Dustin Brady (Commercial Writing ’08) sat on the edge of his daughter Leila’s bed. Together, they began the next book in a series she partly inspired him to write: Leila and Nugget Mysteries. “[She] recently turned five, so she’s now old enough to appreciate the books,” Dustin said. “Reading them to her is by far the coolest experience I’ve had as an author.”
A Desire to Write
When he was young, Dustin dreamed of writing children’s books like those that introduced him to well-developed characters, great stories, and applicable lessons. That dream stayed with him as he grew up, and in 2004, he enrolled at PCC to study commercial writing.
As he worked through his first of many writing classes, Dustin was encouraged by his teachers to confidently pursue writing full-time after college. While he wanted to strengthen his fiction writing, he struggled to continually find inspiration when studying for and maintaining grades in other classes. He found a new passion for writing nonfiction in his first journalism class and began pursuing that after college.
“The biggest thing that PCC taught me is to pursue excellence in everything I do.”
Writing Children’s Books
After completing his degree, Dustin Brady worked two short journalism jobs before landing a position at STACK Media, a sports website, in 2011. He wrote articles for STACK and managed their day-to-day website content for several years, but Dustin didn’t forget his dream to write exciting children’s books. While assisting in the children’s ministry at his church, he noticed a lack of Christian children’s book authors that held their attention. Inspired, he got to work!
“One of my favorite things is getting a note or review from a parent that tells me the books have helped their child learn to love reading.”
Dustin relied on classes such as Creative Writing and Writing for Publication to help him get his books published. In July 2016, he published his first one. “Self-published books have a reputation of being sloppy and unprofessional, but my books cut through the noise, thanks in large part to their professional quality that PCC taught me to demand,” he explained. “I’m thankful that PCC prepared me for both types of careers. The biggest thing that PCC taught me is to pursue excellence in everything I do. That has always served me well but especially when I started my career as a self-published author.”
Six years after publishing his first book, Dustin has written more than a dozen books and sold over 1.5 million copies. His most popular books are his Trapped in a Video Game series, illustrated by his brother Jesse Brady (Commercial Art ’10). These books tell the stories of children who find out that while video games can be fun, getting stuck in one is a completely different story. “I write books for kids who don’t think they like reading,” Dustin said. His goal in writing the Trapped in a Video Game series was to reach the large audience of young video gamers—a group not commonly known to curl up with a book. “One of my favorite things is getting a note or review from a parent that tells me the books have helped their child learn to love reading.”
Many exciting things come with being an author, but Dustin Brady’s passion is to write books that capture young readers’ attention and ignite their imagination. “For me, the best part of writing is sharing the work with others,” he said. “I get to be a positive influence on others by sharing my work with them.”
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