Rolling Out Magazine (Extended) Interview

Poppii King is a writer and creative with an extraordinary gift of storytelling in its purest form. She recently released her novel Look What You Made Me Do. The book speaks volumes as it relates to women around the world who have been sexually abused/assaulted or who are just overcoming a particular situation within life’s journey. King told rolling out about her new raw and inspiring novel.

Why did you write this book?

Initially my reason for writing this book, was that I wanted to bring awareness to a very important problem, that I saw happening a lot as a teen in my community. I remember so many times seeing posters with young girls and even males who were wanted for purposely spreading HIV, and I felt as though it wasn’t talked about enough and almost taboo, but it was happening. I felt as though we as young people weren’t as informed as we should be, we blindly play russian roulette with our lives, and I really wanted to spread awareness while installing a sort of fear, in hopes of encouraging more people to practice safe sex, but after sitting down to write it, it became so much more, I’ve learned so much from my own experiences, that I knew that I didn’t just want to write a story about the pain, it was important for me to implement solutions, inspiration and motivation for all those who may be going through tough times in their lives, I think the best books are always those you can learn somethingfrom.

Whats’s the story behind the title?

 

There’s really no deep story behind the title, though I wish it was.. When I first began to write the book, the only thing I knew was that I was going to write about a young girl, who goes through a great deal of traumatic experiences, gets HIV and then spreads it, so after writing the first few paragraphs I decided that I would put it away. I started to think what would be the most relative title that I could use, and I figured ok, well she gets HIV then spreads it as a form of revenge, so I decided to use “Look What You Made Me Do” until I could come up with something better… but I never thought of anything and ultimately decided to just keep the title. I thought it was a title that no one would ever use, so in my head I had come up with such a unique title… fast forward five years later and you can see just where Taylor Swift crushes that idea lol but by then I had already had my book copy written and I had it first anyway so lol there was no going back.. The funny thing is that I had already had an instagram account set up for the book way before the book was released, which is @LWYMMD, so when Taylor Swifts song “Look What You Made Me Do” came out, I had a lot of die hard Taylor Swift fans harassing me, and some even offering me money for the instagram name. Lol of course I declined, but I remember I kept thinking someone was going to hack the account to get the name lol Thanks a lot Taylor lol

What do you hope readers will glean from reading your book?

There are so many different things, but the most important thing that I hope for readers to glean from reading my book, is that you can overcome anything that you have gone through or may be going through in life. I have a need to give hope to those whom may be feeling hopeless, and as if life is always kicking them down, because that was once me, but I think it’s important for us all to understand that just because you may have been victimized by one thing or another, does not mean that you have to live as a victim, you can still choose to be happy. If things are seemingly going all wrong in your life, changing the way you think, changes your perspective and ultimately changes your life. As cliche as it may sound, this is 100% facts and definitely one of the things that I want readers to take away from this story.

How long did it take you to write this book? 

I actually started writing the book about five years ago, but then put it away after writing the first few pages .I started to pursue other things but they weren’t things that I was naturally talented at.. it wasn’t until last year that I decided that I needed to get back to writing, I felt it was important for me to use my natural talent, but once getting back to it, it was only a few months before I had it completed.

What was your regimen to complete this book? 

I honestly had no specific regimen when writing this book, this is the reason that I always credit the universe for sending me this story, because it almost felt as though the story was being uploaded to my brain, there was a movie playing in my head and I just wrote what I saw. It was just crazy how certain things from my own life fit perfectly for certain scenes… I would write whenever the story came to me.. there would be days that I would go to write but there was nothing there, so I would put it away for a few days and sometimes even a week or two.. until the next scene was sent to me.

How did you arrive at this career choice? Was it a deliberate decision or a gradual and natural evolution? 

It really was a natural evolution, I started writing when I was in the fourth grade.. I had entered a poetry contest in my school and I won… I was so excited that I had won that it encouraged me to write more and more poems. I begin to win several poetry contest even outside of my school.. it wasn’t long before I realized that writing was definitely my God given talent,  I’ve done so many other things, but today I find it important for me to use my gift.. It’s important for me to merge my natural talent with my passion for helping people, two things I love to do.. making the career choice a very easy one lol. They say when you do what you love it will never feel like work, this I find to be truth.

What separates you from others in your field? What is unique to the experience that you create?

