Friday, May 2, 2014

Featured Author: David Brady

Four years ago, David Brady was viciously assaulted by a twenty-one-year-old man with severe mental illness, resulting in traumatic brain damage. He lost eighty percent of his memory and was forced to put his successful TV production company on hiatus while he sought out a solution to this horrific situation.

That got him wondering, "how many other middle aged, or 'baby boomers,' get blindsided
by a life altering event like this?"

Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace will tell you how David was able to turn his life around, overcome adversity, find peace of mind and prosperity in this book.

I'm happy to have David here today to tell us more about it.

About the book:

On January 4th 2010, I had stopped by a woman's home to speak to her twenty-one-year-old son, at her request. It turns out he was suffering from severe mental illness. Without warning, he punched me so hard I flew through the air, landed on my back and then found him on top of me with my arms pinned under his legs while he drove about six or seven rage filled punches into my head sending my skull smashing into the solid hard-wood kitchen floor. The result of that incident: I have brain damage that has dramatically impacted every aspect of my life; impaired my ability to do the work I've done all of my career as a writer/producer/director on 130 prime time television episodes and 4 feature films and left me wondering, how do I overcome these challenges? As a result, I got to thinking, "how many other people, especially those who are either middle aged, or those of us who are 'baby boomers,' get blindsided by some event that they didn't see coming?" In this book, I tell you how I was able to overcome this adversity, find peace of mind and prosperity as a mature person.

Interview with David Brady

David, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I have been a film and television writer for over twenty-five years with over sixty award-winning scripts produced. I wrote my first non-fiction book three years ago.

In 1979, I was in graduate school and made my first film, Alcohol, Drugs and the Young. I was originally going to be an Alcohol and Drug Counselor.  Then I met a young man in Vancouver, and we became business partners, and the first film that he directed after I became a shareholder in his company was nominated for an Academy Award in 1980. 

What inspired you to write this book?

Four years ago January 4, 2010 a mother asked me to speak to her twenty-one-year-old son.  She believed he had a “small” alcohol or drug problem. It turned out he was severely mentally ill. When I sat down to talk to him, he proceeded to punch me so hard I flew through the air and landed on the floor on my back where he managed to pin me down and drive seven rage-filled blows into my skull on a hardwood floor with my arms pinned under his legs. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall and worked out two to three hours a day trying to control the voices in his head according to a letter he wrote me after the assault. I was diagnosed with a concussion and ended up in a very dark place after the assault and found myself in dire need of medical and spiritual help. 

Wow. That's horrendous. How long did it take you to write this book?

Six months.

What do you hope readers will get from Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace?

That regardless of what happens to us in life, whether you are middle-aged or a Baby Boomer, you are not alone. There is help out there, and in my case it was based on both traditional medicine and spiritual principles. The spiritual principles will apply whether you are a Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or a Muslim or any other faith, for that matter.  They are based on the same principles that the late great Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich created in his concept of the Master Mind or Divine Mind of Intelligence Behind the Universe, or God for those who are inclined to that belief. When two or more are gathered and we ask for help we can get it. I used the 8 Steps of the Master Mind created by the late Jack Boland, a Unity Minister.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

I was meditating. 

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Writer/Producer/Director/key note speaker and currently on the faculty of Capilano University in North Vancouver, British Columbia, teaching introductory screenwriting. 

How would you tweet about this book?

Aging With Dignity, Living With Grace is a compelling, dramatic story of one man’s journey reclaiming his life after a brutal assault and near death experience.

Why did you decide to write this book?

After the assault, and after I started to work on myself, I was sitting in my writing office at my country home in Ontario when, in a moment of clarity, I thought, “How many other people get blind-sided by some life altering event they didn’t see coming?” 

I started to look and ask, “Is there a manual or guide book to help you survive the loss of business, a spouse or life partner? Ironically, at the same time the woman I’d been seeing also informed me she didn’t want to get married or live with me – and that just devastated me. I kept thinking, “It’s always darkest before the bottom really falls out.”  I have a twisted sense of humor.

I started to broaden my search to see what is out there to help one deal with the loss of your occupation, financial crisis or the fall-out of a family or life long friendship? 
I couldn’t find anything specifically dealing with middle-aged people (I had lost $5.2 million dollars at age 35 and came back from that – and that was what the genesis of my first book, Get Me To The Temple of Serenity … And Step On It!  There was absolutely nothing out there for Baby Boomers of this nature.  

How did you come up with your cover art?

My good friend Dennis Kastner, who is himself retired, took up photography and took a picture of me at his home, which was near my house in Eastern Ontario near Prince Edward County. And young Anthony Wallace, who worked for me, created the layout with my corporate colors for my production company.

Tell us about your favorite scene or chapter in the book.

Chapter One: I had some tremendous feedback from some friends, and to establish who I was I took a trip back in time and found a picture of myself on my first motorcycle, a BSA 650 which I had as a 16-year-old. I reflected on my teenage years and how when I would pull up to a young lady's house in the very nice neighborhoods I grew up in Toronto and their mother would come out and say, “David, my daughter is not going out with you on that motorcycle.” As a teenager I was a tad wild and when I “drank” I was filled with false courage and I’d say to the mother, “What are you doing, want to come for a ride?” It worked once. Hello Mrs. Robinson. I am very grateful to say I stopped drinking when I was 22 years old and have never touched a drop since, which is why my life did go so well in so many ways. But I hadn’t revisited those days in a very long time. Too long. 

What song would you pick to go with your book?

"Sultans of Swing."

