Feral Kitty: For many years now, writing has been a way to express myself. It has given me a chance to tell stories about the characters in my world: to write about the type of people I’ve known throughout my life, gay, straight, etc. By my coming out much later in life than most and being raised in a rather religious and somewhat homophobic family, my personal life was always kept on the hush. In 2011 I found the courage to begin work on my very first Lesbian fiction novel Royal BLU. I wasn’t sure how my art would be perceived in or out of the community but with major support from family members and friends alike the book was finished and released Oct. of 2012.
I am now very excited and eager to show my gift to the world and be known for the proud Lesbian writer that I have become.
I feel that I provide the Urban LGBTQ community with stories and true to life characters that they may relate too. I believe that people who read my art will be able to see themselves or someone they know in at least one of the characters if not all. Also I try to bring entertainment but also address underground issues /stereotypes associated with people and the community alike.
F: Tell us about your series.
FK: Royal BLU was a book I began writing in 2010. I had read several LGBT novels over the years but none seem to be anything like the people I actually knew in my personal life or situations I would ever be involved in. I wanted to write a book that dealt with characters and situations I had experienced. I had never written anything I wanted to display publically, I had only written in journals and personal stories. Writing seemed simple until I sat down and began to write my first book. But I quickly learned that it’s not so easy to write an entire novel. It took me two years to actually finish the book. It was simple and raw. It dealt with more of my younger self and I wrote it exactly the way it came out. One of the first forms of criticism I received when the book was released was that it needed to be polished. I kind of think the book was misunderstood that it was written and supposed to be that way. Extremely urban in its context and dialect. The characters were exactly who they were and I knew each and every one of them.
Royal BLU is the story of twenty eight year old Royal Ann Hanson, a very spoiled, promiscuous lesbian DJ, who finally discovers true love. After the death of a very close loved one she comes to the realization that time is very precious and the people that we love won’t be around forever. After two years of loathing one another, she and Asia, “A very opinionated Afrocentric spoken word artist” develop a romantic relationship. The story follows DJ Royal and her three closes friends, all different ages, backgrounds and nationalities through their business and personal relationship woes.
F: What was your inspiration for writing BLU?
FK: Although the story is totally fictional, the inspiration for each and every character in BLU came from someone I’ve known or come across in my life. Everyone and everything can be an inspiration to me when writing. I find it easier to let my own life be my muse. BLU is unique in that it features a female African-American LGBT character as its protagonist.
F: How do you handle the intersections of race and queerness? What lessons do you hope your character will provide your readers?
FK: Royal’s character will appeal to all women in some way. She doesn’t discriminate at all. She loves all women no matter what race or creed. Although she identifies as African American if you read the story carefully you will see that she herself is biracial and has a biracial eleven year old daughter. Also the story has an interracial story line with a Caucasian character KB “Katrina” and her love interest.
F: You mentioned that you didn’t have that much experience writing poetry until recently. What was the journey like? Were you surprised to find your poetic voice?
FK: It was actually very scary for me at first. I had only written one small poem in Royal BLU, which was the poem BLU. All other poetry was done by a very talented spoken word artist Daruddest Jones. She wasn’t available to work on my second project Azure BLU. I was kind of terrified to even think of writing the poetry myself. But one day I sat at my computer and just did it. It didn’t really have the same feel as the poetry in my first book but it was good and all me and I surprised myself. I didn’t know how other people would perceive it but I was pleasantly shocked when told by several people who had read both books that they liked the second one even better than the first.
F: What’s it like being a new LGBT author?
FK: It’s awesome and I’m getting a lot of positive
feedback! I love being able to tell stories of my family, meaning my LGBT family.
F: What’s one thing that you would like the straight community to better understand about the LGBT experience?
FK: That we all go through the same trials and tribulations in life no matter what gender. Love is love!
F: What are your favorite aspect of writing?
FK: I love being able to bring a character to life. I love creating story lines and deciding how it will end. Sometimes I have no idea myself until the moment I write it. I’m currently working on a book of short stories that will hopefully be out by late fall.
Feral Kitty is a LGBTQ fiction writer from Nashville TN. Royal BLU was published in October 2012. Her sophomore project, Azure BLU, was released in October 2014.