Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Author K. L. Brady: My Aha Moment - The Story Behind The Bum Magnet

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 Taylor Properties, writing by night (often into the wee hours of the morning). She lives just outside of D.C. in Cheltenham, Maryland, and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

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. Moreover, the African Americans on the Move Book Club selected Ms. Brady as their 2011 Female Author of the Year. The Bum Magnet sequel, Got A Right to Be Wrong, will be released January 31, 2012. K.L. Brady's website is

If you've turned 40 and had that "what do I want to be when I grow up?" panic attack, then you'll relate to why I wrote the book. If you haven't turned 40 yet, this is what you have to look forward to if you don't pursue your dreams.

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 with the fortieth birthday looming, 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 for or five months.

Of course, I wanted what every author wants, you know. I wanted a six-figure multi-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, darn 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.  Four months after I published it myself, an executive editor from a publishing house contacted me about acquiring the book and the rest, as they say, is history.

The story came to me in an epiphany as I was reading a self-help article about dieting. And I laughed to myself because I thought, "How many of these dang articles have I read?" They give you 12 steps, and the first I do in my mind is negotiate. "Well, I don't have to walk two miles a day, maybe just two blocks" or "I can eat vegetables three times a day, but I'm going to eat them with fried chicken." Yet, I still expect to lose 112 pounds.

So, I thought I'd write a story about a woman who attracts more players and goes through more break-ups than the law should allow. She knows it's a pattern in her life that she needs to stop so when she happens upon this self-help article about emotional baggage and toxic men, it hits her like a lightning bolt. And she goes through these same "negotiating" motions with the article, except it's not a food diet, it's a man diet. And just like a dieter that drives past the McDonald's and stops for "one little Big Mac" and knows full well she should've gone home and eaten a carrot stick, so Charisse, the main character, stops for a big "something else."

And that is how The Bum Magnet came to be.

- K. L. Brady

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New York, here I come!

I'm so excited! (Pointer Sisters, 1982 LOL)

The Visionary Book Store and Weston United have invited me for a signing, reading and reception Aug. 20th in Harlem. Although I'm a born & raised NYer, I haven't been back in years and it's been even longer since my last time in Harlem. I'm told it's called Upper Manhattan now, but it will always be Harlem to me, the home of music and literary legends and the Harlem Renaissance.

I appreciate this opportunity to give back. You see, in my youth I was a victim of domestic abuse, but I'm here to testify that there
is life after you leave your abuser.

If you are in the NY area, the reception is 5 p.m. Saturday at the
Gallery M
123 W. 135th St. (off 7th & Lenox)
NY, NY 10030
I'll be in the Gallery from 4 p.m. for book signing.
Please stop by the Gallery M, but if I don't see you, I'll be back after the trip to let you know how everything went.

Have a blessed week.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

GA Peach Guest Author - Miranda Parker

We're happy to announce our very first guest author  - GA Peach Miranda Parker will join us for our next event on 11/19/11 at the Central Library in Atlanta. The Peach Divas are looking forward to mixing and mingling with her, and are honored to have this talented author sign with us!!

Miranda Parker is the author of the Evangeline Crawford Bounty Hunter Series. After graduating from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, she began working as a journalist. She began writing features for newspapers and magazines in 1991, focusing on subjects in lifestyle, religion arts and entertainment, and publishing over 50 articles. She began writing fiction in 2005 after she took a year-long online writing workshop taught by Chuck Palahniuk[Fight Club.] Her first published short fiction piece, Straddling the Fencewas awarded one of the best short stories of 2005 for Infuze Magazine.

However, writing fun, fiesty, redemptive bad girl gone good stories is her passion. Now Miranda Parker writes comic romance suspense novels. She is currently very busy writing stories for Kensington Dafina.

She resides with her family in Georgia near a horse ranch and her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. On a perfect day she can be found curled up with a good book or in a movie theater with a bucket of popcorn.

The GA Peach Author's Next Appearance 11/19/11!

Books / Literature - Lecture/Discussion
Date & Time: Saturday, November 19, 2011
12:00 PM-5:00 PM  
Suggested Audiences: Elders, Adult, College 
Central Library
1 Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, GA 30303 
Cost: Free and open to the public
Description: Join us for a celebration of local authors and their literary works. We will host book readings from the following authors: Gregory A. Freeman, The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys: Courage, Tragedy and Justice in World War II; Jennie Helderman, As the Sycamore Grows; and Rene Silvin, Noblesse Oblige and Walking the Rainbow. At the authors tables, meet and greet local authors, such as Tiffany Brown, Marissa Monteilh, Miranda Parker, Charles Williams, and many more. 
More Information: E-mail:
Phone: 404-730-1906
Entered by: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System 
Central Library event link

Monday, August 8, 2011

Truths About Being a Published Author

“It has been a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to be a published author; it is one of the true joys and accomplishments of my life. Not everyone has the opportunity to realize a dream and I feel totally blessed to be in that number. During my tenure as a published author, I’ve discovered certain truths.” – Electa Rome Parks

1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Everyone is not going to love or even like your novels. And that’s OKAY.

2. Everyone, their mother and cousins will want to point out any editorial errors they may find within the pages of your books. Everyone’s a critic.

3. You don’t necessarily have to go to college to become a successful writer. I believe there are elements of writing that comes naturally, just like breathing.

4. Everyone thinks they can write a book. However, every book in the marketplace isn’t necessarily a good book.

5. Everyone thinks their life story should be a book.

6. Talent will only get you so far. Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.

7. The right “handlers”, i.e. agents, editors, pr person, make all the difference in the world.

8. Every fiction novel has some element(s) of truth. Don’t believe the hype.

9. Writing is a business. Sales are the bottom line. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t have the sales, you won’t get the next deal.

10. There is such a syenergy when creative minds come together; it’s magic.

11. There is such a sense of freedom and joy in having the ability, from the very core of your soul to express yourself to the world; it’s almost like giving birth.

12. The new “renaissance” authors are making history and some are creating legacies.

13. Writing is a lonely and hard business to be successful in. Most of us can’t quit our day jobs.

14. Every author should pen at least one book that gives back to the universe in a positive, appealing manner to the masses.

15. You have to have a real love affair with the beauty and power of words in order to stick with it because the industry, like a lover, will take you through ups and down and sometimes screw you over.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"...No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself..."

Leslie Eisdaile Banks
1960- 2011
Those words are from the bible (Matthew 24:36) and while they mean many things under many circumstances, today for readers and writers alike, today they mean a farewell to a talented and lovely woman.  Author Leslie Eisdaile Banks, also widely known as LA Banks, passed today. 

Known to many of us for her bright and passionate romances, Leslie is also going to be remembered for her stunning Vampire Huntress series.  More than that though, many of us will remember her for simply being kind, generous, and funny.  While Leslie was a woman who took the time and invested the passion that it takes to nurture the art and craft of writing, she was also a woman who was willing to read and edit for others.  She was a fabulous storyteller who happily shared her experiences with other writers and with just a few well chosen words, she could take you there with ease -- and make you like it. 

None of us could have predicted that today would be the day when Leslie would succumb to illness, but anyone who ever shared her company could have told you that she was loved by family and friends, alike.  Anyone who ever turned the pages of her stories could tell you that she and her work will be remembered by readers and writers for many years to come.  In the company of other writers, there will be smiles and fond memories every time her name is mentioned.

And all of that is good.

Well done, Leslie.  You will be missed.