W. Bradford Swift

As a visionary author, W. Bradford Swift writes stories that engage and entertain while also inspiring, encouraging and enlightening readers to new possibilities for their lives.

What Do You Prefer I Send You in My Newsletter

I wrote and emailed a newsletter on life purpose for close to twenty years and pretty much knew what my readers wanted to receive. Now, as an author of visionary fiction and nonfiction, I’d like to provide readers as much as possible with what they want to receive. So, help me out by checking ALL the items below that you’d like to see in the OJB/WBS Amazingly Awesome Newsletter. Feel free to make additional suggestions in the comment section. Thanks in advance for your input.

Your Reward

To thank you for taking a minute to complete the poll, I’d like to send you a free short story that will be appearing in the first book of the Tess Barkley series due out in 2017 entitled, What’s in a Name where Argos (my canine companion) makes his literary debut (as a character, not the author. We’re still working on that one.) Here’s all you need to do:

1) Complete the poll,
2) Leave a comment at the bottom of the poll. It could be a suggestion or just a “Hi, Brad, how are you?” Your choice,
3) Zip me an email at brad@wbradfordswift.com so I can zip you back a copy of the short story. Place “Requesting copy of What’s in a Name” in the subject heading, let me know whether you want a PDF, mobi, or epub edition. Also, how about letting me know one thing that I’m doing right as… Continue reading

OJB’s supernatural thriller, Babble, selected for Kindle Scout

Kindle Scout – American Idol for Indie Authors

Will you help me be discovered?

Yep, my dog, Argos, and I are doing our happy dance today. Why? Because my newest supernatural thriller, HappyDanceBabble, has just been accepted into Kindle Scout! This book has been a joy to write in collaboration with many awesome Launch Team members who were so kind and generous with their time and talents helping as proofers and beta readers. (Thanks, once again.)

But being accepted to Kindle Scout is just the first step. Now, it’s time for people (like you) to “nominate” it to receive a Kindle Scout agreement. As a Scout, the next great story is in your hands, and of course, I’d love for it to be Babble.

Here’s where to go on the internet to learn more about Babble:

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/10OYUL4J0RUUY

The more readers who nominate it, the better the chances that it’ll be published by Amazon, and if that happens you’ll see Argos and me taking our happy dance to a whole new level. So, will you please take just a few minutes to check out Babble? If you like what you read, nominate it, and then share the link with asKS.BabbleGraphic2 many of your friends as possible. (Here’s an image you can share on social media, if you’re so inclined. Just click the link and then drag the image to your desktop. Easy, peasy. )

Want some more good news, (and why it’s cool to be a Kindle… Continue reading

Weaving 2 Book Series Together – Brilliant or Really Bad Idea?

A little over a year ago I had, what I thought at the time was a brilliant idea to weave together the Kindred Series (Seeds of a New Birth, etc.) with the FreeForm series. After all, both storylines have at their core the mishaps that can take place with genetic engineering. The more I looked into this the better I liked the idea. I figured I could connect the two by sharing characters and merging them into the same world. For example, the opening scene of FreeForm (book one of the FreeForm series) has a helicopter pilot and the climatic ending scene of Seeds of a New Birth (Book one of the Kindred Series) also has a helicopter pilot.

So, what if these two pilots turned out to be the same man? After all, the early scenes of FreeForm occurred in the early 90s with Seeds of a New Birth happening around 2010-12. It was certainly feasible for James Stepp, the pilot, to be one and the same.

Of course, my fertile mind couldn’t stop there. I next decided to weave stories together further by having Pat Vogt, one of the protagonists of FreeForm make an appearance in Seeds of a New Power (book two of the Kindred series) as the investigator helping to find the Kindred. This was becoming a lot of fun.

And maybe I should have stopped there, but I didn’t. You see, at the same time I was… Continue reading

Blood Ivory (My Research Continues)

I’m resuming my research and “pre-writing” for book #3 of the Zak Bates Eco-adventure series with the working title of Ivory (also considering Blood Ivory). Still trying to come up with a palatable way to share about the terrible crime of ivory poaching that is endangering the elephant populations of the world in a way that will inspire young people without totally grossing them out or giving them nightmares.

Your ideas and suggestions are invited. Leave your comments below.

The short video below does a good job of summarizing the problem.

A Blog for Readers & Writers Alike

Really? Yes, and here’s why. As an indie author, I realize readers are the lifeblood of what I do. Recently, I also discovered how much I enjoyEskimoQuote connecting with people who enjoy reading, especially when they enjoy reading my books. And while not all readers are also writers many are, so this blog is for both avid readers and writers (and even readers who aspire to become successful writers).

What You’ll Find Here

Well, quite a lot. I’ve been a professional writer for over twenty-five years and have maintained this blog for close to half that time. The easiest way to find out what’s already here is to scroll down the page and look for the Categories list. Check out the ones that look most interesting.

But here’s the thing:

I really want to know what you want me to write about on this blog.

Do you want more about what it’s like to be an author? Or maybe more about the characters of a particular series? How about tools and resources… Continue reading

My Top Tools & Resources for Writers for 2016

2015 was an exciting year for being an indie authorpreneur. I made great strides, had a lot of fun, and had more than my share of successes. But just like it takes a village to raise a child, success as an indie author takes more than one person. It also takes the help of other people and resources like the ones listed below.

I’m not going to list the obvious ones like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or the other online stores. Also not listing resources like Kindle or Createspace. For the most part, the following list is of new resources that I discovered and used during 2015.

