DC native Brian Bradford discusses new mystery novel, ‘Killing a Snitch’

DC native Brian Bradford discusses new mystery novel, 'Killing a Snitch'
Brian Bradford, author of Killing a Snitch. (Photo courtesy of Debra O. Duncan)

Brian Bradford enjoys lying. His fixation for lies is more in the literary sense, however.

As an author, he said, “I am creating characters and their interactions like a child playing with figurines. I’m inspired to tell the stories of Black farmers, cowboys, schoolteachers and others.”  The Washington, D.C., native has penned his first mystery novel, Killing a Snitch, the first in his series of Christopher Aiden mysteries.

Rolling out spoke with Bradford about his new novel and its backstory.

What inspired you to write Killing a Snitch?

When I see a news story about my neighborhood, I sometimes think the reporters got half of the story while the whole ‘hood knows what really happened. I’ve had friends go to prison for crimes, and I knew the details of the crime were more compelling than the news report. The real people and their motivations are more interesting than the stereotypes they are reduced to in articles and dinner conversations. When I was a freshman in college, a friend was caught smuggling cocaine. He was expelled from Howard University and sentenced to five years in federal prison. Twenty years later, I started writing this story.

What is the story behind the title?

Sometimes when police are investigating a crime in a community, people don’t want to get involved, but not telling what they know can cause more problems. Snitching is frowned upon in the neighborhood, but there is pressure from the business community, politicians and the media to “do the right thing.” When is it right to cooperate with the police?

What was the hardest part of writing Killing a Snitch?

I started writing this book 13 years ago. I put it down, but never forgot about it. I always knew I would go back and finish the story. The quarantine allowed me the opportunity to focus and finish. As soon as I finished this book, I started writing the next one. Just like I did with fatherhood. The first one is hard, the second one just appears, and then the next two are easy.

Continued on the next page.

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