Friday, December 14, 2012

Guest Post with Bernadette Pajer

Book Nerd Guest Post

Bernadette Pajer spent her childhood in Seattle, surrounded by the beautiful Cascade and Olympic mountains and Puget Sound. She holds a degree from the University of Washington, Bothell, where she studied CLA (Cultural, Literature, and the Arts) in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Science program. Research is her favorite activity, and she happily delves into Seattle's past and the early days of electrical invention as she plots Professor Bradshaw's investigations. She's a proud member of MWA, SinC, NW Science Writers, PNWA, and the
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Bernadette Pajer

About a hundred years ago—well, OK, nearly thirty, I decided to write a book. It was a rather casual decision. My sister and I, being oh-so-young then, were tossing around ideas about what sort of career we'd like to pursue, and being devout readers, thought it would be fun to become writers. My sister was a new mom, and I wasn't, so after a bit more contemplation, she encouraged me to write, while she devoted herself to being a fabulous mom (a career which should have a Pulitzer Prize category of its own.)

I sat down and began to write. I had no training, but that didn't stop me, although I found it surprisingly difficult to convert the ideas in my head into words on the page. It seemed so simple before I tried to actually do it. How was I supposed get a character across a room? Did I need to say the character stood, walked, turned, sat again? That was too tedious. Could I simply say the character “crossed the room?” Hey, I could! Multiply that writing question times a thousand, dealing with everything from action to subtext, and you will get a taste of what I experienced over the next few years as I discovered how to write by writing.

Would you believe it never occurred to me to take a class, attend a workshop, join a writing group, or even read a book on the craft of writing? Well, it didn't and I didn't, not until after I'd completed several manuscripts. Could I have benefited by reaching out to the writing world earlier? Yes, but not too much earlier. You see, when it finally dawned on me—well, when my literary agent politely inquired if I belonged to a writing group, hint, hint—that there were many writers out there sharing their expertise, I went in search of such folks and discovered a creative writing certificate course at the University of Washington. I loved it. As I sat listening to the instructor explain plotting, conflict, and character development, I smiled and nodded and thought to myself, yes, yes, yes! Everything I'd struggled to figure out on my own was being validated and presented in a wonderfully organized and concrete way. I was able to immediately understand and use the information given, and I felt empowered with the handy craft reminders the class provided.

The intense, serious expressions of many of my classmates, however, told me they were having a different experience. This was new information for them. They were understanding with their minds, but since many of them hadn't yet completed a full manuscript, they didn't understand with their guts. They hadn't yet struggled with these concepts and come to feel them as I had. That would come in time, in the process of writing. Only then would the craft lessons being shown them be fully understood.

Since then, I've taken many classes, attended writing workshops and conferences, and read many books on craft and the writing life. I've found them all helpful and inspirational. But the most valuable lessons I've learned have come from the very process of writing. Putting words on the page is to the writer what playing the keys of a piano is to a pianist, and brushing paint onto a canvas is to painter. We must work with our medium closely and often, driven by the passion of the stories we want to tell.

My best advice for anyone who has dreams of writing and stories to tell: write. Sit down and write. It's as simple, and as challenging, as that.

Seattle, 1901. The race to win an electrical competition incites Professor of Electrical Engineering Benjamin Bradshaw’s obsession for invention in the second entry this exciting historical series. The contest winner’s telephonic system will deliver music from the Seattle Grand Theater to homes throughout the city, and Bradshaw is confident he can win.

The contest is in full swing when President McKinley is assassinated, casting Bradshaw and the entire nation into shock. Then Bradshaw uncovers a crime closer to home: a gypsy peddler’s cart is suddenly abandoned behind his house. What happened to the father and child who lived in this cart? When Bradshaw discovers the peddler’s child may have witnessed a murder, he follows the girl’s trail, plunging into a seedy underworld of bars and brothels.

Frustrated by the police department’s apathy and caught between power struggles, he doesn’t know whom to trust. Each step of his investigation entangles him deeper in crime and corruption until he realizes that to save the child, he must transform his contest entry into a trap to catch a killer and to protect his own household.

Bradshaw’s electrical forensic and investigative skills, combined with a keen understanding of human nature, bring the Seattle police—and murder—to his doorstep during the social and scientific turmoil of the early twentieth century.

You can purchase Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery at the following Retailers:
And as Special Thank you, A SPARK OF DEATH will be 0.99 for purchase.

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Bernadette for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Fatal Induction: A Professor Bradshaw Mystery by Bernadette Pajer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would rather have a good friend

  2. I would rather have a great lover who is also a great friend...LOL!!!! But, if I had to choose, I would rather have a great friend.

  3. Great friend, humans are social creatures and we feel trapped and claustrophobic in our own bodies if we don't have someone close to talk to.

  4. Nice question :) I think I would rather have a great lover, you can change the way he acts and make him your great friend as well! :D

  5. Definitely a friend I can share everything with. I already had a husband that I couldn't share anything with and he couldn't either and its no fun at all!!