Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye by Shari A. Brady – Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Shari Brady

Shari A. Brady is a native Chicagoan and previously had so many careers she’s lost count. A graduate of Loyola University’s Business School and University of Chicago’s Creative Writing program, she’s finally a full-time writer, a dream she’s carried with her since she was twelve. She lives in suburban Chicago with two of the best kids ever and their shelter dog, Betty Queen Elizabeth. This is her first novel and her last career.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Yes, My Shakespearean Life Trilogy.  Book One, All the World’s a Stage will release in Spring of 2013.  Other projects include books 2 and three of the Trilogy, a Novella featuring Howie and Carmella in Paris and other top-secret surprises!

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
The emotional connection of the written word.  I felt it when I read my favorite author and felt the connection when I wrote letters to my brother and sister in college and my cousins and friends. Connecting with people through my writing is still what motivates and inspires me.  The written word connects us in a way nothing else can.  

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hearing from readers that they love Carmella so much and she’s inspired them to live more truthful lives.  Also rewarding is hearing from readers they love the lists so much they’ve photocopied and tacked them up on their walls.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Read and write.  Read at least a book a week and write like crazy.  Take as many writing classes as you can, get as much feedback on your work as possible. Keep learning the craft and keep writing.

What is your favorite Quote?

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” Einstein.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I took a class in stand up comedy writing and performing and was the warm up act for a professional comedian – once.

Movies, Reading, Abstract Painting, Playing the Guitar, Museums.

Pets? – childhood or adult
I grew up with a dog, then started having pet birds. First I had a series of small parakeets (they don’t live very long), then had an African Grey Parrot for a few years, before having to give him to an owner who had several birds (they are a much happier species when amongst their own). I have a shelter dog now. 

Where do you write?
I only write in my office.  I’ve had the same desk chair since college and cannot write anywhere else.  I brainstorm in coffee shops or libraries or in my kitchen, but my actual writing happens in my office.  Always.

Do you have any weird or interesting rituals you do to get into writing mode or while you’re writing.
I have to write in comfortable sweatpants.  I write a lot, so I own twice as many sweatpants as I do jeans and when I go shopping, I’m always on the lookout for a new pair of sweats. 

Who or what inspired your last book?
My older sister died of an addiction and while writing the novel I learned about drug overdose deaths becoming an epidemic in my area, so I decided to address the issue, not thinking about my own life or experience, but just writing a really timely compelling story.  I had no idea the book would end up becoming a voice for families struggling with addiction issues, but I’m glad it has taken on a life of its own.  It illustrates the power of connecting with each other through the written word. 🙂

What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge is to be sure I’m always putting out the best possible story because there’s nothing better than a really good story that sticks with you. So I work hard every day to make sure my stories are revised and well-edited and the best they can be.

Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I do both.  First I plan out the major points of the book, so I know where I’m going, otherwise my imagination will take over and I’ll end up with a story that goes nowhere.  Then, when I have the major points in place, I let the details of the story unfold as I write.  

How do you come up with the characters names/personalities?
I find them in real life.  They are strangers, people I never meet personally but see them somewhere in public. All kinds of details about them come to me and I’ve never met them, so I know my imagination is hard at work!

How many books are in your TRB pile?
Way too many.  Right now I have five.  I never get totally caught up until I go on a summer vacation for a few days, then I polish off my pile.  

Craziest thing you ever ate?
Deep fried alligator.  Ick.

Top 3 things on your bucket list?
I have to spend a few weeks in Hawaii, tour Italy and meet my distant relatives in Sicily, and of course, make the USA Today/NYT Bestseller Lists (that might be two things, but if I’m on both lists in the same week, that would count as one, right?).

What makes your novel standout from the crowd?
The story touches readers in a real way. They experience Carmella’s story with her, living inside her head the whole time.  
What is your view on self publishing?
I think it is like the music industry, where artists have the ability to reach out to the public and the public decides what they want, which is always a good thing. Change is always difficult, which is why I love my Einstein quote…
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I don’t have too much trouble with writer’s block, but if I get it, I sit down and write it out.  I write until I write something that isn’t crap, then I know I’ve overcome the block.  I also incorporate other activities.  Here’s my routine:  One, Write.  Two, take a freakishly long walk with the dog.  Three, write.  Four, do some kind of mindless repetitive house chore task like laundry or cleaning.  Five, write. Six, done. Works every time.

Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye

Before my older sister Francesca died, I worked at the bakery and wrote songs, but now I write lists. Lists like ten reasons why it’s my fault Francesca’s dead, or five reasons why I should try and win Howie back, or one reason why I need to stop lying to everyone, including myself.

Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye is an extraordinary novel about one family’s struggle to make sense of their world after losing a family member to addiction. Through sixteen-year-old Carmella’s eyes, we witness the courage and strength it takes to overcome the consequences of grief, guilt and co-dependency. WIth conviction and determination, Carmella shows us what can happen when we’re open to love, feel the pain of our loss, and find the courage to accept the truth of our lives.

Tour Giveaway
3 Signed copies of Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye
3 Ebook copies of Wish I Could Have Said Goodbye
$25 Gift Card

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