Sunday, January 17, 2010
Conversations w/ K.L. Brady
K.L. Brady is a D.C. native and grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the setting of her debut novel. When she hit her "tween" years, her mother packed the family and moved to Bellaire, Ohio, where she eventually graduated from Bellaire High School. She attended the University of Akron for a few semesters, where she pledged Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., before moving back to the D.C. area.
She discovered a love for reading and writing at the age of three, by her mother’s accounts. Through the years, she has maintained diaries and journals, but the journals she wrote as an adult provided the inspiration for The Bum Magnet.
"Journaling allowed me to keep my writing a secret from the world. I’d write things and crack myself up, but I just never conceived of actually pursuing writing as anything other than an emotional outlet—that is, until I turned forty. With the real estate slump (my second love), and a high dose of Oprah’s Best Life series, I realized that I was suppressing a major part of who I was. I wanted to share my voice, experiences, and wacky sense of humor. The convergence of all those things was the kick in the pants I needed to get off my duff and write my novel. Although most of the novel consists of figments of my imagination and stretched truths, the main character’s life does mirror my own in some respects (unfortunately)."
A single mom, Brady lives just outside of D.C. in Cheltenham, Maryland, with her son, William. She works for a government contracting firm and is an active real estate agent with Exit Realty. Brady is also an alumnus of the University of the District of Columbia and University of Maryland University College, earning a B.A. in Economics and M.B.A., respectively.
"If I have one regret, it’s that I didn’t pursue my love of writing before I took out over $30,000 in student loans to get my M.B.A. Hopefully, my degree will serve me well in the marketing and business phases of the publishing industry because, God willing, I’m here to stay."
Real estate agent Charisse Tyson seems to have it all-a great job, a dream car, and a McMansion in high-and-mightyville. Everything in her life is just right...except the Mister. While lamenting the break-up with her most recent "the one" during a holiday meltdown, Charisse realizes she has a type when it comes to men—players, players, and more players. A magazine article motivates her to swear off men and examine the complex roots of her romantic fiascos.
Just five simple steps to turn her life to the stuff of legends, right? Life is never that easy...
Charisse commences her do-it-yourself therapy project and barely cracks open her emotional toolbox when she encounters the monkey wrenches: an irresistible new beau, two persistent ex-flames, and an FBI agent with life-altering secrets threatening to turn her world upside-down.
A tug of war ensues and Charisse is dead center, trying her best to distinguish the Don Juans from the Romeos. As her love life is propelled into unpredictable twists not even she could imagine, will a twenty-seven-year-old secret keep Charisse from finding the right “one”?
Laugh loud and often as Charisse discovers whether her choices in men reflect more than a penchant for good looks, great sex, and bad judgment.
Interview with K L Brady
1. CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR BOOK IS ABOUT?
IT’S ABOUT A WOMAN WHO IS APPROACHING A MAJOR LIFE MILESTONE—HER FORTIETH BIRTHDAY. SHE HAS JUST BROKEN UP WITH BOYFRIEND NUMBER TOO MANY AND READS AN ARTICLE THAT MAKES HER REALIZE IT’S TIME TO TAKE STOCK OF HER LIFE AND ASSESS WHY SHE KEEPS PICKING THE SAME KIND OF MAN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. BUT NO SOONER THAN SHE DECIDES SHE’LL HAVE NOTHING MORE TO DO WITH MEN, THEY START COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK. SO, SHE GOES AGAINST HER BETTER INSTINCT AND PUTS HERSELF IN THE POSITION WHERE SHE’S GOT TO NAVIGATE THIS MINEFIELD OF MEN WHILE TRYING TO WORK ON HERSELF AT THE SAME TIME. THE STORY FOLLOWS HER ALONG THIS JOURNEY, AND SHE’S GOT A GREAT, SELF-DEPRACTING SENSE OF HUMOR THAT MAKES IT A VERY ENJOYABLE RIDE.
2. WHAT ARE SOME WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE THE BUM MAGNET?
FUNNY, RELATABLE, ENLIGHTENING, SPIRITUAL, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, RELATIONSHIPS, TOUCHING . . . AND DID I SAY FUNNY?
3. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE YOUR BOOK?
