Monday, September 8, 2008

TAKE TEN: Author T. L. James

Not to be stereotyped as just another African American author on the scene, Author T. L. James is poised to give writers of all races and genres a run for their money when it come to true talent. Hailing from Texas, she has created a cast of characters that will leave you wondering how you managed to survive as a reader without the fresh ideas and storylines that she creates. So how did what began as one storyline develop into an intricate trilogy? What part does the author's own faith play in the series' development? All this and more is discussed in this conversation.

1. TL, first I would like to thank you for taking out the time to talk with Conversations. We have a lot we want to cover, but I have to ask you about your career as an author first.
Writing is my outlet for my emotions from both work and home. It also serves as my entertainment. I spend about 20-30 hours a week writing or researching background information to support the stories I have outlined. I’m a commercial analyst by day and a full-time mother.

2. How does it feel to see the characters you created in your mind now make the transition to the written word all over the world?
Amazing and empowering. But the best part is hearing the responses from my readers and the anticipation in their voices for the second installment, Death Cometh.

3. Your characters are not traditional in any sense of the word. Where did the idea come from to write this type of series?
I wanted to write about a powerful black family whose history and roots were deep and enchanting. I also wanted to write something that was out of the ordinary and I wanted it to be a family saga. Many people write about ghosts, and vampires, but I wanted to tap into something that wasn’t really apparent. Being one of the horsemen is definitely a family saga.

4. If you had to pinpoint one thing about Mallory Haulm and his family that made you feel as though the story would work, what would it be?
It was the uniqueness of the family. The family is headed by educated men who love their wives and they protect their family’s history. They know their roots and they’ll go through great lengths to ensure the fate of the world is right, though sometimes it may seem unjust.

5. Writing for publication in itself is ambitious, but you have already outlined two additional books to continue The MPire series. Do you feel any pressure to live up to a certain expectations when it comes to your next work?
The pressure definitely exists, since I keep hearing that sequels and trilogies tend to fizzle out towards the end. I find comfort in knowing that The MPire Trilogy originally began as one story. The consistency of the characters and the storyline throughout the installments is present. With that said, my hope is that readers who enjoyed In Search of the Lost will love Death Cometh and The Trinity of Mallory Haulm, since it is a continuation of one story.

6. I'm sure you are asked all the time where the idea for The MPire Trilogy came from. For the sake of our readers, share the concept with us.
The MPire Trilogy is premised on an enchanted journey into family drama, corporate greed and scandals and epics wars older that Revelations.
The trilogy begins in The MPire: In Search of the Lost. Readers are introduced to the erotic and sensual picture perfect world of a rich and handsome “Texas Englishman”, Mallory Towneson Haulm. His world collides with reality when he is summoned to return to the family that cast him away when he was seven. This gives way to much of the family drama, on the surface, but as the story progresses readers will quickly learn that there is much more to the Haulm family.

7. There are biblical references laced throughout the book, affecting the main characters and those in which they come in contact. I'm curious as to how much of your faith and beliefs made it into the book.
None; however I used a lot of my personal and education experience with the Old and the New Testament, along with historical research about Armageddon to craft the plot in The MPire Trilogy.

8. 2008 is proving to be a big year for you, promoting IN SEARCH OF THE LOST and preparing for the second book DEATH COMETH. What can you tell us about what's next for you and the characters you have created?
Readers can expect Death Cometh in the fall. In this installment, they will receive “personal invitation” inside the Haulm family. As Mallory reluctantly accepts his destined charged; readers will witness Mallory’s attempts to balance his earthly paradise with his diabolical calling.

9. We always try to get advice for our readers that may be interested in writing the story that is in their head or that they have thought about. What would you tell them from what you have learned in your own career?
Write for your enjoyment. Write to make yourself laugh, cry and express anger. Write for you. Don’t write based on a formula or for someone else’s enjoyment. Doing this will result in a story that can’t fail; because it will already a success in your heart.

10. Thank you for your time, T. L. How can our readers keep in touch with you as well as find out about your upcoming projects online?
Readers can go on my website,, and check out events, reviewers, excerpts and book trailers. They can purchase an autographed copy of book from my website and receive a free gift. I’m also on Amazon and in Borders, Barnes and Nobles stores. If it’s not in a bookstore near you, ORDER IT!

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