Author Chat with Chris Bradford, Plus Giveaway!

Author Chat with Chris Bradford, Plus Giveaway!

Today we're excited to chat with Chris Bradford, author of Bodyguard: Ransom (Book 4). Read on for more about Chris and his books, plus a giveaway!

 

After the success of your Young Samurai books, you’ve brought us the modern story of Connor Reeves. Which do you prefer writing-- historical or modern fiction?

Both have their appeal. Historical fiction has a depth and richness that draws a reader in, while modern fiction has an immediacy and potency that can hit harder. The real thrill of writing the Bodyguard series is the chance to create plots based on present day issues that now affect us all, such as terrorism, piracy and the cult of the celebrity. Through my hero Connor Reeves, readers are able to understand the issues and hopefully learn how to look after themselves in today’s dangerous world.

How many books will be in the Bodyguard series? Any reason they are packaged differently for the US market?

U.S. readers will be treated to 12 books in total—Ambush and Survival coming next! The first four are being released simultaneously to generate a “binge reading” phenomenon a la Netflix, with each “episode” (book) ending on a cliffhanger to increase suspense and encourage further reading. Also, U.S. readers get the definitive Bodyguard story since their editions have extra chapters!

There seem to be so many more spy-type thrillers for teens written in the UK than in the US. Horowitz, Muchamore, Gilman and McNab all have produced great series similar to your Bodyguard books. Why is this such a popular subject for books across the pond?

It’s the James Bond effect! But what makes the Bodyguard series stand out from Alex Rider and Cherub is its unique angle on close protection. Young spies are cool, but young bodyguards are more real and relevant. The close protection skills that Connor and the other recruits learn are practical skills that the reader could apply in real life.

You put a lot of effort into researching your books, knowing martial arts for the Young Samurai series and becoming a licensed bodyguard for your new Bodyguard series. Do you do this mainly to help with your writing, or more for your own personal enjoyment?

Both! The practical training make the research great fun. I’ve acquired skills in unarmed combat, defensive driving, tactical firearms, threat assessments, surveillance, and even anti-ambush exercises! But my “method-writing” technique primarily helps with the storywriting as I gain great ideas to include in the books, such as Cooper’s Color Code and the “one-inch-push.” Then when I visit schools, I demonstrate to the students these techniques and bring the Bodyguard books to life!

• You have a lot of travel in the Bodyguard series. Have you visited all of the places you describe? What were some of the most interesting places you researched?

For #1 Recruit and #2 Hostage, I visited Washington, DC and the White House itself—even getting a tour inside the White House for my research (no longer allowed due to heightened security levels). This gave me a true insider’s look at the President’s home and its unique security features. I didn’t visit Somalia for #3 Hijack and #4 Ransom as it wasn’t safe at the time to travel there. However, I did travel and work in a number of countries in Africa to prepare for #5 Ambush and #6 Survival—I even did survival training in the bush, eating live termites and battling scorpions and snakes, just as Connor does!

• There are lots of chases and fighting in your books. How do you write convincingly about these things without blowing up things?

First, it’s all about getting the reader to invest in the characters. If the reader feels for and believes in Connor, then the action scenes have true emotional impact. It’s not just a bunch of fists flying or guns blazing, there is actually someone to fight for. Secondly, I choreograph any fight scenes in my writing office to ensure they are authentic and would actually work in real life. So, if a character throws a roundhouse punch, I’ll work out the block to that and the counter- attack for Connor. If you were to be looking in through my window when I’m writing, you’d see me fighting myself!

You do a lot of fun promotional events, like a Young Samurai martial arts exhibit at Disneyland. What are some of your favorite events?

The Bodyguard shows are a blast—students join me on a mission to become young bodyguards! They participate in an interactive reading to protect the President's daughter; are introduced to Cooper’s Color Code and how to stay alert to dangers; learn anti-surveillance skills and how to spot if they're being followed; discover how to protect a VIP in a crowd; and learn about the bodyguard's secret defense techniques! The best bit is often when I have to save the school librarian from an attack. . . .

• Your Bulletcatcher series looks very exciting. Any chance that it might be published in the US?

