Thursday, December 22, 2016

Brad Mela ~ an interview and his novel ~ Chaise to the Death

Brad Mela

Author Bio:

Brad Mela was born in London, England, during the 60’s and used to play amongst the bomb craters in the high street before scrounging vegetables from the local market men and cakes from the kindly old ladies in the bakery – he’s still got those puppy dog eyes.

A student in history and classical studies, it’s only natural that his imagination has vented into becoming a Historical Fiction author.

Breaking away from his life career as an IT consultant, he is working on his first series of novels set in England during the late 18th century. It draws on the political and industrial turmoil of the age and involves a particularly complex character, Harry Kiser, who is a humble Post Chaise driver for the local Brewery.

He still resides close to London with his wife, family and two dogs. He leads a full and active life, but he still finds time to play his one-man band’s worth of musical instruments.


Q: How would you describe yourself as a color? Think personality here. Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious color?
A: I’m blue, no wait, I’m red. I’m a little bit green round the edges. In truth I’m a chameleon. I tend to blend to the surroundings; I’ve learnt that much about myself over the years. I will talk to a tramp and jabber with the street, but I can still converse with the great and good. And as I’m doing it, I can feel my personality change along with it. So, I’m not really sure where I’d land on the spectrum if you boiled me down.

Deep down, I think I’m black and white. I don’t really have a side to me that’s biased or predominant; just honest, in a colourful sort of way: keeping up?

Sometimes I think I should have been an actor, I’m sure I could play all sorts of shades. I’d call myself Hue Prism. That’s a good name for a heart-throb, isn’t it?

Q: Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds. Is your preference, white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else?
A: I like the sound of droning cargo-planes coming in to land and I like the noise of the traffic rushing to beat the light change on the corner. Well, that’s what I’ve got at the moment anyway (true story) and I sleep well enough.

I was taught not to bemoan your dealt hand so I don’t hanker after a recording of soft ocean waves; it’s not going to cut through that little lot anyway.
Sometimes, I don’t even notice the sound of the trains trundling by with the occasional “Burr-Barppp!” to warn an errant animal or wanderer on the line.

Q: If your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?
A: Ha, ha, ha! What a great question! If you think about it, it underlines what great lives we all have. Every day we’re starring in our own movie that can encompass all of those genres.
For example, in the Romantic section; I have had a lot of ‘action’, a few ‘fantasies’, my fair share of ‘comedies’ (like a lot of men, I play the leading role in that one) and a ‘drama’ or two.
I’m a ‘go-do’ sort of guy so action would feature highly. I dream a lot, so fantasy is right up there too. And of course, every day you wake up you’re really starting another ‘mystery’.
What’s the over-riding theme for my life to date? It’s got to be ‘Thriller’. It’s been one big roller-coater!

Q: Tell me one thing that your spouse does that really endears her to you. One thing that annoys you. These can be tiny little things, actually the smaller the better.
A: The endearing quality she has is that she does nothing. Let me explain. Most days she’ll say nothing or make no move to steer me. She knows I know I’m right and that, in knowing that, she knows there’s no point telling me otherwise.  And sometimes, there’s no doubt that when I’m certain, it’s doubtful that I’d take a dead certain alternate direction, even if it smacked me on the head.

She’s let me learn the hard way. She leaves me be.

The annoying thing is, after the event, I’m sure she satisfies herself that I know that she knew better in the first place. I just know she does.

She’s beautiful and I love her more every day that she let’s me fall flat on my face.

Q: Did you like school when you were a child?
A: I LOVED it! I really enjoyed the learning part. But, my joy was getting into heavy debate with the tutors.

As a youngster, my brain was soooo active. I matured very quickly and I looked forward to going in to ‘discuss’ alternate views with the teachers; particularly in the Social classes or Religious studies. 

“But why…?” “How do you know…?” “That’s a very generalist statement.” Were some of my common phrases; the teachers hated me.

I still like a good row and can be found spending many minutes in front of the mirror losing the debate during many a “writers block” day.

Q: Snack of choice – chips, pretzels, popcorn, or cookies, cake, candy? Or maybe you’re a healthy snacker - fruit, yogurt, nuts, raisins?
A: Cakes! Cakes! and some more cakes, please?

Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: Dresses are best “up”

Q: Dine in or dine out?
A: Dining

Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Tea

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: Knackered

Q: Texting, love it or hate it?
A: Hate (passionately)


Q: How did you come to write your genre of choice?
A: This is easy. As I say, I’m a student of history. Plus, I love fiction and getting lost in another world, be it my own or someone else’s. Therefore, the genre picked itself, really.
It had to be Historical Fiction. 

For me, there’s nothing more enticing than something other than the here and now; whether it’s the future or the past.

The future sounds sexy, doesn’t it? However, history is strewn with groundbreaking inventions and events. It had to be or we wouldn’t evolve as a species. 

Put yourself in those times, in those shoes. Now pick something random, say, flicking a switch to light the way. Wow! That would have blown Harry Kiser’s mind.

Q: What do you think is the hardest part of writing a book?
A: Ah, now, there’s a question where many authors would give several stock answers. However, to me it’s fairly obvious. I find it very difficult to describe situations that I find absolutely abhorrent. I’ve done it, I’ve used my creativity to immerse myself in it, but I didn’t like it. And I know its fiction, I mean; I just made it up didn’t it? But it’s really quite difficult to master that necessary evil.

