By Marc W. Polite
Greetings to all of my readers. As a new month comes in, here at Polite On Society, we continue to bring you information and perspectives that aren’t replicated elsewhere. To kick off the notable month of June, in this week’s author profile we hear from Roderick Von King, author of “Why Didn’t We Love.” It is a novel that views relationships from a man’s perspective.
Polite On Society: Who is Roderick Von King? Tell us about yourself as an author and entrepreneur.
Roderick Von King: I, Roderick Von King have a long career as an Aerospace Engineer, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s of Science degree in Computer Science. I am also a published songwriter and own a record label (Vee Kay Records), a production company (Vee Kay Productions), and a music publishing company (Vee Kay Music). I have now entered the realm of book publishing with my first novel, “Why Didn’t We Love?” I have been told that I am a great storyteller, keeping my circle of friends captivated with stories about my music industry and life experience endeavors.
My propensity for storytelling is exhibited by my multiple completed musical-published and unpublished works. Spending significant amounts of time, in my early youth, with my cousin, Gordon DeWitty, who was a professional musician, producer, songwriter, and highly sought-after session musician; I observed the music business process from all angles. Due to my cousin being sightless, I was allowed into the closed inner circles of people and groups such as Sly and the Family Stone, Bobby Womack, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Charles Wright, Bloodstone, Johnny Guitar Watson, Little Feat, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Rait, Johnny Nash, and Bill Withers. I took this knowledge, along with my many travels, and honed my skill of songwriting. Later I began writing screenplays, where I then branched off into writing my first novel and other multiple treatments.
With my professional engineering career winding down, writing has become my new passion and profession. Look for more stories from me about my travels and experiences. My next project, which is already in work, chronicles my multiple travels to Trinidad, during the Carnival season, addressing the music, culture, fetes, panorama, and the parade of bands. I have already written over ten Soca songs, based on my experiences and introductions to the top Trinidadian Soca stars and Steel Pan arrangers. Even though these songs are not yet published, they are recorded and copyrighted, and are planned for the associated soundtrack.
POS: What was the motivation for you to write “Why Didn’t We Love?
RVK: The motivation to write “Why Didn’t We Love?” came from two sources: (1) A challenge from a friend of mine’s wife, to write a story about male-female relationships, because she felt I was a good storyteller, and wanted a true perspective of the male psyche; and (2) A friend of mine wrote a song entitled “Why Didn’t We Love?” and the lyrics of that song spoke to me personally, and I felt it was a universal theme that a lot of people could relate to. Also, it is a beautiful song.
POS: Very few people consider the gamut of men’s emotions. How does your book hold space for the varied emotions that men go through?
RVK: As was mentioned in the answer to the first question, the entire book addresses the varied emotions that men go through, as the story delves deep into male-female relationships from a male point of view. The main character, Bobby Vail, who is a true romantic who loves love, unmasks certain male stereotypes and brings a fresh, honest depiction of the male psyche with regard to male-female relationships. He displays his emotions, his hardness, his vulnerabilities, his passions, his pains, and his shortcomings, all in an attempt to be real and truthful.
POS: It is said that love and companionship is difficult to find nowadays. In your opinion, how can the communication gap be bridged between men and women?
RVK: I find the communication gap comes about from a lack of being honest with your feelings and a fear of being hurt or ridiculed. The gap can be bridged by laying out of intentions, and asking penetrating questions, without the expectations of preconceived answers or outcomes. Each must truly listen to the other, without trying to formulate a response before the full answer is given. In my case, I found that fear of rejection kept me from being honest. That fear also kept me, at times, from asking a woman out. I remember the quote from the movie Uncle Drew, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”
POS: How did you transition from your educational background in the sciences into songwriting?
RVK: I have played music from the fourth grade all the way through my four years of undergrad at Loyola Marymount University. Hanging out with my cousin, Gordon DeWitty, I started playing on recording sessions with him, which led into writing songs with him. As I matured in my music, I met other musicians that I bonded with, and we began to write songs. My song writing improved and proliferated when I reconnected with childhood friend Danny Thomas, original keyboard player for Con Funk Shun. Danny and I had been in band together in elementary school, junior high school, and high school.
POS: If you want readers to take one lesson from your debut novel “Why Didn’t We Love” – what would it be?
RVK: Life is precious and you have to take it seriously. The quality of your life stems from the quality of the choices you make.
POS: Is there anything else that you want our audience to know? Do you have any upcoming book signings?
RVK: The book is planned for release on electronic platforms, including the E-book, at the end of June 2023. My author’s website, Facebook, and Instagram pages will be live the week of June 4 2023. I have a book signing planned for 16 June 2023 in the Atlanta, Georgia area. The location is the Freeman Poole Senior Center, 4025 South Hurt Road, Smyrna, Georgia 30082, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.
To learn more, you can follow Roderick Von King on Instagram