Net Galley Reviewer

Professional Reader

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting to know author, K.L. Brady

Today, I had a chance to sat down and speak with author Karla (K.L.) Brady. She just had surgery and still took time speak with me. Thanks Karla for the opportunity. If you've never read any of her books, I hope you will take the time to check her out.

Have you always has a vivid imagination?
Oh my goodness yes. I’ve always had flair for embellishing true stories. When I was a kid, I endured a number of difficult situations that might break most kids, but I took my pen to paper and wrote in my diaries which I’m sure helped pull me through my most difficult times. And I would always begin with the true a story, embellish it, and then write my own happy ending. I have no doubt this is why people who read my stories connect with the characters on a real, honest level. My stories are always based on truth but my endings are where the imagination comes in. 

Karla, I know you write adult fiction as well as YA Fiction, do you see yourself writing any other genre?
Yes, I plan on stretching my talents wherever I can find a story to tell that I think my audience wants to read. I started my career writing romantic comedy for adults and young adults because I believe in tackling serious relationship issues, familial or between men and women, with heavy doses of humor. Writing funny stories is very natural for me. But I’ve recently stepped in the world of romantic suspense which has been a challenge for me. The story structure is a different from what I’m used to so I had to do some research and read a few instructional books on writing suspense to pull it off effectively. It’s been such a great learning experience and I think my readers will absolutely love the new series when it comes out. 

When you're reading for pleasure, do you find yourself researching the craft of that author as well? 
Usually, I don’t read for research, but as an author it’s hard to read for pleasure and not also see the story elements that helped make a story successful or unsuccessful. But any author writing stories today understands that they are not doing anything “new.” None of us has invented a new way to tell stories or new tricks. What we do is take the tried and true and then put our own personal spin on it to make it our own. But I think reading books is imperative for authors to understand how to become and stay successful and reading is just part of the business of writing books. 

Do you have a favorite author? Or favorite book?
My God yes. I have too many favorite books. Too many favorite authors. It would be very difficult for me to pin my favorite down to one because I like authors for different reasons. For example, Toni Morrison is a literary genius and reading her books really stretches the bounds of my comprehension skills. I’m so not a deep thinker. I’m very much a left-brained, logical, analytical person with a few right-brained creative abilities. She forces me to step outside of my logical boxes and expand my thinking. I love Terry McMillan because she was the first author to affirm for me that “my voice” as a writer, which is very colloquial and non-literary, was okay, and I don’t have to be Toni Morrison to write books people love. I love Jane Austen because Pride & Prejudice made her the queen of the romantic comedy in my eyes and she’s proof positive that romantic comedies and humor are timeless. Without question, the author I’d most like to emulate in terms of work ethic is the late L.A. Banks. She is a writing hero for me. I only met her once in person but she had such a profound impact on me and my view of the publishing industry. I could add so many more authors to this list but I won’t. It’s safe to say I’m inspired by any author who works hard, respects their craft, and tells great stories. 

How do you manage working full-time, being a full-time mother and writing?
I don’t know. By the grace of God and with lots of patience on some days, and with a belt and a mojito on others. (lol) I think it’s a difficult balancing act that most writers have to contend with and somehow we just make it work. It really helps that I love writing so much that it doesn’t feel like work and I look forward to the moments I get to spend in my writing space. I’m usually up at 5 am writing or marketing. Then I do more work during my lunch break and then still more after my son goes to bed in the evenings. I’m usually up until 11pm to midnight working on projects and work through most weekends. I usually don’t get out a lot to socialize, but success won’t come without sacrifice. Fortunately, I’m a workaholic with a very independent son who allows me to do what I need to do (most days) to accomplish my dreams. 

Tell my readers one thing they've be surprised to know about you.
Most people know me as a writer, but I had entirely separate career before writing. I spent the first 12 years of my career one of less than a handful of black analysts/operations specialists working in the FBI’s counterintelligence program. Then I left the FBI and spent the next five years working as a senior analyst working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Iraq war effort—again as one of the only black senior-level analysts supporting the U.S. military’s anti-insurgency efforts at the Pentagon. So, for 17 years of my career I met a lot of incredible people and did a lot of important work that most people will never see or know about because it’s classified. Fortunately, I’m a novelist—so you’ll see elements of my experiences in my future spy novel series. 

What is one tip you would give aspiring authors?
If I could give writer’s one piece of advice, it would be to write your truth, whatever that may be. Stay true to yourself and your writing voice. Don’t try to follow trends. Don’t try to write in another author’s style because it’s not a sustainable way to build a career. You may not express to the top of the NY Times Bestseller list this way, but you can rest assured that when you get there, you’ll know how to stay there because you stayed true to who you are as a writer and you know how to build your own stories. Along with this piece of advice, it’s so critical to learn your craft. Read books, take classes, and remember that learning is a continual process that should never end. The minute you think you know everything is probably the moment you will fail miserably.

About the Author
Karla is a woman of many jobs and interests. First and foremost she’s a mother of a beautiful 11 year old son whom she absolutely adore. Her first book, "The Bum Magnet" was published by Simon and Schuster in 2011. The sequel, Got a Right to Be Wrong was released January 31, 2012 (S&S Gallery). She just finished her second (YA) and third (sequel) novels and have started on my fourth (comedy/suspense). She’s busy but looking to slow down a bit and starting to take more long drives, get more rest, and just enjoy life in general. It's a process but, she’s getting there.

About the Book
Charisse Tyson is about to say “I do” . . .
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 fiancĂ©, 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 one-time 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?