I was a drummer and producer of Rock & Roll when I was young, and I would like to give you the links to a series that I wrote and produced just before we needed to shut the company down. But I so respect what Mark Knopfler has done, and it is the “essence of his music and energy” that inspire me.

I knew most of the people in this series who you will be shocked to see came out of Toronto. 

Yonge Street - Toronto Rock & Roll Stories
Password for all the videos is: yonge
Episode #1
Episode #2
Episode #3

Fantastic! Who are your favorite authors?

Ernest Hemmingway, Wayne Dyer, Arthur Koestler, Catherine Ponder, Joseph Campbell, Thomas Merton, Thomas Cahill, Pierre Tiehard de Chardin, and Gregory Bateson.

What was your favorite childhood book?

Tom Sawyer

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Ancient Secrets of Success, Tulshi Sen, Maximum Bob, Elmore Leonard, John Barleycorn, Jack London, all paperbacks.

Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I write every morning and have for 30 years.

Where do you prefer to do your writing?

I’m now in Vancouver, and I sit in my apartment looking over the Pacific Ocean, Stanley Park, and the mountains on Vancouver Island.

Sounds wonderful. Name one thing you couldn’t live without. (It can’t be your phone!)

My sense of humour. (I keep correcting my Canadian spelling, but I’m not going to on this one as it is very different than American humour.)

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

The Dictionary.

Neil Gaiman said, “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you'd most like not to lose.” So…what are your five favorite books and your five body parts you’d most like not to lose?

Catcher in The Rye
The Sun Also Rises
Ghosts in the Machine
Man and His Symbols
Life After Death
My Brain
My Eyes
My Ears
My Mouth
My Penis (as it’s what I use all my other body parts for, to have some fun with – or at least I still hope I will someday). 

Now, for the record, you cannot ask the above question of any thinking man and not have him revert to some form of chronic infantile omnipotence – especially with my track record of always wanting to have fun and watch folks get a tad uncomfortable. I hope you take it in the spirit it was written.

Of course! What meal or particular food would you want if you were leaving the country for an extended period of time?

Prime Rib.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?


You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

Another ticket.
Name five people with whom you would pick to be stranded in a bookstore.

Daniel Day Lewis, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Hillary Clinton, and Meg Whitman.

Where would your dream office be?

Arcata, California.

Where’s home for you?

I have two at the moment. Sandhurst, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

A paraphrase of Hunter S Thompson:
"The film and television business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Excellent. What three books have you read recently and would recommend?

The Success Principles, Jack Canfield
What was I Thinking, Pamela Bendall
Mystics and Zen Masters, Thomas Merton

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love going to movies. I love sailing. I love walking on the sea wall in West Vancouver, I love live music, reading, watching Netflix, road trips, riding motorcycles, speaking, teaching.

Do you ever sleep? Kidding. What are you working on now?

I am at page 36 of a treatment for a theatrical documentary titled Children First – which will be a film to help bring about an end to child abuse in North America. 

We are actually in the process of working on converting Yonge Street, which I’ve sent you, into a new theatrical documentary, as we only used about 40% of what we shot. We are going to re-title it (tentative and not signed so it can’t be published) Robbie Robertson’s Rock & Roll Stories. 

I am really focusing on keynote speaking. 

About the author:

Award-winning film and television writer, producer and director David Brady’s work is best known in Canada, but no stranger to U.S. and European audiences. He was also an award-winning professor at Ryerson University in Toronto and is currently on the Faculty of Motion Picture Arts at Capilano University in North Vancouver British Columbia. David holds an MFA from York University in Toronto. He did his original undergraduate and work at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Colombia. Brady also taught film production and screen writing at York University in Toronto and is an acclaimed and powerful public speaker and lecturer.

In his new dramatic and compelling book, Aging With Dignity, Living with Grace he chronicles his life-altering and potential near-death experience of being viciously assaulted by a young man with mental illness. David had gone to talk to this bright and highly educated young man at the request of his mother. The result was a traumatic brain injury that would have left others permanently incapacitated and disabled. However, Brady is no quitter, and in this gripping and honest account of his harrowing experience, he will take you, the reader, through the stages and the steps he had to take to overcome his serious handicap and find peace of mind, prosperity and real happiness.

Brady’s film and television projects have won numerous Canadian, American and International awards including One Academy Award Nomination for his late business partner's production of Nails, as Best Theatrical Documentary, seven Genie Awards (Canadian Academy Awards) and two Golden Globe nominations, including Best Foreign Film and Best Actor for The Grey Fox, starring Richard Farnsworth and presented by Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios and released through United Artists Classics. His recent Canadian Broadcasting Corporation production of Yellowstone Super Volcano, which will air on Smithsonian Channel in the USA in 2014 and was the CBC’s highest-rated Doc Zone for 2013. He also had two recent productions in Canada that were in the top three rated for the network and will soon be available in the US. His Yonge Street, Toronto Rock & Roll Stories just won a Gemini Award, and he also produced one of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s 2011 highest rated “Doc Zones,” The Gangster Next Door. In addition to these award-winning and critically-acclaimed shows, he has produced over 130 prime time comedies, dramas, and documentaries, including The Pagan Christ and The Gangster Next Door, which both aired in the United States recently. His Discovery Channel Production of Around The World with Tippi was nominated at the prestigious Banff Television Festival as the Best Family Series in the world. He was also one of the executive producers of his good friend Alan Sack's Disney Channel Production of You Wish, which was nominated for the Humanitis Award in Los Angeles.

Connect with David:
Website | Author website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes &amp Noble