JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Portia Cosby, author of Too Little, Too Late
(Click the pictures to see reviews of this book on Amazon.com)
Tameka James has always been a confident, outspoken, strong-willed woman with her one weakness being her ex-boyfriend, TJ. That weakness soon becomes the catalyst to a new life of fear, disease, and pain when one of TJ’s enemies rapes her and threatens to kill her if she goes to the police. Now with a police report on file, an HIV diagnosis in her medical records and the rapist running free, Tameka fights to maintain normalcy and save her new relationship. As tensions mount and stakes are raised, some lives are threatened while others are taken. The phrase “too little, too late” becomes a reality instead of a clichÃ© when last minute efforts are made in vain.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Too Little, Too Late?
Portia A. Cosby: In ninth grade, I heard a story on the news about a woman that had been raped. I don’t remember the details, but it made me wonder how she got into that predicament. From there, my imagination ran wild. Tameka was born, and from day one, I knew her character like we were best friends.
JP: Rape and HIV drives the tension in Too Little, Too Late. Did you have any reservations about writing this novel that way?
PC: I had no reservations at all. All of my storylines are hard-hitting and deal with serious or controversial issues. I want my fiction to feel real. I specifically wrote the novel that way because there are so many young ladies that could easily be Tameka.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Too Little, Too Late getting out to the public?
PC: I just believed. Since 1994 when I wrote the original piece, I believed. I didn’t envision what it could be until 2001 when I rewrote it. After all the rejection letters and near hits, I decided not to wait on someone else to validate me as an author and I started Distinct Publishing. Success is a learning process and a time-consuming process. Since writing is my passion, though, I don’t think twice about it.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Too Little, Too Late?
PC: My writing process usually involves music. I am a lover of words. I may be writing a chapter and think of a song that relates to it. Next thing I know, I’m pulling the CD out and playing it. Or, I’ll hear a song that relates to a character of mine and immediately find the nearest piece of paper so I can jot down a few sentences.
As for the order I write in, Too Little, Too Late was written straight through. I’ve been all over the place with It Is What It Is. At one point, I had the first three chapters done and then chapters eight, nine, and ten! I just write the material that wants to come out. I don’t care where it falls in the final product.
The rough draft for Too Little, Too Late was completed in seven months. I think it flowed so well because I had been familiar with my characters and their stories seven years prior!
JP: What’s next for Portia A. Cosby?
PC: It Is What It Is, the second installment in the Situations & Circumstances Series will be released soon – within the next couple months. I’m also looking to revise my screenplay for Too Little, Too Late so I can shop it around.
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