JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Kaution, author of Nothing Short of A Rainbow
(Big Works-Small Press Publishing)
No one told Teren Ramsey that loving or befriending women would be easy. When she meets the charismatic Rayan Rollins, a incredible basketball player and a self professed womanizer at ASU, she learns the hard way that sometimes love and friendship can be a game not as easy to win as a game on the courts.
When she falls in love with Nia, a fellow player on their team, things become complicated: Nia wanted Rayan, Teren’s bestfriend. Friendships will be tested, hearts broken and life’s lessons learned for all involved.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Nothing Short of A Rainbow?
Kaution: I came up with the idea when I working on several projects a few years ago and going through a bad breakup. I wanted to write something that was possibly more realistic in the urban LGBT community for black lesbians which seemed to be close to nonexistant at the time in regards to urban fiction.
I just felt that with all the visiblity we now have, we still have zero voices in society. I honestly believed it makes it hard to establish role models or discipher negative behavior we, as a small subculture, present to ourselves or others on the outside trying to peer in at us.
It is because of this I felt it was prehaps the right time to provide stories that so many like myself longed to read. If I got people talking about my book, then those silent voices would no longer be silent.
JP: What sets Nothing Short of A Rainbow apart from other novels in its genre?
K: I tried to capture a story that those in LGBT urban community could really identify with. I wanted to tell a tale that would possibly reflect my lifestyle as a black lesbian and reflect the way of life for other black, urban lesbians. That meant the good and the not-so-good elements.
I’m apart of the hiphop generation. I’m also a part of the subculture within a subculture that acknowledges label attachments that merely describe our lifestyle.
It’s also a real modern day love story told the way I wanted a book to tell its tale when I sat down to read but found virtually no book I could relate and identify with specifically. I let alot of drama unfold in it.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Nothing Short of A Rainbow getting out to the public?
K: The keys to its success was just sitting down and believing it was good enough to be shared with others first and foremost. I spent many months wondering and worrying that no one wanted to hear/read about the lives of young, black lesbians. In the end, I felt strongly that the story I had written could be a story others wanted to read about. I’m glad I had friends out there that encouraged me.
The next step was educating myself on how to write. I did so many revisions I lost count. Even now, I read parts and see where I could improve on this first novel. Since the book was completed, I feel as a writer I have improved in leaps and bounds. I strive to be a better story teller and writer and use that as my main motivation.
The next thing was educating myself on the business aspects of putting out a project such as this book. I network, and I consider the advice of others humbly and graciously whether it’s good or bad.
I owe a large amount of success in reaching the public to the growing list of my readers of my other works. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I’ve always encourage my readers to email me and share their opinions. I answer all my emails myself because I truly respect their opinions and use their feedback as if they were all my personal advisors.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Nothing Short of A Rainbow?
K: My process for writing is to first make sure my personal life is balanced enough to allow me to devote a great deal of time to a writing project. I’m like everyone else. I have a family, work full-time and go to school. Time is precious to me.
Once I figure out how to make it all work together, the next stage for me is to write the story out. I tend to work in mini-bursts of creativity, so I just sit down and write. I don’t worry about grammar or structure too much about the first draft or making sure it has a lot of descriptive paragraphs. I visualize in my mind real-life-type-scenarios that can happen or possibly did happen and write them out.
When I do my second read-through, I began adding more descriptive paragraphs and begin the cleaning up process. I will run through, possibly several times, key chapters that I feel are vital. When I feel comfortable, I will pass a copy to my editor and another copy to just a friend to get their feedback in general. After that, I work with my editor to consider and/or make changes where it needs to be.
When I think I have a strong draft, I give a copy back to the first random friend and another copy to another random reader for additional feedback and let them critique the manuscript. I experiment with different techniques I utilize to help me strengthen my skills as a writer.
Nothing Short of A Rainbow was written in about nine months, but it went through many revisions thereafter simply because I didn’t feel I had the right “pulse” on it. It was concieved in 2005, completed 2006 and released in 2009.
JP: What’s next for Kaution?
K: Well, I am currently working on completing my next two books: Don’t Wanna Be A Playa and 360 Degrees of Difficulty which originally started out as short erotic stories online at www.nifty.org which hosts several erotic stories for free.
Both stories were nearing their respective ends online, so to speak, but readers wanted more. It was then that I decided to turn both short stories into novels to give the readers what they wanted: to follow the characters of each story and tell their tales in detail. Those two books will be out in the early summer months. Following those two books will be my forth novel titled “She” which will be out at the end of the summer. Thankfully for me, all three are nearing completion.
From there, I can return to working on a project I put on hold which is my dark, urban comix novella that will finally be released towards the end of 2009. My online adult LGBT themed cartoon series which will have 12 episodes to start will be nearing comletion at the start of 2010, and I’m really excited about those two projects. I am revisiting past passions and have found myself excited once again as an mixed multimedia artist, combining writing and art is a dream come true for me.
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