Kerri-Leigh and I are 5th cousins and her contribution to the DNA playlist was Dave Matthews Band’s “Crash Into Me.”

Kerri is pretty bad-ass—and I’m not just saying that because we share DNA, or because I’m obsessed with all things 80s and her look in the picture is so 80s, I’m saying it because she can kick my butt—she’s into archery, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a lot of other cool stuff. She’s also published some books, and lives in HA-freaking- WA-II. I’m not jealous…at all.

Read below to learn more about Kerri-Leigh and visit her site to get to know her even better:

  1. Tell me about you!

I’m Kerri-Leigh Grady. I currently live in Honolulu, but my family hails from North Carolina and Alabama. I’m forty-two, an author, and a former-and-soon-to-be-again software developer. I’m married to a Navy guy, and we’ve moved all over the last twenty years, but we hope to settle down soon somewhere when he [finally] retires.

  1. Hobbies, interesting facts, etc.

I am a hobby whore. Right now, I’m into archery, metalsmithing, and BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). I’m hoping to take up Muay Thai soon because the thought of hitting things makes me happy lately. Some of my on hiatus past times include tribal style belly dance, hoop dancing, knitting, and photography. Seriously, someone should start telling me no. But when I’m not collecting hobbies, I write horror short stories and romance novels.

  1. What did you think when you got my message asking you your favorite song?

What a ridiculously clever idea. Music is such an important element to all societies, and taste in style, genre, and artist say a lot about a person. To see a DNA family collected together as a collage playlist was truly amazing.

  1. It’s so hard to choose one favorite song. How did you choose a song for the playlist?

OMG so hard! I seriously went back and forth for a while because my taste in music is fairly eclectic. But my BFF years ago insisted everyone should have a personal theme song, so I picked one that made me cry happy tears when I heard it. Somewhere in the last ten years, I realized I loathe crying for any reason, so I ditched that theme song—and that meant I didn’t have a song on hand to throw at this project. The one I ended up choosing, I had briefly considered for my new theme song. It always makes me move when it comes on and brings back wonderful memories of living in San Diego. I still don’t have a theme song, though. “Middle Fingers” is calling to me because it’s like they wrote it for me, but I have my doubts…

  1. Talk about your DNA ancestry journey. Have you had any positive experiences with the process or learned anything interesting? Any tips you learned that you’d want to share with others?

My journey has been something of a bummer. I haven’t really connected with many people, and because records are so spotty, it’s often hard to pin down how we could be related. I love hearing people’s stories, and I wish there were more opportunity to get those from DNA relatives. I’m looking forward to other posts like these, particularly if they’re shared relatives.


Thanks so much for sharing, KL!