Bulletcatcher is “Bodyguard meets X-Men.” In other words, young bodyguards with super- powers, or talents as they are called within the story. This is a very exciting series that I hope will soon be published in the U.S., especially as they feature a diverse set of characters, including those with disabilities—just like the Bodyguard series.

You’ve written some books that are dyslexia friendly for UK publisher Barrington Stoke. What makes these books dyslexia friendly? What motivated you to work on projects like these?

I wish to be fully inclusive with my books and getting young people motivated to read is one of my life’s missions. The books themselves are printed on cream-colored paper and in a font that is easier for dyslexic readers to absorb. There will also be a few tweaks to the language to make the sentences flow better for a dyslexic reader, e.g. rather than writing “She went through the window,” this might be changed to “She went in the window”—“in” being easier than “through” to compute in a dyslexic brain. The stories themselves, however, are no different—they are full of action and suspense and cool characters just like my other thrillers.

• What sort of books did you read when you were a young teenager? Anything you might recommend to today’s children that they might like?

I’m currently reading the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud—a spooky series about ghost hunters. Highly recommended, but only for those with nerves of steel! As a young teenager, I loved the Fighting Fantasy series by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone—the ones where you were the hero. Perhaps that’s why I became an author! 

Meet Chris Bradford!

 

 

Chris Bradford’s best-selling books are published in over twenty languages and have garnered more than thirty children’s book award nominations internationally. In the U.K., the first Bodyguard book debuted at No. 8 in the official Children’s Fiction Chart and was awarded the Brilliant Book Award 2014 and the Hampshire Book Award 2014, joining previous winners Suzanne Collins, Anthony Horowitz, Derek Landy, and Rick Riordan. Chris Bradford has appeared before more than 100,000 school children in more than 500 schools, 16 book festivals, and 12 countries. Learn more about him at chrisbradford.co.uk.

 
 

    

Meet The Bodyguard Series!
 
 

 

 

In today’s world, adults are no longer the only targets for hostage- taking, blackmail, and assassination. Teen stars, the children of celebrities and politicians, and the willful offspring of billionaires need protection—a bodyguard who blends right in. Enter fourteen-year-old Connor Reeves. 
Recruited into the ranks of a top-secret young bodyguard squad, teenage kickboxing champion Connor Reeves embarks on a rigorous training course, taking lessons in surveillance, anti-ambush exercises, hostage survival, and unarmed combat. As the son of a bodyguard who sacrificed his life on the job, Connor is determined to do his father proud and follow in his footsteps. In the first two novels in the series, Recruit and Hostage, Connor is tasked with protecting the impulsive teenage daughter of the U.S. president from a terrorist cell. In books 3 and 4, Hijack and Ransom, Connor must keep the twin daughters of an Australian media mogul safe when their luxury yacht is commandeered by mercenary pirates.  

 

 

 

  
  

Bodyguard: Ransom (Book 4)

By: Chris Bradford

Release Date: May 9, 2017 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 
 Three winners will receive a full set of The Bodyguard Series. US only. 
 
 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rate this blog entry:
What's Hot in KU
Author Chat with Jenny Han, Plus Giveaway!

Related Posts

 

Comments 6

John on Thursday, 04 May 2017 19:49

The cover design has lovely colors, and the synopsis appears to be free of errors!

0
The cover design has lovely colors, and the synopsis appears to be free of errors!
Heidi Wong on Friday, 05 May 2017 13:53

The cover is simply lovely and cool, just like the book's synopsis.

0
The cover is simply lovely and cool, just like the book's synopsis.
Lily M. on Monday, 08 May 2017 05:52

It would be awesome to get to read this book, the cover really catches your attention ?

0
It would be awesome to get to read this book, the cover really catches your attention ?
Anne on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:04

Sounds interesting! Covers are okay!

0
Sounds interesting! Covers are okay!
Dan Denman on Sunday, 04 June 2017 21:30

The cover is cool and colorful. The synopsis makes me think this story will have action and adventure.

0
The cover is cool and colorful. The synopsis makes me think this story will have action and adventure.
Penny Olson on Sunday, 04 June 2017 23:08

The cover and synopsis both sound really exciting.

