Saturday, February 1, 2014

Paths to Publishing: Barbara Donlon Bradley || FORGOTTEN DESIRE

My writing Journey by Barbara Donlon Bradley

I’ve been writing all my life. I didn’t realize this until I found an old journal while in the process of moving. The moment I saw it I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about it. I’ve always been a comic book/SF show fan. I created characters to interact with my favorite shows and comic books.

Once I got a little older I met a now long time friend who did the same thing and we created characters to fit into the Star Trek world. We both went to college and started mailing scenes to each other. Needless to say our characters outgrew the Star Trek world and we created our own. We did this for years.

I graduated college, moved to Virginia, got married and we still wrote scenes to each other. Then in 1992 my in-laws moved back to Virginia. I learned that my mother-in-law had been taking creative writing classes and had been a member of RWA and the San Diego chapter of RWA while they had been living in California. Well, she wanted to continue writing and a new chapter had just formed in my neck of the woods. My mother-in-law took it on herself to pay for my first year with RWA and the Chesapeake Romance Writers. She didn’t even know about the scenes my girlfriend and I had been mailing back and forth. She just wanted someone to drive her.

Well, one month the program was for the membership to send in five pages of a work in progress. Those five pages would be critiqued. I wasn’t going to be there because I was going out of town on vacation. My thought was I could send in a scene only I wrote and see what other people think. If they didn’t like it I could slink away never to be seen again. If they did, well then I’d try to get published.

I found out they loved it. I was told that it was very rough and read like a screen play – I was a mass communication student in college focusing on TV Prod/Mass Comm so that came naturally to me – but the important thing was they felt I had the talent. So I started learning my craft. I did work hard at it. I ran for president of my local chapter and held the position for three years. I wanted to write, but my partner had stopped. How could I tell the writers in my chapter to write if I wasn’t so I started working on my own and began writing A Portrait in Time. I polished it and polished it. Got people to critique it. Polished it some more. In my second year as president I went to my first RWA National Convention. Got to meet a lot of other aspiring authors and came home with the drive to keep going.

The next RWA conference I had finished A Portrait in Time and had set up an appointment with Dorchester. I was nervous about the interview and a friend of mine said she’d help me. I had met her at the previous RWA conference and we reconnected at this one. I went through my pitch and she looked me in the eye and said that she worked for an electronic publisher and if Dorchester didn’t want it she would love to take it to the publisher and see if they would be willing to publish it. I thought she was joking. I learned later she wasn’t.

My pitch went well and Dorchester asked to see a partial. I got it ready and sent it off to them. In the mean time I did research on the publisher my friend worked for. I had never heard of e-pub or Hard Shell Word Factory. I learned Hardshell was one of the oldest e-publishers and all I read said they were a great publisher to write for. I thought, what the heck. Well it took Dorchester a while to get back to me and they said no.

I thought about it long and hard. I wanted to sell to a large house. I wanted to see my book in my local book store. But my writer friends said it was hard to cold submit. Very few sold that way and I had an open invitation. So I submitted to Hardshell. It took them a while to get back to me, but they wanted my book. What?

I sold my book? I sold my book!

I was lucky. Most people don’t sell their first book. I did. But I had also polished it and polished it. I went back and looked one time – I edited it over twenty times before I sold it. And you want to know the craziest thing? My editor left Hard Shell before the book could be edited by her yet it is my best seller. Don’t get me wrong, my other books have done well, but Portrait keeps selling, keeping up with the other titles I have out. It finaled in several contests and had never been properly edited. Imagine what could have happened if I had an editor who could have caught those errors I missed?

I am grateful for all the things that fell my way to make me a published author. If it hadn’t been for my mother-in-law I’d probably still be writing scenes with my friend, not thinking about trying to publish what we wrote. If it hadn’t been for my editor friend I might not be published and probably would have given it up when money got tight and my father-in-law passed away.

Writing is an escape for me. It is my passion and keeps me sane.

Barb :)

Title: Forgotten Desire
Publisher: Phaze
Date Published: Sept 23, 2013
Genre: SF Erotic Romance
Word Count: 80,000 words


Heather and Storm’s story continues...

When Storm leans against one of Bert’s machines and is sent back in time, without his memories, Heather has to go after him.

A simple retrieval won’t work. She has to make him remember before they can return to their own timeline.

Finding him is easy, getting him to regain his memories isn't. Then she finds out Ialog is there, giving Storm something to keep his memories at bay.

Now she has to find a way to stop her old nemesis and bring her mate home.


Storm held Heather close as she continued to sleep. His fingers brushed against her soft skin. As busy as their schedule was, it was nice to have a little of the morning to themselves. Heather still wasn’t getting enough rest dealing with the twins and he did his best to let her nap when he had the chance, even though he could think of other things they could be doing right now.
“You do have a one track mind.” Heather opened her eyes and looked at him.
“You are supposed to be sleeping.” He ran his knuckles along her jawline.
“It’s hard to sleep when you keep thinking of our intimacy. Were those memories or fantasies?”
He gave her one of his bone melting smiles as he pressed her back into the bed. “Yes.”
“Yes?” She smiled up at him.
“Because somewhere along the way my fantasies become reality and then memories.” He nuzzled her throat.
“Is the door locked?” She tilted her head so he could have better access.
“No. Why?” His lips caressed her mark, sending little frissons of heat through her blood.
“Because your son has figured out how to open the door.”
“He’s not tall enough to reach the panel to open the door.” Storm stopped long enough to lift his head and looked at her. “But it doesn’t surprise me he figured out another way. He is our son.”
“I sure don’t want him tottering in here at the wrong time.” She touched his face.
“Then he won’t.” Storm surged into her. Tendrils of excitement filled her as he entered her. She wrapped her legs around his waist.
“What?” She shifted so she could accept him in deeper.

Available for purchase:

Author Bio:

Writing for Barbara Donlon Bradley  started innocently enough, like most she kept diaries, journals, and wrote an occasional letter but she also had a vivid imagination and wrote scenes and short stories adding characters to her favorite shows and comic books. As time went on she found the passion for writing to be a strong drive for her. Humor is also very strong in her life. No matter how hard she tries to write something deep and dark, it will never happen. That humor bleeds into her writing. Since she can’t beat it she has learned to use it to her advantage. Now she lives in Tidewater Virginia with two cats, one mother in law – she’s 86 now, her husband and teenage son.

Author Links: 

A word from the author:

My newest series is close to my heart and story ideas haven’t slowed down for it yet. As I write this I’m getting ready to submit books seven, Stolen Desire. Have the rough draft of book 8 done and working on book 9 and 10.


  1. Lovely to hear your story, Barbara. Congratulations on those published books. That's a great cover for Forgotten Desire.

  2. Good morning, Barbara,
    Welcome to the Snarkology! I loved your story, especially your mentions of Star Trek. I grew up watching the original series and every spinoff that followed, and also reading everything ST related I could lay my hands on. I adore sci-fi romance in all its forms. Your book looks amazing. :-)

  3. Wonderful story, Barbara! And considering the path of Dorchester, the Fates were clearly watching over you and your story. Love the cover of Forgotten Desire and excerpt...All the best!

  4. Thanks so much Mary - so sorry I saw this so late!