We had the good fortune of connecting with Kay Blake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kay, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
In light of how 2020 has been, I feel that different things make me happy now than they did in the past. Before things like a day out with friends, sunshine, reading and watching a favorite show would make me happy. However, 2020 has been a hell of a year for me on many levels and my perspective changed a little. Now I try to take the little things throughput the day that makes me happy. Example Oh, I wrote some words today. Oh, my podcast got a new listener. I was able to get some fresh air. Those kinds of things.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My road to writing started a long time ago. I used to always write songs, poems and short stories. When I was about 14 and 15 years old I started writing fan fiction for on of my favorite wrestling tag teams, The Hardy Boyz. Specifically Jeff Hardy. I also wrote some Backstreet Boy ones and B2K ones. Those stories were the first ones I wrote for a public audience. in 2014, I decided it would be cool to see if I could actually do this for real. Not that the fan fictions weren’t real, but it was done more so for dun. This time I wanted to do something that was for my age at the time and do it because I love a good happy ending. I would say this has been easy in some parts and hard in others. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started. I had no idea to amount of work it to to make covers, promote, sell, create a brand. Find new readers and the list goes on. I was fortunate enough to make good friends who was willing to help me and teach me. Now the hardest part is dealing with life outside of writing and when writing burn out happens. I also have some health issues and that has also took a toll on my writing the last year or so. I have fibromyalgia (a chronic pain condition) as well as bad anxiety and depression. I share that because sometimes we get so caught up in having to do do do, that we forget to take care of ourselves and make sure we are okay first. 2020 forced me to do that and make sure I took care of myself too. I think mostly what I want people to know is that there is no timeline on how you do things or when. Just do what works for you. I had this idea that I had to do this so rigid and I was forced to change. So do what works for you. As for my brand, my platform The Bookish Brown Girls is a platform dedicated to uplifting women of color and their books. As for me, I am a mix of many things and that shows in my writing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I live in NYC. And while NYC can be tourist central at times well pre covid, there are so many things to do in NYC and things that are free as well. I would probably find a cool place to go to brunch. Many spots in the city and some in Astoria are my go tos. I would go to a park probably Battery Park that way we could ride The Staten Island ferry just because or take a trip to Governor’s Island. I would then take my friend to Union Square park, we can sit in the park, go to the farmers market or the bookstores. Just walk around the city.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
1. I would love to dedicate this to my children. They have kept me going this past year. 2. To my co host- B.L McGrew who is my co host on the Bookish Brown Girls Podcast. It was one of the highlights of the year for me and we are on season 3 so that is pretty amazing. 3. My fans. I considered not writing anymore because the year as taken its toll on me. However, the readers kept me in it and I appreciate them so much for their support. 4. My friends, but most specifically my friend Marina who has listened to all my good, in between and bad this year. I am grateful for you and I love you.
Other: Bookish Brown Girls Podcast: https://anchor.fm/bookishbrowngirls Instagram:: www.instagram.com/bookishbrowngirls Twitter: www.twitter.com/bookishbwngirls Website: www.bookishbrowngirls.wordpress.com