Side Note: Today I’m very excited!!! Why, you ask? In my writing career, I’ve been opportuned to meet certain Writers with a unique style of writing that leaves me inspired and makes me wanna pick up a pen( or laptop) and just write my best work ever. One of such Writers is Kiru Taye, a romance novelist who is breaking ground with projects in contemporary, historical, Paranormal and Erotica romances with plot lines in Nigeria. I first read one of her manuscripts at the beginning of the year. Needless to say, I was wowed. It made me want to reach for my laptop and start typing away. Kiru is not only a writer that inspires; she is also a Writer that encourages other writers. That said, I am truly honored to feature Kiru Taye as my first author on this site, because I can safely predict that this is one Writer that is sure to go places.
Kiru Taye – A romance novelist to watch for!
(A personal representation of Kiru Taye – an African rose in Bloom)
For starters, who is Kiru Taye?
First of all, I’d like to say thank you for having me here. I’m a mother of 2 beautiful young children, a girl and boy, and a wife to one gorgeous alpha male. LOL. Sounds corny, right? But it’s true. I was born and grew up mostly in Enugu, Nigeria; the first of five siblings. I came to the UK in the early 90s to study and have lived here ever since.
What brought you into the world of Romance writing?
As I’ve said in previous interviews I love the romance novel genre, mainly because no matter what conflicts or challenges the characters go through, a happy ever after is guaranteed. Life is full of enough realism, sometimes I just want to escape it. The first thing I learnt when I decided to start writing novels is ‘write about what you love’. It’s working well for me so far.
I’ve been following your latest work on Nigerian Writers. It’s historical romance fiction which I have to say I’m pretty excited about, because I can dare to say that this is the first of its kind in Nigeria (if I’m not mistaken). Besides this, what is (are) your current project(s) and could you please elaborate on them.
Yes. I’ve just completed my second historical romance short story. They are both set in pre-colonial south east Nigeria. This is an era that fascinates me because there are not too many novels about Africans before the scramble for Africa. I wanted to be able to showcase some of that rich and undiluted history. I’m back working on a contemporary romance that I had shelved. Her Weekend Bodyguard is set in modern day Lagos. I have to say this is a story I love. Don’t get me wrong, I love all my stories. But with this story, I took a risk and ventured outside my comfort zone. There are scenes in it, when I re-read them I’m left gasping and thinking, ‘Did I really write that?’ LOL. In fact, I’ve coined a phrase from the book ‘The HWB Experience’. I really cannot wait to get this book published. But first I have to finish it.
Do you write other genres besides Romance?
I write mainly contemporary romance but have now written a historical and paranormal historical. I have an idea for a Chick Lit novel but that’s a project for next year.
How long does it take for you to complete one project, or do you juggle more than one project at a time?
It usually takes me about a month to write my first draft of a full length novel. Recently I’ve had to stop writing HWB to complete the two historical stories. But mostly I write one book at a time.
What would you say is your most difficult challenge when writing romance?
I have to say ‘the love scenes.’ Don’t get me wrong. I like writing love scenes. But they need to be perfect because love scenes represent transition phases in the relationship of the characters. So I worry about the detailing – the actions, reactions, thoughts, sounds, smells, taste, words, location, you name it. LOL
What challenges have you faced in the publishing world with the African Romance novels genre and with the publishing industry in general?
To be honest, I face the same challenges any other new writer faces – writing your best work and hoping a publisher recognizes it as brilliant and saleable. Publishers want books that fly off the shelf and I want to write books that fly off the shelf too. For me, it’s not enough to be published. I actually want to write bestsellers. So right now, I’m concentrating on writing the stories and hoping that one of them is the breakthrough novel.
What are your thoughts on the future of Nigerian/African themed romance novels in Nigeria and in Africa?
To quote a mobile phone advert but change it slightly. The future is bright, the future is Africa. And I truly believe it. I hope other Africans do too. I am advocate of reading in general. I believe that reading frees your mind and opens it up to all sorts of possibilities. Africans need to read more. But for them to be able to do so, books need to be cheap and affordable. For that reason, a lot of Africans prefer to buy second-hand book imports from the roadside instead of walking into a glitzy bookshop and buying well bound expensive books by African authors. So African publishers and authors should pay attention.
When you are not writing, what else do you do that you find just as passionate as writing?
Reading. I also love to travel but I don’t do that as much these days.
Who are your favorite authors and what book(s) are you currently reading?
A while ago on Facebook I did a ‘Fifteen Authors in Fifteen Minutes’ and they are authors that have influenced me and my writing in one way or the other: Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, Naguib Mahfouz, James Clavell, Jackie Robbins, Jackie Collins, Harold Robbins, Mario Puzo, Sandra Marton, Maureen Child, Linda Howard, Penny Jordan, Jacqueline Susann and Eiji Yoshikawa.
My current To-Be-Read list is quite long but if you want to know what I’m reading today, it’s Rampant by Saskia Walker.
Any words for aspiring Nigerian/African romance authors?
I’d say first read – a lot. Not just books by Nigerian or African authors. Find the bestselling books in the genre you want to write and read them. Analyze what you liked about them and what you didn’t like. Learn from them.
Write about what you love. Write about what you know. But most of all enjoy the process of writing.
Where should we look for Kiru Taye’s Novels, currently and in the nearest future?
All publication dates will be posted on my blog: http://kirutayewrites.blogspot.com
And there you have it! Thank you so much Kiru Taye for taking the time to interview for my blog despite your very busy schedule. Can’t wait to see your books in print 🙂