery, the other people in this travel group who are annoying to no end. The translation is good, but if occasionally there are terms or phrase that are in the original French. That took me by surprise. For example, when someone upset this situation, he said, It was as if they had pissed in the violin. That’s and that’s his French expression is I’ve ever heard. Someone of the tour group ends up dying in the pool. Everybody thinks it’s suspicious and then they think it’s not suspicious. And then somebody else turns up dead. Being on vacation. The relationship he’s in is kind of, you know, falling apart. He ends up being curious and launches his own investigation and we all know just how much your own investigation gets you in trouble. You’re an amateur sleuth bodies are dropping around you. Do you go to the police? No, of course not. you investigate it yourself. And eventually you get into trouble. And eventually the police lose their temper with you. Somehow it all works out at the end. It’s a classic setup because it works so well. And you hang details on top of that, in the details you hang and how you write in the characterizations you come up with. All make it a good mystery. And and this is one of the best.
Brad Shreve 7:26
So another fun amateur sleuth one.
It’s a fun amateur sleuth, and it is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read the next one in this series.
Brad Shreve 7:37
So are you ready to give us your rating?
Yes, I think it’s a glowing recommendation.
Brad Shreve 7:43
Yeah, I you know, a lot of these books are very well written. And this one is particularly so
Brad Shreve 7:52
another one on my list, which is so long. I’ll never get to all of them but but I still put them in the Kindle anyway, some someday that thing’s going to short out on me. So before we move on let’s give them the name and the author again.
It’s called The Stuffed Coffin by Deiter Moitzi. Hey, I have an update for you. Remember last week I was reviewing the Marshall James series and the first one, like this one only the only the first one was out
Brad Shreve 8:27
by Mark McNease
Mark McNease, and Mark nice has confirmed that he’s got two more books coming in that series.
Brad Shreve 8:34
Thank you for getting that confirmed. Any news from Requeered Tales this week?
Requeered Tales is bringing out a not a mystery. It’s called The Family of Max Desire by Robert Ferro. Well, we have another mystery released a couple months ago, where there’s a travel writer who’s on vacation in an Island Resort, much like this one and he finds a body in The bottom of the pool, much like this one, the book that Requeered Tales released is called the black marble pool by Stan Leventhal. And that’s another mystery in the classic fashion.
Brad Shreve 9:13
Whenever I think of a body in a pool, I always think of Sunset Boulevard. How gay is that? So, the other question I have for you is we’ve been talking about the Buffy comforter you bought a few weeks ago. So how are you sleeping these days?
I am sleeping very well. I gotta say, I know. I used to toss and turn so they got tangled and my comforter would get tangled up. I wake up in the morning with it laying on top of me just the way I fell asleep the night before. And I know everybody thinks Oh, what an exaggeration This is but you know, rarely do I like a product as much as this one. I really like the fact that it’s environmentally friendly. And it’s made from recycled water bottles. And it’s it’s as far from a water bottle as one could be but It reduces waste out there. So if people want to buy a Buffy comforter, just go to the link on our website. Click through. See what it’s all about. There’s a seven day free trial and give it a try.
Brad Shreve 10:14
Well, I’m glad you’re sleeping well on your cloud.
Yep. So you’re on to RE Bradshaw now.
Brad Shreve 10:20
Yes, I am. Ready for a delightful conversation with her.
I can’t wait to hear it. See you next week bread.
You can keep up with the game industry authors on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Links are on our website. Gay mystery authors.com.
Brad Shreve 10:43
Our guest today, RE Bradshaw, is a four time lambda Literary Award finalist in mystery and the 2013 Rainbow award first runner up for best lesbian novel. Before beginning a full time writing career. She worked in professional theatre and also taught at both universal and high school levels, a native of North Carolina, the setting for the majority of her novels, Bradshaw now makes your home in Oklahoma. She writes in many genres from fun Southern romantic romps of The Adventures of Decky and Charlie series, to the intensely bone chilling, Rainey Bell thrillers. Well, you offer something for everyone. Welcome, RE.
R.E. Bradshaw 11:23
Thank you for having me, Brad.
Brad Shreve 11:24
Oh, it’s a pleasure to have you on here today.
R.E. Bradshaw 11:27
Great. Good to be here.
