Intimate Conversation with KAI
KAI is the author of the critically acclaimed Daughter of the Game series (Daughter of the Game I, II, III and Prequel) and The Loudest Silence. KAI's story Twisted Loyalty is featured in Gutta Mamis, published by Strebor in the Streetz (Simon and Schuster). She is also a contributing author to Solo Shivers and That Good Grind by Wilson.
She is a nationally recognized poet and was named AAMBC's 2013 Poet of the Year for her Peaceful Resolution collection. Her poem Pre-Destiny, was featured in the April 2008 issue of Essence Magazine.
KAI has served as a Guest Reviewer for RAWSISTAWZ Reviewers. An alumni of Hampton University, SUNY Brockport and Georgetown University Law Center, she is a licensed attorney in two states and a proud parent.
BAN RADIO: What was the inspiration for Daughter of the Game?
As a book reviewer, I reviewed a number of urban fiction novels that dealt with the drug game and its players, and the women loving them or using them, but I hadn’t read a story about the family structure—people closely related to drug dealers who aren’t in the game. I wanted to explore that reality and, in my own way, humanize the main drug dealer to expose his weakness and vulnerability. That is why Ricardo feels fear in his heart, or Armand contemplates why his life seems to be predestined for disaster, or Pete loves Miriam but can’t put it to words, and Monique worries about the generational curses her father’s empire will have on her and her children. Although Monique is the main character, I explore the different men and their choices and decisions as well.
BAN RADIO: Who is your favorite character?
That is hard to say. I have a deep affinity for Ricardo, Monique’s brother, and Chew, the man who loves Monique but knows he can never have her. I also enjoy Anji, Titan’s girlfriend. Her spirit and creativity made her fun to write. Michelle, Monique’s big sister, seems to be the favorite character among my readers. I have received many demands that she have a bigger role in the series. Michelle’s relationship with Pete is touching and she is a fighter, possessing that wild “around the way girl” charm that everyone knows and loves. But my favorite character is Armand. I love his sexiness and his bad boy charisma. Armand is the type of man who can be dead wrong and it doesn’t matter—you will love him anyway. Case in point: I have yet to meet one reader who dislikes him despite him leaving Monique alone in the trap so that he could hide the stash.
BAN RADIO: What is a question most asked by readers?
I am constantly asked to reveal Armand’s true identity. This series is fiction. One of my biggest pet peeves is that people assume the story is about someone they know or someone in my life. I cannot tell you how many people have tried to guess who Armand really is in my circle. They will never get it right because Armand is a fictional character. I think that many of us know these personality types, so the characters feel very real to us. I study people, how they react to situations, how they express themselves, how they communicate and it is reflected in the characters I create. The closest person to Armand I ever met grew up in Rochester, New York with me, was my close friend and he still lives there. And even he is not Armand. I must admit, I am surprised by how deeply attached to Armand the readers are and the stories they share with me about men very similar to him. There is an affinity among women who have loved men like him, and only other women who have been in that situation can relate and understand. He is a magnetic character, flawed but genuine.
BAN RADIO: You place a lot of emphasis on love in both the Daughter of the Game series and in The Loudest Silence. Are these love stories?
The concept of love fascinates me, I must admit. When I think of love, I think of the fairy tales and the “love conquers all” theory. When we listen to music most songs are about love: craving it, needing it and doing anything for it. But what does it mean in real life. Should we really love unconditionally? How high is the price of love? What happens when you strip away your dignity in the name of love? Is that really love? Many of my works also challenge the concept of love being forever. I believe that love is demonstrated by action, such as being considerate or selfless. But what happens when a person truly loves you and has no idea how to show it? Or what happens when his expression doesn’t fit your idea of what love should look like? Obviously, I don’t have any answers. But playing with the different types of “love” tends to make my characters struggle in different ways.
Check out Daughter of the Game 3 by KAI: http://amzn.com/0985438681
More Books by KAI on Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/kai
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