Welcome back to another Writing Wednesday and another interview. Today I have for you Kahlia, who’s so many things that I feel she should tell you and not me. So, once again let’s welcome our guest with open arms and I’ll see you in a few.
- Please introduce yourself before we begin.
- My name is Khalia S. Parker Preyer also known as K(P)2. I am an actress, educator, creative writer, and a new children’s book author.
- Every writer has an origin story to tell, what’s yours?
- I have so many stories. I will start with the story of a wife who lovingly conceived a child while living in a small community. The father gave the daughter the world and showered her with so much love. Then, when the daughter was only four years old she realized that daddy wasn’t coming home anymore. She spent years wondering what could have happened to keep him away and realized that it was due to him being incarcerated. That girl was me.
- What was the first story, poem, or novel you ever worked on?
- I was so young; I don’t even remember. Yet, I do remember in sixth grade I wrote a poem called “Searching”. I submitted it to Poetry.com and it was published. One of my loved ones got it put on a plaque and I keep it in my office.
- What’s the hardest thing about writing?
- The hardest thing about writing is I just can’t turn it out. I wake up thinking about it.
- What Genres do you write in and do you have a favorite?
- I write in many genres. But my absolute favorite has been Juvenile Fiction. It gives me the opportunity to pour back into my community.
- Why do you write?
- I write to express myself. Which is crazy because oftentimes no one ever sees it.
- Favorite author and/or book series?
- I grew up with Judy Blume being one of my favorite authors. My favorite books are Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Possum Come A-Knockin by Nancy Van Laan. But now, my favorite author is Jacqueline Woodson. She’s a children’s book author and her work are both needed and appreciated.
- Okay, the tough question here. It’s no secret that Mental health is important for writers. Seeing that I want to be more of an advocate for it, is there any advice you like to give to people to keep fighting, whether you’re dealing with it personally or know someone that is?
- Listen, mental health is one of my driving forces. Imagine growing up with a foundation of depression and schizophrenia. Watching loved ones being committed, turning to medication, and depressants. I have parts of me that I work every day not to connect to. I write to escape. I believe my passion was driven by what I didn’t want to be. I thank God that it’s not my story (at least for now). I pray that it stays that way. I’m an artist. I use theatre to escape. And when I can’t use theatre arts, I write. I’m a role model to many by trade. You must let people know that you empathize. Yet, you must show them a way to keep pushing. Don’t be afraid to share your testimony. Don’t apologize for the things that hurt.
- Before we leave is there anything you’re working on now or anything you have released?
- Love Beyond the Bars was published about a year ago. I wrote that book and dedicated it to my twin boys. I wanted to write a book as a resource to explain the questions that will come about their grandfather’s incarceration. I’ve recently published the coloring book on Amazon as well for children living with other “bars” that make them reluctant about loving a person unconditionally for example parental incarceration, parental divorce, etc. I also do spoken word. I am a new YouTube artist and the founder of a non-profit called K(P)2 Theater where we provide culturally relevant theater to children and youth. It’s an avenue for them to express themselves.
- Finally, anything you want to say to new writers/artists?
- Keep Pushing. In the words of author Beverly Cleary: “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.”
There you have it folks. It’s funny to think that many people who are creators do it to get away from the real world, yet our art reflects of said world. Do you find that funny? Or maybe Ironic is the better word? Either way, I hope you enjoyed this interview and remember, to read, write, and create whatever it is you’re creating and have fun doing it.
“Diversity is about all of us, and about us having to figure out how to walk through this world together.”