Celebrity groupies, sexcapades and tell-alls still a guilty pleasure? Journalist/Author Aliya S. King tells why her first novel, Platinum (in stores today, July 6), is a scandalous read
VIBE: Explain the plot of the book.
Aliya S. King: The plot is [about] four women who are all in relationships with men in the rap industry and how they navigate that world. There’s a woman who’s writing a book about all her sexual exploits, and all four women are concerned that their husbands are in the book.
Sounds very E! True Hollywood Story. Is it based on real people?
I wrote a story for VIBE about five years ago about rappers’ [wives], and I learned a lot about their world. It’s based on [that] story, but I wouldn’t say each character is letter for letter. There is a character people will insist they know. The person that it’s most closely related to read the book and said, “I feel like parts of this were me, but not all.”
Are you worried about getting sued?
Not at all. This is a work of fiction. Is it based on real things? Absolutely. But it’s just like an episode of Law & Order.
But your characters are doing shows with Jay-Z and other real artists.
I didn’t want this to be some alternate universe where those people don’t exist. I struggled with it at first but I was like, “How can I paint the main character, Jake? How can he be one of the biggest rappers in the world and not have any connection to Jay-Z?” That’s fake.
Is there extra interest in this topic lately? There’s this chick named Kat Stacks…
I’ve heard of her. As much as I feel bad for people like Tiger Woods’s wife and Tiki Barber’s wife and Sandra Bullock, I’m kind of like, “Yes!” The themes in my book mirror what’s happening in real life right now. And it wasn’t that way two years ago when I started writing it. —Clover Hope
This story appears in the June/July issue of VIBE currently on stands.