Q&A with Karen D. Bradley

Life on Fire by Jenetta M. Bradley and Karen D. Bradley

Earlier we had the opportunity to ask Jenetta a few questions about the experience writing with Karen. This time we sat down with Karen to discuss her thought process behind writing the story and inquire on the experience writing with her sister.


What made you write a novel with your sister?

It was two things. When I mentioned to others that my sister is really the writer in the family, the first question many people asked is, have you written anything together? Also, one of my cousins told me that she thought our writing styles were similar. I didn’t think they were, but I found it was interesting that she thought we did. So last year I thought maybe it was time we wrote a book together. I brought the idea to my sister and she was on board.


Who came up with the concept of Life on Fire and what is it about?

Technically, I came up with the concept based on the original title, Hot_Mess.com. We had to change it because without the special character between the words it linked to a live girl site. This forced us to change the title to avoid a promotions nightmare. Things worked out because as the story developed, the original concept became the backdrop and a new concept emerged.


In Life on Fire, Brooklyn Saunders’ life is set ablaze, personally and professionally. Her addiction to her ex, Dante, has her taking a stroll down memory lane the night before the anniversary of the day they met. In need of a distraction, she heads to a club. Brooklyn quickly finds out a newly single Hunter Torres is more than willing to give her one. However, Dante shows up, putting a monkey wrench in Hunter’s plans. In that instance her love life heats up and Brooklyn finds herself in the position of deciding whether to give an old love another shot or try something new.


To add fuel to the fire, her work life collides with Dante’s job. Brooklyn’s life gets too hot due to their entangled careers. The question becomes can she survive the heat in her life?


What was the experience like writing a book with your sister? What were some of the challenges?

Writing with Jenetta was an interesting experience. I am accustomed to being in control of the entire story. We had no outline or set plans for the story. It forced me to be flexible or very creative with us having minimal discussion of the storyline. The challenge was she’d write something that threw off the storyline I had going in my head. I’d have to readjust and figure out where to go from there. There was also an instance where I misinterpreted what she wrote and shifted the story accordingly. That misunderstanding forced us to add a certain dynamic to the story to blend everything, which hopefully made it a better story.


What inspires you to write? How has writing changed your life?

Writing is my therapy and how I attempt to stay sane in an insane world. So my inspiration comes from life. Writing changed my life by creating a platform to have real discussions with my readers on various topics which opened my world to new perspectives on life.


What is the best advice you’ve been given as an author?

You have to be in it for the love of writing because everyone will not be a best seller. It took the person who gave the advice 20 years to connect with an editor that understood his style and elevated his writing to the point he hit the best seller list. If money and the title of bestseller were the only reasons he wrote, he would have quit years before he hit the best sellers list. His point was those things can be goals, but they shouldn’t be the source of your motivation for writing books.


It was good for me to be reminded everybody’s trajectory is different. Some people shoot straight to the top while others slowly move towards the top. I write because it’s what I do. I publish because friends said they enjoyed reading my stories. If it had been about money, I would have quit after the first book. However, four books in, five if you counting Life On Fire, had I stopped then I would have missed out on the things I loved most about my writing journey, the book events. The panel discussions and the book discussions are the experiences that I wouldn’t trade for all the money in world.


What other projects are you working? What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on a fiction book with the working title, Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City. I am still debating whether or not to shorten the title. I’m also in the process of cleaning up my non-fiction book entitled State of Emergency: Break Down the Walls. It shares my journey of learning to love and recognize things in my past that are hindering my forward movement. Both books are limited releases going to the groups of people they were promised to by the end of the year.