Intimate Conversation with K. L. Brady
K. L. Brady is a D.C. native but spent a number of her formative years in the Ohio Valley. She’s 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. She works as an analyst for a major government contracting firm and is an active real estate agent with Exit Realty by day—and writes by night (often into the wee hours of the morning). She lives just outside of D.C. in Cheltenham, Maryland, with her son and lives to eat chocolate, shop, read, and write.
Originally self-published, her adult novel, THE BUM MAGNET, was published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books in March 2011. THE BUM MAGNET was the winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Multicultural Fiction, as well as the Third Place Grand Prize Winner for Best Fiction of 2010.
BPM: Introduce us to your book, The Bum Magnet and the main characters. On Kindle or Nook?
My hilarious but oh-so-real debut romantic comedy/women’s fiction is about Charisse Tyson, 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 access why she keeps picking players over and over and over again. But, as it always happens when you make a plan, life happens! And she makes a hilarious but really bad decision that takes her COMPLETELY off course. No sooner than she decides she’ll have nothing more to do with men, they start coming out of the woodwork—a sexy new businessman, ex-boyfriends, and a strange stalker-type that she feels drawn to for some yet unknown reason.
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. But along the way, she finds out the answer to her problem goes a lot deeper than an appetite for good-looking men and great sex. It’s that realization that helps her shift her life to a new level.
While this story is full of laugh-out-loud funny moments, it also has the kind of page-turning twists and turns that will make it almost impossible to put down once you get into to it. This book has been blamed for many sleepless nights, missed subway and bus stop, and late stays at the office because the people couldn’t move until they finished it.
BPM: What insight does The Bum Magnet give readers on relationships or one defined topic? Has your view changed since completing your book?
I never set out to convey a message when I wrote this book. I wanted to tell a entertaining story that would keep readers glued to the pages. However, I would have to say that there are definitely several life lessons that all people—both men and women—can take from Charisse’s story.
The first is that when you see yourself repeating the same bad patterns in relationships over and over again, at some point you’ve really got to stop pointing the finger at the people you choose, and start pointing your finger at the one who is doing the choosing—YOU!
Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in the drama of relationships that we don’t see that we’re standing in our own way, and blocking our own blessing, because we’re not dealing with some past hurt or pain. We can’t just sweep our dirt under a beautiful rug, sit some furniture on it, and pretend like it’s not still a hot mess underneath.
And while this is not Christian fiction, this character (despite her occasionally colorful language) is very spiritual and learns a few lessons about leaning on her faith, trusting in herself, honoring her friends and family, and the new “F” You word—forgiveness.
BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people or experiences?
I’m often asked if The Bum Magnet is based on people from my life or my own personal experiences. I think all authors put a piece of themselves in their work. You can’t get as real and truthful as I do in this book without living or watching people live these experiences. So, you’re going to get a taste of some very real situations. However, there are some elements of this novel that I had to make up because if I told what really happened, the book would’ve seemed too unbelievable. Sometimes truth is definitely stranger than fiction!
True story though—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???” Now you know I needed to check myself when that happened too many times. (lol) I’m happy to announce I’m a recovering bum magnet and I’m coming along quite nicely. Thank you very much!
BPM: What inspired you to write The Bum Magnet? Why now?
I had an Oprah “aha” moment one day in the summer of 2008. I was coming up on my fortieth birthday, feeling like I’d reached some level of success in my life, but I wasn’t really fulfilled. I kept trying new ventures that always seemed to fail. 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. But D-Day had arrived. I pushed those negative thoughts out of my head and decided to honor this gift God gave me and write a book about a woman who took stock of her life and decided to make a major change. I wrote the book in four months and edited it four or five more months.
BPM: What's more important: critical acclaim or popular success amongst the readers?
When I first wrote the novel, I wanted what every author wants, you know. I wanted a six-figure-multiple-book-deal. I wanted to be on Oprah and to make my rounds on the morning show circuit. I wanted to blow kisses to my beloved fans. All that stuff. But let me tell you, the publishing industry is nothing if not a sharp dose of stark reality for most authors.
After querying my book to literary agents all over the country and getting rejection after rejection after rejection, doubting myself and my writing ability, listening to people tell me, “You need to put this book in a drawer and start the next one,” I had a come-to-Jesus moment and I had to decide who was I writing for. Was I writing for the publishing industry? Was I writing for other authors? Or was I writing because I loved writing and had a story to share?
