Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A chat with kiru Taye

Today,  I have the pleasure of speaking with Kiru Taye, author of passionate romance novels set in exotic Africa. Kiru's novel, His Treasure is love romances cafe best book of 2o11 winner.

  Hello Kiru!

Imagine that we are seated in a TV studio, there is a picture of "His Treasure" on the screen behind us, the cameras are getting ready to roll, we have an in house audience and they are excited! Most of them have read your books and they just can't wait for the show to kick off, every second of the countdown sends their heart racing faster... The lights come on... 3...2...1...applause! 

We are both smiling into the cameras; I make the introduction... 

Thanks Kiru for coming! We are really glad to have you!

(You are smiling...)

You say "Thank you, I’m really happy to be here"

I begin.

Just before we start.... you've achieved quite a lot in such a short time. I mean, in barely two years you've written four books and won the Romance cafe best book of 2011 award.... how does it feel to be a celebrated writer?

I feel quite humbled to have achieved so much in a little time. I also feel fantastic about it.  

How did writing start for you?
I fell into writing by accident really. The idea to write novels came when I wanted to do something that would give me a better work-life balance than the corporate world had to offer. I’d been reading a romance novel and it occurred to me that I hadn’t read any that involved African characters. So I decided to write one.

Most of your stories are set in pre colonial West Africa, what is your fascination with that era?
I have 2 stories published, set in pre-colonial West Africa and a 3rd one out in July this year.
Post-colonial Africa is well documented but there’s very little written about Ancient Africans. I get quite frustrated about it because it’s as if Africans didn’t live a robust life before the colonials arrived. But Africa has a rich heritage that precedes the arrivals of the colonials and I want to showcase some of that in my stories.
So my Men of Valor historical romance series is about showcasing Ancient African, culturally and romantically.

Enugu is a town with a lot of culture.... rich in Igbo history, I recall one of the Igbo creation myths spring from the Udi hills in Enugu, how did growing up in this rich cultural setting affect you as a person, first, and then as a writer?
Oh, I loved growing up in Enugu. Some of my happiest childhood memories are about the people and the places. I remember my father taking us swimming at the Sports club, going to Polo Park for events, and watching the masquerades at Obiagu. What I loved about Enugu in those days was the vibrant diversity in the community (Africans, Asians and Caucasians)—whether you lived in Idaw River or Independence Layout. So I understood diversity as a young person and it certainly helped me when I came to live in the UK.
As a writer, Enugu still features strongly in my imagination. My Challenge series contemporary romance stories all feature Enugu in their settings.


Did you sit around fires.... listen to folklore under the moon light?

Hahahahaha. I have to laugh at that one. Enugu is a concrete city like any other modern day city. The closest I came to sitting around a fire was in my hometown village, listening to my grandfather tell us stories.
LOL, applause!

What's your fondest memory of growing up?

I’ve already listed some of my fondest memories in my previous answer but I have to say visiting and hanging out with friends and family were some of my best memories.

Ok let’s talk about your books; "His Treasure" is the probably the most popular..... If you are a man, after reading the book, you come out feeling victorious, like every man would; when he finally claims the woman of his come out wanting to be a better man. For the woman, she feels worthy, loved and secure, like...."That's the kind of man I want"....was this what you had in mind while writing the book?
Certainly. In His Treasure (Men of Valor, #1) I wanted to celebrate both men and women. But there were lessons to be learnt too. Adaku needed to learn humility. Obinna had to learn to allow Adaku to make up her own mind about what she wanted. But most of all, the story is about the unconditional love Obinna had for his wife and how Adaku came to appreciate it and love him in return.

Is it possible to find men like Obinna today, in the typical African setting?
I believe there are men like that in existence – men of honour who cherish and protect their wives and families.

What would a woman give for such a man?
Everything? LOL


Your other books in the trilogy, tell us a bit about them?

His Strength (Men of Valor, #2) out now on eBook:
As a young widow, Nneka yearns to be released from the obligations to her late husband’s family and live as an independent woman. With a past coloured by a brutal father, she’ll never yield to another man willingly and will do just about anything to attain that freedom including flouting the laws of the land.
Ikem was unable to claim Nneka once because his lineage meant he wasn’t good enough. Now fate has given him another chance. But he quickly discovers that claiming this unpredictable wildcat is easier said than done. Will he be able to convince her that succumbing to their passion is the key to her freedom?
His Princess (Men of Valor, #3) out 20 July 2012 on eBook & print:
Ezinne is dismayed when her mistress presents her to Prince Emeka as a concubine to cater for his every need for a few weeks. She is a slave whose previous encounters with men make her fear their brutality. Yet the more she gets to know the powerful yet honourable prince, the easier he breaks down the walls around her heart.  She soon comes to want him more than she wants anything else, even freedom. But Emeka is the heir to the throne and Ezinne is a woman with secrets that threaten not just their budding relationship but a kingdom.