I HAD AN OPRAH "AHA" MOMENT ONE DAY LAST SUMMER (2008). I WAS COMING UP ON MY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY, FEELING LIKE I’D REACHED SOME LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN MY LIFE, BUT WHAT I WAS DOING DIDN’T REALLY FULFILL ME. AS I GOT TO THINKING ABOUT WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GROW UP, I WAS FLIPPING THROUGH AN EDITION OF THE "O" MAGAZINE AND WATCHING HER SHOW WHEN IT JUST HIT ME THAT I WASN’T LIVING MY BEST LIFE. I’D ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A WRITER. I’D BEEN WRITING IN MY DIARIES AND JOURNALS SINCE I WAS MAYBE SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS OLD. ALTHOUGH I HAVE TWO DEGREES, I’D ALWAYS LET THE FACT THAT I DIDN’T HAVE A DEGREE IN ENGLISH OR ANY FICTION WRITING EXPERIENCE KEEP ME FROM STARTING. I PUSHED THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS OUT OF MY HEAD AND DECIDED TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT A WOMAN APPROACHING HER FORTIETH BIRTHDAY WHO TOOK STOCK OF HER LIFE AND DECIDED TO MAKE A CHANGE. MY LIFE MIRRORED THE MAIN CHARACTER’S LIFE IN THAT RESPECT—AND OTHERS (UNFORTUNATELY).
4. IS THE BUM MAGNET COMPLETELY FICTIONAL? OR IS IT BASED ON YOUR OWN LIFE EXPERIENCES?
FOR ANYONE WHO AUTHORS A NOVEL, I THINK THERE IS ALWAYS AN ELEMENT OF TRUTH IN IT. LIFE OFTEN DRIVES CREATIVITY, YOU KNOW. WE TAKE ONE SMALL FACT AND THEN WE EMBELLISH AND EXAGERATE IT UNTIL WE CAN’T BE SUED FOR SLANDER. ALTHOUGH—TRUE STORY—WHEN I TOLD MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THAT I WAS WRITING A NOVEL CALLED THE BUM MAGNET, ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE SAID, "IS IT AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY???" TOO FUNNY! SO, THERE ARE MANY "TRUTHS" IN THE BUM MAGNET, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY IS FIGMENTS OF MY IMAGINATION.
6. WHAT ARE THE BUM MAGNET’S CENTRAL TOPICS AND THEMES?
WHEN I WROTE THE BOOK, I WASN’T REALLY THINKING OF ANY PARTICULAR THEMES, BUT AS I’VE GONE THROUGH A GAZILLION REWRITES AND EDITS, A FEW STAND OUT. I THINK THE MOST PROMINENT THEME IS WHEN WE FIND OURSELVES REPEATING THE SAME BAD BEHAVIORS OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AT SOME POINT WE REALLY HAVE TO STOP PLAYING THE BLAME GAME, SIT DOWN, AND TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR. ANOTHER THEME IS THAT SCARS FROM CHILDHOOD RUN DEEP AND LONG IF WE DON’T DEAL WITH OUR ISSUES WHEN THEY OCCUR. THEY CAN HAVE A LOT MORE IMPACT ON OUR DECISIONS AS ADULTS THAN WE THINK. A FINAL THEME WOULD JUST BE LEANING ON YOUR FAITH AND TRUSTING YOUR INSTINCTS.
7. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE BUM MAGNET?
WELL IT ONLY TOOK ME ABOUT FOUR MONTHS TO WRITE THE ACTUAL NOVEL. I PROBABLY WROTE IT MUCH FASTER THAN I WOULD’VE UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES BECAUSE I WAS TRYING TO BEAT THE AMAZON BREAKTHROUGH NOVEL AWARD CONTEST DEADLINE. I USED THAT AS MY "HURRY UP AND GET IT DONE" MOTIVATION. THE FIRST DRAFT WAS NOWHERE NEAR WHERE IT NEEDED TO BE TO WIN THAT CONTEST, BUT THE POINT WAS GETTING IT FINISHED. MY EDITS AND REWRITES HAVE TAKEN ABOUT FOUR MONTHS OR SO, ALL TOLLED. WRITING THE NOVEL CAME EASY TO ME, I JUST TRANSCRIBED THE LITTLE VOICES IN MY HEAD. IT’S THE REWRITES AND EDITS THAT WERE A BISCUIT (ADULTS, FEEL FREE TO TRANSLATE "BISCUIT")!
Telephone Number: 877.557.7371
Web Addresses: WWW.KLBRADYWRITES.COM