Brad Shreve 11:29
Well, one thing that jumps out at me from your bio right away, that I’d like to start with is that you worked in professional theatre before becoming a writer. How did that happen? What was the path that led you to become a writer?
R.E. Bradshaw 11:43
Well, the path to being a writer started when I was very young. I used to write a lot when I was young, and
then I went off to college. I was dating a guy who was working lights for theater show. I went I was sitting in the audience. The follow spot operator showed up intoxicated. So they needed someone to run for a spot. And I was the person that got volunteer to do that. And I fell in love, immediately changed my major in college became I was political science, going to be a lawyer changed all that and went into theatre, which led eventually to writing again. So it kind of came full circle. When I started writing, I wrote a play. Hmm. And that led to that desire to really finish some of the stories that I had in my swimming around in my head and the characters and stuff. So it was kind of a circuitous route, but I made it back to to writing and I think theatre made me a better writer.
Brad Shreve 12:52
So you went from Poli-Sci to the art side of the world?
R.E. Bradshaw 12:56
Yes, and I think you can tell today that political science and theater or not too far park? Not anymore.
Brad Shreve 13:05
That’s actually I think they’ve always been somewhat similar.
R.E. Bradshaw 13:11
Brad Shreve 13:12
yes. Well, are there any authors that have influenced your writing?
R.E. Bradshaw 13:15
I love Tennessee Williams. One of my favorite things is a scenic description that Tennessee Williams wrote for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that you find in some of the copy. It’s not in every copy of it, but if you look really hard, you may find a copy and it is a beautiful description of scenery and theatricality. And just read his BIOS, Thomas wolf, the North Carolinian. Fanny Flagg, Harper Lee, Southern Gothic. That’s, I’ve always enjoyed those books. And then I’m also a huge fan of realistic murder Ann Rule. People like that.
Brad Shreve 14:01
Well, your writing has been diverse. You’ve done romantic comedies historical fiction, but most of them have been thrillers. What is it about thrillers that draws you?
R.E. Bradshaw 14:13
My mother was a true crime novel reader. And we had those detective magazines hidden in a little trunk in her room. And I used to sneak in there and read that stuff all the time. It fascinated me. coming out of high school was about the same time that the behavioral analysis units began. Behavioral Science I read some stuff about that. It was in its infancy. I wanted to be an FBI came on a high school that in mind, I never forgot that. I think what I’ve realized about my characters is that many of them play roles that at one point in time in my life, I may have wanted to play myself. So part of me really wanted to be a behavioral analyst. I am fascinated criminal mind. I read as much stuff as I could put my hands on that is that is published by that unit of the FBI. I was fascinated by it. And one day, Rainy Bells sprung to mind and I began writing the book, the first one and then I knew from the minute that I came up with the title and the name Rainy Bells, that it would be a series I just knew it.
Brad Shreve 15:25
Is there a particular character that you aspire to? you said that you pictured yourself as some of the characters.
R.E. Bradshaw 15:32
Oh, I’ve aspired to be them all. I just didn’t make too many of them. If you if you read the Decky & Charlie series, you’ll find that Decky was a theatre teacher who wrote a book that got picked up by Hollywood and then so she made her money and so that’s how her that’s what she does. She writes books and does genealogy. A lot of back character is something is me. I do genealogy. I did teach them theater I do write books. Hollywood didn’t pick me up though and I’m not rich. Molly Kincaid is a lawyer. She’s the what I call the female Matlock of the south. I love her. She can’t be held down. She’s unbeatable. She will survive. She’s a survivor. She’s had so many things thrown at her as a young girl, but then she’s also had so much privilege. And so there’s all kinds of things going on with her. And she shows up in all the stories as the brilliant lawyer who looks like Jodie Foster. And that’s a joke. Because everywhere she goes, people think she’s Jodie Foster. She has to say no, not Jodie Foster. So she shows up in all the books. So when I was young, very, very young. I was eating dinner with my parents, and somebody came up to the table and asked my parents if I was Jodie Foster and if they can have my autograph. And so that’s where that comes from. So you find little tidbits of yourself all over your books. But they may only mean something to you and it never means anything to anybody. But I’d say I’m the closest to Decky Bradshaw and her relationship with Charlie Warren. My wife’s name is Charlie. Or it’s Debbie Charlene, who is the character in the book is named Charlene Warren. Her mother’s name was Warren so there’s all kinds of it’s just a weaving of myself amongst the characters.
