By Manny Otiko
In her novel “A New Normal,” Los Angeles-based author K. Lee, has created a modern-romance story that features African Americans who work through their issues to have healthy relationships — something that you don’t often see in popular culture.
“I create ‘sheroes’ that women can relate to and model themselves after,” said Lee in a telephone interview. She also wants her books to both entertain and inform readers and “spotlight self love.”
When she wrote the book, Lee also wanted to create more sympathetic black male characters. Lee felt that black male characters have gotten a bad rap since the popularity of Terry McMillan’s books.
“She was known for the male-bashing situation, and I wanted to show the men in a more sensitive light, ” she said.
In “A New Normal,” Dr. Simone Degman, the heroine of the book, has to work through issues such as promiscuity and abandonment before she can get the ideal relationship.
Lee feels this is an issue in our instant-gratification society. She said people have lost sight of how to date and form meaningful relationships.
“I blame a lot of that on social media,” said Lee, who is also a Los Angeles traffic controller and runs a non-profit organization for single fathers. “People are into instant gratification. I call it the microwave society. They don’t want to build towards the foundation of a relationship.”
According to Lee, one of the underlying messages of the book is the female characters learning to overcome their dysfunctional backgrounds and form healthy relationships. That’s why it’s called “A New Normal.”
“The ladies come from dysfunctional homes, at the end of the day, they are still that wounded little girl,” said Lee. “They are not perfect, but these are real situations that occur with women.”
One character has to go through therapy to resolves her childhood trauma, Lee said.
The book has garnered several rave reviews. Eraina B. Tinnin of The Rawsistaz praised Lee for creating realistic characters who deal with real-world problems. “Lee creates a strongly developed character in Simone. She is a woman everyone can relate to. Her hurt, pain and longing for self-love enable us to feel what she is feeling. What I enjoyed most was the realism of the situations Simone faced, as well as the way she found solutions to her problems,” said Tinnin.
Lee is also touring to promote her book and receives positive interaction from both male and female readers at book readings.
Some of the female fans say the book has changed their lives. The male readers also praise the book and say it helped them better understand women.
“They tell me they learned a lot about women and they had no idea women carry baggage from their childhood,” said Lee. “And, they say the story taught them how to treat women.’”
“All in all, the book teaches you about how you can overcome and have a healthy relationship,” she added.
“A New Normal” is available on Amazon.