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Meet Deborah Kennedy author of Two Kinds Of Color
http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/4943/1/Meet-Deborah-Kennedy-author-of-Two-Kinds-Of-Color/Page1.html
Joseph Valentinetti

Reviewer Joseph Valentinetti: Joseph was born in New York City and lives in California. He is a writer, poet, interviewer & reviewer. He also produces Video Book Trailers and contributes various items to several online sources and forums. His dog will vouch for him, if needed.

 
By Joseph Valentinetti
Published on May 23, 2012
 


Joseph Valentinetti, one of Bookpleasures' reviewers interviews Deborah Kennedy author of Two Kinds Of Color.





Today, Joseph Valentinetti, one of Bookpleasures' reviewers is talking with Deborah Kennedy author of Two Kinds Of Color. Here's what one reviewer had to say about it.  This novel allowed me to learn about a world a million miles from my own. I learned in so many ways we are all the same. This small town farm girl learned that even on the hard side of Chicago - Friendships are bonded forever, siblings bond and divide, we all want that forever love and we are trying to escape the bonds of where we are. This mystery held me from the very first paragraph! Time to recharge the Kindle and give it a re-read!

Joseph:

Hi Deborah. Tell me, what is the most overrated virtue?

Deborah:

I’m a strong believer in God and Christ, but I would have to say piety.   I don’t like the hypocritical aspects surrounding religion.     

Joseph:

What's the one thing that people always seem to get wrong about you?

Deborah:

Upon meeting me people think I’m shy.  When I’m in a crowd, like at a party, it takes me a while to warm up to people because I’m usually studying them, looking for interesting characteristics.   You can’t write about real people if you don’t take the opportunity to study them.

Joseph:

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Deborah:

I would put an end to hunger.  There is so much wealth in the world.  No one should go hungry especially children.   At the click of a mouse all the wealthy and powerful people in the world could easily put an end to hunger.  

Joseph:

Is there any time when it's OK to lie?

Deborah:

It depends on what you’re lying about.   Big lies follow you.  When you stand up out of them, showing the truth, you find out what it really means to be ashamed of yourself.

Joseph:

Do you consider your writing to be an art or a craft or some combination of both?

Deborah:

Writing is a lonely job.  The only people really involved are the ones you’re writing about.   To be a writer you have to sit in the chair and do the work.   Even though no one taught me how to write, I don’t believe that all writers are born with the gift.  If the desire is there you can learn to write.   All it takes is respect for the power of the written word, great teachers, and lots of reading.

For me writing is an art similar to painting.  When I’m creating, it’s like I’m painting pictures in my mind.  With each stroke of the brush I’m painting something new and colorful like buildings, streets, houses, cars.  When my mind is painting people, I start with their feet and continue up until the whole body is complete.  I then add their clothing, and at some point and time the painting of their personality and world they live in starts to come to life.    

Joseph:

If you could go back ten years and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Deborah:

I would tell myself to remember that thoughts are things and things manifest.  It’s best to stick to one dream and follow through with it.  If you never give up your dream will manifest. 

Joseph:

What's the title of your book and who's the audience?

Deborah:

Two Kinds of Color.  The book is fiction but based on some true characters and true events. Women age twenty to sixty-five. 

Joseph:

Describe your hero for us.

Deborah:

Ruby Johnson is my hero.   On a rainy night, at the age of fourteen, Ruby, black, meets a beautiful young white girl, Freddie Walker, who is sixteen.  During this meeting the girls discover they both have no family and no home.   The two become best friends, deciding their chances for survival are better if they stay together.  After settling in Chicago Freddie gets caught up in the underworld of prostitution.  Over a short period of years she gives birth to four children.  Two of them are white, and two black.   Ruby, living under the same roof as Freddie, raises the children as best she can until something terrible happens sending her and Freddie to prison.  With no freedom, and no way to continue raising Freddie’s children, who become estranged, Ruby still manages to find them and bring them together as a family.   Without her deep trust and faith in God she would have failed.   She’s a woman of strength who believes profoundly in being loyal where true friendship is concerned. 

Joseph:

How about your villain?

Deborah:

 Jimmy Tate, Freddie’s pimp, is a vain, greedy, selfish-black man who includes illegal gambling within his houses of prostitution.   He resents Freddie’s white children.   His primary motivation is to make money from prostitution.  Freddie is his most valuable possession.    His failed effort to break up Freddie and Ruby’s friendship overwhelms him.   Every time he sees Ruby, it’s as if she’s holding up an invisible sign that reflects the true monster he really is.   The sign also tells him: no matter the color of skin pure evil is just pure evil.  His hatred for Ruby is deeply embedded in his every thought.  When Freddie meets a wealthy man of her own race, and begins to care about her children, this spins Jimmy into a whirlwind of violent destruction.      

Joseph:

Quote a passage you love for us and elaborate on its meaning.

Deborah:

Freddie, appearing relaxed and free of fear, stood leaning against the window’s sill.  Her arms were folded defensively while her eyes were fixed on Jimmy.   No matter how unafraid she looked she was terrified.  She knew his sorrowful emotion was a manipulated-phony act for sympathy that would soon vanish and turn into terror.  And no matter the fear, no matter what kind of weeping and pleading was done, none of it stopped Jimmy from beating a woman senseless.  Female-scared emotions egged him on until the fever of his violence mingled with a woman’s blood.   Jimmy saw Danny’s bare foot sticking out from under the bed. 

I love this passage because I could visualize my own mother doing the same as Freddie.  I’m sure she was feeling the same way before being brutalized by a man who had lost all control.  I could see her face clearly, smell her perfume, and feel her fear while writing about a horrible night of pure terror.  Three of my siblings were hiding under my mother’s bed.  I sat on the floor, my back against the wall, with a clear view everything. 

Joseph:

What surprising thing did you learn in writing this book?

Deborah:

I found out how emotionally vulnerable I am.   I cried a lot regarding certain passages, and laughed at what I felt was good humor.  Most of all, I learned nothing is more important than family. 

Joseph:

How did your upbringing influence your writing?

Deborah:

I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago inside an apartment of illegal gambling and prostitution.  My mother was a prostitute who lived under the brutal rule of my father who was her pimp.  As a child, using words as a great escape, I was always writing poetry or some kind of story about the people that would frequent our apartment.  My mother never discouraged me, but urged me to keep writing the funny stories that made her laugh. 

Joseph:

Do you have a special routine you go through when you write?

Deborah:

I get up at 7:30 AM.  I drink at least three cups of coffee.  I sit at the computer and browse over what I’ve written the day before.  I watch CNN for an hour and then I walk the Doberman.   When I get home I write for about four hours.  I take breaks to clean up the house a little at a time. 

Joseph:

Do you prefer fermented or distilled?

Deborah:

Distilled.

Joseph:

Thanks Deborah.

 
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