Q: What is your favorite part of writing?
A: There’s a phase, all artists know of it, when, suddenly, the light begins to shine and there’s no stopping an outpouring of creativity. Be it a painter, author, chef (food, glorious food!) there’s a part when you just can’t stop. Your surroundings disappear, you’re not even aware of your own self, you’re lost in the moment and you just can’t stop. The visions, the dialogue and the story is alive! You can’t type quick enough to keep up with the characters voices.
There’s several parallels when this occurs during other things in life; see if you can think of a few.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: And this is the result of the question about ‘favourite part of writing’. Categorical yes! No question.

The characters talk to you somehow. They get inside and tell you your pre-conceived idea is flawed and then grab the quill themselves.

“I wouldn’t do that, now would I Brad?” Harry said. He scratched his ear and looked at the stains on the pub bench around his jar.

Silence. It continued and Brad knew the block was back.

“So, tell me then. If you wouldn’t take the crows path straight to Bragg’s hideout and stuff your blunderbuss down his throat, how would you make amends?” Brad had leant over the table and hadn’t realized how close he’d got to Harry’s face. Catching himself, he sat back down and lifted his own jug to sup and waited.

Brad slumped further down, dropping his head to his chest and almost fell asleep. And just before the inn had melted into mist, he felt a presence at his side. He didn’t dare open his eyes or move a muscle: the act would surely scare the Postman away. 

Then Harry started to whisper in his ear, revealing more idiosyncrasies than Brad could ever have imagined on his own.

The author allowed a smile to cross his lips.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I’m currently working on book 2 of “The Post Chaise Chronicles”. Its title is Chaise in the Shadows. I won’t be giving much away by revealing the shadows aren’t in Harry’s hometown of Bath, England, but belong to London. It involves the usual twists and turns of the series, with Harry and his friends stretched even further than before. It has some surprises in store. It’s so much fun, recounting Harry’s tales.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: Chaise in the Shadows is due out by end of the year and my focus is on that at the moment. However, another series is coming to life that I’m trying to batten it down or I’ll never meet my deadlines. Sorry Harry fans, I’m doing my best to let him have his voice.
Book 2 of TPCC takes us across the country and encounters a number of villains and heroes. The plots in the first book start to make sense and relationships are blossoming. Whereas book 1 was more Adventure, book 2 is definitely cranking up the mystery.
London was a dark, dangerous place in the 18th century and Harry’s in the middle of it.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: I’m generally where I want to be, but usually where I should be when wanted.
Best thing to do is to catch me in the ether at:

Book one of The Post Chaise Chronicles can be found here:

'The Post Chaise Chronicles' series is set in England during the late 18th-century when the world is going through some of its biggest changes in history. The monarchy, politics, industry, the face of Europe, and more, they are all on the wheel of evolution.

Why should it bother Henry 'Harry' Kiser and his family? It's all a million miles away, isn't it? But it's all about to knock at his door and threaten to bring his house down. The question is, should he answer the call and take the dangerous commission? There’s far more at stake in this adventure than missing a delivery date.

Harry is more complex than your average Post Chaise driver and his PTSD is pushing his sanity to the edge of the abyss. He’s losing his grip but will he lose his family, his friends and his neck along with it? He’s risking it all to find out too late that he's closer to the hangman's noose now than he's ever been.

The Kiser family run the inn and the independent postal service in Bath. The Royal Mail is their biggest competitor, but now, the Government and half of Europe looks to be threatening for a fight. Harry doesn't have a lot on his side other than some old Army friends and a trusty hound.

Follow the journey on a trail of mystery and disaster, but you'd better stick close; even Harry doesn't know where he's headed in this action packed adventure series.

Rich in character, scenery and plot, book 1 of the Post Chaise Chronicles, set's the bar high. There are twists and turns galore, and that's not just on the road!

They hadn’t been more than thirty minutes from Barton Fields and were on a lane that was banked by bushes and trees on either side. The road didn't seem too bad on the current stretch, as the rocking of the carriage had eased, although it'd never disappear entirely.

Bloat had lain back down earlier but he suddenly lifted his head up and sniffed the air. Then the dog sat up completely. That grabbed Harry’s attention.

“What's up, boy?” He asked. He heard a low growl coming from the back of the dog’s throat. In fact, he felt it more than heard it; it was very deep and the seat rumbled.

The rain had stopped completely so Harry, still holding the reins in one hand, unwrapped the gun with the other but threw a light cover back over the weapon to stop it getting thrown off. At least it was now easier at hand.

A rustling started in the left-hand bushes, and he and Bloat looked that way. The dog got up on all fours.

This was a perfect place for an ambush; he couldn't turn round without dismounting, and there was cover on both sides of the narrow lane, which was just wide enough for another carriage to pass if needed.

Then a large stag jumped out of the woods. Harry had to pull sharp on the reins and get the horses to a stop quick, but they’d worked that out for themselves.

The large antlered beast paused to admire the horses but went on quickly, brushing past their noses as it crashed into the bushes on the other side and on to the cover of the trees.

Bloat put his paws on the kick board at the front but still looked unblinkingly at the thick bush on the left, the opposite direction to the stag.

Then things happened all at once. The window came down in the carriage, Black stuck his head out and called, “What's the proble… oh!”

“Don't move!” The voice from the left was on the end of a cocked pistol and had directed the instruction to Harry.

Also, a rustling of bushes started on the right, and he could see another robber making his way out and then, lastly and unexpectedly, Bloat leapt from the bench seat and took the man down with the flintlock in one bound. The man fell backwards, with Bloat on top, into the scrub beyond the lane.

Harry reacted. He shook the reins wildly and flicked the whip, yelling for the horses to move…

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