Are you working on any new books presently?
I recently published my 4th book—a full-length novel, An Engagement Challenge, which is the 2nd book in the contemporary romance Challenge series, set in Nigeria. Here’s the blurb:

When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of her failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It’s a one-time only event. Perfect.
However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He isn’t ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together just yet. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her—in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasure of his bed by night.
Except when Ijay arrives, she’s wearing another man’s engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who’ll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle?
An Engagement Challenge (Challenge series, #2) is out now on eBook. The print version is out late May 2012.
You have a thing for novellas, is this a reflection of your reading tastes?
Yes. I love novellas. These days, my reading time is short, so I like stories that get to the crux of the matter very quickly. As an author, the availability of the eBook format makes it easier to write and reach audiences very quickly with novellas.

Where can we get your books in Nigeria?
My books in paperback format are coming soon to Nigeria. I’ll keep you informed.
You can buy my eBooks online at Amazon or All Romance eBooks.

Although you did touch on this in His Treasure, could you take us into the mind of an African woman, what's her perception of sex, especially in marriage?
I explained my personal view on sex in this post, but I think there is a general perception that African women think sex is a taboo topic and something to be endured because of marriage.
I disagree. *smiles*
I think sex was designed by God to bring both the man and woman pleasure. I have to add that it is only most enjoyable when you’re mature enough and in a loving relationship.

What's your advice for couples who have lost the spark in their sex life?
Don’t ignore it. Work at it. Be imaginative. Try something different. Try some role playing. Be spontaneous. Surprise your partner. Call him/her up for a lunch time quickie. Read a romance novel for ideas. *winks*


Some people may be uncomfortable with the sex scenes in your stories and it’s only natural for criticism to arise from there, what can you say to help them understand where you are coming from?
Two consenting adults having sex is not a thing of shame or fear. So I make no excuses for writing about it.
However, I know that there are people who go into marriage without any knowledge of sex and end up not knowing what they want out of it. For many women, it is simply a question of ‘lying back and thinking of [insert any country]’ when they should be actively involved and enjoying the experience with their husbands.
If reading the sex scenes in my novels help them understand what is achievable, and improves their sex lives, then I’ll be a happy woman.


Most writers have this emotional moment, you know, when they get to read or hear a comment from someone that really, really touches them. Can you share yours with us?
I’ve had quite a few of those recently. I have some absolutely fabulous readers who tell me what they think about my books as soon as they read them. They make my days.

Great, great! Ok.

What would be your greatest aspiration as a writer?
To make the New York Times Bestseller list and USA Today Bestseller list!


Do you have any ideas regarding increasing literary appreciation in Nigeria?
I think Nigerian writers need to collaborate more with Nollywood. In Hollywood, as soon as a book gets turned into a movie, sales of the book go through the roof even if it wasn’t a bestseller before. Nigerian writers might want to learn a thing or two from that and utilise an industry that already has mass appeal to gain an even wider reading audience.


Let's pretend for a moment that you are in pre-colonial Africa, what would you do in the following scenarios?

If you had the opportunity to request for just three items from the future.
Well, that’s a tough one, because I can’t take any electronic gadget unless I take a lifetime’s supply of fully charged batteries. LOL. A trunk-load of books perhaps.


If you meet a fierce masquerade wielding a cane on your way to the market on Nkwo day...
I’ll run as fast as I can and hide away!


If you are asked to marry a very rich chief with seven wives who wants you to be the eight! ....and he's probably old enough to be your father!
Eh, no! I shall run away with my virile young admirer instead. LOL


If you are the girl who sees the first English boat, on the village river, carrying the first English traders into your village! 
Run back to the village to spread the news of the strange white men in a boat.


Laughter in the audience...

Give it up! Give it up for Kiru! 

More applause!

It sure has been wonderful having you around, thank you, and thank you so much for coming Kiru!

Thank you so much for having me here, Chidi. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you.

 Thank you kiru, it was fun!

You can reach Kiru Taye via her blog, Facebook or Twitter

 interview by Chidi Ugbe


  1. Nice one. I liked the format and those last questions were so funny.

  2. Lol.. Glad you enjoyed it Myne! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Funny! I like the applauses at the end which Kiru certainly deserves.

  4. Thanks Candance! She certainly does!