Today is the official release date for Bernadette Peters Hates Me: True Tales of a Delusional Man. In its pre-release week, the book has taken off on Amazon which is no surprise when you learn about the man behind this funny book. Take note that on Wednesday March 23rd, Keith will be my guest on HumorOutcasts Radio too! A fun launch week for such a talented writer.
Tell us about the life and times of Keith Stewart
I was born in the small Appalachian town of Hyden, Kentucky, population 500. I only have one sister, but like most mountain families, I have a large extended family with whom I’m close. I attended Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. Yes, it is a real school. No, our mascot was not the Vampires, although, I always thought it would be cool if it were something like that. I received my MBA at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. After Graduate school, I worked in Florida as Corporate Controller for a human resources outsourcing company in Daytona Beach.
I eventually returned to Lexington, Kentucky where I worked with a multi-national corporation until my job was moved to Honduras. I took this as a sign for me to get out of the accounting world and start seriously writing humor.
Over the years, I have also owned and operated small businesses of every shape and form—a beauty shop, a sandwich restaurant, tax service, pharmacy, and edible fruit arrangements to name a few. I definitely personify the saying, “Jack of all trades, but master of none.”
Your humor has that “it can only happen to you” quality that makes people roar out loud. When did you start writing and when did you know you had such a flair for humor? Who encouraged you down this path?
I have always enjoyed telling stories and getting laughs. People always encouraged me to write down these stories, and I always “tinkered” with writing. I started my blog, A Strongman’s Cup of Tea, in April 2010. It was then that I really fell in love with writing, and began to learn all I could about the process. The very first workshop I attended was sponsored by Kate Larken’s company, Motes Books. From the moment I walked into the room until I left a few days later, Kate was supportive, encouraging, and enthusiastic about my writing and teaching me all she could about the process. I can honestly say if I had not had that level of support in my first workshop, I would have probably never continued on this path.
What interests inspire your writing or what stops you in your tracks and says “I have to write about this?”
Any event that is embarrassing or something that most people would hope no one found out about themselves. I usually work with the intention of getting my mother to comment, “OMG,” when she reads it. If she does that, then I know it is usually a success!
What are your goals as a humorist and author?
To make people laugh. Life is tough, and one episode of the evening news proves it is only getting tougher. If I can be a bright spot in someone’s day, and take his or her mind off the troubles and anxiety that hound us all for just a minute, then I have done my job.
What do you hope others take from your humor besides laughter?
Actually, several things besides laughter, I hope people see a side of Appalachian people that is not normally portrayed in the media. I hope they see we are modern, intelligent people living a sophisticated, if rural, life. I also hope people can realize that “gay humor” is just “humor.” I don’t blatantly mention being gay in my humor, but when the story calls for it, I write about my husband, Andy. I hope people take away that my life is pretty much the same as theirs. We are just not that different. I also hope that after reading this, the next time someone slips and falls in front of a crowd or rips her pants at a school function, she will not be mortified, but see the humor in it and laugh.
Bernadette Peters Hates Me: True Tales of a Delusional Man is available on Amazon.com. Keith will also be doing a series of book signings and readings in his Kentucky area and we will be posting info about all of them. His first event is April 9th at 4 PM at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky.