Kiru Taye is an award winning author of historical, contemporary and paranormal romance. Her stories are sensual and steamy, often leaving you wanting more of her characters and her books. Her characters are believable, passionate and real. Taye provides heroes and heroines who are black and authentic culturally and traditionally, filling a gap alien to main stream authors.
Having read a few of her books, Taye is arguably the best romance author of all times. She is simply very good at what she does. Taye has written twelve books in the space of four years. She writes books she wants to read and to be fair it is hard to keep up with her creative energy.
There is no end to prequels and sequels. There is something for everybody in her books. Whilst Taye argues that there is a difference between romance and erotic writing, Taye works to dispel the myth that sex is a recent invention for African men and women. Taye’s audience are mostly women as are all romance readers and we are scattered all over the world.
Women love Kiru because her male characters are strong, masculine, virile and able to understand the needs of their women. Many of us who read Taye, want partners -or want our partners to become- like Taye’s men. Plus, we love happy endings. Who doesn’t? A founding member of Romance Writers of West Africa, Taye does us our continent proud. Her latest book Island Bound is out now.
She spoke to Tundun Adeyemo from www.blackandoutspoken.com recently.
What was life like before you started writing in 2010? How did you learn to write so well?
Before I made the leap into writing, I was a project management consultant and had worked in the corporate environment for over ten years. After I had my children, I wanted a slower pace and something that would allow me to spend time with the children while still using my brain.
I remember reading a romance novel and asking myself why there weren't any stories about Africans like me falling in love and living happily ever after. I decided to write the stories I wanted to read.
Writing has been a great learning process for me. In fact I'm still learning something new about the craft every day.
What roles have the gods played in your success? Is this what you believe or a belief of the characters in your books?
Laughs. Nice one. I am not my characters.
I believe my writing talent, is given by God just as any other talent is given by God. However, we as human beings have the responsibility of honing the talent and of continually learning and improving. The day we stop learning, is the day we return to our Maker.
You have written twelve books, which is your favourite book?
That's like asking which of my children my favourite is. Impossible to choose. I love all my books.
I read three of your books in one morning, what inspires you?
Thank you so much for reading three of my books in one morning. Life inspires me. Love inspires me. People inspire me.
Many times book sales are lethargic is this your experience?
When you start out it can feel that way but with time and as word gets out about your books, sales improve. Like everything else there are sales cycles.
I find that the best marketing I can do for my books is to write the next one because the frenzy that goes with every book release I have always boosts sales to my back list titles. So it's win, win. Old readers get a new book from me and new readers discover my old titles.
Your heroes are decent virile men with respect for their women ...., a bit different from the metrosexual egoistical 21st century men you have today? Is this your experience of men or a desire to portray men in the traditional view?
Don't get me started on the metrosexual (read emasculated man). Really not my cup of tea. You won't find him in any of my books. Laughs.
I love my men dominant and confident in their masculinity. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they respect their women. The men in my books are like some of the men I have met, are honourable and do not abuse their positions of power.
Your women eschew virginity and virtuosity. Not all women are chaste.... Is this a rather broad or narrow view of how you view that women should be?
I wanted to balance the view that women have to be virtuous to be of value to men or society. That idea is oppressive and partly what has kept women tied in terrible relationships because they had to conform to an idea of piety.
The fact remains that not all women are chaste. Not all women go into marriage as virgins and that doesn't make them bad women or bad wives or bad mothers.
And why is it okay for a man not to be a virgin on his wedding night. But a woman has to be one?
Who reads you more women or men? I know that romance writers are mostly women who write for a largely women audience.
My largest readers are women and I bear this in mind when I write my stories.
Are the men him in your books your husband?
Laughs. I reserve my comment.
What are you working on now?
I always have several projects on the go at different stages.I'm currently finalising Black Soul, Black Warriors series, prequel coming out October 30, 2014.
I've also just sent back first round edits to my editor for Scores, book 3 in the Passion Shields series. I'm waiting for the publisher to set a release date. Hopefully Nov/Dec 2014.
I am also writing the first draft for Riding rebel, The Essien Trilogy book 3 which will be out in Dec 2014.
What books have you got on your kindle?
At the last count I had 1754 ebooks on my Kindle App. That does not include the ones I have on other reading apps nor does it include the paperbacks sitting on shelves and in boxes. Laughs.
Is there a book that changed your life?
Gosh. I've read so many books and each book has impacted my life in one way or the other.
But there are so many books from my teenage years that made me dream about writing books.
Shogun by James Clavell
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Trinity by Leon Uris
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Is there a word for your fans, budding authors who want to be like you?
I have three words. Read. Read. Read.