Kai is the author of the highly acclaimed urban fiction novel, Daughter of the Game. She is also a published and nationally recognized poet and writer. Her poem, Pre-Destiny was featured in the April 2008 issue of Essence Magazine and she was a Featured Poet in A Place Of Our Own (APOOO) national tribute in April 2008 and RAWSISTAZ Author Showcase, April 2007.
She is a contributing poet in Step Up to the Mic: A Poetry Explosion, by Poetic Press (Xpress Yourself Publishing). A winner of the No Candles Infinity Contest, hosted by Osbey Books, Kai is credited for writing emotionally raw and thought provoking works and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines under other pen names. An alumni of Hampton University, SUNY Brockport and Georgetown University Law Center, she is a licensed attorney and proud parent.
Her next release, The Loudest Silence, is available December 2010. For more information, and a sneak peek at the prologues for The Loudest Silence and Daughter of the Game II: The Secret Keeper, please visit her website at http://www.authorkai.com.
In Daughter of the Game, The game devours life and life devours love. It’s obvious that Armand is a hustler on the rise. As long as he keeps that life separate from Monique, she is willing to be his everything. Needing Armand’s love, she hides her true identity. Armand has no clue that Monique’s father is the ruler of all vice, so deep in the game that most hustlers work for and answer to him without ever knowing it. In a moment of weakness, Armand submerges Monique into his underworld, exposing her to his secrets and risking her life to his enemy. When that enemy turns out to be her father, Monique finds herself in a cruel tango between family loyalty and all consuming love. Can true love outlast the game? Or must love be sacrificed for both of them to survive?
Interview with Kai:
What is Daughter of the Game About?
This book is about family–those who love, live and support those who live “the game.” Dealers and hustlers aren’t all blatant monsters with no code, no ties, no love, no loyalty. Circumstances create personas behind which people live and hide to survive. And there are networks of people around them who are also affected, also harmed, also tormented, also loved. Daughter of the Game examines the story of those who are tied in by love and life, whether they want to be or not.
What was the inspiration for Daughter of the Game?
As a book reviewer, I read and reviewed a number of urban fiction novels that dealt with the drug game and its players, and the women loving them or using them, but I hadn’t read a story about those people related to drug dealers who aren’t in the game. I wanted to explore that reality and, in my own way, humanize the main drug dealer to expose his weakness and vulnerability. That is why Ricardo feels fear in his heart, or Armand contemplates why his life seems to be predestined for disaster, or Pete loves Miriam but can’t put it to words, and Monique worries about the generational curses her father’s empire will have on her and her children. Although Monique is the main character, I explore the different men and their choices and decisions as well.
Describe the characters in the book:
Monique is Pete Waters youngest daughter, whose school teacher mother has kept her out of the mix. She has developed a bond with Pete’s other children, Michelle and Ricardo, but she has also been submerged in school, church and social activities resulting in her having a double life, so to speak. This results in Monique being a chameleon of sorts, presenting who the world expects her to be, but never really being honest with anyone.
Armand Smith is the love of Monique’s life, but his gut tells him there is more to her than he knows and he doesn’t fully trust her. He is Titan’s main street hustler, out earning all of the other crews and steadily moving his way to the top.
Pete Waters has managed to stay below the radar, living a modest life and managing his operations through his son, Ricardo. He has established the forum, the coalition of top men who buy wholesale from him, but manage their own distribution. The forum gives Pete total control to keep an eye on what each quadrant of the city is doing and to minimize turf wars. But the youngest member, Titan, has no respect for Pete’s authority and, in his need for total control, Pete makes the mistake of attacking Titan.
When Pete and Titan finally go head to head, Armand is marked as expendable. Pete decides to kill Armand and shut down his operation, to teach Titan a lesson. His planned attack goes south when he finds out that he not only was unsuccessful in killing Armand, but his daughter was in the drug house when his men opened fire there.
Who is your favorite character:
That is hard to say. I have a deep affinity for Ricardo, Monique’s brother, and Chew, the man who loves Monique but knows he can never have her. I also enjoy Anji, Titan’s girlfriend. Her spirit and creativity made her fun to write. Michelle, Monique’s big sister, seems to be the favorite character among my readers – I have had several demands that she have a bigger role in Daughter of the Game II. Her relationship with Pete is touching and she is a fighter, that wild around the girl way that every one knows and loves. But my favorite character is Armand. I love his sexiness, his bad boy charisma – he is the type of brother who can be dead wrong and it doesn’t matter-you will love him anyway. Writing him is giving embodiment to the quintessential bad boy-the type that every woman craves deep down inside (until you actually love one, then the craving disappears, trust me)!
How did you begin writing:
Like most authors, I have always been an avid writer and reader. But I began seriously pursuing a writing career after my twins were born. For some reason, their birth sparked a desire to create and use my imagination in a way that I hadn’t before. I penned the first version of my fantasy fiction teen novel and, after receiving overwhelming feedback about it, I started to submit stories to various publishers. Every story I submitted was accepted and published, resulting in unexpected demand in a short period of time. Under different pen names, I have been published across many genres including Christian, Poetry, Science Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Erotica and Urban Fiction. I am proudest of my contribution to Letters To Our Children, a compilation of love letters from authors to their children, published for the Capital BookFest in Washington, DC.
