Here’s the situation… You’re a strong, virile man with a love for writing. You have received praise for your poetry and decide to expand into penning full-length novels. Wanting to stay true to yourself, as well as your readers, you write about what you know best and create your first erotic thriller. However, in a genre dominated by women, how does a man make a name for himself?
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino catches up with Tawayne “Tawa” McNeil to discuss sex, sexuality and his “Evolutions of Brittney” series.
Michelle: Tell us a little about yourself, Tawayne.
Tawayne: Tawayne McNeil is an uninhibited, uncontrolled kind of guy. I speak openly and often at times, I can be a bit brutal. On the other hand, I am patient, goofy; hmm a regular comedian at times. I like to think of myself as having a kind soul. Nice to many, speak softly, and I study places, people; learn my environment quickly.
Michelle: With such a diverse vocational background, what made you take on writing and penning your poetry and novels?
Tawayne: The electrical field was cool, don’t get me wrong. I mean I went to school to become an engineer, and I did. Thing is, my mind was constantly wondering, had been my entire life and doing the same thing day in and day out became quite boring. I would write on breaks while riding to various jobs and I would write poems and jot down what came to mind.
Michelle: There aren’t many African-American male erotic authors out there. Why did you choose this genre?
Tawayne: Simply put, sex is what I know. Honestly, when I started writing, I never considered taking my gift serious and never considered having my thoughts published. One thing led to another and after some read my works, I was convinced to write more and have them published, share my “Freaky” thoughts as they put it. Never would have thought I would be compared to some of the names in the Erotic Genre now.
Michelle: Why do you think African-American male authors shy away from erotica? Do you believe this genre causes readers to question a male author’s sexuality?
Tawayne: Can’t speak for those Authors, who knows? For me, I give what I know and again, that is sex. I enjoy having sex, no secret there so why not incorporate what I know with what I write? As far as shying away or questioning my sexuality, there is nothing to question. Look at it like this. The same way a man tells his friends about the new girl they, “hooked-up” with, why can’t a male author be comfortable about writing about it? There is no shame here and no questioning of my sexuality.
Michelle: Hard Times An Erotic Thriller was your debut release. Where did the idea for the storyline come from?
Tawayne: This is a tough one, but originally, “Hard Times” was plotted to show my struggles growing up in a racially divided town, but as life shown, times became much better and the Erotica in my life flourished, hence the name Hard Times An Erotic Thriller. (BOOK ISN’T BASED ON MY LIFE)
Michelle: Brittney Daniels is a very troubled young lady, and you follow her journey in your follow-up installments Brittney and Brittney II, Eyes of Deceit. When and how will her journey end?
Tawayne: The question many have asked. Best answer to give is… read the book series. “Final Book” of Evolution’s of Brittney is entitled, “Brittney III New Beginning.” Can’t go telling the end of the series, but I will say, it is a shocker.
Michelle: Mental illness is a very important topic and a sickness that is often taboo. What made you incorporate it into the series?
Tawayne: As noted, mental illness is a very important topic and many people suffer from this illness. When I wrote her character, I wanted readers to identify with her on some level. Many women and men suffer or have suffered traumatizing situations within their lives. Some are able to move past and some are stuck there and even living there. In a way, I wanted readers to know that they weren’t and will never be alone. By no means am I suggesting those who read my books to do what Brittney did to make life better, but getting help is a start.
Michelle: With erotica, it is the author’s duty to incite the reader’s libido. Do you think that your writing is too graphic, or do you feel that you give your readers a fair balance of intimacy and raunchiness?
Tawayne: In the beginning when I started writing Erotica, I thought it was too graphic so I wouldn’t properly spell words such as “pussy”, and wouldn’t use words like “fuck”. Then I really thought about the market and the reader in which I was targeting. If they wanted censorship, then they wouldn’t read erotica. They knew what they were getting so why not? I gave plenty of scenes that was natural, intimate, and provided much raunchiness. Over all, they get a double up of both. Love making and much backbreaking sexual release.
Michelle: Once the series is complete, will you stick with erotica or do you look to expand into other genres as well?