Brad Shreve 17:32
Well, Decky and Charlie and then the Rainy Bell thriller those are what you’ve been most prolific in. But one of your I believe it’s your latest book is Emendare. How is that different than your other books?
R.E. Bradshaw 17:47
Emandare is very different. For one thing all in in all of the other books, the main character identifies as a lesbian. In this book, the main character makes a point of saying she doesn’t like labels. I guess if you had to apply to her, she’s bisexual, but she’s just you know, she doesn’t fall in love with parts. So, and she’s not involved with anybody. She does get involved with a woman sort of in the book, but there’s no romance. I mean, it’s, there’s no romance in this book at all. It’s there’s she meets an old friend and they set up a date. But that’s it. There’s no none of the ordinary romance that seems to be a requirement. And boy, I’m going to get added to this. But it seems to be a requirement of what is termed Les-fic or lesbian fiction by my contemporaries. There seems to need to need to be a romantic element for it to fit into this category. So I don’t believe Emendare. There are gay men in the book, there is a pedophile in the book, there are racist there are many MAGA people, there are liberal arts people. It’s a conglomeration of everything you run into in your life. So it doesn’t fit neatly into the Les-fic romance, that I could shove the rest of my books in there. I can literally shove them into the Les-fic world, because there is some sort of romantic element in the book somewhere. But in this book, there isn’t
Brad Shreve 19:25
well, it’s been well received with glowing reviews, but it hasn’t been as popular as some of the other novels. Would you say? That is the reason?
R.E. Bradshaw 19:34
I’d say so. Um, you know, there’s a lot going on in the world today. And a lot of people are looking for something to escape to. And being reminded of our racism and social dynamics of how we got where we are today, which is what the book is about. I don’t think a lot of people want that right now. They want to escape.
Brad Shreve 19:58
You remind me of your MGM musicals that were really popular during the depression because it was the exact opposite of what was going on outside the movie theaters.
R.E. Bradshaw 20:09
Right. Right. I think that you know, romance is a huge industry. I don’t think we’ll ever catch up. But mystery and theater is right behind that. So this is a mystery. I just doesn’t have a romantic element in it. And I think that’s why it’s not as popular with my normal readers. But everyone that’s read it has said they really enjoyed that. Well, I don’t think enjoy is the right word. They were moved by it. That would be a better way to say it.
Brad Shreve 20:38
Well, as I said, you’ve done some great reviews on it. Did you know going into into it that it was going to be less marketable?
R.E. Bradshaw 20:46
Oh, boy. You know, the day I start worrying about commercial properties of a book. I’m going to need to stop writing. And I think that may be part of the problem in our in Literature Today is there so many copies of something that successful. And we see that tropes keep coming up and up and up and up. And so I don’t I don’t want to ever write a book to sell it. So there was a need, I felt a need. I was writing something else. I’m in the middle of I have 11 projects going on. I moved from one to the other. If I haven’t mentioned I’m a little I am. I suffer from adult attention deficit. They changed and Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD. So I flipped around a lot. But that book grabbed me it was something that got on my brain and would not go away. It was planted a seed that was planted in my head when I was 12 years old. That’s how far back this book goes with me. So it was something that I finally just the time was Right to finally write it. So I did.
Brad Shreve 22:02
you know that it was time? Now you’ve kind of already touched on it when you talked about the romance and I’m going to get you in a little more trouble here to kind of go a little further and little deeper. What are your thoughts on the state of lesbian fiction today?
