Friday Fiction: Please Welcome Special Guest, David Bridger!

I am excited to share a guest blog post from first-time published author, but long-time writer, David Bridger.  I met David on the Romance Divas Forum and was impressed by his sense of humor, ease of writing style, and his friendliness.  When his first book got published and he asked for publicity from other Divas, I jumped at the chance.

Here, then, is author, David Bridger, talking about his experiences writing Beauty and the Bastard.  Enjoy!

From Soup to Nuts

Beauty and the Bastard is my first published work of long fiction, but it’s far from being the first thing I’ve written.

I was thirteen years old when I decided I would be a writer. In fact, an inspiring English teacher called Mr. Watson told me I already was one, and urged me to work hard in order to turn potential into reality. Three years later I tried to write my first novel. But within a few hundred words I realised my self-conscious style would be no substitute for a lack of substance, so I went away to live a bit of life before trying again.

I went away to sea, actually, and those years of sailing the world proved fertile for my imagination. My second bash at writing a novel came ten years after the first, and that time I finished a Chapter One while sliding up and down mountainous seas in the Arctic Ocean.

It was embarrassingly autobiographical and horribly self-indulgent. I’d lived a bit of life, but my writing skills were no more developed than they had been when I was thirteen, so I filed that chapter under B for Bin and vowed to learn how to write novels when I retired from sea.

Ten years later, I was ready to start. I’d come home injured and was destined to spend several years regaining mobility. Life went from “crazy busy” through “traumatic” to “scarily quiet” very quickly, and alongside my program of physical recovery I dedicated most of my mental energy to learning how to write fiction.

My first completed novel was a paranormal family saga. It was a big story with a big wordcount. I know now that it was another self-indulgent one, and it’s unlikely to ever see the light of day, but it was my apprenticeship and it served me well. It was the platform upon which I checked out various online writing communities.

I joined Forward Motion and Litopia, and also discovered an informal community of writers and readers on LiveJournal. I learned from sharing crits with my pre-published peers, from reading the blogs of multi-published authors, and from taking workshops.

That network of support and encouragement helped me write my second novel, an urban fantasy which I think is good enough to be published. It’s out there on submission now. If it’s picked up, it might become the first book in a series.

As I neared the end of that one, it occurred to me that both my completed novels contained romantic elements. Strong romantic elements. I sat back and took a good look at this aspect of my writing.

I’ve always been a romantic. Many sailors are. Until that moment I’d never thought of myself as a romance writer, though. Maybe that’s what I was. I didn’t know, but it was worth checking out, so last summer I joined Romance Divas.

It was a defining moment in my career. Within a few weeks, I knew I’d not only found a new and wonderful writing home to add to my existing ones, but that I’d also discovered my writing identity. And the workshops there! Wow! They’re pure gold dust!

I found Romance Divas at exactly the right time for me. Things fell into place naturally, and I found focus at the same time as I discovered my most natural voice.

One direct result of all this was Beauty and the Bastard. It was like riding a storm. I fell in love with the two main characters and lived their adventure with them. After years of experimentation with rapid drafting and suchlike, I’d already learned that my best method is to outline lightly then write my best quality draft straight off. When I added to that my newly-discovered voice, I found myself writing with strength and confidence I’d never known before. I immersed myself in it and loved every moment.

I hope my readers will love it too.

PS. I can’t help smiling when I say “my readers”. I don’t believe that will ever get old.

And here’s a little teaser for the novel:

Saul the Bastard is a fallen angel who works as a bounty hunter for powerful urban demon families. Rebecca Drake, a modern day demon princess, is being hunted by dangerous desert demons. When Rebecca’s family hires Saul to protect her, they are both unhappy with the arrangement, but before long sparks fly as they try to resist their strong mutual attraction. For the first time in living memory, Saul has someone to love; someone he is scared of losing; someone the desert demons have marked to be their next sacrifice.

Now available from Liquid Silver Books:  Beauty and the Bastard.

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