Friday, January 20, 2012

A Conversation with T.Styles

     When you write, write until your hand falls off and even then keep going. The sky's the limit when you give it your all and step outside the box. Author T.Styles proves that a little originality paired with a pen and paper goes a long way. When your armed with a pen, there's nothing you can't do.

Brandie: T. Styles you are dominating urban fiction.You have your own publishing company and people love your books, so tell me what is your definition of urban fiction?

T. Styles: Urban fiction encompasses stories and situations geared towards inner city life. Street fiction, on the other hand, targets individuals who will do anything they can to survive, using unconventional methods. Whether it is a single mom working two jobs, a dope boy moving packages, or a young mom collecting welfare with no plans to seek gainful employment. Street fiction in its purest showcases the survival of the fittest and the need to live and be seen. 

Brandie: What is the hardest thing about owning Cartel Publications?

T.Styles: The hardest thing is selling your books and getting paid. Even though our percentage of unpaid books are lower than 5% because of our pay in advance policy, every now and again things happen. Luckily the people we deal with now right the wrongs immediately.

Brandie: Let's go back to your first novel Rainbow Heart, what was your inspiration for writing that novel?

T.Styles: Rainbow Heart was a journal I penned in 2004 as a means to relieve street. It turned itself into a novel in 2005 when it no longer depicted my life.

Brandie: Out of all the books you've written, which is your favorite and why?

T.Styles: I love every book I give birth too. Well, I'm still angry with Rainbow Heart because it does not show my talents properly. However, that's just me being hard on myself. Even still it is one of my babies. So I can't necessarily claim a favorite. How about anything with that CP logo on it. Let's start there!

Brandie: Once it comes to writing what is your biggest fear?

T.Styles: I'm a rebel, baby. I don't have a fear when it comes to writing. I always consider my readers and I always remain true to who I am now as an artist.Because of it, I won't find myself writing bullshit. If I had to pick a fear, being fake would be it.

Brandie: What do you believe urban fiction is missing?

T.Styles: I believe urban fiction is evolving. And I know when anything evolves: it goes through the growing stage. So I wouldn't dare look at it in its infantile state and say, "Urban fiction needs to grow the fuck up!" I just wait for it to happen. Besides, you have some heavyweight's in the game that are doing major things for the industry, but they are writing quality books too. If I could give advice I would say writers need to remain original. You can't build a solid career by trying to walk in somebody else's shoes. Because even if you wear the same size, they simply won't fit!

Brandie: The first book I've read by you was Shyt List and I must say that series did not disappoint. So please tell us, how did you come up with the concept, take us through the birth of Shyt List.

T.Styles: Shyt List came to me during a time I longed to be VERY ORIGINAL. I was under contract and couldn't use my name so I became Reign and Mikal Malone. However, publishers were not interested and they rejected both novels. Now we have a mass market deal for Shyt List and Pitbulls In A Skirt and we are about to shoot a movie for Shyt List. I thank GOD for my need to be unique.

Brandie: Speaking of shooting movies, Cartel Publications is now stepping into the movie scene. Which books can we expect to see on the big screen?

T.Styles: Cartel Urban Cinema, a Cartel Publications company, already filmed Pitbulls In A Skirt- The Movie which drops this year. We are also preparing to film Shyt List- The Movie this year. Then it will be Raunchy in 2013 or 2014.

Brandie: What new novels can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any names picked out?

T.Styles: It is January so the next novels from me are Shyt List 5, Redbone, and Raunchy 3.

Brandie: What advice would you give aspiring authors?

T.Styles: I would advise all aspiring authors to be their own boss and to be original. There are enough fakes in the world! Leave them to it!


  1. Brandie, you did an excellent job with the interview of one of my favorite authors. Keep up the good work. Love the site.