R.E. Bradshaw 22:17
There’s a lot of it. A lot of it. When I started, I remember the people who were already writing it, or writing in that niche and and i i shy away from the label lesbian fiction because as it is defined by the genre itself, or not the genre the niche because it’s not a genre. It’s so I don’t really think I write I write on the edges of it, let’s just say and I think there are quite a few of us that do so and and there’s no judgment there. It’s just that there’s a type of, boy you’re gonna get me in trouble. I’m trying to say this without making Anybody feel bad or without sounding like I’m judging somebody for what they choose to read? I don’t care what people read. I hope they read for enjoyment. I hope they read for education. I hope they read because they, I hope they will always read and never stop. But there has to be a place on the shelf for people like me who write books about women like me, would that do not focus on the romance aspect of those of that person’s life? And my characters just don’t. If they do that, I do have books that they do. I did write two what I call lesbian fiction books. I did write two of those. They fit squarely in that definition. There’s a lot of sex, a lot of use of the word hot. You know, I read that, you know, I might have used a word moist in there, at least at once. So who knows? But I did that just to see if I could but I Enjoy it. It’s just a thing. Other people write beautiful erotica, I’ve read erotica that I really enjoyed. I’ve read erotica that I did not enjoy. I’ve read romances that, like The Notebook. I love that book, but I read no more of his romances because they’re all the same. I, I, I think everybody has a right to read what they want to but they also need to move over a little bit, and let some of us on the shelf, you know, let the mysteries on the shelf without that romantic element. And they’ll Promise me that nobody is keeping us off the shelf. But if I go in the lesbian fiction groups that I belong to, and I read the daily posts, I can just scan through them and they’re all about romance, romance, romance, romance, romance, or, or the conversations will be about if somebody starts talking about a sex toy, those will go on for like a days. conversations that go on for days on end, but nobody’s having literary conversation. And that’s what I miss. And I, you know, that’s just me. I’m an old English major. I loved going to college. I love sitting in class. I love taking things apart. Sometimes the curtains are blue, because they’re just blue. But sometimes they’re blue because they mean something. You know, all that stuff. I love all that stuff. And you just don’t find that kind of discussion. And I miss it. I miss it. And I certainly don’t want anybody to think that I think for romances. I live a romance. I met this woman 31 years ago, and every day is a romance. So I get it, I get it. I understand why people read romance and makes you feel good. There’s other other things that we can relate to.
Brad Shreve 25:48
In my novel, The main character is a gay male. And somebody said to me once you know it’ll be nice when you maybe someday, right mainstream fiction and I said, we talked about that is my main stream.
R.E. Bradshaw 26:01
Right? Right. I don’t want to I, I don’t want to write mainstream. I want the mainstream to come read what I’m writing.
Brad Shreve 26:10
R.E. Bradshaw 26:11
I want them to move over where I am, I don’t want to move into their stream. I want the river wide and a little bit, you know, Lena Waithe is a producer, director actor at still a little bit of everything. And she said, she liked her lesbian or gay characters to just be part of the story and not like point them out and not make a big deal about it. You know, they’re just there. They’re just there. They just exist just like they do in our lives. They’re just there. And she doesn’t make a point of doing lesbian or gay work. They just there are lesbian and gay people in her work because there are lesbian gay people in our lives. And I thought that was a beautiful way to look at it. And that’s kind of the way I look at this writing thing. I do also, I do, I gotta pay homage to, you know, there are a lot of people who paid a lot of dues for me to be able to sit here and say whatever I want to about lesbian literature, so I have to pay homage to those people.
Brad Shreve 27:16
Amen to that.
R.E. Bradshaw 27:16
They did you know, pulp, those pulp novels, made it so that I could do this and but we also have to remember there’s an entire audience of people that didn’t suffer through the kinds of otherness that we older people did. And I say older in a nice way. I’m 58 outs good. I’m pretty proud to be here. Glad I made it this far, hopefully looking forward to another many many many many years, but I am out of a certain age where I did have to hide who I was on a daily basis. I had to hide that I was married to a woman for a long time. And when I finally did start writing books about lesbians through reason I wrote under RE Bradshaw is because I was still employed as a public school teacher. That is not my name. So, and I kept it because unbeknownst to me, people immediately started reading the books that I wrote. And I was stuck with it. I met another writer who said she wished you had her name back and I do too. I do too. I don’t like hiding behind. It’s it’s not I’m not hiding. My name is Vicki. And I’m not hiding behind this name, but it is my public persona. That is, that is who she is.
Brad Shreve 28:35
I’ve heard others say the same thing as well.
R.E. Bradshaw 28:38
I just I had to I was teaching public school if they had found out I had written a book with a lesbian main character in it. I wouldn’t have had a job.
Brad Shreve 28:45
This was in North Carolina.
R.E. Bradshaw 28:47
No, this was in Oklahoma.
Brad Shreve 28:50
Both bright red states.
