Black Butterfly Press is honored to interview
Kimberly Phillips

Author's Showcase

M.T.: Could you tell us about how your dreams influenced the plot for Purpose Lies Within? Why did you pick the name Nia, which means purpose in Swahili?

K.P. My dreams is what inspired me to write my novel. When I was eighteen years old I kept on having a reoccurring dream about a girl who grew up in the Brooklyn projects of New York. I prayed about the dream and the spirit moved me to writ the book. Nia was the name of the main character from my dream and that's how I named the main character.

M.T.: The way your title came to you was definitely a gift, since your main character's name means purpose. However, your title sounds more like a self-help book, yet it works with the storyline. Why did you pick the title, "Purpose Lies Within."

K.P. I chose the title "Purpose Lies Within" because the spirit moved me to do so. Nia found her true purpose near the end of the book and that is to love and to be loved. Purpose Lies Within is going to be bigger than just one novel, it is going to be a trilogy and a series of motivational books. The trilogy of Purpose Lies Within will consist of two spin off novels. The second spin off novel will be Silhouette's Luv which is about Nia's adopted daughter, Silhouette. And the third spin off novel is still untitled and it is about Nia's mother, Racheal. The series of motivational books will consist of six books. The first book is Purpose Lies Within: A Motivational Book For The Heart And Soul. This book will be published by Messenger Publishing on January or February 2000. With my novel I am currently conducting many speaking engagements as a motivational speaker. I also do my Purpose Lies Within Workshops at schools, libraries, churches, and various organizations.

M.T.: I noticed you have several domestic violence situations throughout your book, Purpose Lies Within. Although you balance it out with good Black male characters, do you worry about your critics accusing you of male-bashing?

K.P. I made my book as realistic as possible and unfortunately domestic violence is a problem that is going on across the country. As a victim of domestic violence I can certainly relate and understand what many women go through when they go through this situation. In my book I do not feel that I am male bashing because I do include many positive males in my book. As a matter of fact I have more good male characters in my book than bad. I'm not worried about what the critics have to say about me male bashing because with almost every book there will always be something that someone will not like about it. You can't always please everyone but the one thing you can do is do God's will. And that's what I'm doing.

M.T.: Did you approach mainstream publishing before you decided to self-publish?

K.P. Yes, I did approach mainstream publishers and I kept on receiving rejection letters. I did get one publisher who was interested but they wanted to make so many changes to my book. That's was when I decided to publish my book myself.

M.T.: When did you begin writing and how long did it take to complete Purpose Lies Within?

K.P. I began writing when I was 12 years old. I didn't become real serious about writing books and novels until I was 18 years old. It took me three years to write Purpose Lies Within.

M.T.: Who are some of the writers who have influenced your work? What are some of the books you are reading now?

K.P. The writers who have really influenced me are BeBe Campbell, Walter Mosley, Terry McMillan, and Anita Bunkley. Right now I have been reading many motivational books from authors such as Anita Bunkley, Iyanla Vanzant, and Susan Taylor.

M.T.: Did you do a lot of research on the results of substance abuse such as crack cocaine?

K.P. Yes I have done a lot of research on crack/cocaine. I have even spoken to people who were on it or have lived in an environment in which that was all they saw while growing up. I wanted to make the story very real from the prospective a child who has a parent strung out on drugs.

M.T.: Where do you see the future of writers on the Internet?

K.P. I feel that the future of writers on the internet will really grow especially since more and more people are getting on line each year.

M.T.: What has been the response of some of the groups you've presented your book to?

K.P.: So far I have had a positive response from people. I have also had many social workers tell me that I did a good job with the reality of the issues of domestic violence and drug addiction.

M.T.: Tell us about your writing career now. Do you write full-time? Can you tell us a little about your next book?

K.P. Right now I am writing part time because I have a full time job, which helps finance my author tours. I have recently received an award for being a final nominee for the Georgia Author of The Year for my novel Purpose Lies Within. I have written two more books. The two books are Purpose Lies Within: A Motivational Book For The Heart And Soul (will be published Jan./Feb. 2000) and A Dancer's Dream (will be published November 2000).