Today we get write the point with Sally Bradley. Read on to learn more about her and her fabulous book.
Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope. A Chicagoan since age five, she now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they still get back to Chicago once in a while for important things—like good pizza and a White Sox game. Fiction has been her passion since childhood, and she’s thrilled now to be writing books that not only entertain, but point back to Christ. A freelance fiction editor, you can find Sally at sallybradley.com and on Facebook at Sally Bradley, Writer. Kept is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and have always adored that city. My parents were amazing godly examples in my life, and I’m so grateful for that and how they raised me and my sister. Now my husband and I live in the Kansas City area where he pastors and works as a cop one or two days a week. We’ve got two young teens and a six-year-old, so dinner conversations are never boring!
I’ve been writing since I was in upper elementary. I knew from age nine that I wanted to write Christian fiction—which was barely even a thing back then. I wrote through junior high and high school, wrote oodles of papers in college, then got married and started writing. I’ve been writing adult fiction for twenty years.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
I was saved at age five. My parents had been talking about salvation and what it means during family devotions. (I don’t remember that part; my mom told me later when I asked.) But I do remember realizing that I was a sinner and on my own was on my way to hell. So one day I went into my bedroom by myself, knelt by my bed, and asked God to forgive me and save. Then I very matter-of-factly told my mom about it.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
Kept is a story that reflects where our American society currently is—and where it’s going. More and more I run across people who’ve been completely unchurched. They know nothing about God. They’ve grown up in the eighties and nineties and this century’s first decade, living a self-centered, pleasure-filled life.
Yet God still saves them. It’s so cool to see them transform, to see God work a miracle in their lives. But some of these women struggle with their pasts. They keep their guilt and regret a closely-guarded secret because if people at church find out… what will happen?
So that’s what I wanted to deal with. What happens when a completely unchurched, promiscuous woman finds God? What would make her see and then want the truth? Will her past haunt her forever? God’s saved her, but does He really, truly love her?
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
Dear Mr. Knightley is probably the best book I’ve read in the last year or two. It came out late in 2013, and it’s one people are still talking about. Very coincidentally, it’s set in Chicago too, like mine, and deals with a foster child who’s aged out of the system. It’s an incredible, touching story.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more aware of this. I wrote Kept because of all the women I was meeting who’d come out of pasts like them, and I sometimes saw what they didn’t—that they had a unique ministry available to them because of what they’d experienced.
But we don’t often see those things clearly ourselves, do we?
For me, I was diagnosed in my early thirties with an auto-immune disease. I’d been eating right, exercising, had been in good health—and then all of a sudden, bam! I was really sick. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was decided for me. For whatever reason, God allowed me to go through that and deal with a chronic illness that would never leave me.
What I’ve learned through that is to sympathize with those who are struggling and hurting physically. Our culture has become more and more physically focused, and there’s a tendency to blame people for whatever physical trouble they’re dealing with. And so many, many people—even people in the church—have been attacked this way.
But sometimes God puts us through suffering for reasons we may never know. It’s not punishment, necessarily. And having been through it, I can offer support and encouragement to someone who’s there right now. I can give them understanding that you really can never have unless you’ve been there yourself.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I don’t have a life verse, but there’s usually something in what I’m writing or reading that sticks with me for a season. The passage that starts Kept is Romans 6:9-11. I start the book with the first phrase of verse eleven, but the whole passage says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
This is America today—those first two verses. Constantly seeking sin and selfish pleasures. But God’s still saving people. “Such were some of you.” Now we’re washed and cleansed. We’re different because of Christ, and that’s an amazing, beautiful thing.
Where can we find you on the web?
I’m at sallybradley.com and on Facebook at Sally Bradley, Writer. Technically I’m on Twitter, @SallyBWrites, but that truly is just a technicality.:) I really enjoy connecting with people either through my website or on Facebook. Kept also has a Pinterest page. My main characters and the beautiful section of Chicago I chose for the setting are all there.
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Just a big thank you for having me, Melissa! I’m passionate about fiction that makes us think and brings us real hope and real answers, and I hope Kept has the opportunity to minister to someone here.
Here is the back cover copy for Kept:
“Gutsy and fast-paced.”—Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning
“One of the most surprising and best books I’ve read this year.”—MaryLu Tyndall, best-selling author of Legacy of the King’s Pirates series
Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman.
Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again.
When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes that her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.
Sally, thanks so much for sharing with my readers. I have heard nothing but amazing things about your book. May God continue to bless your writing journey.