Here are my Top Five

Your First 10 K Readers Course

This has to be my #1 top pick for 2015. Nick Stephenson’s course on how to attract your first 10,000 readers is not only the best online course I’ve taken in years but the ongoing support from the included Facebook Group has been worth the tuition even if there hadn’t been a course. In fact, many of the other resources listed here came directly or indirectly from either the course or the Facebook group. So, kudos to Nick and my other 10K Reader authors.

Book Review Targeter (BRT)

I’m not sure if I heard about BRT from the 10K Group, but I do know it was from someone on Facebook. It’s a fantastic tool that has made gathering up legitimate and ethical reviews much easier in 2015. BRT had it’s ups… Continue reading

When Characters Take Over a Story (A NaNoWriMo Update)

As hundred of thousands of writers around the globe move into the second half of NaNoWriMo, I want to give my update and observations.  My update: over 35,000 words and counting.

NaNo.35K+

My observation #1: My characters have taken over my story and I love it. TJ (also known as Todd) has turned out to be a most interesting character in book two of the FreeForm Series, FreeForm Reborn. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s part alien who also has shapeshifting abilities but who is trying to stay true to his human personality and form. Unfortunately, (but fortunately for the story) he’s finding this a particularly difficult challenge.

Observation #2: When one or more characters begin to take over a story, it can produce its own set of challenges. For one, it can actually slow down the writing process, at least for a time, and especially if you’ve previously outlined the story as I’ve done with FreeForm Reborn. Suddenly, the character takes the story off in a new direction but it may be a new direction that requires further thought and/or research. Both of these can slow the process…and that’s okay, at least in my mind it is. You see, the ultimate intention is to write as engaging and entertaining a story as possible. This takes precedent even over the word count goal (which is to complete the novel or write 75,000 words, whichever comes first).

These two intentions aren’t mutually exclusive of course, but… Continue reading

NaNoWriMo – Update #1: 20K+ & Counting

Here’s a short and sweet update #1 as I and some 300,000+ writers from around the world enter week 2 of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’m pleased to report that I’m ahead of schedule (see graph below) for reaching the 50,000-word count before the end of the month as well as on schedule to reach my personal goal of either 75,000 words of the end of the rough draft of my sequel novel, FreeForm Reborn.

I noticed a couple days before the kickoff that I was beginning to psych myself out with the idea of completing the full rough draft in just 30 days, so I decided I need to add some fun and play to the project. So, I decided to experiment with writing at least part of the novel by dictating it. After all, dictating your writing seems to be one of the hot topics right now among indie authors, in part because many report a significant increase in their writing speed and quality.

So, what the hey, let’s give it a try. More on that to follow in a subsequent blog post, but I’m finding dictating to be a fun and worthwhile experiment. It’s also been helpful that here in the North Carolina mountains we’re experiencing one of the rainiest Novembers I can ever remember, so little outdoor activities to distract me. Okay, that’s it. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

NaNoWriMo.11.9

Track Your Way to a NaNoWriMo Win

Okay, tonight is Halloween, but for hundreds of thousands of writers across the globe, it’s also NaNoWriMo Eve. That’s right, tomorrow, November 1 kicks off National Novel Writing Month when those hundreds of thousands of writers will start to write their 50,000+ novel from scratch.

I’ll be one of them, and my plan is to also chronicle my progress and what I learn along the way here on my blog.  Today’s entry is short and sweet. I want to offer other writers a simple and effective way to track your progress over these next thirty days.

I have found that tracking my progress actually increases the odds that I’ll reach my target, so may I present you with your free NaNoWriMo Tracker.

Here’s what it looks like:

NaNoTracker

It’s simple to use. Just fill in each day the following columns:

  • Time Start
  • Time End
  • Words/Day

When you do, you’ll be able to see your total word count, whether you’re on or off target (column +/- Target), and your words per hours. You can also make a note of anything you like on your daily progress.

I’ve gone ahead and entered a few sample figures so you can see how it works as well as setting the target at 75,000 rather than 50,000 in my example, but feel free to set your own target by changing the daily word target. For example, if you want to complete 50,000 words for the month, set the daily target to 1,667.

I hope… Continue reading

NaNoWriMo Prep: Starting with the Ending

In my last blog post, I ended with:

But there’s one question I need to answer before I’m ready to start turning the raw material on my whiteboard into scene files in Scrivener.

What’s is the question that I’ve found helps me prepare to write the next great novel? It goes something like this:

What’s the most engaging, entertaining, exciting, and satisfying ending I can write?

EndingMindmapAnd then I refer back to my initial brainstorming mindmap to begin to answer that question…again in mindmap form. (see graphic)

Answering this question is important because once I know the ending, I can start to create a storyline path to get there.

That’s where the magic of Scrivener comes in so handy.

Writing the Story Scene by Scene Scrivener Style

First, a few basics about Scrivener. The writing program’s screen is divided into three parts:

  • The Binder
  • The Writing Area
  • The Inspector

ScrivenerScreen

BinderScenes

 

This format allows the writer to create a roadmap by creating individual files that will eventually become fully articulated scenes within the central writing area. Here’s a close up of the Binder showing the scene.

Not quite sure what order you want the scenes? Not a problem. Simply place your cursor over the scene you want to move and drag it where you want it to be in the order.

 

 

Now, let’s look at one way to use the Inspector which is broken down into several sub-sections including:Inspector.Ex

  • Synopsis
  • General
  • Document Notes

For this discussion, we’ll focus on… Continue reading

 

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