Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Soul of the Band by KL Brady Blog Tour Interview

Author K.L. Brady has stopped by today for and interview for the Soul Of The Band Blog Tour!

About the Book:
Give me the blurb for the book in 140 characters or less: 
After her mom’s mental breakdown, Brandy finds love, frenemies, & trouble when she moves to a new town and joins an all white marching band.

Do you have a favorite character? Why is he/she/it your favorite?
Without question, Brandy, the main character is my favorite. With a mother suffering from mental illness she’s endured situations other people couldn’t even fathom. Imagine living from day- to-day not knowing whether you’ll have food or clothes or a place to live? But through all the chaos of her life, she remains resilient, spunky, even keeps her sense of humor. And she finds her lifeblood in music, as so many people do. Then, the worst moment of her life turns into a chance to escape the pain of her past, and she thinks it’s as simple as moving to a new place. She makes great strides but learns a very hard lesson—Wherever you go, there you are!

What do you hope readers will get from your book? 
I hope Brandy’s story will not only be entertaining but will be an inspiration to all readers, but particularly teens who have to overcome adversities every day as a result of a parents’ mental illness or addiction. Despite the difficult times they endure, they can move beyond their present circumstance. Their parents’ issues do not have to define their lives. They can make choices, every day, that can empower them to find their own paths in life, find their own dreams, and achieve their own goals, even in the worst of situations. The key is to confront your issues head-on believing every step of the way that you have the power to overcome.

About the Author:
What/Who inspires you? 
I love reading and watching television shows about people who have overcome adversity or to succeed or watching underdogs win. Shows like Behind the Music and Unsung really give me energy and remind me that hard work and perseverance will pay off, even if not always in the way that you hope. Often, you go beyond what you ever dreamed. As someone who after getting turned down by literary agents and self-publishing for six months, was blessed with a book deal with one of the largest publishers in the country, I’ve gone further than I ever thought possible. Maybe someday my story will be the one that inspires others. 

Hardest aspect of writing? Best/Easiest? 
Wow. For me the hardest part of writing is finding the critical combination of time, energy, and an idea all at once. I usually have two of the three at any given time and have to force the third.

Who is your writing hero? 
Gosh, that’s like asking, “What’s your favorite star in the sky?” There are so so many people in the business that I truly admire for an array of reasons. But if I have to pick a true hero, it would without question be L.A. Banks, who passed away not long ago. I had the pleasure of meeting her at a writer’s conference and she was just amazing, her presence, her humor. What I admire most about her is her work ethic. I mean, she was so incredibly prolific. Every time I turned around she was cranking out a new book and not so-so books but really entertaining reads. She said every time she finished a book and sent it out, she had another one coming in from an editor—maybe six books a year. That’s what I’m working toward. So far, two seems to be my breaking point. Not quite there.

About the Future:
What’s next for you? 
In the world of YA, I’m working on the next books in both of my series. Soul of the Band, Marching in Place (Book 2) will continue Brandy’s journey as someone threatens to bring her dark secret into the light and she must both confront the person responsible and her own fears, at the risk of losing the new life she’s built for herself. I’m planning to release it in the fall. The last book in the series, Soul of the Band: Coming Home (Book 3) will be out early 2013. As part of a tribute to one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, I’ve started The Jane Series beginning with my first YA novel Worst Impression, a retelling of Pride & Prejudice using African-American teen characters. My entire purpose of writing the book was to help introduce teen readers, and particularly African-American girls, to Jane Austen. So many teens don’t read her books (including me during my teen years) because they think she’s some fuddy duddy old English lady writing books about issues they could never relate to. I hope Worst Impressions shows teens that she was funny and had to deal with stuff like, teen sex, social status/popularity, pride, prejudice—all of which we face today. People in that audience really enjoy the story and at the end of the book I tell them to check out Pride & Prejudice.

One outrageous goal for the future?
Oh my. To write four books in one year. One every three months. As a single mom, with three full-time jobs (one being a Mom). If you think I can do it, I have some swamp land—er—a vacation resort in Florida I’d like to dump on—er—sell to you. (haha)

Do you have any advice you'd like to share with other aspiring writers?
My best piece of advice is just to write your truth, stay true to who you are. So many people try to write stories based on trends or what’s getting the six-figure book deals. Be original. Be yourself. Let your audience fall in love with your truth and you will never have to worry about losing them.

Sweet or salty? Ooh both!
Beach, plains or mountains? Beach beach beach beach…and did I say beach? I’m an Aquarian. 
Online, letters or in person? Letters. I miss letters. Checking the mailbox, ripping it open, reading happiness or love (we hope). Nothing like it.
Ebook or print? I own two Kindles. And a gazillion books. I’m a story ho—either, or. J

Author Links: Email: 

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