R.E. Bradshaw 28:52
Yes, there are no blue dots in Oklahoma where I say that we are. I live in the gayborhood. Really, honestly, there are a lot of gay people that live in my neighborhood. So we call it the gayborhoods. There are spots. We’re here. We’re just not very loud. We’re here though.
Brad Shreve 29:12
R.E. Bradshaw 29:14
Yeah, wherever we’re everywhere. And we’re a lot more places than people want to believe. I just, you know, I’m just living my life and I hope everybody’s living a healthy, happy life. And I wish everybody had that attitude towards me. You know, just be kind.
Brad Shreve 29:28
Next question I have for you is that most writers have other things that they’re passionate about, what are yours?
R.E. Bradshaw 29:36
I am passionate about the climate and what is doing to our planet. I am passionate about what the climate change is doing to our animals. I’m passionate, extremely passionate about what we’re doing in by taking away natural habitats. And just were We’re killing our species, we’re in the middle of a species decline. We just, I just really wish we could just everybody take a collective breath and say, Okay, let’s fix this. I, I know that again, I’m old enough to remember those commercials. And I remember seeing news stories about la where you couldn’t even see LA, and New York where it was just the smog was so horrible. And, you know, it’s not like that now, and it’s because we’ve passed laws to, to help. And now we’re undoing everything one day at a time. I’m very passionate about that. I’m not going to talk about the other part of politics. I’ll just say please vote. Please, make sure you’re registered to vote and vote. The reason we’re in the situation is because people did not vote. So please register to vote. If you know people that aren’t registered, please help them get registered, need to register to vote need to make change Be the change. That’s my political spiel the day,
Brad Shreve 31:01
you know, it’s living in Los Angeles, a lot of people don’t realize living in the city, you can actually see the mountains. And I love it when in the wintertime when you’re looking at the cityscape and you see the snow capped mountains in the background, but you look at the pictures from the 1950s. And you can’t see the building next door. It’s amazing what a change we’ve made. And and I hate to see us going back.
R.E. Bradshaw 31:26
Right. I really do hate to see that. And my reaction to our political climate is one of the things that sparked Emendare being written. There is some political commentary in the book, but I tried to the question was asked, How did we get here? How did we get into this situation where we have white supremacy on the front page? We are, you know, where did all this come from? And this book, I mean, Emendare is an answer to that. Because it does, it goes back to the 1970s. It goes back to the 60s and 70s. And it shows you that what I was saying all along is that it didn’t come out of nowhere. We grew up with it. These are the people we grew up with. We grew up with this kind of racism and white privilege. We grew up where the poor were taken advantage of. All of this has always been here. We’ve just turned a blind eye to it, maybe, maybe we just thought that we had maybe taken care of of all this hate and this feeling these feelings that people have that about others. The otherness of the others has become more popular again, tribalism, all that stuff. And I just wanted to say in this book, that that the These are the these are the seeds that were planted in the 70s. This is all coming to fruition now. Just because some I see it says that in the book, a guy in the book, one of the character says that just because some man in Washington signed a piece of paper doesn’t mean it’s going to change down here.
Brad Shreve 33:17
That sounds like a lot of the book came from your heart.
R.E. Bradshaw 33:21
Yeah, well, it also was spawned by an incident in my childhood, where a young friend of mine was. I have to be careful. No one was ever charged with anything but he died as a result of he was found drowned at the ferry dock. That’s really all I can can say about it. But nobody ever was charged with anything. It was never. So that stuck with me from the age of 12. That’s what I was saying an instant. That book was started being written for me when I was 12 years old. It took me to 58 to finally say, you know, I think I really need to. And I wanted people to understand that, you know, the where we are wasn’t, it didn’t spring up overnight. So check yourself.
Brad Shreve 34:19
Well, you’ve been writing since 2010. And you’re now writing full time to what do you attribute your success?
R.E. Bradshaw 34:28
I don’t know. I really, I don’t know why people like them. I like them to maybe, you know, I write stories that I like to read. And and these stories play out in my head, whether I write them down or not. So I might as well write them down and let other people enjoy them. I’ve always had some sort of movie going on in my head, a song plays on the radio, I’m writing a movie to it. I’ve been doing that my whole life. I’ve just, but you know, I, I was. I lived in places where I was this Lonely child a lot. And I had a lot of imaginary people. I was never alone. I was always acting out something with imaginary people all around and enjoying my life and having fun doing it. So it just came naturally to share their stories, and I enjoy them.