What other projects are you working on?
I have submitted the final version of my next novel, The Loudest Silence, to my publisher. My fans can expect to see it in stores in late December/early January. I am now focused on writing the sequel to Daughter of the Game, which is entitled Daughter of the Game II: The Secret Keeper. Sneek peaks for the prologues of both The Loudest Silence and The Secret Keeper are available on my website at www.authorkai.com.
Give us more info on The Loudest Silence:
The synopsis is below. We are taking preorders on amazon.com at
The Loudest Silence – Where every cruel, silent action is met with a definite, louder reaction… “The tables have turned,” Lani thought, watching her husband Terrance beat his hands against the hood of her car. Lani locked the doors. She flinched as Terrence slammed his golf club against her windshield. Lani punched her horn in anger. Terrance had some nerve. He had left her; had walked out on their life without looking back. Terrence had started this battle when he ran to his “best friend” Kenya, after another argument, like the punk Lani believed him to be. Now, Terrence had her trapped in her car, watching him act like a maniac as he tried to figure out where she had been, who she had been with. Terrence didn’t even know the half of it … and he deserved it. He deserved every minute of agony. This was payback for the cold silence Terrence had subjected Lani to during her times of need. The time had come for Terrence to realize that for every cruel, silent action he took, Lani would respond with a definite, louder reaction.
Thank you so much to the readers who have been so supportive and excited about the novel. The feedback has been incredible, I honestly never expected so much demand so soon. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you, but will try to show you by listening to your feedback and providing you with stories that you are excited about. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Yo, hold up a sec,” Ricardo called to Armand, stepping onto the stoop behind him.
Armand turned to look at him, his eyes blazing with anger. “What up?”
Ricardo shook his head. He couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. Pete had never in his lifetime brought an enemy into the fold. Once a person was on the other side, Pete never considered them again. Chew was Ricardo’s inside man and the only reason Pete had made some sort of exception for Chew was because he had been close to Monique. Ricardo knew Pete was forever suspicious of Chew and, eventually, he would have been cast out. The only thing Pete hated worse than an enemy was a traitor, and he would have always viewed Chew as a traitor.
But this time Ricardo could tell that Pete was changing the rules again. Ricardo couldn’t understand why he would choose Armand of all people. He would be damned if Armand had it easy and refused to let Armand simply ease under the Waters family banner after having killed some of his men. Good men. And Armand had killed them in cold blood. Pete’s new plan didn’t seem to take that into consideration.
“How long you been with my little sister?”
“That’s over. For this deal to go through, you stay the fuck away from Mo.”
Armand pulled a cigarette out of his pants pocket and lit it slowly. Squinting at the street light he inhaled lightly. “The terms don’t get announced out here on the stoop,” Armand said. “You had something to say it should have been said at the table.”
“I’m telling you now,” Ricardo said, ignoring the truth of Armand’s statement.
“And I am telling you now. You ain’t in a position to lay down rules, son.”
“You think I don’t have my father’s ear? You want to test it?”
Armand held Ricardo’s gaze. Unwavering. “The deal I just entered into don’t include you, don’t got nothing to do with you. I don’t answer to you. Get that straight now.”
They stared at each other. Armand puffed on the cigarette and exhaled slowly, letting the smoke ooze from his lips.
“Another thing,” Armand said, his calm irritating Ricardo. “Chew. That’s my man. His memory don’t suffer no tarnish.”
“If he went the way you say. If he didn’t, then you and I have a problem.”
Armand stepped off the stoop, dropped his cigarette to the ground, and stubbed it out. “How you sound? You and I have a problem.” He laughed. “Ain’t no problem. You ain’t no problem for me. I been tracking you for the past two days. You were slated to die, son.”
“You issuing threats? You couldn’t have found me unless I wanted to be found.”
“I don’t issue empty threats. You should know that by now. But you sound like a fool talking at me about Mo after you almost got her killed.”
“Had I known—”
“That’s the problem, you should have known.” Armand jabbed his finger in the air while taking a step closer to Ricardo. The façade was gone and pure hate radiated from Armand’s eyes. “You claiming your sister like you protecting her, but you don’t even know the man in her life. You don’t know who she spending all her time with for the past year? But you her guard? You need to back up off me with that bullshit.”
“Mo said it’s over. So stay the fuck away from her.”
Ignoring Ricardo, Armand continued: “Now me, on the other hand, when I need to know something, I focus all my attention on that shit. You think I couldn’t have found you, huh? Maybe not. But turns out that there is this house off Portland Ave. with three women living up in there. Two fine-ass chicks with a white momma. Bunch of rugrats, though. It’s too bad.” Armand shrugged, shaking his head as if they were ruined. “Wouldn’t you know a Puerto Rican-looking brother be spotted coming and going from there on the regular?”
Ricardo stared at Armand in disbelief.
“I am not to be fucked with, son. You don’t know?” Armand said. His teeth clenched. His lips did not move when he spoke. “Let me be clear, you don’t communicate directly with me after this. Only because of Mo and for Chew am I even talking to you right now. But understand, Mo is my woman. That ain’t going to change. And I answer to the head man. Not his boy. You need to get at me or you got a message you been sent to deliver then you filter it through my lieutenant, Dut. You don’t open your mouth directly to me. Not about business. Not about Mo.”
Armand walked away.