Cardinal Rules

Tonight on Literary Links I will be interviewing Joey Pinkney;               author of Cardinal Rule.

Thank You Mr. Pinkney for joining us tonight.

Nefretitim: How did you come up with the title for Cardinal Rule?

Joey Pinkney: The title of the story is a play on the “hue” of the story. In”Cardinal Rule,” I made a point to add as many words that were related to the color red as possible.

“Cardinal Rule” is a conversation piece between Earline Jones and Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt Washington. Between the two characters, Earline Jones slowly became the dominant person. As I wrote and revised the story, the concept of a “cardinal rule” directly applied to the way she presented herself and to why she took a certain stance when it came to love and relationships.
The word “cardinal” has a few connotations that fit with energy of the dialogue between Earline Jones and Teddy, so I ran with it.

NefretitiM: What genre does Cardinal Rule fall into?

Joey Pinkney: It’s hard for me to pinpoint a genre for “Cardinal Rule.” The tag line that I use in the book’s description is that it’s “romantic, but it’s not a romance…” The love and affection is there, but the love connection isn’t.

I think “Cardinal Rule” may better fall into Women’s Fiction, because of the structure and what happens (or doesn’t happen, depending on how you look at it) at the end of the story.

NefretitiM: How many other works have you published?

Joey Pinkney: “Cardinal Rule” is my first solo publication. I’ve published two other short stories (“Children in the City of the Fallen Towers” and “To Catch a Book Cover Model”) and a short nonfiction guide (“8 Simple Twitter Tips for Authors”). I also co-wrote a poetry collection with Earline Jones, the female lead in “Cardinal Rule.”

Yes, you read that right. I wrote a poetry collection with one of the characters from one of my short stories. (Available to read for free on Wattpad: “E.A.R.L.I.N.E: Poetry Inspired by Cardinal Rule.”)

NefretitiM: Where is the most unlikely place that you have found inspiration for one of your works?

Joey Pinkney: The most unlikely place I can readily think of is being inspired by an aspect of one of my short stories. When I was writing the story that eventually became “Cardinal Rule,” I had an idea for a conversation involving a man and woman.

As the imagery began developing, Teddy (from my now un-published short story “Swiggers”) landed the role to be the male lead. Since I had experience with his sense of humor, I wanted a serious female for him to deal with. But who?

I looked to “Swiggers” for clues. Lo and behold, one of Teddy’s friends asked him about a woman named Earline Jones. I didn’t remember her character reference, nor did I remember having a character named Earline Jones in that story.

I named the female lead in “Cardinal Rule” Earline Jones and began building from there. Now, I have a few story ideas to further flesh out who she is.

NefretitiM: I know you are a chocolate lover as am I, how does your love of chocolate play into your writing process?

Joey Pinkney: Ah, chocolate… That timeless sweet treat… Love, love, love… Oh! Sorry. Got caught up.

As much as I try not to rely on foods and drinks to write, the truth of the matter is that I do my best writing with TONS of chocolate and GALLONS of Mountain Dew.

Chocolate calms my brain and helps give me the creative focus I need to sew ideas together to make literature. Chocolate has fueled some great ideas.

I actually used the flavor of chocolate as a means of contrasting Earline and Teddy. He had a chocolate shake, and she had strawberry ice cream. That was a nod to my social media friends who read my stories. They got it and thought it was funny.

NefretitiM: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like doing graphics for book promotions. I like eating chocolate. I like watching intellectual movies, comedies and documentaries.

NefretitiM: What tips or words of encouragement do you have for other writers?

Joey Pinkney: Instead of worrying about whether or not readers will like your story, write it. Be creative. Take educated risks. Do the stuff within a story that you think it’s cool. Experiment. Take a chance.

Stop trying to find a bandwagon to jump on, and start building your own style and your own brand. Be true to YOUR art. And let the chips fall where they may…

Well said Joey.  Get your copy of Cardinal Rule @

Cardinal Rules


One thought on “Cardinal Rules”

  1. Thank you so much, Nefretiti for interviewing me for Literary Links. I hope readers get a chance to learn more about “Cardinal Rule: A Short Story” and also check it out at the link you provided.


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