Monday, December 10, 2012

Interview: FT Bradley, author of Double Vision! (MG)

I am so ridiculously excited to have FT Bradley on my little blog, guys! I just read her Middle Grade spy adventure Double Vision, and it is FANTASTIC! My review went up earlier today, you should read it here. I'm so excited to discuss publishing and spies with her!
Double Vision (Double Vision #1) by FT Bradley
Harper Children's, 244 Pages
US Release Date: October 16, 2012

One's a Secret Agent, One's Not.

Twelve-year-old Linc is a trouble-maker with a dilemma. His antics on a recent school field trip went way overboard, landing his already poor family with a serious lawsuit. So when two secret agents show up at his house, Linc is eager to take them up on their offer to make the lawsuit disappear. They just need one tiny favor.

Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of their top kid agents—an agent who's vanished during a vitally important mission. But no debriefing can prepare Linc for how dangerous the mission really is. It's too bad he isn't a black belt, a math genius, or a distance runner like his agent double. He'll need all those skills and more if he hopes to make it out of this mission alive. . . .
---------------summary provided by author
Five word book pitch: Go!
Dude, the pressure! Okay: Troublemaker kid becomes secret agent.

What made you write Middle Grade Fiction?
Actually, it wasn’t my idea, believe it or not. I’d been writing and pitching YA to agents for years, got close a few times but no luck. It wasn’t until my current agent (Stephen Barbara with Foundry) suggested I try middle-grade that I did. And I wish I’d done it sooner—MG is such fun…

Tell us about your publishing story – how did it happen?
Well, after my agent and I worked on a middle-grade concept, we put a proposal together for what’s now the Double Vision series. I wrote about 75 pages of manuscript, but roughly half of that never made it into the book…. :)

Harper Children’s bought it, and then I worked with my editor to refine the plot, the series direction, etc. But Linc stayed the same throughout the process. He’s a stubborn dude.

Why spies?
I always wanted to be a spy… Seriously, I love thrillers, that whole chase-with-a-puzzle type story. So I channeled all that into Linc’s adventures. It’s fun.

What made you choose Paris as the location for Linc’s mission?
I tried to imagine what city I would want to visit if I was a 12 year-old kid reading the book. And Paris was the first place I thought of. It’s such a mysterious and fascinating city…

Is Linc based off anyone you know in real life? Is he a little bit of you?
I was a goody two-shoes when I was a kid, pretty much. I would do all my homework, got good grades, did what I was told.

Linc is the opposite of all those qualities. If there’s a red button you’re not supposed to push, he’ll do it. And that’s what’s so fun: I get to make up for all the trouble I didn’t get into as a kid. You know, fictionally.

How much fun was it to think of all the cool gadgets Henry makes Linc?!
The gadgets are the best—and I love writing Henry chapters :) He’s a cool guy. I wish I could have some of these gadgets…. [Ashley's note: Henry was my favourite!]

What’s your favourite one? One you wish you had in real life?
Hmmm… The Tickstick is pretty fun—I could blow stuff up. Who doesn’t want that?

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? I really loved learning about all the different types of codes/ciphers there are!
That was a lot of fun. And a lot of my research didn’t even make it into the book—there are so many stories of codes being used throughout history, it’s amazing… I read a lot of books, geeky girl that I am. 

Were you a troublemaker like Linc growing up? The beginning chicken scene is pretty awesome…
Good girl, all the way :) I get to live vicariously through Linc’s troublemaking. He does all the stuff I didn’t have the guts for.

What’s one thing that surprised you about the publishing journey?
How amazingly good editors are at their jobs! My editors can spot plot problems, details I overlooked, like no one else. When I started this journey, I didn’t expect the editing process to be this involved. It’s very rewarding to see how much your writing improves with these editors’ help.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an author?
Keep learning. Writing really is a craft: you never stop improving your skills. So have a positive attitude about everything, and never think you’re done learning.

For your blog tour, you had Linc go to different independent bookstores around the country – are indie stores special to you? Tell us about your favourite one!
Indie bookstores add that personal touch to book buying—I can’t say enough good things about them. Many of the stores I featured I’ve yet to visit—I can’t wait to, though. I’ve been to Seattle Mystery Bookshop years ago, and that’s a store I really love. The staff is so energetic! Makes me wish I lived around the corner.

Double Vision is the first in a 3-book series – are you working on anything beside’s Linc’s adventures?
Right now, Linc’s adventures take up most of my time—the schedule is pretty tight. But who knows what’s in the future? I’ll keep you posted… :)

What’s your favourite part of being an author?
I get to be a 12 year-old troublemaker when I sit down to write—how cool is that?

Flash Answer Section!
Le Tour Eiffel or L’Arc de Triomphe? L’Arc de Triomphe—the history is too cool.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. Nuf said.
Ability to freeze time or ability to fly? Freeze time! That would be awesome…
Pen or pencil? Pen—why be wishy-washy? No erasing allowed.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate, with fudge sauce please.
Croissants or pie? Croissants, with chocolate spread. Yum…

Last three items purchased? Envelopes to mail, a lasagna dish to cook, and wine. Boring list, I know. 
Last three websites visited? Facebook, Twitter, and a Yahoo news story on spies.
Last three books read? The Bookseller by Mark Pryor, Cash Out by Greg Bardsley, and Drama by Raina Telgemeier. My nightstand is eclectic…
Did I not tell you she's awesome?! Give me a croissant with chocolate spread and a fantastic book with a troublemaking 12-year-old undercover spy any day. I love how it seems like she's got a great set of professionals around her, from attentive editors to an agent who can advise her and understand that her writing would suit well for MG. Please leave a comment telling FT how awesome she is, and definitely check out Double Vision! Also, stop by the website for the book - it's packed with great spy things and codes!

Double Vision is available now!
(and PERFECT for a Holiday gift, if I do say so myself!)

F. T. Bradley is originally from the Netherlands and still likes to travel whenever she gets a chance. Her husband's Air Force career has F. T. and their two daughters moving all around the world, but for the moment the family lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Double Vision is the first book in her new middle-grade series about Linc Baker and Ben Green.

Find out more at, and follow F.T. on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor.


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  6. Nice blog! This was a fun interview. We're featuring the Double Vision books this week. :) ~ Jess


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