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Interview with Maria Bradley, author of The Blood Wars – Crystal Secret

Crystal Secret

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
-Maya Angelou

The title of my new book is ‘The Blood Wars-Crystal Secret’ (Only Human #2) and the reason I’m excited and terrified in equal proportions, is because Only Human did so well!

In The Blood Wars-Crystal Secret, Aecia’s life is much happier in the respect of being amongst her own people, and having a massive goal and mission that is common to all of them. The more clones they free from the clone farms increase their numbers and strengthen their bonds; they unite with other varieties of their own species (the watchers and sanguis, who are the result of the vampires first failed attempts to clone humans), even some vampires begin to sympathise with their beliefs and join them in their quest to have the world shared equally between all the species that live on it.

However, Aecia’s life is far from peaceful as more battles are inevitable; more alliances and betrayals, more victories and defeats, and more heartbreak and joy dominate every aspect of her young existence. Her first love with Garok is difficult to maintain amidst such turmoil, and with each new crisis the gap between them becomes ever-wider. Secrets are uncovered, and one gigantic secret has the power to shatter every truth Aecia holds dear about herself.

All this and more is set in the futuristic earth of 3013, in a world literally lived inside out and upside down when compared with our daylight, human dominated, and non-blood-drinking way of life today. The one common feature of both their world and the desire for absolute power that is evident today, is tragically, life-consuming WAR.

What genre are these novels?

Teen/Young Adult Fantasy, although some adults might enjoy this kind of adventure.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love my book.

The Twilight Series.

Can we dive straight into this book?

I think you would have to read Only Human in order to fully understand The Blood Wars-Crystal Secret. It is the foundation of Aecia’s story and contains facts about her life that are taken for granted in Only Human#2.

For those who haven’t read the first book yet, tell us about Aecia.

Aecia has had a miserable childhood by all accounts. She has had to wear accessories all of her life such as cosmetic fangs, skin whitener and foul neutraliser oil to ensure that the vamps can’t detect her human scent. She endures her life through the night as vampires do, and is forced to sleep in a vampire pit during the day. All this, and the fact that she must drink 3 pints of clone blood every night to complete her illusion, has resulted in a very scared, extremely lonely young teenager. Despite her circumstances, there is a spark, or pilot light that refuses to go out embedded in her soul, and this is why she can’t give up altogether. Her own imagination provides her with a virtual human friend in ‘Amica’ and this gives her a measure of comfort as she ploughs through the treacle of her existence, one slow, sticky step at a time. She also possesses a sharp wit and sense of humour which shields her from some of the darkness in her world that could threaten to consume her altogether if she allowed it.

These books seem a million miles from the novel we first interviewed you about.

Four’s A Crowd is a totally different story with three unorthodox characters, each with their own peculiarities and abilities, whose lives are intertwined in a way they couldn’t have imagined.

Tell us about yourself.

I have always wanted to be a writer but things always seemed to get in the way. I guess I never really thought that I would be able to persuade anyone to buy even one of my books, never mind actually earn a living from writing. Things have changed now though; the children are older, I have more time, and a little more confidence than I had before. I decided to give it a go in 2012 and have never looked back.

We’re pleased you took the leap. Do you have a website?

What about social media?


What’s next?

Only Human #3 is next on the agenda, along with Four’s A Crowd #2 so I expect to be busy scribbling away for a long time to come.



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