Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author Kenn Bivins. He is the author of two novels, including the best seller, Pious. Bivins is an illustrator whose work has appeared in comic books, advertising and broadcast animation. Today he shares his publishing journey, new book and the challenges and rewards he has received as an author.
Q & A with Kenn Bivins
Tell us about your publishing journey.
What began as a NaNoWriMo curiosity with a friend, has matured into a fascination with writing and sharing those creations with a myriad of others. I have delved further into the publishing journey by taking on the task of also being a publisher because I want to expand my storytelling into other mediums while retaining creative control.
What genres do you write in? Is it your main genre? Are you open to writing in other genres?
My default genre of interest is suspense although my second novel falls under the women’s fiction category. I am expanding into the realm of paranormal thrillers, crime and children’s books with future projects.
What do you believe every writer should know when starting a writing career?
Every writer should know that this profession carries with it the burden of isolation during the process and the possibility of rejection once that project is consumed by others.
Do you believe every writer should be an avid reader?
I believe that every writer, who wants to mature in the craft and reach a larger audience, should be an avid and aware consumer of good storytelling. That’s not restricted to books. Yes, reading a lot can teach pacing, grammar, style among other things, but good writing can be gleaned from a great television series, audio book or movie as well.
What has been the most challenging and rewarding thing you’ve encountered as an writer?
My ongoing challenge is to make my readers feel something when they read or view my work. If I accomplish that, therein lies the greatest reward.
the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel is my second novel. This was my first attempt at publishing so it took me three and a half years longer to produce than it took me to write Pious, my first novel. As a matter of fact, this novel required a ton of research and eleven drafts to complete due to the sensitive nature of some of the topics that I cover in the book. This became a labor of love and has afforded me the opportunity to really grow as a writer and illustrator.
Tell us about Felona Mabel.
Felona Mabel is a layered woman who is gorgeous and successful by many people’s standards, but deep down she is sad, sarcastic and suffering. An estranged relationship with a mother who never seemed to accept her has affected her deeply. There is an unapologetic honesty about her pain.
What was your motivation behind telling Felona’s story.
‘Intended Consequences,” documentary by Jonathan Torgovnick, inspired and motivated me to tell Felona’s story. This documentary focused on 30 women who’d survived the brutality and loss of the Rwandan massacre and the children who were the products of rape during that time. This triggered something within me when I considered that children are born of atrocities. How do they grow up? How do they feel about themselves? How do their parents view them? I wanted to tell my version of that story.
Tell us about Dianne and her importance to the story.
Dianne is the foundation of hurt in this story while healing is also only accessible through her. We often romanticize the matriarch role so much that we don’t consider that mom may be broken. All that she yields may have evidence of that.
What new projects are you working on?
I’m writing a sequel to the Wedding & Disaster of Felona Mabel that will be released the end of this year, God will. I am also as writing a stand-alone novel that will be a big release next year. It’s been brewing in my head for a long time and I can’t wait to share it. Additionally, I’m illustrating a children’s book that I’ve already written. This will tease the inevitable which is that I return to the medium of comic books in both writing and drawing soon.
How can readers connect with you?
Many of my readers are found on Facebook and Instagram although I’m accessible on most social platforms via the username of @kennbivins. I can also be reached directly via my own website at http://kennbivins.com. I love exchanging with my readers individually and in groups. PS – I love attending book clubs 🙂