0
The cover and synopsis both sound really exciting.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Pirates of Brisa (Wyrms of Pasandir #2)
When young Eskandar leaves his ship with the tough broomrider...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Building a Trade Empire (Wyrms of Pasandir #4)
Trade had been Shaw’s life, her dream, her future –...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives
Books can change lives — and here are more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Moonlight Meeting: The Nocturnals
In The Moonlight Meeting, Tobin, a sweet pangolin, Bismark, a...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hidden Kingdom: The Nocturnals Book 4
A group of veiled creatures--a chameleon, stick bugs and assorted...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Sight of Stars
Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Bokkaners of the North (Wyrms of Pasandir #3)
Against all odds, Eskandar and his bunch of ragtag youngsters...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Road to Kalbakar (Wyrms of Pasandir #1)
Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Air and Ash (TIDES Book 1)
Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Wolf Hour
Welcome, my little lambs, to the Puszcza. It's an...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Dragon Orb
The fate of a kingdom rests on the shoulders...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fragile Chaos
A GOD OF WAR SEEKING RESTORATION. AN UNWILLING SACRIFICIAL...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Love You Like a Pig
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Extra Yarn and Sam...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Come Home Already!
From the creators of Goodnight Already! and I Love You...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Joshua and the Magical Forest
 
4.0
"Reviewed for YA Books Central An enchanting fantasy. The story: Joshua thinks his father is dead. He's been..."
Ghosts of Bliss Bayou
 
5.0
"Captivating story, smooth writing style, well executed."
Uglies (Uglies #1)
 
5.0
"I loved how different this book was to most that I have read. The plot and the story line are..."
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
"I went into this book with a pretty vague idea of what it was about-a sci-fi novel revolving around a..."
Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1)
 
5.0
"I read a TON of fae fiction and A WICKED TRILOGY by Jennifer L. Armentrout is so hilarious and refershing...."
Elements (The Biodome Chronicles #2)
 
5.0
"Where do I begin?! I love Legacy. I was immediately sucked into the world and characters and was more than..."
Moonburner
 
4.7
" "The moon cannot enslave the sun, nor make the day its mistress." I absolutely loved this dark yet..."
An Enchantment of Ravens
 
4.7
" This is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in a long, long while. I found myself..."
Bloodline (Forgotten Origins Trilogy #1)
 
4.8
"INFECTED began with a viral pandemic which turns the human body and mind into a host. Although I enjoyed the..."
The "Wonderful" Wizard of Futhermucking Oz
 
5.0
"Although highly irreverent throughout, what I loved most about Arabella is that she doesn't just go along with the social..."
The Secrets of Islayne
 
4.3
"The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West 4 out of 5 stars Summary Islayne is a..."
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives
 
5.0
"Journeys is a collection of letters from the “Letters About Literature” program sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for..."
The Moonlight Meeting: The Nocturnals
 
3.0
"In this "Grow and Read" level two early reader book, the characters from Nocturnals World meet each other. Bismark is..."
The Hidden Kingdom: The Nocturnals Book 4
 
3.0
"Dawn, a fox; Tobin, a pangolin; and Bismark, an energetic sugar glider are all friends who have adventures. When there..."
Ignite
 
3.5
"The story: Phoenyx Blake, a teenage girl, awakens in a locked dungeon with only a girl named Lily for..."
In Sight of Stars
 
5.0
"IN SIGHT OF STARS is Gae Polisner’s latest young adult novel. It’s a contemporary story that tackles mental health in..."
First Year (The Black Mage Book 1)
 
4.0
"This is a very good series introduction. From the critical side, my first impression was that Rachel Carter broke..."
Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
 
4.0
"I am in love! The DC Icon series is turning me into a fan of superheroes, and Marie Lu's take..."
The Foragers
 
5.0
"An intricate narrative bringing out a picturesque imagination of the author, reverberating unknown Ainu culture and the footprints of experiences,..."
North, South, East, West
 
5.0
"A little red bird knows she is is ready to leave home but wonders where she will go: north, south,..."