I realized I was writing because I love writing and telling stories and making people laugh. I do feel that was God’s plan for me. So, damn the book deal. I decided to publish my book myself. And if ONE reader’s day was brightened or if they were moved by this story, that would mean I was fulfilling my purpose and God’s purpose for my writing, and that has been my focus ever since.
Acclaim is nothing without readers. Acclaim for me is getting that note on Facebook or Twitter saying, “I loved this story” or “Your book helped me realize that I’m a bum magnet” or “I was laughing so much my family thought I was crazy.” That’s acclaim. And I’m gonna have the same measure of success whether I sell one book or one million—my only goal is to touch a reader’s life in some positive way. And it’s funny that in a way that ONLY God can do, my decision to write for the love of writing and honor my gift from Him is what helped my book deal find me. When you honor your gifts, you praise God. Honor your gifts—whatever they may be!
BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online?
Well, The Bum Magnet was picked up by Simon & Schuster and was recently released in paperback at bookstores and retail outlets (including Wal-Mart) nationwide. It costs less than a #1 at McDonald’s so you’ve got to pick it up! It is also available for e-book readers (like me)—on Kindle, Nook, and the iBookstore for iPad, iPod, etc.
The sequel to The Bum Magnet, entitled Got a Right to Be Wrong, is finished and submitted to my editor. The story picks up from where The Bum Magnet left off. I can’t give too much away but I will say that in The Bum Magnet, Charisse had two major issues that contributed to her “bum magnetism.” The first issue is covered in the novel and you’ll have to read to find out what that is.
The second issue—growing up without her father or a male role model—is covered in Got a Right to Be Wrong when her day-late-and-dollar-short father decides to re-enter her life. I love this story because it really touches on how it affects women when they don’t have strong, positive father figures in their lives, and how it can affect their relationships and the kinds of men they choose.
Of course, there are other great twists and turns in Got a Right to Be Wrong, including what happens to Charisse’s best friend Nisey who got pregnant and had two possible baby daddies, a more prominent role for Charisse’s crazy mother Mama Tyson who is on the run from the police, and we find out whether Charisse finally finds her happily-ever-after....and does it include a man? If so, which one? Hmmm.
I’ve also just released my self-published young adult novel called Worst Impressions. It’s a hilarious romantic comedy about a sharp-witted basketball phenom named Liz Bennett (yes, based on the book Pride and Prejudice) who gets caught in a hilarious love triangle with two popular new boys in her school—one who is fire…and one who she’d like to set on fire. It’s another can’t-put-this-down read for young adults of all ages. Urban Teens Read called Worst Impressions “Awesome!!!” and “Amazing!” (Those are their exclamation points.) It is on sale on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords for 99 cents (for a limited time). The paperback version will be on Amazon at the end of April.
Got a Right to Be Wrong by K. L. Brady
An irresistible new novel from the author of The Bum Magnet!
Charisse Tyson is about to say "I do" . . .
Sassy and successful real estate agent Charisse Tyson is about to tie the knot with sexy undercover agent and man of her dreams, Kevin, but the wedding has everyone, including Charisse, under a lot of pressure. As Charisse and Kevin march toward matrimony, Kevin’s hidden past is revealed, Charisse’s deadbeat father resurfaces, and things heat up with Charisse’s best guy friend. Suddenly Charisse is faced with many new questions regarding her life decisions, and she must figure out just how right or wrong she was all along.
But could the smart, sassy, curvaceous bride-to-be, who's more than paid her dues with a string of worthless ex-lovers, have good reason for second thoughts? What if her fiancé, Kevin Douglass-the gorgeous FBI agent who rescued her from a con artist boyfriend and promptly swept her off her feet-turns out to be like all the others? Rissey's worst nightmare comes true when, one week from their wedding day, they hit a major bump in the road-a baby bump, that is: Kevin reveals that a liaison with his former FBI partner produced a lot more than a one-night stand.
Thrown into a tailspin, Rissey turns to her beloved top-shelf vodka and her best friend Lamar, who makes no secret of his desire to replace Kevin. With her own family in upheaval when the father Rissey has never known enters her life and Kevin desperately trying to make things right, time is running out . . . will she and Kevin survive the drama and make it down the wedding aisle?
Got a Right to Be Wrong by K. L. Brady
Release date: January 31, 2012
About the Author
KL Brady is a D.C. native but spent a number of years in Bellaire, Ohio, where she graduated from Bellaire High School. She's an alumnus of the University of the District of Columbia (BA Economics) and the University of Maryland University College (MBA). Brady is also member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and the Maryland Writer's Association and lives in the D.C. suburbs with her son, William.
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