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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Bestselling author Joy King talks with Conversations Book Club

Bestselling author Joy King, a native of Toledo, Ohio has quickly become one of the most celebrated authors of the past couple of years. With her titles Dirty Little Secrets, Bitch, Ride Wit' Me, Hooker to Housewife, Bitch Reloaded, Mr. Satisfaction, These Are My Confessions and Diamond Playgirls that what is considered urban literature has a new Princess that will not be giving up the throne anytime soon.

Joy, Thank you for taking out the time to talk with Conversations. Let's talk about your success for a moment: Has it surprised you how readers have latched on to you and don't seem to want to let go? Yes and no. Yes, because this business is so stiff right now. It's not the way it used to be where you would have a handful of African American authors and everyone would flock to those books because their choices were limited. Now you have so many authors and it's tough to shine and get a loyal audience.  And No, because I feel like I have a fresh new voice that captures the essence of my generation, which makes me happy.
Was it obvious to you and others early on that you were going to end up an author? No. Growing up I always loved to write poetry and I wanted to get into television broadcasting. But when I started writing my first book a few years ago, I knew this was something I was supposed to be doing. I totally loved putting my own spin on a story and I still do.
What do you use for inspiration for your storylines? Wow, my Bitch series is strictly coming from my imagination. When I created the character Precious, from day one I wanted to have a lot of fun with her. My other books are inspired by being around people in the entertainment industry and the crazy mess that goes on behind the scenes.
There has been much discussion about crossing over in the music industry with it comes to race. Do you think your books have done the same when it comes to readers? Honestly, although I would like to have everyone of any race to read and enjoy my books I believe that in today's market with the book game being so saturated, you need the streets to love you before anybody else will check for you. But I remember when I got my first deal with St. Martin's Press an editor told me to first target and concentrate on my market because it's enough of them to make my books a success—the others will come. To me that's the truth.
With the bestsellers you have written, is there new pressure to live up to a certain reputation with the new book? Oh goodness, I always feel the pressure with a new book and it comes mostly from me. I never want to disappoint my readers and when I'm writing I always say to myself, "Will the readers enjoy this, will it hold their attention?" It's difficult because I feel so grateful that I have a career doing what I love and I have the support of my readers to thank for that blessing.
Instead of asking you if the books are based on actual people and events, I want to ask you which of your characters in what book is more you? Out of all the characters I've written about I would say I can relate to Tyler Blake the most. She is very flawed but yet you know she's a good person. I kind of see myself that way.
Authors like yourself get feedback all the time from your readers. Can you share with us one of the remarks that has stuck with you? The positive feedback I get always stays with me and puts a smile on my face, but there is one remark that I found very interesting. A reader said that they loved Hooker to Housewife and it was very well written, in fact too well written for me to have ended the story like that. Man, I got a lot of hate mail for how I ended that book.(LOL) But wait until Superstar.
Joy, can you tell us about the new book? I have a few. In 2008 I will complete my Bitch series. Part 3 will drop in April and it's called The Bitch Is Back. Part 4 will drop in July and the final chapter will come out in December. I'm so excited and I hope my readers LOVE it!! Superstar the sequel to Hooker to Housewife will also be coming out, I'm thrilled about that too!!
You will be working with Conversations during 2008. Where else can our readers expect to see you in the new year? I will be embarking on a full fledge summer tour so look out I might be in your city. Once I have the complete dates I will post it on both my website and myspace page.
Thank you for your time, Joy. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Yes, to all the aspiring writers please focus, that is so important. You have to take time out each day to better your craft. Have an idea in your head what direction you're trying to take your story before putting it on paper so you're able to begin the process of creating a flow. And remember, never feed into negative criticism, the only person that can stop you from accomplishing your dreams is you.
What would you like to say to your fans? Thank you so much to all the fans that support my work and send me emails. I so appreciate the love and I can't express how much it touches my heart when you ride for me as an author. Hugs and kisses to all of you!! I hope I make you proud in 2008.
You can find our more about Joy by visiting www.joykingonline.com or our Myspace page at www.myspace.com/joyking.

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