Virtual Book Tour: Interview with Political Expert Reb Bradley

Reb Bradley is a radio counselor, talk show host, writer and national conference speaker who has devoted his life his life to strengthening the modern Christian family. He conducts seminars and teaches extensively on issues related to marriage, fatherhood, child training and single Christian living.

Reb’s prior book, Child Training Tips: What I Wish I Knew When My Children Were Young has sold thousands of copies to parents anxious to give their children the best possible start in life. Reb and his wife Beverly are homeschoolers and live California. You can visit his website at www.familyministries.com or www.rebbradley.net.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Reb. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I have been writing for about 20 years. In that time I have written more than a dozen books, booklets, and manuals, all of which, except for my current book, are self-published.


Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

The title of my new book Born Liberal, Raised Right: How to Rescue America from Moral Decline -- One Family at a Time makes it sound like a parenting book, but it is not. It is an analytical work that looks at social trends and political philosophies, and reveals how parents, by their style of parenting, create the character and worldview of each generation of adults.


I wrote it because I listened to radio talk show hosts discuss society’s problems, but miss the root causes for those problems. As an instructor on raising children I felt like I could write a book that would expose the causes of society’s problems and offer practical solutions.


What kind of research was involved in writing “Born Liberal, Raised Right: How to Rescue from Moral Decline -- One Family at a Time”?

My research into parenting has been a lifelong study, and is based on an exhaustive study of the Bible’s wisdom and guidelines for raising children. I have found that families who apply those principles see their homes wonderfully transformed. I have also taken careful notes on my own parenting foibles, as well as the parenting journeys of so many thousands.


My research into culture was taken from news articles over an 8-year period.


How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I had very little input into the title and dust jacket design, although I tried to have LOTS of input. It was the most challenging part of dealing with a publisher. I have always self-published all my books until this one, so I was not ready for the publisher/author relationship, defined by the contract. My publishing house is managed by a team of very good people. However, I was not ready for the release of control that comes with signing a contract. They have power to change the title and direct the marketing. That has been hard to experience, since I have my own ideas about what words and images accurately represent me and my book.


Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

This journey has been simple for me. In 1998 I mentioned to the publisher some of my observations about the power parents have to shape a culture and he suggested I write the book. Eight years later, when I finally sent him the first two chapters he immediately started talking contract.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

It took 4 months.


Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

The publisher assigned me an agent, Sandy Frazier, who books me radio and TV interviews. She has done a fantastic job so far. I have 4-5 interviews a day. If I self-publish my next book, I will definitely get an agent.


Do you plan subsequent books?

I have several books in mind to write. If this one is a success, I will go for the next one.


Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

It doesn’t matter what time of day it is for me, I struggle at writing just the same.


If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

The first thing I would invest in is a professional marketing team to create a catchy title and attractive cover, then a promotions agent.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

It is important for an author to use his existing network of supporters and any movers and shakers he knows.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

A book will only happen if you put the starting date on your calendar. My first book was a result of collecting my thoughts on napkins, 3x5 cards, and memo recordings for 10 years. I finally set a day to start, and then sat down to organize all the cards into categories. I then typed them into a Word document, cutting and pasting them into sections. I organized those random thoughts into a reasonable flow and started writing an outline. As I completed sections I gave them to a trusted friend to critique -- my wife, usually. I took to heart her comments and went back to work. I have concluded that a dream will never come to pass if you wait for it to find you. You must chase it to make it happen.


Thank you for coming, Reb! Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

I have two web sites: www.familyministries.com and www.rebbradley.net. The book is available on both sites, as well as on Amazon.
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