The Real Housewives of Literature - WEEK TWO

Celebrating Women's History Month

Women's History Month

March is Women's History Month! Celebrate with us as we recognize and highlight just a few women making a mark in the literary industry as we bring you...

The Real Housewives of Literature

They are mothers, wives, daughters, aunts and sisters, yet they have found time to make a name for themselves and pursue their dreams.

O.O.S.A.'s goal is to not only acknowledge African American women in literature, but to educate and encourage others. We hope that you will join us as we recognize, respect and applaud their efforts as these phenomenal women make history or in this case, HERstory!

Karla K.L. Brady

Status: Divorced
Children: 1
Books: 4

K.L. Brady is the award-winning author of The Bum Magnet and Got a Right to Be Wrong. With a BA in Economics and an MBA, she works as a senior technical writer and technical editor for a large government contracting firm and lives in the Washington D.C. area. She loves reading, writing, and chocolate and is hard at work on her two teen series, Soul of the Band and The Jane Series, 12 Honeymoons (a new hilarious romantic comedy), and a spy novel series.

Behind the Books

How do you balance being a mother and author? This is simple. I sacrifice sleep so that I can fit more hours of work in my time. I consider myself working three full time jobs—motherhood, writing, and the 9-to-5 that still pays most of the bills. Motherhood trials and tribulations are compounded by the fact that my son is diagnosed with high-functioning autism which makes some days a little harder than others, even though years of various therapies has helped make him a very well-adjusted child who is thriving in school and life. But it’s all hard work. And nothing is easy. But writing is what makes me whole and I don’t need much sleep to stay sane, so I don’t mind sacrificing sleep.

Why do you write? Because I don’t know how not to write. Honestly. I’ve been keeping journals and diaries since I was 7 or 8 years old. Only my parents have been a part of my life longer. It’s the one thing in this world that I can do for 15 hours a day and not feel as if I’ve worked five minutes…except that I’m getting old and my body tells me so. The fact that I can now get out of my own head and share my stories “insights,” hilarious and otherwise, with readers who actually enjoy my work makes it even more addictive.

From your perspective, do you think female authors have it better or worse than their male counterparts? I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to make. Let’s face it. Women comprise the majority of readers in the literary market. That’s just a fact. We support ourselves well, but men are bestsellers too. I think female authors give women readers stories from perspectives they can often relate to and identify with more readily, while men give female readers perspectives that are often educational because men are a mystery to most of us. So, better or worse? I don’t know that the comparison can be made. Good authors, male or female, will rise to the top. I think a better question would be do we encourage boys/men to pursue writing/the arts and read to the same extent that we do our girls? My answer would be no…and that’s the real challenge. That’s why I’m raising a reader.

What female authors have influenced you? Terry McMillan was probably one of my biggest influences because by reading her work I learned to accept my writing “voice,” which is very conversational. I never thought I had the talent to be a writer because my prose wasn’t poetic or flowery (Maya Angelou or Toni Morrison)…it was just real and funny. Reading her work helped me to accept my voice and talent for what it is. She gave me a certain level of validation and the courage to share my stories with others without fear that they wouldn’t be accepted. She opened the door for contemporary African American authors, male and female. As for honest, well-told stories, I don’t know who does them better than J. California Cooper. My grandmother, a great reader, introduced me to her and I loved her storytelling style, very honest, very real.

What is your favorite book? I could no sooner name a favorite star in the sky. I read everything from Jane Austen to Stephen King, and I like books for different reasons. Some books that I love I can’t read more than once because they are so powerful and heart wrenching (The Color Purple or Beloved). Then there are others that I read almost annually because they are so classic (Pride and Prejudice). Right now I’m reading Ernest Hemingway and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and am enjoying them both. So, while I can’t name a favorite book, I can certainly name my favorite things to do—write, read, and write some more.

Stay tuned next week as we highlight another phenomenal woman!

Worst ImpressionsThe Bum MagnetSoul of the BandGot A Right to be Wrong

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