Cheryl Bradshaw - Writing about a Housewife With a Secret Life

Cheryl Bradshaw - Writing about a Housewife With a Secret Life

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Bradshaw writes in the genres of mystery, thriller, romantic suspense, and supernatural suspense. To date she’s published a couple dozen novels and novellas, including her NYT bestselling Sloane Monroe mystery series, based on a sassy, OCD-challenged PI. As our Author of the Day, Bradshaw tells us all about her book, Roadkill.

Please give us a short introduction to what Roadkill is about.

Suburban housewife Juliette Granger has been living a secret life ... a life that's about to turn deadly for everyone she loves.Fearing for her life after witnessing a gruesome murder, Juliette Granger whisks her two-year-old daughter Nora away in the dead of night and flees, planning to start a new life in a small, forgettable town under an alias. An hour into the escape, headlights flash behind her. A vehicle pulls alongside, and a masked man demands she stop the car. She refuses him, and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins.

What inspired you to write about a housewife who has been living a secret life?

We all like reading books about people we can relate to. Juliette is a wife, a mother, and at first appearance she's living a life that appears ordinary. Her death reveals the secrets she's been hiding. I believe we can all relate to her in some way. Everyone has secrets, whether minor or grandiose, and as people we're always interested in this kind of thing. For me as a writer, I find it fascinating to write a story like this that has so many twists and turns. 

Why did you title this book "Roadkill"

The murder takes place on the road, on a highway. I chose the title as a play on words. 


Readers report that you kept them riveted right from the start. How did you pull this off?

My goal with every book is to keep my readers reading. I try to end most of my chapters with enough suspense, cliffhangers, and questions to keep readers turning pages. 

Roadkill contains some interesting plot twists. Did you plan them all out before you started writing?

I usually let the book go in the direction it wants to go. I don't outline. I usually try to have a few chapters in mind while I'm working on a book and then let the rest come naturally. I find that for me writing this way makes the plot twists and surprises seem a lot more genuine and spontaneous. 

Some readers describe your characters as "gritty". Why do you think that is?

I tend to stay away from writing that's harsh or overly vulgar, but I don't mind tackling raw, hard issues and real human emotions. I like to allow my characters to open up and show who they really are. 

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy all of it! Writing, connecting with readers, connecting with other authors -- it's all part of the wonderful journey I get to be part of, and I appreciate it every single day. 

If you could have lunch with any author, who would it be, what would you order and what would you talk about?

Robert B. Parker. He passed several months before we would have been able to meet. I would have loved to get to know his sense of humor and to become friends. He was a talented writer and someone I looked up to in my genre. 

What are you working on right now?

I've just started work on the eighth novel in my Sloane Monroe series, Smoke and Mirrors, which will be set in Australia. I'm living here at the moment and have found the country to be very inspirational.