Hello again guys! Today is my stop for Our Friendship Matters by Kimberley B. Jones. I did an interview with the author as well so scroll down to read it. Thank you so much to iRead book tours for having me!
Leah and Sasha are 17-year-old friends who had been close to one another since elementary school, but as the summer approaches they find their friendship tested in ways they never anticipated. Following graduation, Sasha’s privileged life and perception of the world around her is suddenly altered when an old childhood friend persuades her to join in a campaign against an injustice after his best friend is killed by the police. But joining the protest has unforeseen consequences for Sasha, distancing her from Leah, who becomes jealous of Sasha’s new friends and finds herself on the opposing side, protesting alongside her group of new white friends. As the tension mounts between the two bitterly opposed factions, a tragedy strikes and threatens to make Sasha and Leah enemies. Can they find a way to resolve their differences, putting them to the side and learn to accept each other’s viewpoints? Or is their long friendship finished for good?
What was/were your main inspiration(s) to start writing this book?
My inspiration for writing OUR FRIENDSHIP MATTERS was to write how we as Americans label one another by our differences. Not just color, but other reasons as well. We label each other by money, beliefs, and the communities we live in. Police brutality was not the only issue in this novel. You had teenagers who attend private schools that do not socialize with certain groups at their own school because of money and differences from appearance or who attends the school on scholarships. In the novel, it discuss the bias of private school schools not connecting with public school kids, and vice versa.
The main focus in the book is police brutality because it is a main issue of our society today. It is overwhelming to keep discussing this topic. The sad thing is that I wrote this book two years ago and here we are, two years later still discussing this back issue from many centuries.
Are any of the characters in “Our Friendship Matters” based on anyone you know in real life?
My character Sasha almost mirrored my life and my upbringing. My mom would always say, “Get an education because the things doesn’t always fall in your favor and if anything happens you always have your piece of papers to fall back on.” Young and mischievous, I never paid attention to it, but now as an adult I respect those words to the fullest.
I played sports in high school, but never thought about playing volleyball. I was the score keeper and that is it. As a teenager, my parents provided what we needed, so my life in the worlds news was not part of my teenage life. Yes, I regret it because as a young adult, I could have made a change, but here I am now reaching out to the teenagers of today, to stand up and make a voice for what you believe in. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would be making a difference early in life.
At any point in writing this book did you feel like throwing it all away and giving up? If so, what or who made you push through to finish writing it?
I never wanted to throw this novel away because I was focus expressing to the world how we felt as a community. I was up plenty of late night determined to write this novel and it was not easy. When you have witness some of these issues yourself, you get angry and upset writing stories like this. But it made me stronger as a person. Even though, this has been my first novel, but within the four that I have written after, I saw an improvement in my writing.
Looking back at my mom in the hospital and her telling me to keep writing is what gives me the strength to keep writing.
Leah is a mean and stuck-up character. How did Sasha manage to put up with her for so long? Why didn’t she just break off the friendship?
When you love someone, it is hard to let that person go. Even though, Sasha gave Leah chance after chance, they have history. I wanted OUR FRIENDSHIP MATTERS to show that we can work through our differences. Now, they might not be the best of friends anymore, but they have a better understanding of each other views and culture on life, which gives them an opportunity to know their boundary limits.
If they value and understand each other beliefs, then the friendship should be worth fighting for. No one is the same and not everyone understands the importance of inclusion.
What did you hope to achieve when putting this book out into the world?
When writing this novel, I was hoping to achieve a better future for my son. Not only for my son, but ethnicity groups, who feel the same as I do.
For some who have read the novel, I made a code in the first chapter.
“I considered us blood sisters-that crazy pact you make when you’re young and dumb by making your index finger bleed and sticking them together.”
I wrote that in the book to show we all have different hair color, figures, skin color, but when Sasha and Leah place their fingers together, their blood was the same color. It starts young and if we can teach our young children to accept people for their difference, the world would have a better understanding. It would take more centuries to change the world, but at least they heard you in this century.
Kimberley B. Jones is a small country girl from St. George, SC. She followed her heart in college writing children books. Recently she decided to challenge herself and branch off to novels. She is your typical nomad who moves from place to place. Not by choice, but her husband serves in the military. She has a bachelors and masters in early childhood education. Kimberley is represented by Rhetaskew Publishing company and is best known for her debut novel, Our Friendship Matters. When she is not writing, she is either thinking of another topic or reading. She loves writing , it gives her a chance to escape into another human character and express herself, other than being your typical mother and wife. If you don’t want to be on her bad side, then she needs her white chocolate mocha every morning. Some days Folgers breakfast blend coffee is okay.
Thank you once again to iRead Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!
If this book catches your eye, here is where you can buy it: