THE N’TYSE INTERVIEW
National bestselling American author N’TYSE and I share a publisher (bestselling author Zane’s Strebor imprint with Simon & Schuster published my novel Oh Gad! – a modern Caribbean tale of family, politics, love, and personal journeying; and N’Tyse’s series of erotic dramas beginning with Twisted Seduction which Zane herself has described as “a fascinating novel of secrets and seduction”.) N’Tyse is the author of several other “stimulating taboo tales” – such as My Secrets Your Lies and its follow up Stud
Princess Notorious Vendettas – and producer of the documentary Beneath My Skin. When she agreed to answer my questions she was candid about all but her true name – her pseudonym stands for Never Tell Your Secrets, and that’s one secret this Dallas-based former private banker and financial counselor, wife and full time mom opted to keep. I’m based in Antigua, in the Caribbean, but thanks to social media we were able to connect and quiz each other on our writing. I always enjoy connecting with other writers and found it to be a fun exchange, N’Tyse did too; so we both hope you enjoy reading it as well.
N’Tyse posted my responses to her questions here and here are her responses to mine:
Me: What was the first thing that you wrote?
N’Tyse: The first book I wrote was My Secrets Your Lies.
Me: What are you writing right now?
N’Tyse: I’m working on the next installment in my Twisted series.
Me: You describe yourself as an erotic romance author – what attracted you to that genre?
N’Tyse: I love reading and writing adult content that captures the different facets of love and sensuality. As a writer with a vivid imagination, I love to entice my reader and give them a close-up of everything that plays in my mind. Erotica allows me that freedom and intimate connection with my reader. No boundaries. No judgment. That’s what I love about the genre.
Me: I haven’t written erotica but I do like playing around in different genres. Do you write in other genres?
N’Tyse: Actually I do. I write in contemporary romance, lesbian lit, street-lit, and YA [Young Adult]. I also ghost write for others in these genres.
Me: The genre [erotica] seems to have exploded with films like 50 Shades of Grey (forthcoming) …which of your books deserve the big screen treatment – and why?
N’Tyse: The Twisted series is my proudest baby yet because it shows my growth as a writer. I also wrote each instalment with a cinematic feel. I believe it would be perfect as a feature film for television and a television series.
Can’t you see I dream BIG!
My lead characters are extremely dynamic yet complex. The film will automatically resonate with African American viewers primarily, but I incorporate everyday issues that will allow this series to transcend our market and appeal to any race.
Me: You have a documentary entitled ‘Beneath my Skin’– what’s it about?
N’Tyse: Czar, Nymfo, Jazzmine, and Myesha go beneath their skin to shatter myths and stereotypes that surround their sexuality and relationships. They share their compassion, pain, and journey as African American lesbians in today’s society. A mother also shares her story and reaction to when her daughter first came out to her.
Me: What would your readers be surprised to learn is beneath your skin?
N’Tyse: They will be surprised to learn that I’m still harboring pain, anger, and confusion after suffering several miscarriages prior to having my firstborn. I still can’t open The Box or allow the temporary memories to sit too long. Even a second is too long. I’m afraid if I open The Box, I will crawl back inside that dark empty space. It’s the same dark space that I hid in years ago without even knowing that I was hiding.
The only way I was able to climb out was through my pen.
One day I will share my story.
Me: What do you find have been the pros and cons of publishing under a pseudonym?
N’Tyse: I don’t have any cons. I love writing under an alias. The pseudo was established so that I could separate my writing world from my reality. As N’TYSE, I feel I’m connecting with readers on an entirely different level. I also love when I’m able to step away for a day or two and just be myself, stripped from the roles that come with being N’TYSE because I wear so many hats that I like when I’m able to get a small break from it. I’m also a very private person so the pen was necessary in my eyes. When I give someone my real name and allow them to call me that, it’s because a different relationship has been established. For example, as a literary agent, all of my clients know my legal name.
Me: Your pseudonym translates to Never Tell Your Secrets…does writing as N’Tyse make it easier for you to tell your characters’ secrets?
