Moments before hitting the stage to perform in front of a packed house in Bedford, Massachusetts, Faith Evans sits down for a quick interview with author and journalist Aliya S. King. Having already worked together on Evans’ 2008 New York Times bestselling memoir “Keep the Faith,” the two are like giddy schoolgirls when they get together. But this time, Evans flips the script — she’s interviewing King, getting her to spill the beans on the inspiration behind her steamy, new novel “Platinum,” which hits shelves on today, July 6. FAITH EVANS: “Platinum” blew me away. I thought it was such an accurate depiction of how hard it is for marriage and hip-hop to coexist. What inspired you to write it? ALIYA S. KING: I was assigned a story by Vibe a couple of years ago. They wanted me to research what it’s like to be married to a rapper. I did the story and was really shocked at what I saw. EVANS: So your book is based on actual people in the hip-hop industry? KING: I’m sure people will read it and know exactly who they think it’s supposed to be. EVANS: We worked closely on my memoir “Keep the Faith.” Did you use any of my experiences to develop your characters? KING: Actually, I didn’t. Obviously, I can’t write about any woman being married to a rapper and you not inform that somewhere along the way. But no, none of the characters are based on you. EVANS: I’m sure some hip-hop wives you’ve interviewed are going to feel a certain kind of way about the book. How are you going to address that? KING: This is just fiction. I interviewed interesting people and I knew that I could never write about their lives so I just made up stuff based on what I learned from them. I’m simply peeling back the layers to show you what these particular women go through. EVANS: Well, I thought the story was dead on. I actually found it very empowering. I thought it was genuine and entertaining. KING: That’s exactly what I was going for: entertainment. I always thought my first novel would be literary and flowery but that’s not what came out. It’s a fun, entertaining beach read. And I’m okay with that. EVANS: And I’m sure people will take away lessons you didn’t even think they would. KING: That’s true. EVANS: I don’t want to give too much away, but “Platinum” has a very ambiguous ending. Is there a sequel in the works? KING: Yes! EVANS: You’ve written it already? KING: Yes, I’m almost done with part two. And I like it a lot. I’m excited to get “Platinum” out but I’m really looking forward to part two. EVANS: Go head, girl. I’m ready to start working on my next book too. [Clears throat] Hint. Hint. So hopefully you’re not too busy promoting “Platinum” to help me write my next bestseller… KING: Have your people call my people. [Laughs] But if I end up on Oprah, I may not be available.
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