Hello my pandas! Today I have a special treat for you: a Rich in Variety interview with Karma Kingsley, author of Finding Lizzie. Her book was just released a little over a month ago, and I seriously need to read it ASAP.
What is the book about? Well, here’s what Goodreads has to say: Lizzie doesn’t know what she wants from life, but she’s sure it’s not the attention of her suffocating boyfriend, RJ. A chance encounter with a group of women on the day of the local Pride parade leads her to meet the wild, free-spirited Kerra. Lizzie begins to realise she’s crazy about Kerra, but how can she come out in a small town where prejudice is rife and even her own mother thinks being a lesbian is wrong? Can Lizzie find herself without losing everything else in the process?
However, maybe you need some convincing from Ms. Kingsley herself. So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is your writing process like?
Hmm…It really depends on what I’m writing. If it’s something elaborate I have to map it all out first in an outline. And not one of those neat, cute little outlines they taught you how to do in school but a very sloppy, very chaotic outline that only makes sense to me (and sometimes not even that. I’ve often reread my notes and been very confused). But simple plots just get random side notes here and there in my notebooks but it’s mostly free range writing. That’s my process now, anyways but it’s steadily evolving as I evolve.
Are your characters based off of people you know?
There’s a lot of me in some of my characters but they’re their own people.
Regarding your characters, do you relate to any of them?
Of course. Like I said, there’s a lot of me in my characters. I sometimes get really annoyed writing characters because they’re so much like me that it’s a painful look in the mirror.
Did you have to do any specific research for your book?
I don’t think so. I might have had to look up recovery time for a fractured jaw but I think that was about it.
How did you come up with your book’s plot?
Honestly, the plot was kind of a ‘by the seat of my pants’ deal. I didn’t pre-plan the plot at all it just all sort of played out that way. But the concept as a whole was born from reading a bunch of books in my romance book club. I just kind of thought, where are all of the LGBT black characters? Eventually, I got tired of looking for them and wrote my own.
What was your favorite scene to write?
Probably the scene where Kerra first takes Lizzie to the coffee shop. When Lizzie insists that she’s straight and Kerra tells her it’s a murky truth. It makes me giggle every time I read it.
Why is diversity in books important to you?
I like seeing myself in books and I can only imagine other people like seeing themselves in books as well. I think everyone should have that opportunity to see themselves in the media. Art should be reflective of the world and the world is diverse.
Is there anything you would change about your book?
Yes, but it mostly has to do with my writing style. I wrote it two years ago when I was still learning and I feel like I can do so much more now. But storywise, not at all.
Can you share any plans for new novels with us?
How much time do you have? I have a lot of things in the works. A second Lizzie book, a science fiction romance, a lesbian erotica and a witchy fantasy because witches are my obsession and I’m finally feeling bold enough to write something on them.
How can we keep up with you?
I’m probably most active on Wattpad, you can find me under the handle Wordtoyamother or you can find me on Twitter @Karma_Kingsley. I’m not a super active twitterer but I tweet upcoming publications.