AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: KIRU TAYE
Author Kiru Taye has stopped by to let the JR Bunnies torture (oops I mean Interview) her:
Tell us a little about His Princess and the inspiration behind it;
His Princess is the 3rd book in my historical romance series set in pre-colonial West Africa and follows the journey to love; of a prince, Emeka and a slave girl, Ezinne.
With the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders and his honor at stake, can a Prince truly love a slave?
Ezinne is dismayed when her mistress presents her to Prince Emeka as a concubine to cater for his every need for a few weeks. She’s a slave whose previous encounters with men make her fear their brutality.
Yet the more she gets to know the powerful yet honorable prince, the easier he breaks down the walls around her heart. She soon comes to want him more than she wants anything else, even freedom.
But Emeka is the heir to the throne and Ezinne is a woman with secrets that threaten not just their budding relationship but a kingdom.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I have to confess I’m not a plotter. When I start a story, all I have is a blank page and perhaps an image of a character or a scene in my head. I know there’s going to be a happy ending but I don’t know how the characters are going to get there.
So I write my stories, scene-by-scene, letting the characters dictate what happens at each stage until the conclusion.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I read a varied range of romance sub-genres. So I write contemporary, historical as well as paranormal romances.
I’d been reading historical romance stories but most of them were set in Europe or America. So when I read Jeannie Lin’s first Harlequin Historical Undone set in Asia, I knew I had to write a historical romance set in Africa. I felt the audiences were ready to read romance stories about Africans.
That’s how my first historical romance, His Treasure was born and the whole Men of Valor series sprouted from there.
So thank you, Jeannie.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
This is a tough one because I love all my characters when I write them. I guess right now my favorite has to be Prince Emeka. He is a man who has to make some tough choices weighing up what’s good for his kingdom and what he desires personally. I think he manages to pull it off with honor. I hope the readers think so too.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
I have to say Ezinne in His Princess. Trying to get into the mind and attitude of a slave girl in Ancient Africa is tough but with a little research and some inspiration, I think she turned out just fine.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Probably not so much for my historical romances but my contemporary romances are certainly inspired by some real life people. That’s all I’m permitted to say. LOL
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
I actually love writing when I have a fresh idea. I can type for hours without a break. The part I find difficult is what comes after I finish my first draft—editing, especially line-editing and then all the work that goes into marketing a book once it’s published. But I’m grateful for my editor who makes editing easier.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
I love fast cars.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Reading hot romances. Watching African/Nollywood moviesJ
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I haven’t really got a ritual per se. But I love a quiet room. I can’t really think if there’s a racket going on.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Not really. The only time I play music is while editing.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Okay, in my previous Men of Valor stories, a young Idris Elba inspired Obinna in His Treasure, a young Djimon Hounsou inspired Ikem in His Strength.
But If I had to pick a Hollywood star to play Prince Emeka in His Princess, I’d choose Jamie Fox and Jennifer Hudson would play Ezinne.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
My exact location? My kitchen and I told my husband first after I screamed the house down. LOL
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was probably about 15 or 16.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Oh, I have a list of authors that make me rush for the cooler every time—Natasha Blackthorne, Doris O’Connor, April Vine and Ella Jade, are just a few.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m currently revising a contemporary romance I wrote about a year ago for a publisher. It’s the first book in a series about three successful tycoon brothers and how they find love while dealing with family secrets and scandals.
How do you pick your characters names?
For my historical romances, picking a name is relatively easy. I pick African names that closely match the characters personality or situations.
For the contemporary stories I try and get a balance of African names vs. English names. So it depends on the story and if I feel an African or English name best reflects the character’s personality.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
When I read romance, I like to be hit ‘bull’s-eye’ when the hero and heroine meet on the page for the first time. I want to believe there’s a possibility that the two can fall in love. So there needs to be an initial emotional and/or physical reaction to each other even if the characters refuse to admit it to themselves at that point.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I have four words for any of those stuck-up writers. Fifty Shades of Grey. LOL
Follow my blog for latest news, free reads & giveaways: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
For a comprehensive list of my books, check out her website: http://www.kirutaye.com
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
It has to be Milk Chocolate. Just delicious. J