I’ve been chatting with Kimberly Cain over the last few weeks. It’s been absolutely wonderful to meet an individual who doesn’t let conventional ideas about sex confine her. Makes me feel a little less alone in the world. 🙂 Well, she agreed to let me interview her. So let’s get to it!
Tell us a little about your writing and what works you have planned for the future.
I always have more “works” in my idea folders than I’ll ever be able to manifest! That’s okay because I find that the threads of the ideas usually run through just about everything, so whatever needs to come out eventually will come out in one work or another. I currently have a non-fiction work about intuition in progress, as well as loose notes for my next novel.
I see you’re also artistic in other areas such as art and music. Share a bit about your style.
Style, hmmm. I’ve never really thought much about that. I’m a bit of a rock ‘n’ roll gal, I suppose. By that, I mean I don’t make art by any hard and fast rules. I do it the way I want to do it, regardless of how anyone else says it should be done. I’ve written & performed music for most of my life – most of it in the rock/pop genre, though I love all types of music.
Besides my love of color, I believe my watercolor art was born simply out of a need for completion during the long novel research & writing process. I didn’t take any lessons; I just bought beautiful paints & allowed my feelings to flow onto paper. It was a joyful discovery! It was gratifying to have completed pieces – it boosted my spirits & my energy.
How does music influence your writing?
Music is a major influence on my prose writing – so much so, that Heaven comes with a CD of original songs written & performed by various artists (including me).
Everything has a rhythm. Words & stories have a rhythm; we are rhythmic beings. Music is the great communicator of emotions, crossing all language barriers. When I hear a song I like, I can move into an altered state of consciousness that allows me to experience emotions or energy that may not be my own, but that of a character, a scene or a place. I wrote the entire novel to a soundtrack of favorite songs, specifically chosen for the mood they created. Before the writing began each day, I started the music & entered the space. The current non-fiction I’m writing requires a different soundtrack. Writing a proposal or some other “businessy” piece…I have to have total silence!
I have to say, I love the cover art on Heaven. The subject matter also seems to be on the controversial side. What pushed you to step out there and present Heaven to the world?
Thank you! I love the cover art too – designed by my extremely talented sister, Kelly Brown, of Studio Honey (www.StudioHoney.com). She really captured the look & feel of the story. And for those who understand the symbolism of the tattoo, the naked woman becomes even more alluring!
You’re right about the subject matter. Heaven is about the nature of God as seen through the eyes of Eve, an exotic dancer. It is a story of healing the perceived separation between our spiritual & our sexual selves.
We clamor for sexual imagery in our Western culture & the media serves it up in spades, yet we still practice Puritanical values in our daily lives, acting as if the sight of nipples peaking out from a blouse is somehow “slutty”.
The mixed messages lead to confusion & guilt for more people than one might imagine. I learned from therapists & ministers that they see an overwhelming number of people dealing with sexual issues due to religious repression. Many exotic dancers revealed, in interviews, the mistreatment they had received from religious caretakers.
Eastern practices involving the Kundalini energy introduce the sexual nature to the spiritual nature. It’s time these two aspects of our humanity became friends! When they are fully integrated within us as a culture, we’ll be healthier people.
I was inspired to write Heaven in novel form because, as a performer, I have always felt the spiritual & sexual aspects of my being united in a very joyful way. I believe entertainment has great power to transform culture by stimulating the imaginations of people & creating conversations around new perspectives. Controversy tends to be stimulating & I can’t think of anything more provocative than sex & religion!
Do you use music to promote your writing and vice versa? And if yes, how?
I definitely do! They really go hand in hand. The Heaven release event included a concert where I performed songs from the novel’s accompanying CD & did corresponding passage readings. Music can convey the same messages carried in the novel in shorter bits & with an immediate intensity of emotion. You can hear some of the songs at www.HeavenTheNovel.com.
Sometimes, with short readings, I’ll use a passage containing music lyrics. I’ll often sing those, instead of speaking them – it adds a different dimension or depth.
My radio show, Naked Vibes , contains music interspersed between readings & interviews with other artists & healers of all types. http://www.kimberlycainblog.com/lio-radio-live-inside-out/
I also do presentations for groups, one-on-one intuitive guidance & a workshop called Move Your Sexy Spirit®. Many of the novel’s concepts are incorporated & I almost always use music & movement to help integrate the concept of wholeness – body, mind, & spirit. (www.KimberlyCain.com)
Reena, thank you for your wonderful website & for the interview! Blessings on all of your endeavors.
Kimberly Brown Cain is an intuitive spiritual guide, author, speaker & performing artist. Performing as the former duo Frankly Scarlet – with sister Kelly Brown (now Local Honey) – she has opened for artists such as David Bowie and shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan (Lilith Fair), and others. She has received songwriting awards from Billboard and Musician Magazines.
Heaven is Kimberly’s first novel. While writing to a background of her favorite music, she realized how integral it was to the feel of the novel & the idea was born for an accompanying CD.