What separates me, I would definitely say is my style of writing, I definitely get the reader emotionally invested so that they feel as though they personally know the characters, and as if they’re apart of the book, thats one of the greatest experiences that I create. So when people tell me that they felt that way when reading my book its a dope feeling for me. I know that through my writing i’m able to give you that very realistic feel, almost like I took the movie from my head and put you in it, you don’t feel as though you’re reading about a character in a book.. you feel as though you’re reading a text or a letter from a friend telling you a story that happened to them. That, and the fact that I like to think that i’ve cleverly slipped some inspiration, motivation and lessons through certain characters, by the time you finish reading it, you realize that you’ve learned something that can actually help you or maybe help someone you know, something that you may be able to apply to your own life, or you maybe just gain a new perspective.

For those considering entering this arena, what skill sets do you recommend mastering? What traits are most conducive to success? 

One of the most important skills that I would recommend mastering is the skill of patience.  I see all too often writers attempting to force their book out of their brains.. I think it’s ok to not write for a day or two, or even weeks if nothing has yet come to you. Forcing a story out can come across very obvious on paper, making the reader uncomfortable. If you have a rushed story, the reader can feel that through your writing.  Another important one is to master the skill of being self.. I think it’s great to have an influencer, but definitely have your own style of writing, the greatest thing about you, is that no one else can be you, but you… Don’t be afraid to access your creative side by thinking you’ll be more successful, adopting someone else’s style just because they may have been successful with it. Through dedication, self motivation, strong intention and continuous action, one is sure to reach their goals, these are the traits that are the most conducive to success.

How do you stay at the leading edge of your craft?

This is a good question, I definitely can’t take full credit, I will have to thank God for blessing me with this gift, then i’d have to give praise to my many experiences, even the bad ones, because they help me to bring realistic life to my writings, but the one thing I do love to do, to stay on top of my game, is to exercise my brain by learning, I love to read books that I can learn from and get different perspectives. This of course helps me thru life overall.

Do you think that there are any widely held misconceptions about what you do? If so, what are they and how do you work to dispel them? 

In fact there is, one of the biggest misconceptions that i’ve found is people addressing novels with black characters as “Hood books” I remember before my book was released there was a blog on instagram that had posted my book trailer. I received such great reviews but there was someone who commented that they were “tired of these hood books” and then someone else had commented agreeing with that comment, and then the comment had gotten a few likes and I’m like hold on, hold on. Lol This prompted me to write a blog on my website entitled “Not Another Hood Book”  I knew that at the time since the book wasn’t out yet, they had little to go by.. but I thought it was important that I address it just to let people know that it wasn’t just that, while the character may have been from the “hood”,  the story is just so much more than that.. it was kind of the perfect example of “Never judge a book by it’s cover” lol

How do you map out your goals? How do you measure your success? 

I definitely map out my goals by writing them down from short term to long term goals, then writing down the necessary steps needed to take, in order to reach them. Every week I make sure to do a few things that will get me closer to achieving my goals. I recently started something new where I make sure to plant at least 3 seeds a day. For me this means sending E-mails, making phone calls etc… Even if its something that I may not get an immediate response from, I know that i’ve planted the seed, and while all the seeds planted may not bloom.. I know that consistent planting and nurturing will ultimately lead to a full garden. I think everyone should do this.

For myself,  I tend to measure my success in levels, I’ve already reached success in a few ways on a few different levels.. the greatest thing i’ve been successful at so far is reaching true happiness.. it’s been a journey lol … the next level of success that I am aiming for, is being able to reach and help hundreds of people, financially, mentally, emotionally etc. and to create at least 7 different streams of income for myself, thats when I have completely reached my definition of success.. anything beyond that is just a super blessing, and I do plan to go beyond that.

Who do you consider to be your peers in your field? Who do you see/use as examples for you to emulate? 

I believe every living being to be my peer, I think every writer has so many different characters in their heads, so many different stories, ages, perceptions etc. At any given paragraph any great writer could be considered my peer.. it depends on what I’m writing about. I really don’t attempt to emulate anyone. I believe everyone is here on Earth for a reason, so I’m just following my path. I truly believe that I am here to help people, whether through my writings or my daily human interactions, so that’s what I focus more on, my goals and lessons that I can share, learned from my human experiences. I just want to be the best me that I can be.

Name two of your top role models: one from your industry and one from outside of it. 

 

One  of my top role models from outside of my industry is definitely Malcom X, and from the writing industry, I would have to say a a young lady by the name of “Miasha” who is also an Author, and mostly because I love what she was able to do with her opportunity… She was able to take that and flip it into an even bigger business, I think thats dope, commendable and respectable.

