Interview with Melda Beaty, author of Lime
Tell us about Lime
Lime centers on the life of Lime Prince, a green-eyed international supermodel of mixed Jamaican-Ethiopian heritage who lands the cover of Vogue and becomes the new face of haute couture. Though she takes the New York fashion world by storm, her sordid, violent past comes back to haunt her. Lime traces back to her painful coming of age in England and America while trying to break into modeling. As a child, Lime is abused and abandoned by her Ethiopian mother and forced to live with her Ethiopian grandparents, but finally rescued by her half-Jamaican father. She finds a modeling agent who siphons off her profits and is later coerced into a sex scandal by her ex-husband, a Jamaican trumpet player.
Amidst the nonstop pressure of the fashion world and the painful memories of her upbringing, her one solace is her witty, no-nonsense best friend AJ. Yet AJ too becomes the victim of an atrocious act of violence committed by her ultra-possessive boyfriend. To respond to her friend’s victimization, Lime organizes an unprecedented national crusade to bring public attention to the innumerable acts of violence committed against women.
What genre is it?
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Social commentary is obviously very important to you. What messages are you hoping readers will take away with them?
In many ways, to be a black woman in today’s America is to be disadvantaged twice over. Are the injustices Lime experiences more a Black story or a female story?
How long did it take to write?
What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
That’s admirable. Tell us a bit about yourself.
In addition to Lime, I am also the author/editor of a diverse and cathartic compilation of non-fiction writings by black women from across the United States. My Soul To His Spirit: Soulful Expressions From Black Daughters To Their Fathers won the 2006 National Fresh Voices Award. I’ve published articles on minority student recruitment and retention in Black Issues in Higher Education, Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education, In Search of Fatherhood Forum and Proud Parent Journal.
These writing opportunities led to an invitation to pen several short stories and poems for the Educational Testing Service for the California Achievement Test. My current play, Front Porch Society, delves into the complex lives of four elderly black women in rural Mississippi Delta on the eve of the 2008 presidential election.
I earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in Writing at Illinois State University. Currently, I teach college Composition at South University. I’m also a college writing specialist for Chicago Public Schools through my consulting business, College Bound Consulting.
When I’m not writing, I thoroughly enjoy cardio and strength training, cycling, swimming, the theater, concerts, reading, and listening to NPR.
You’ve obviously made it through the storm in your own life; is there light at the end of the tunnel for Lime?
So there’s a message of hope in the book?
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?
Can you tell us anything about the sequel?