Tawayne: I’ve already cut back with the erotica over the series. Do not get me wrong, the sex is still there. However, I want my readers to know that I do more than just write erotica, kink, S&M etc… There’s a romantic beast within my thoughts along with horror, mystery, thriller, a bit of science fiction, and many more genres locked away within my thoughts. Over time, and as I release more books, my readers will slowly take a ride to other genres awaiting their turn to be released.
Michelle: What has become of your love of poetry? Are you looking to do a book of poems, or will you limit your poetry to writing competitions?
Tawayne: Poetry is a part of me and will always be. A book of poems, not a bad idea, maybe something to consider one day. At times, I find myself at poetry houses and I never turn down a moment to get on stage and release my thoughts. I have limited myself from competitions, but will never shy away from that moment.
Michelle: You wrote your first movie script in 2007 entitled Lost Soul. Due to financial setbacks, the project was shelved. Do you plan to resurrect your filmmaking dream in the near future?
Tawayne: Funny you should mention “near future” Can’t speak much on it, but Brittney may be coming to a theatre near you.. sshhh…
Michelle: What are the two most important lessons you’ve learned as a self-published author?
Tawayne: Have plenty of time to invest within self. What I mean is this. Being self-published, you are “EVERYTHING” to becoming known. Anything and everything that makes a business operate, you are it. Rather that is the secretary, the promoter, manager, etc. If you need something done, guess what, you are doing it. What I found to be true is, no one will do the job better than you in the beginning. The second thing I found to be an important lesson is, UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE DOING IT. Learn this business. That is what you are in. At the end of the day, you are not just an author. What you have to understand is, this is a business and you are running a business. True, many authors started writing for the love of it, don’t get me wrong, I still love what I do, but the truth is this is a business. Set goals, rather small or big but set reasonable goals and reach those goals. Take the time to learn and construct a solid plan for what you do. This is the life you chose, so understand what you have going on. It is said, “A FOOL AND HIS MONEY WILL SOON PART” DO NOT BECOME THAT FOOL. Learn this business. ~Author Tawayne McNeil
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tawayne “Tawa” McNeil was born in Durham, North Carolina in 1978. He attended school in the North Carolina area and graduated from a vocational school with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Though his chosen career path created a stable working environment, he found himself writing short stories to occupy his time. It was then that he decided that writing would be his future career.
For the next ten years, Tawayne McNeil completed several short stories and poems, attended various Poetry Houses, participated in “Poetry Slams,” and received recognition for his talent with words. 2007 marked a year of success as Tawayne published his first poem entitled, “Why Do Men Cheat?” This literary commentary on men’s thoughts earned him the People’s Choice Award and Editor’s Choice Award with Poetry.com.
Expounding on his passion for writing, Tawayne McNeil founded Versatile Writing & Movie Making, his company and publishing platform, in 2011. Under this label, he wrote his first movie script entitled, “Lost Souls.” Since then, Tawayne McNeil has released Hard Times An Erotic Thriller, book 1 of the 4 book series entitled Evolution’s of Brittney. With his success, he released Friendly Skies in 2011 and in 2012, Tawayne McNeil released book 2 of the Evolution’s of Brittney series entitled Brittney, as well as book 3 of the series, Brittney II, Eyes of Deceit.
Not one to rest, Tawayne McNeil pursued his talents as an author and filmmaker. He’s been featured on numerous Blog Talk Radio shows giving advice on various topics including relationship issues, men, fidelity, and sex. Tawayne McNeil has hosted book signings, workshops, discussions, and other events around the country to share his experiences as an author as well as give advice to those that want to pursue the career of writing.
Tawayne McNeil plans to release the final Book in the Evolution’s of Brittney series in October of 2012. The stage has been set for 2013 as Tawayne McNeil will continue to reach higher levels as he ventures further into his writing.
3 thoughts on “"Talking "Hard" Times In The Situation Room with Tawayne "Tawa" McNeil”
Great interview, I enjoyed reading how author Tawayne “Tawa” McNeil answered the question’s. I really liked how Tawayne plan’s on doing more in the future.
This is the first time Ive read the interview and I can truly say Im shocked. Im proud of him.