Brandon Naomi Kelly

About the Author

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I am a new writer. I’ve written before and then stopped. But now I’m back. Writing before served a different purpose before than it does now. Today I write because it’s the only thing that I could ever see myself doing everyday without tiring.

I was born in Chester, PA in 1976. I am a person who identifies with many people as my heritage is a mixed one. I identify myself as an African American woman, but it takes some explaining to convince onlookers of my lineage, which is intermixed with Irish and goodness knows what else. Because of my visual ambiguity many people have attempted to claim me as part of their clan, which I find endearing, but alas I am what I am. This ambiguity has allowed me a more honest view of race relations, as everyone tends to speak more freely with me in the room. But with most freedoms there comes a price; since we are programmed not to trust what we cannot readily categorize I can honestly say that I have never truly been on the inside of anything; though I find that concept to be stifling, fraught with ideologies that do not jive with my own sensibilities, I instead have been forced in some ways to occupy my own figurative island. And let me tell you, it’s a great place to write!

Beyond the racial nuances, I am also a person who was raised by two generations, my mother’s (the baby boomers) and then her grandmother’s (a turn of the century dame – and by the way for those of you that have read the book – with Moxie!)

There is a healthy mix of live and let live coming from my mother, Marna, then there’s the stiff lipped, boot-strap pulling, .22 carrying, stand your ground and use words like the weapons that they are which was my (great-grandmother) Eula. My step-father, Skip, co-parented my sister Morgan and me since I was 10. He was a detective and he instilled in me a healthy dose of caution as well as opened my eyes to some aspects of the world which only a cop can see.

The exodus of people from South to North brought with it my great-grandmother Eula, who up until her death was my best friend. She never could hear very well so we often communicated without words.

I have a keen appreciation for films or scenes which use words sparingly, with a glance, with a pause, with the flutter of an eyelid. In that way those craftsmen allowed your mind to create the story for itself.

While a film is about action and telling a story with pictures, a book is for words. Words have power. Words can cut, can cause elation, - being the child of divorce(s), I also know that words can sever ties.

As a graduate from Carnegie Mellon University I had originally wanted to study public policy so that I could use words to change society. But soon realized that I didn’t have the gift for numbers and economics, so I changed majors and landed on a writing degree - the consolation prize, the second girl invited to the prom after the first turned you down.

I am someone who is fairly risk averse. Growing up I was always the scholarship kid, in private school through college (public high school) I couldn’t afford to make big mistakes. I think this is part of the reason I have been compelled to reach out and write this book. I don’t want us (women) to continue to make the obvious mistakes. I was not the kid who could go backpacking across Europe after graduation.

I could never bum around on a friend’s couch in Bali while I “figured things out”. When you are from modest means, you have one choice and that’s to go to work and so I did.

The degree itself helped me enter corporate America, a place where words can never be taken at face value. Once there, I moved into marketing, a profession well suited for someone with an active imagination yet a low threshold for risk. I could think of thirty ways to sell anything!

It is during my journey as a marketing professional that I began to observe great leaders and the not so great leaders. I have learned from them all. But beyond those encounters I have witnessed first-hand the fact that women are not in control at the highest levels of corporate America. There are the exceptions, the Avon’s and the Xerox’s, but they are not the norm. And as I have worked with so many talented women I began to wonder why this was the case. Women work harder than anyone, truly, but there are some areas of opportunity that we must address. You have read my pedigree and know that I am not a therapist, nor am I a self-help guru, I am just a woman who’s observed some trends that I think we need to look at a bit closer in order to further our own goals and womankind as a whole.

After 12 years in the business I had the opportunity to revisit my writing when my husband was offered a job out of state and I choose to leave my role and pursue a new opportunity in writing. I had been puttering away at a piece for over five years, on the available night and weekend; which were few and far between once I moved to New York City back in 2005. The City that never sleeps leaves little time for reflection and even less for one’s projects which do not immediately produce revenue.

Why Women are Their Own Worst Enemies! (WWA) is my first creative effort. While I prefer fiction writing, my first piece is one close to my heart. As an advocate for women, I have written WWA as a guide to help women everywhere quash bad habits, learn to support womankind and calls for an end to female competition. My goal is to promote the vision of a world dominated by female leadership.