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Writer. Teacher. Lifelong learner

Brandi Bradley is a self-published writer and teacher who lives in the great city of Atlanta. 

She writes short stories and novels about crime, family drama, flea markets, cowboys, rowdy girls, and gossip. 

Brandi Bradley has had short stories and essays published in Juked, Louisiana Literature, Carve, and Nashville Review.

She teaches writing to STEM majors at Kennesaw State University. 

A photo of the author Brandi Bradley

Q&A with the author

A Few Quick Questions with Brandi Bradley

What motivates you to write?

I have always enjoyed documenting, recording, and transcribing what I see around me. And if I had been born a true Millennial, I likely would have committed to a liveSpace journal or started a vlog. But instead, I was drawn to pen and paper. I like it old school. I like the feel of a pen in my hand touching the paper. And what I like about the old school methods–even more now–is how everything I write down can be a secret until I am ready to show people. Like it’s completely and totally mine until I send it out in the world. And I love this process so much, it has become a little addicting. If I don’t write something – a little something – everyday, I get weird and restless. Kind of like people who have to go to the gym or have to walk outside. I have to write either in my journal, on my website, or on a project.

"I spent a considerable amount of time alone while all the other kids were outside roaming and riding bikes. I was writing things down because I was lonely.
I hope that when someone reads my stories that they are a little less lonely."

Who do you want to reach with your books?

I want to reach people who are interested in a really juicy story. That’s what so many people – including me – love about a good episode of Dateline or a podcast or the must read book. It’s juicy. It’s about lies, scandals, heartbreak, betrayal, and people who are a little ridiculous for thinking they could get away with something. I want to tell those kinds of stories so people who read it are like, “they did what?”. People who secretly love drama, but don’t actually want drama in their life.

What do you consider your genre?

I write crime stories, but I think my true genre is Secrets and Gossip. That’s not an official genre, but those are the stories that people tell each other when they’re hanging out: stories about real people who live in real communities. And often, especially in the communities where I have lived, it comes down to people walking that line between shady, shameful, and sometimes illegal. I like to write stories about cons, scams, theft, absconding, and–in my upcoming novel–murder.

Name your top three favorite authors and why?

  1. Janet Finch – I keep a copy of Paint it Black on my desk when I write. It’s not a crime story, but it’s definitely a family drama that is dark and vicious, everyone stewing in the grief of losing someone unexpectedly. 

  2. Julia Heaberlin – We’re All the Same in the Dark is one of those books that made me think, Damn, I wish I had written that! I also loved Paper Ghosts. She writes these amazing crime novels rooted in community and place. 

  3. Megan Abbott – This is my noir queen. I love all her books, particularly how all the female characters in her books are physical beings in more ways than just sexual beings. They run, jump, leap, and fall. In her books, ballet is bloody, science is scandalous, and gymnastics is brutal.

Who are you when you’re not writing books?

I’m someone who struggles with being idle. I grew up on a farm, where there was always something that needs to be done. And while I do not miss being on a farm, I also don’t feel comfortable with doing nothing. When I am not writing, I am often cooking, knitting, hand-lettering, designing … I really like learning how to do things. I like learning techniques. The place in my home where I am most comfortable learning new techniques is my kitchen. I love being in that space and making something from nothing. I like chopping and sauteeing. I love baking and brewing.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you that you wish they did?

If a person wanted to win me over, to flatter me or to convince me to do something for them, if they wanted to get into my good graces … bring me a cup of coffee. It’s quite simple. I’m like a dog who instantly loves who feeds it. A warm cup with cream–any time of day– I will drink it. Lately my youngest, Behr, has been bringing me coffee and I know I am being played because I’m like, “You want to go skydiving while holding two Roman Candles over the Chatahoochee River?” (Takes the first sip.) “What a fantastic idea. Now go get mama a Biscoff cookie.”

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