N’Tyse: Indeed it does. It allows me to sprinkle a little of me here and there as well, but of course readers will never know which scenes I’m guilty of. LOL!
Me: Do you feel erotica is still, especially for women, a dirty little secret even with the growing popularity of the genre? Is reading and writing it a guilty pleasure or just a pleasure?
N’Tyse: Zane (Addicted) and EL James (50 Shades of Grey) have empowered women by giving them a platform to talk or watch the content that I write about without embarrassment. For that, I am so grateful. It makes my job easier. My prose may be deemed provocative but that’s the dare devil and risk-taker in me. I like to push the envelope and take my readers there. I actually get a thrill out of writing and reading it. I believe many women prefer it to be written and packaged in a classy non-sluttish way, which is how I also favor it. Then there are some who will pretend to be offended by the language but are actually downloading the book before you can even write it. LOL! I will say that this genre is not for the prude or the goody to shoes. It’s for the thrill seeker who’s not afraid to take a walk on the wild side. And I believe we all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to sex in the bedroom. It just takes writers like myself to unleash the freaky side.
Me: You’ve self-published and published with an established publisher. Which do you prefer?
N’Tyse: There’s a lot to be learned doing it both ways. I prefer to be traditionally published and allowed freedom to do my own thing on the side, if and when an idea strikes me to do so.
Me: What would you recommend to writers just starting out – and why? Related to that what makes for a good writer of the erotic?
N’Tyse: Learn your target audience and how to appeal to their taste.
Me: You worked in private banking for many years. Do you regret giving up the day job? What did it take for you to go all-in on your writing career?
N’Tyse: I don’t regret not returning to banking. I prayed about it and took a chance on ME. I’ll be honest and say it was a brave move.
Me: What has been the biggest surprise – positive or negative – of the publishing experience for you?
N’Tyse: I can’t think of one at this moment.
Me: What has been the most fun aspect of it?
N’Tyse: Meeting new authors, fans, and assisting aspiring authors along the way. I also love the reviewers who are able to dissect my work and reveal things that I didn’t even realize. The book clubs also keep things fun and interesting.
It’s work because it’s my bread and butter but it doesn’t feel like work when I have so many great people involved in the process.
Me: What’s your favourite thing that you’ve done creatively?
N’Tyse: The Twisted series and my film Beneath My Skin.
Me: Your reader responses suggest that your stories are both vivid and quick paced – is that how you write? What do you consider to be your style and signature as a writer?
N’Tyse: I’m definitely a graphic writer and I love to keep the pages turning. I want my readers to feel as though they are watching a movie. My signature would be the unique style and flow of my prose while allowing the reader a glimpse into my mind’s eye.
Twisted Vows of Seduction
Genre: Erotic Drama
Publisher: Strebor/Simon & Schuster (December 2013)
ISBN-10: 1593095201/ISBN-13: 978-1593095208
Genre: Erotic Drama
Publisher: Strebor/Simon & Schuster (April 2012)
ISBN-10: 9781593093952/ISBN-13 978-1593093952/ASIN 1593093950
Stud Princess Notorious Vendettas
Genre: Erotic Romance / Lesbian Street Lit
Publisher: A Million Thoughts Publishing (May 18, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0615343848/ISBN-13: 978-0615343846
My Secrets Your Lies
Genre: Erotic Romance / Lesbian Street Lit
Publisher: A Million Thoughts Publishing (March 30, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0615138667/ISBN-13: 978-0615138664
Missionary No More (Caramel Latte)
Publisher: Strebor Books; Original edition (January 6, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1593092113/ISBN-13: 978-1593092115
Between the Sheets (Foreword)
Publisher: Delphine Publications (July 29, 2010)
Erotic Snapshots Volume 3 (Motel Lovers)
Publisher: The Writer’s Edge Publications, LLC (August 23, 2011)
Chocolate Flava 3 (Swirl)
Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (August 28, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451689624/ISBN-13: 978-1451689624