(aka W. Bradford Swift)
Q: You refer to Seeds of a New Birth as a Special Limited Edition? How come?
A: Well, while I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years, it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve committed to writing fiction, especially speculative fiction novels. It’s what I call my “Encore Performance Career” because it’ll be my last career and hopefully my most fulfilling. So, I want to introduce readers to my work. That’s why for a limited time, Seeds of a New Birth is available as a free download. Besides the full 366 page novel, this edition also has one of my favorite novella — Hunt Along the Iron River. It was a quarter-finalist for Writers of the Future. There’s also a personal invitation for readers to join OJB’s Reader Inner Circle.
Q: Who do you consider to be your ideal reader?
A: I’ve named my ideal reader Ronald Readsalot and I think he’s not all that different from me. A bit of a nerd but in a cool sort of a way. Ron has an affinity for science, maybe even one or more careers related to some field of science. He has an inquiring sort of mind, loves to speculate on what’s possible, enjoys the wonder of a good science fiction or fantasy story. He especially enjoys stories with unexpected twists and turns that keep it entertaining and engaging while the well-developed characters are thoughtful and thought evoking and often inspiring in some way. I think there’s a second ideal reader by the name of Rita Reader who’s not all that different from Ron. Both are avid readers who may occasionally read outside the speculative fiction genre from time to time but always returns, just waiting for the next story that will stretch their imagination and leave them thinking about the story long after they’ve finished reading it.
Q: If you could say anything to Ron or Rita, what would it be?
A: Just to give my stories a chance. Download the free ones, open them and read the first 10-20 pages. If you’re not hooked by then, move on to the next book. But if you enjoy them as much as I think you will, please share them with your friends and, of course, leave a positive review. Oh, and I’d like to thank them in advance for being an avid reader. Readers are really some of the coolest people in the world.
Q: How did Seeds of a New Birth come about?
A: I’ve been an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy since the age of eleven when my next door neighbor, Mrs. Crabtree (yes, that was actually her name) took pity on my mom the summer we first moved to Raleigh NC. I was driving my mom crazy asking her to come out and play with me since my older brother had already made friends and didn’t want me around. So, Mrs. Crabtree, who happened to be the children’s librarian at the downtown library, brought home a stack of books hand-selected for a boy my age. At first I had absolutely no interest in reading them. Reading was something you had to do in school, not during your summer vacation, so the stack set on the nightstand next to my bed. Finally, after repeated invitations from my mom, “Go read a book,” I picked one up. The trap was sprung and I’ve been an avid reader of speculative fiction ever since. Even back in those early days I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to give back or really pay it forward by writing my own spec novels one day.” The Kindred Series, which Seeds of a New Birth is book one of, is the result of that declaration.
Q: You published Seeds of a New Birth under the pen name of Orrin Jason Bradford? Why?
A: Besides adult science fiction thrillers, I also enjoy writing middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy including the Zak Bates Eco-Adventure Series. I didn’t want any of my young readers to pick up Seeds of a New Birth by accident since it has adult themes and some sexual content. At the same time, I think it’s a mistake for it to be appearing as erotica SF. The sexual content is part of the genetic engineering theme, so the sexual content is just part of the story and not all that erotic. At least that’s what my readers have told me.
As for the pen name, it’s a composite. Orrin was my father’s first name so I wanted to honor and remember him. Jason was supposedly my name in a former life when I was a deck hand on a slave ship. I don’t know if I believe in past lives and all that, but I thought it a neat name so I included it in my pen name. And Bradford is my middle name so it hopefully keeps me grounded a bit in who I really am.