December 12, 2012

Wisteria Blog Tour: Bisi Leyton Interview

Please welcome the fabulous author of Wisteria . . . Bisi Leyton!

Myopia (Wisteria Series #2)

When and why did you begin writing? 

I started writing when I was eight, but I wrote my first novel when I was twelve. It was a version of Sweet Valley High set in Nebraska. I guess, I tried to inject a version of me into the book.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? What is the easiest?

The easiest thing is coming up with new ideas for a new book. When it comes to random ideas I can brainstorm a lot in a short period of time as everything inspires me.

I find outlining sequels is trickier as I’m bound by the rules and laws I set up in the earlier books. I definitely think it’s worth it to outline the book because it helps guide my writing. Outlining was the only way I was able to complete my novel as an adult.

What music do you listen to while you write?

No, I watch television or rather I have the television on while I’m writing. Generally, I like watching police procedurals, cartoons (Ben Ten, Johnny Test or Thundercats), and sometimes the Twilight Zone.

What inspires you?

I’m really moved to write by the sad things that either happen in my life or to those around me. I don’t think life is fair, so I try to make my writing reflect that sometimes decent people suffer and the unjust succeed, what matters is how we cope in that situation.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I love singing and I’m teaching myself to play the guitar.

What are your current projects? 

I’m currently outlining Hysteria (Wisteria Series #4). It will be the last book in the Wisteria series. This book should wrap up most of the loose ends in the series as well as leave the reader with even more questions.

Aside from young adult paranormal romance, I’m working on an historical romance series called 20 Guineas. Based in colonial Lagos, it is about a girl who’s trying to grow up without a mother in a 1950s polygamous home. The girls foolishly falls in love with an English student and son of her employer.

Quick: Vampires or Shapeshifter? Why?

I don’t write either genre, but I like Shapeshifters because I love Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Odo.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Love what you do because that’s the only thing that will keep you going. Also, try not to worry about what sells right now because no one knows what will sell tomorrow.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want to thank them for all their support and I hope they enjoy Wisteria.

Wisteria (Wisteria Series #1)

Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows. 

Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.

December 5, 2012

Black Writer, White Characters: Too Weird?

I always get this look when I mention that I (as an African American woman) that I don't write urban fiction. You know the type they put in African American section in Barnes and Noble?

Yep. That's the one. 

It's not like I have anything against authors like Sister Souljah. Quite the contrary. I look up to these authors since they can write with the authentic African American voice. 

Even though some people forget that not all African Americans live this way (I timidly raise my hand), these are still stories that are important to our culture and are now valued.

However, I just don't write these type of stories.

Now will I say I will NEVER write these type of stories?


But as of right now, I'm not writing urban fiction. I like to write with European American characters (a.k.a. white characters).


One word: Suburban.

I've lived in the suburbs my whole life and pulling from my experience, it's just easier for me. It's not like I'm denying my African American roots or history. I'm just not writing stories about it. Yet.

Now, I will eventually write minority characters and in fact, I have inserted some minority characters into my stories. Specifically Angel Diaries and some short stories most recently.

And I will start a novel with a main character of a minority race. I just have to pull all of the information and write it.

Until then though, my main characters will be white.

Is that too weird that I write with white characters instead of black? Or should I, as an author, have the right to choose how I want to star in my novels?