Friday, October 9, 2015

Author Interview with Author Untamed

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LaToya: If you could choose a famous African American who has impacted your life who would it be and why?
Untamed: There are so many to choose from, but I’d have to say Tyler Perry. Of course, Tyler Perry has an inspirational life story about coming from meager beginnings to where he is today. However, one of the reasons I decided to become a published author was because of a statement that Tyler Perry made while accepting an award. During a pivotal moment in my life when I was debating strongly whether to pursue becoming a published author, I heard Mr. Perry say in an acceptance speech, “you know when you’re meant to do something when you try to leave it alone, but it won’t leave you alone.” Instantly, my decision was made because that’s exactly what I was going through.

LaToya: Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Untamed: I am originally from Albany, GA, and I currently live in Augusta, GA.

LaToya: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? 
Untamed: No, I actually wanted to keep writing as a hobby. The need to do more with my writing began to pull at me later in life and that’s when I decided to pursue writing as a career.

LaToya: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? 
Untamed: I began writing poetry at the age of thirteen. Later, I began writing short stories and novels. My first novel was completed in 2010 and it was published in December 2012.

LaToya: How did you choose the genre you write in? 
Untamed: I didn’t actually choose a genre because I don’t limit myself as to what I can write. I’m very versatile. My first novel was based off of my life and other women’s lives that I’ve heard of. Since I wanted the novel to be true-to-life, raw and full of emotion, it falls into the urban category. However, I write erotica, poetry, contemporary fiction and street lit. I also want to delve into writing Christian fiction and suspense.

LaToya: Where do you get your ideas? 
Untamed: Usually my ideas come from life experiences, either my own or others. As a writer, the simplest things can trigger inspiration. Actually, I’m currently writing a novel which I’m co-writing with another author which was triggered simply from a picture.

LaToya: Name one book that you would categorize as a life changing read. 
Untamed: Coming of Age by Lorri Hewett. Just as Tyler Perry gave me the inspiration to become a published author, Ms. Hewett’s novel inspired me to begin writing stories. The novel delves deeply into dealing with the social stressors that teenagers face such as popularity, self-esteem, fear of acceptance and fears of the future. It also deals with prejudices and racism. It’s an awesome read and I encourage anyone thirteen and older to read it. I allowed my daughter to read it and she loved it. She was able to relate to it in many of the same ways that I was. It was very encouraging to her in dealing with some of the same pressures of today.

LaToya: Who is your favorite author? 
Untamed: That’s a loaded question! I have several favorite authors. My favorite authors are Carl Weber, Honey B, Sister Souljah and Ashley Antoinette as far as mainstream authors. I also have a few self-published authors who are my favorite, M. J. Kane and Vulyncia Poindexter.

LaToya: Name one book you wish you’d written. 
Untamed: I can’t say I wish I’d written a book because I truly appreciate the talent and craft of each author. Now, I will say there are some books which I wish I could continue with the author who wrote them because I loved the story and the characters just that much! In that regard, The Coldest Winter Ever and Prada Plan 4, I would love, love, love to write another novel either as a series or some type of continuation with the authors.

LaToya: Tell us about your latest book. 
Untamed: My latest book is called King’s Suite the Rise of Pooch Smalls. In my book series, the Never Again…No More series, one of the main characters was a man named Pooch. He was literally one of the most loved and hated characters. His character was even scary for me to write! The readers wanted to know about him and his character so King’s Suite is basically the story of his life from childhood and leads up to the series. It delves into how he’s born into the streets and how he wanted to live a different life but was sort of forced into this lifestyle and then the lifestyle opens up a sleeping beast within himself.


LaToya: How can readers connect with you?
Untamed: Readers can connect with me on through:
Instagram: Author Untamed
Twitter @chazz_untamed
YouTube: UntamedAries.

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Untamed: My advice would be to learn your craft. Never be afraid to learn more and accept good criticism. Practice it at any given chance. I think that if you take yourself seriously that comes with the territory, and you can’t expect anyone else to take your work seriously if you don’t care enough to better yourself. That’s why it’s important not to have “yes” people in your corner who will be afraid to tell you when something is not on point, not just with the story, but with the technical parts such as spelling, grammar, word usage, word play etc…

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