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Hidden Gems: Meet Kai Adia of Bee Infinite Publishing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kai Adia.

Hi Kai, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Thank you for asking! Writing has always fascinated me. It’s been a pivotal force guiding me in life. Growing up with an educator for a mom and an artistic father in Los Angeles, I was always around art and literature. I truly felt a deep connection to literature when I found my genre through Octavia E. Butler’s amazing work. Reading her books at a young age woke the sci-fi and Afrofuturist lover in me. Her stories often focused on a Black woman taking charge of her destiny, however daunting it seemed. Her novels and short stories inspired me to write my own stories. I explored many more genres and styles of writing as a young teen through the nonprofit mentorship program, WriteGirl. Being in this program throughout high school, I met other girls passionate about writing short stories and poetry, I had the chance to be published in their anthologies and I was mentored by women who were journalists, publicists, or songwriters during workshops. This experience laid the groundwork for me to see writing as a career path and publishing as more than a possibility.

After I graduated from Pitzer College in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Analysis and English & World Literature, I jumped into freelance content writing and blogging. Blogging became a way for me to see and experience my city more than ever before and to highlight Black-owned businesses and culture. Prior to the pandemic, I often wrote about awesome events like meeting artists at the Hammer Museum’s Made In LA exhibit, volunteer experiences with WriteGirl and the LA Chapter of The Free Black Women’s Library, and Black hair products like CurlyChic Haircare. In my freelance work, being able to help tell a brand’s story, or work with a client to promote their art, has been so fulfilling. I love that writing can be a creative outlet as well as a major resource to help people. Currently, I am the Co-Founder of Bee Infinite Publishing, a women-owned, independent publisher where I share stories and help other creatives produce their work. 2020 has been a pivotal year of refining my creative writing journey. I wanted to take ownership of my craft and stop waiting for validation. As this tumultuous year unfolded, I completed my debut poetry collection, The Depths of Anima which released in November 2020 as Bee Infinite Publishing’s flagship book release.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a business in 2020 felt like a radical way to turn such a difficult year into a milestone. My co-founder, educational consultant and publisher, Angela Benson and I had so much time to finally sit down and hash out what we wanted to do. We talked and planned. At the same time, it’s been challenging since social gathering is nonexistent at this time. We’ve had to go virtual to build community and hold events. We’ve had to be creative and shift our ideas around book launches and book release parties from what we envisioned before the pandemic in order to adapt to a virtual world. Luckily, this experience has shown us that we can tackle so much in the future. Thankfully, my personal journey so far has been smooth. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and be surrounded by great people who are interested in my work or have tried to help me in some way through advice, mentorship, gigs, or general support.

What has been a challenge is the rollercoaster of seeing one’s worth as a creative. This field is results-based but not every path is linear or paved the same way. And in our current world of social media, it’s very easy to see the veneer of someone else’s life and compare your pathway to theirs. I personally know that being a creative takes constant reaffirming that you can and will succeed at doing what you love. As an entrepreneur, I find it important to take stock of what you’ve achieved by celebrating the small steps that will likely snowball into bigger achievements. When you take the time to connect the dots, you’ll see that you’re continuously moving in the right direction, no matter your pace. Writing poetry and journaling helps me to be more reflective in this way. I hope other creatives find writing like this helpful!

We’ve been impressed with Bee Infinite Publishing, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
“Bee infinite” started as a mantra to act on our creative potential. We launched Bee Infinite Publishing in early November of 2020. As a growing Black-women-owned independent publisher, we hold an Afrofuturist perspective at the core of our business. We want to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) creators who are moving us in new directions through the lens of compelling storytelling. Our mission is to be an equitable publishing house producing prose, poetry, children’s books, graphic novels, lifestyle books and so much more. With books and art in our minds, redefining access to publishing is our foundational goal. If the #PublishingPaidMe Twitter storm showed us anything, the traditional publishing industry still has a long way to go when it comes to racial justice. If we felt fed-up with the hurdles of the publishing industry, then we knew other creators must feel the same way. This is why we want to put creative ownership back into the hands of those who dream of fantastical new worlds, who think in verse, and who draw when holding a pen through our partnership publishing. We’re excited to stretch our legs even more in 2021.

We recently released our first graphic novel series, called Khinsu and the Trial of Swords, which focuses on the supernatural underbelly of Los Angeles. And, we’ll be releasing a children’s book, called Princess Nile and the Lotus Fairy. It’s a whimsical look at Ancient Egypt and grandmother-granddaughter connections. Additionally, it is we are accepting submissions for our upcoming anthology, Future Splendor: Celebrating A New Renaissance. It celebrates the work of emerging BIPOC writers, asking about their visions for the future through their poems and short stories. Writers can find out how to submit on our website.

Currently, we’re looking for partners who think outside of the box and can help us to showcase our books creatively through events, funding, and/or complementary products. Please share your ideas with us at info@beeinfinite.org. You can visit us and shop our books at www.beeinfinite.org and at local bookshops like Eso Won Books or Reparations Club.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
As someone born and raised in Los Angeles, most days I can’t imagine myself living anywhere else because there are so many interesting hubs and places to go. I live and work near the DTLA area, so I can easily spend the day Downtown, or get açaí in Koreatown, or swing by Eso Won Books in Leimert Park. Art, food, and culture are alive here. Our organic food and plant-based options are some of the best and I love that groups like SÜPRMARKT are working to make food deserts obsolete by providing affordable organic food in our Black and Brown communities. I guess you could say the one thing that irks me about living in the city is how long it takes to get around sometimes due to traffic, but I have hope that transportation will get better in the near future. Primarily, I’m really proud and also excited to be a part of the growing Black and POC literary scene that is emerging in Los Angeles. It’s been here, of course, yet I feel that Black creatives and Black women, in particular, are starting to stake their claim more in this space. I’m thankful to groups like The Free Black Women’s Library LA Chapter, the Noname Bookclub, The Underground Museum, Reparations Club, The Salt Eaters Bookshop, Nervous Ghost Press, and many other fresh faces that are claiming Los Angeles as an impactful and inclusive literary scene.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Feature photo by Crystal Milner. Author photos and logo by Bee Infinite Publishing. Bookshelf photo by Reparations Club.

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