Name three books, works, performances or exhibits that changed how you view life and/or yourself.  

I would have to first name my book “Look What You Made Me Do”  because I was able to learn so many things about myself when writing it,  for example, as a child I would always wonder why I wasn’t as mentally affected as the women I would watch on television talk shows, that had gone through sexual abuse as well.. I could never understand it.. but when writing the beginning of the book where Ameena (the main character) experiences child sex abuse, she explains how she never told anyone what was happening, because she had felt as though she was a willing participant in her own rapes and molestations. This was me realizing that one of the main reasons I was able to overcome my own sex abuse, was because I had never thought of myself as a victim, but instead as a willing participant, even though I was only 7 years old when it began. Two other books that has changed how I view life is definitely “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and “The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphey. These are such great books that you can learn so much from.

Why do you consider continued learning important?  

This is such a great question, continued learning is not only super important, but I believe it to be the reason that we’re here on planet Earth.. One never stops learning and life experiences are our greatest teachers. Continued learning, and gaining knowledge and wisdom, are the greatest vehicles to maneuver successfully through this world. The brain is so magical, I don’t think people value their brains enough. We must always feed our brains, and continue to make those valuable knowledge deposits, so that we can continue to elevate and pass that knowledge on to the next generation. Your understanding will always be limited by your knowledge, and when you have a lack of knowledge you will always have a lack of resources.

What affirmations do you repeat to yourself that contribute to your success? 

 

Oooh how’d you know about my affirmations secret? Lol ok well I’ll reveal my top three 1. I am financially abundant 2. I create my reality and 3. (Which is my favorite one to remind myself ) is: You only stress when you have not found a way to use the power within you, but everyday is another day to find out.. The greatest thing is that I am never without it!! These affirmations have contributed a great amount to my success, to my motivation and to my lack of stress. Lol

What role does technology play in your day-to-day life? How do you utilize it?

 

In my day to day life technology plays a big role, I’m utilizing my computer and cell phone almost every minute. In todays society of course, there’s no better way to reach a mass amount of people than the internet. I’m a business owner as well, so I’m constantly online for business purposes, social media is everything right now and it’s a great tool when used productively.

What software, app or other technological innovation has made the biggest difference in your life and/or career? 

I would definitely have to say instagram and Facebook.. especially since they’ve added the marketing and promotional tools for business owners.. I love it and encourage every business owner to take advantage of that .. but I can’t say anymore good things about them since they’re not paying me to promote them Lol just kidding, both can definitely make a great impact on your business without spending large amounts of money. . use it and abuse it.

Please define your personal brand.

 

I would describe my brand as trustworthy, empathetic, fashionable, authentic and relatable. That’s exactly what I am.

What is your favorite vacation destination and why?

My favorite vacation destination is definitely Niagara falls … I love love love waterfalls, I can sit and watch them like T.V and it’s so relaxing, I feel so free.. even when not physically there I always go through meditation.. that’s what you call a free vacation lol

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

 

I love this question.. If I could change one thing about the world it would definitely be the greed, the greed and need for power and control has definitely destroyed us… without that.. all life on Earth would be so much better off…. I dream of that day.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Well, one thing that I’m in the process of changing about myself, is the fact that I can totally detach myself from people once I feel that they’ve wronged me in some way.. I kind of hate that about myself. Even though it’s always justified, I also know that no one is perfect, everyone will be flawed in some way. There are people that I’ve cut out of my life that i’d like to have back in my life.. but then I’m always questioning how do I look pass what caused the detachment in the first place?! Although I’m always willing to accept one back with an apology and an acknowledgment of their wrong doing. I just want to be able to handle things differently before totally shutting down.. Other than that I really wouldn’t change anything about myself… everything that I am, made me exactly who I am today.. but whenever I see something about myself that I can better, I definitely take the necessary steps to change them.. so I think I’m exactly who I need to be.

What does it take to be iconic? In your estimation, who has achieved that status? 

 

To be iconic, to me means being someone that stands up, and speaks out, not only for what they believe in.. but for the betterment of others as well. Someone who does this despite the amount of people whom may disagree or go against them, someone who will continue to speak facts even when the majority isn’t in their favor. Someone who puts their image, career etc. on the line to do so… Nina Simone, who is one of my favorite icons has definitely achieved this status… truly iconic.

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