Brad Shreve 35:21
Over the years, what would you say has improved in your writing?
R.E. Bradshaw 35:26
I stopped using so many commas.
Brad Shreve 35:30
I’m the king of commas
R.E. Bradshaw 35:32
oh my goodness being in theater, I try to tell people this. And I had to learn to try to stop telling the reader how to read my book. That’s what the comments were about. They were not about grammar. They were about how to read it. As in like when you’re scripting a play. When we would sit down and do the readings we would say okay, you do this different readings, you read it different ways you read a sentence one way or another. And when you decide on how you want to say it, you use commas to take your breaths in the right places and put the emphasis in the right stuff. And so I was basically telling people to be Southern while they were reading, to slow down and appreciate each word. And I, you really can’t do that you get eaten up by the police’s, the grammar police. They really come into hard on those commas. But, you know, I’m not the only writer who has an overabundance of commas in their work. And some of those writers are very, very famous. I try hard not to I probably put too few now. I noticed today I was rereading Emendare, just to make sure that’s another thing after you’ve written so many books, you you really have to keep reading your own stuff to keep up with what you wrote. It starts to all blend together.
But I was noticing places I was like, Man, you really should have put a comma there. Some other things I’ve learned is to there was a, I had quite a bit of success very quickly. I was a bit overwhelmed by it. And I also started letting other people into my life and into my creative life, I should say. And those people were not there when I first wrote those books that were very, very successful. And they didn’t need to be there in that part of my life. For me to remain successful, and I had to learn that part of it. I’ve been asked what surprises you the most about creative books? What’s what surprised me the most about it was that I was expected to be friends with my readers.
Brad Shreve 38:05
R.E. Bradshaw 38:06
And I’m not sure how that was before social media. I think it took more effort like buy a stamp hand write the letter to contact an author previous to social media. And now they can be on the screen and seconds, they can love you or hate you in a healthy or unhealthy life. And that can be a toss up and I understand why so many authors disappear forever from the public scene. And in my crease, in my case, it did not serve me well, my creativity will to have so many people in my head, so I have to maintain a level of distance from our well being. And I don’t think some readers understand that they can love an author to death. King’s Misery rings very true to me. Stephen King’s Misery. dream come true to me because it can become so intrusive that you can’t write you become stagnated and one I think one of the reasons people suffer from writer’s block is because they let people into that part of their world so that all these voices are in there all this noise so I’ve had to I’m a little distance and that makes you you either aloof or cocky and all those words they say about women who are confident yet standoffish. I’m I can’t let them in. But I just can’t i can’t be that I can’t make them part of my daily lives and have conversations with them. And you know, I I enjoy interacting with people on Facebook, but I do keep it at a kind of a distance.
Brad Shreve 39:49
And that’s interesting to me because you talked to a lot of writers and they’re like, you must have a Facebook group and interact with your your readers every day. That’s the only way that you can be successful. And you proved that that’s not true.
R.E. Bradshaw 40:05
Yeah, in a certain way, well, I tell you the biggest thing, I have less that little lesbian fiction niche that is so supportive of their authors, you know, you got to give them my hands up for that. I mean, they’re awesome. They support authors like crazy. So I don’t want to take anything away from, of course, but what you have to understand is that our audience is a lot bigger than that. There are audiences I have, we have a huge audience out there. I’ve been to mainstream book shows, and I know other authors who’ve been and don’t enjoy doing that. But I’ve been and had a lot of a lot of success. At people coming up to the table, what do you write about? I talk about the book I don’t talk about the character sexuality. I talk about the book with the base on mystery, you know, so what if it’s a gay person solving the mystery, that’s not the important part about the story? You know, I’m not, I’m not, I don’t, I don’t avoid the truth with them, but I get them interested first. And I have ways of slipping in the sexuality. So it’s not the first, you know, they don’t have a chance to say no, they’ve already got in their hand. They’re looking at it, they’re already interested. They’re not going to add, hey, they buy it, then I get an email. Love your book, you know?
