Nov 25, 2009

A Maryland Chick-lit Writer's Inspiration by K.L. Brady, Author of The Bum Magnet


Michelle at GalleySmith started this great blog craze about highlighting local authors on The Literary Road Trip.  I've been a bit lax in participating, but I do have some of these great local authors lined up with guest posts and interviews.  I've just been slow to post them.

K.L. Brady, author of The Bum Magnet and a local Maryland author; you can check out a list of her appearances or read her latest blog posts.  Today, she's here to share her inspiration, with some local flare.  Give her a warm welcome.

As a “chick lit” author—which by my definition means I write about female characters and their relationships using heavy doses of humor—my experiences while residing in Maryland and D.C. have certainly inspired my writing. I lived here during my childhood and for most of my adult life. From Hillcrest Heights in Southeast D.C. to Forestville, Fort Washington, and Cheltenham, Maryland (which is Upper Marlboro with higher real estate taxes), I’ve seen this area through the 1970s gas crunch, a major hurricane, mayoral sting operations, planet-sized potholes, two recessions, political turmoil, a terrorist attack, and the first African-American president. And through it all, one thing has remained constant: women still outnumber men. This condition makes for a, shall we say, “unique” dating experience for the women in the area and  provides me with more writing material than I can feasibly use in one lifetime.

If we want to be modern women, we eventually have to adapt to the new times--but I refuse. Unfortunately, I'm a child of D.C's 60s and still have old-school leanings when it comes to love and dating. I believe men are supposed to call first - and no, a text message that reads "whatchu doin 2nite?" does not constitute invitiation. I believe men should ask you "out" on real dates. "Out" means not "in" the house - microwave popcorn and a DVD do not a date make. And no, dinner does not guarantee that you will get "dessert." When women like me stay committed to our rules, the selection of women is so plentiful that men can quickly and easily move on to the next target, many of whom don't impose any rules. So, for men in the Maryland-DC area, dating is like an all-you-can-eat buffet. For women, it’s more like a rice cake—dry and unsatisfying.

People often ask me where my sense of humor comes from and why I incorporate so much into my writing. The answer is simple: I laugh to keep from crying. When you haven’t had a decent date since Jesus was a carpenter, you have to laugh to keep from crying. When you’ve reached level of financial success such that your blip on a man’s dating radar reads “sugar mama,” you have to laugh to keep from crying. When your heart’s been stepped on so many times that it can double as a Dance Dance Revolution Mat, you have to laugh to keep from crying. Some might consider such a dating life depressing, sad, or lonely. For me, it’s entertaining and replete with writing material. Without experiencing another relationship, I could write for eternity based on the life I’ve lived until today. And I view that as an enormous blessing--because if I write a hundred books one of them is bound to be a bestseller.

Ahhh, but fret not single ladies in the metropolitan area, there is a small glimmer of hope at the end of the grim, dark tunnel of DC dating. It's called "relocation."  However, until your big moving day comes, stick to your rules, persevere...and laugh through your tears. 

Thanks again K.L. Brady for a great guest post. If you have enjoyed this guest post, stay tuned for my review of The Bum Magnet.

About the Author:

K.L. Brady is a D.C. native, but spent a number of her formative years in Bellaire, Ohio.  She says, "I know, you've never heard of it. It's famous for three things: The House That Jack Built, New England Patriots wide receiver, Joey Galloway, and the home of Three's Company star Joyce DeWitt."  She's also 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.

7 comments:

Meg said...

This post made me laugh out loud! As a Maryland/D.C. girl myself, I can relate all too well. The rice cakes -- er, dating -- being dry and unsatisfying? You got it, Ms. Brady! :)

K.L. Brady said...

Hi Meg,

I know...rice cakes, right? It's funny...but sadly it's so true. I do love this area though. I think I'm just going to have to travel frequently. :) Thanks for your comment.

Karla

bermudaonion said...

It sounds like she has a great sense of humor, so I bet The Bum Magnet is good. I see she's going to be at the SC Book Festival - hopefully I will be too.

Anna said...

Loved this post! When I read the link about not having a decent date since Jesus was a carpenter...let's just say it's a good thing I wasn't drinking at the time or the keyboard would've been under water. I'll keep "The Bum Magnet" in mind.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Serena said...

Don't worry there will be a giveaway as soon as I get this review up.

K.L. Brady said...

Hello All,

Thanks for the great comments! That "Jesus" line was actually stolen from the book--I really cracked myself up on that one so I've used it a couple of times. lol If you like that humor though, you'll love the bum magnet. Most people are totally hooked by chapter 3 (they're short chapters) and tears (of laughter) are rolling by the end of chapter 4. The Bum Magnet has been blamed for missed subway stops and a lot of sleepless nights. :)

Michelle said...

She's quite inspirational indeed! This was a wonderful and enlightening stop on the Road Trip. Thank you, Ms. Brady, for sharing with us.