Attention Deficit Disorder - Brad Listi Interview

Brad Listi

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by Kerrie Anne

Every so often I will read a book with totally no idea what to expect. Normally you pick up a book, read the back cover, read reviews or hear from friends you must read it; I decided with Attention Deficit Disorder not to do any of this.
So often the back cover leaves you with preconceived ideas of what lies between the covers. I wanted none of that as I opened this book. The cover intrigued me, I dove straight in and was led on a journey, through the mind of a young man as he journeyed to find his place in the world, a young man coming to terms with a tragedy.
Attention Deficit Disorder is written in the first person. It gives the reader a refreshing insight into the mind of a young man, as events take place.
As you read you are lead through the complex maze of emotion, with an honest clarity.
Brad Listi's short quick sentences, as he winds his way through this young man's world, leaves you wanting to keep moving, to see where this event or that will lead him. How he will react to the death of an ex girlfriend, his journey through the wilderness and if he will make it to the other side.
It is an honest and frank telling. Brad writes from his personal experience, giving the reader a privileged snapshot of a time in the life of one person and how the actions of others impact on each one us everyday.
A remarkable story and one well worth reading.

About Brad Listi.

Your fondest memory of growing up in the Midwest?


No, I kid. It was a nice place to grow up in some respects. One of my fondest memories? I once threw a sharpened number 2 pencil into the back pocket of the school bully, a kid named Sudovitz, whom my friends and I used to call Suds. One day Suds met us in the park after school to assault us or whatever, and upon finishing, he walked away. I remember I removed a number 2 pencil from my backpack and lobbed it at him. It landed, point-down, in the back pocket of his blue jeans. He never even broke stride. Had no idea it happened. A one in a million shot, and a searing memory. For some reason I’m really fond of it, even though my retaliation effort was, on balance, pathetically weak. I should have taken a baseball bat to that Neanderthal.

Where did your love of writing come from?

Shel Silverstein was my earliest favorite writer and my introduction to subversive literature, so maybe it’s his fault. Blame him.

You would have to be one of the busiest authors/writers online. Writing for the Huffington Post,, The Nervous Breakdown which you founded, Facebook, Twitter, and on it goes. Where does all this energy and enthusiasm come from?

Amphetamines. I draw all my inspiration from drugs, which should be a lesson to all the many youngsters out there. If you put your mind to freebasing caffeine, you can accomplish anything.

Your writing style and choice of subject reads much like a social commentary. What is it that captivates you about society and people in general?

Their genitalia, first and foremost. And then probably their souls.

If you could pick one subject to write about exclusively what would it be?

The difficulty in maintaining one’s sense of humor at the moment of death.

About Attention Deficit Disorder.

Attention Deficit Disorder is for the most part a young mans attempts to come to terms with the suicide of an ex Girlfriend, struggling to find himself and meaning for it all. It is something we all at some time in our lives contemplate. What inspired you to document his journey?

My buddy hanged himself when I was in college, and it sent me into a period of deep grief and confusion in which I re-evaluated pretty much everything. I spent some time in nature, living in the wild, and read many books. And in the end I came to the conclusion that I really don’t know what the fuck is going on around here.

Death and coming to terms with a loss can be difficult topic. Challenging. What were your easiest and hardest parts of writing Attention Deficit Disorder?

The easiest part to write was probably the scene in which the main character takes a shower with a Cuban hooker. And the hardest part to write was when he gets out of the shower.

There is an undercurrent running throughout, that of caring and friendship, the kindness of strangers and the need for solitude but not at the expense of social interaction. Given today’s society with the rise of the Internet, peoples drive for bigger and better everything, how important is our need for space and time to reflect as well as that interaction with real people?

Please leave me alone.

Attention Deficit Disorder gives the reader a very intimate view of a range of emotions, none more so than his guilt and grief. Where did your unique insight come from?

I don’t think my insights are unique. I think they came from common experience. If there’s anything “unique” about them, it’s the fact that I was willing to sit there and write them down in semi-coherent fashion.

Throughout the story we see Wayne attempt to change, grow and make changes to improve himself, things such as quitting smoking. Looking back what do think Wayne found out about himself and life in general?

That perception, generally speaking, is reality.

Being an Author

What do you consider the most valuable trait a person can have when it comes to writing?

The illness that is necessary to keep doing it, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It is tantamount to banging your head against a brick wall repeatedly until it leaves a bloody mark. Have fun!

How has your life changed since becoming published?

I’m much more comfortable being naked in public, for one thing.

What advice would you give readers wishing to become published?

Get naked in public immediately.

What’s next for Brad Listi?

Put some clothes on.


Anonymous said...

I just may be smitten with this Brad Listi.

Jane Turley said...

I chuckled my way through this interview Kerrie! Brad has a wonderful sense of humour - although I'm not sure that advising potential authors to get naked is a good idea! I'm sure it works for handsome young men but you know us oldies don't look quite so hot:) Saying that I am willing to give it a try, just remember to come and bail me out will you - it's very likely I may get arrested for indecent exposure:)

I look forward to reading ADD and I'll be giving it my full attention:)

Kerrie Anne said...

LOL Jane
You and me both may need bailing out.
Interviewing Brad was a pleasure.