Kenya Wright always knew she would be famous since the ripe old age of six when she sang the Michael Jackson thriller song in her bathroom mirror. She has tried her hand at many things from enlisting in the Navy for six years as a Persian-Farsi linguist to being a nude model at an art university.
However, writing has been the only constant love in her life.
So here we are Kenya is publishing her first book, Fire Baptized, the urban fantasy novel she always wanted to read. This novel is the first book in a series.
Will she succeed? Of course.
For she has been coined The Urban Fantasy Queen, the Super Iconic Writer of this Age, The Lyrical Genius of Our Generation. Granted, these are all terms coined by her, within the private walls of her bathroom as she still sings the Michael Jackson thriller song.
Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.
Hello! What’s your name?
My name is Kenya Wright.
What do you write and why?
I write urban fantasy novels and erotic paranormal romance novellas.
Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
I definitely read the genre I write in. I believe it is extremely important to be well-read in the genre you are writing for two reasons. First, you don’t want to create cliché stories that have been seen over and over again in that genre. You’ll know when your story is falling into the cliché realm if you’ve read lots of books in this genre.
Second, reading the genre will help you understand the genre’s rules. Each genre has its own special technique. Romance writers usually introduce the hero and heroine in the first two chapters. Fantasy writers tend to not dump their readers with lots of world building information, instead they give details as needed to continue the story.
What is the title you are promoting right now?
What is it about?
It is an urban fantasy novel where humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. My main character Lanore is a supernatural college student that stumbles upon a murder and catches the killer’s attention. She spends the rest of the novel searching for the killer with the assistance of two love interests: MeShack a Were-cheetah and Zulu a Mixbreed.
What makes this book different from others in your genre?
There are three things that make my book different from others in my genre. First my book has a lot of diverse characters. The setting is in Miami so there are a lot of characters from Hispanic descent and my main character is African-American. Second, the magic system is based on the Santeria religion which I have never seen in fantasy novels. Finally, the concept of supernaturals living in caged cities is a pretty unique idea.
What’s the story behind the story?
How I began writing Fire Baptized is interesting. I was walking with my ten year old step son in Barnes and Nobles, complaining that there wasn’t more diversity in urban fantasy novels. He looked up at me and simply said, “You should write that book. You’re smart.”
I laughed, thinking that kids are just so confident and there was no way I could write a book. Later that night, I replayed the story to my husband. He completely agreed that I should write the book and supported me through the writing process.
What is your goal as an author?
Fire Baptized is the first book in the Habitat series. I would love to finish five books in this series.
Are you working on anything new? Give us a preview of what’s to come!
I am releasing an erotic paranormal romance novella on Feb 13, 2012 called Incubus Hunter. The world is completely different from Fire Baptized. Here, the supernaturals secretly exist among humans. My two main characters are Carmen an elf with venomous fangs who hunts demons and Blaze a two hundred year old Incubus demon.
Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor. Her writing style is luscious and makes me want to have sex with her book over and over and over.
Where can readers find you and your work?
What’s your view on the self-publishing/traditional publishing thing? Ideally, which one would you prefer and why?
I actually read both. There are huge myths that self-published books are usually riddled with typos and are of low-quality. I disagree. I’ve found many great typo-free self-published books. Additionally, I’ve read many traditionally published book that were riddled with typos and had horrific plotlines.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison
What is the most important advice you have for aspiring authors?
Join a critique group and then listen to the members. Critique groups are a great way to have many people review your work. The advice a writer can get from these groups are priceless. To get the best results the writer should not defend their work, but instead listen. There are a lot of writers that join critique groups that argue why they did this or that in their story. I believe these writers don’t grow into better ones. However, I am not saying the writer should change everything a person says to change. I just find that if you should listen to the suggestion, try it in your story, and see if it works or not.
Is there anything else you’d like to say before we finish up?
Thanks so much for the interview! This is an awesome opportunity for authors!
Awesome, thanks for allowing me to interview you!
Watch for my review of Kenya’s book, Fire Baptized, later this month! Please take a minute to visit Kenya and check out her new book at the links below!