Brad Shreve 41:23
R.E. Bradshaw 41:24
So it’s worth giving it a shot, sort of concentrate on that little group of people. I have. I have very few people in my Facebook group that says RE Bradshaw Books, it’s my group. Those people if they’re listening, they’re like, she never talks in there. Right. I never go in there every now and then I go into How you doing, you know and say something I’m never in there. I dropped by the social media groups with all the people who read, I try to be part of the community from a little bit of a distance. So I just, I hope they understand that it’s it’s not out of being aloof, its its protective. It’s you, you you have you know, they always eat the imagery of the solitude, no writer off by the fireplace with the candle. Yeah, there’s a reason for that. It’s distracting. Everything else is distracting. So I try to limit the distractions in my now I do talk on Facebook a lot on my own page, the RE Bradshaw page, I have one that’s RE Bradshaw Books that I only talk about books on that page. I never talked about politics on that page ever. So I tell people, if they want to find out when I have a book, subscribe to that page. When something’s happening that is publishing related. I’ll talk about it on that page. I have a website that has no politics on it whatsoever. You can go to that find all the books there. But on my web page on my Facebook or a gradual book and on my Twitter Yeah, I’m very political. I talk about my life with my wife, which is hilarious. She’s hilarious. I think I should just follow her around with a tape recorder. I’d never have to write again.This is funny stuff. And that’s how the Decky and Charlie Books got started because she’s so funny that I had to like put her in these books. And I am so much like Decky in just walking around behind her with his goofy look on my face because I fell in love with this woman. And she still leaves me speechless. When she walks in a room, my heart still pitter patters, and it’s been a be 32 years this year.
So it’s a,
Brad Shreve 43:43
all I can say is wow.
R.E. Bradshaw 43:45
Yeah, I’m lucky. I know. I know how lucky I am. So I did write some romances about us. But there are more comedies than there are romances before it’s over with.
Brad Shreve 43:59
Well, now, we You’ve reached the time in the interview that I changed the name of this every week. I used to call question authors hate. Now I’m just gonna say awkward questions authors get. Okay. So what I do is randomly pick a question, so I’m going to spin the wheel here.
R.E. Bradshaw 44:22
Please don’t ask me what kind of underwear I wear. I swear to God, I’ve been asked that and every, like, Why do you care?
Brad Shreve 44:29
No, I’m not gonna ask you what kind of underwear? what I’ve got is something a little bit quite a bit different. Okay. Why haven’t you written a New York Times bestseller?
R.E. Bradshaw 44:40
I have. They just don’t know it yet. I am just kidding.
Brad Shreve 44:47
I love that answer.
R.E. Bradshaw 44:50
I think I think if more people read Emandere it would be, I think it’s up there in that kind of message. I think it would be but that’s, you know, look, if you don’t have an ego, you’re not a writer. You got to believe in yourself a little bit. I believe in the message in that book. I really do. I think Out in the Panhandle would make a fantastic movie. I think really, the Rainey Bell series would make a really, really great TV series. So you got to believe in yourself. You gotta believe that your stuff is good. If you don’t think it’s good. What? Why would other people read it?
Brad Shreve 45:29
I think that’s one of the best awkward question answers that I’ve gotten so far. So good job on you.
Thank you, and I didn’t have to tell you what kind of underwear I wear.
Brad Shreve 45:42
Again, we have it’s RE Brad Shaw, and the name of the book that we’ve been talking the most about is Emendare. And I want to thank you very much for being on the show today.
R.E. Bradshaw 45:55
Thank you so much for having me, Brad. I really liked your show, and I hope a lot of people can listening to it and really get involved in the game mystery and, and read these books. They’re great books, folks were writing good stuff you need to read them.
Brad Shreve 46:10
And where’s the where’s the best way that they can buy your books,
R.E. Bradshaw 46:14
you can go to rebradshawbooks.com and click on any of the book series at the way so by every one of the books is on there and you can look at them read the descriptions and all the different ways you can buy them is is available for you right there. So you can go to Amazon or Nook or, or just buy straight from us ever how you want to do it. It’s up to you.
Brad Shreve 46:37
If anybody wants to go to our website, gaymysteryauthors.com I’ll have a link in our show notes to your website as well.
R.E. Bradshaw 46:46
Awesome, awesome. Come see the website. And my I mean, my wife manages the website for me. So it makes her very happy when she sees the numbers go up. So that would make me happy too.
Brad Shreve 47:00
Thank you again for being on.
R.E. Bradshaw 47:02
Thank you Brad. You have a great day.
Brad Shreve 47:04