Interview: Urban Lit Author Sherrod Tunstall

As one of the dopest writers in urban lit today, Tunstall brings a honesty to the game while delivering thrilling entertainment.

Tell our readers about your latest or forthcoming novel?
My 4th novel is called Beating The Odds. It tells the story of Brad Carter. A dude that’s down on his luck. He loses his job, catches his woman in bed with another man, and he’s days away from being booted out of his home. Wanting to get away from his problems, Brad and his boys go to a nightclub, where they meet a wealthy stranger who offers them each $50,000 to go to Rio de Janeiro and traffic cocaine back to the U.S. Everything seems to be going well until Brad and the fellas get caught up and soon get tangled in a web of love, murder, mayhem, and betrayal. Beating the Odds will be out August 29, 2017. Be on the lookout. This is truly a banger!

You have written several books, who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite has to be as far as a male character has to be Gino in The Show Me State, my second book. I put 30% of myself in that character. Someone who wants to find love, be in love, get out of a bad situation and follow his dreams. As far as a female character my favorite female has to be…Spicy. She is my very first baby of course lol. But mainly because she was loyal as hell to the crew and her man, that she had been with for almost a decade. And when her man was killed she did everything possible to make the killer pay. Spicy is the true definition of a ride or die chick.

What inspired you to start writing novels?

I have been writing since I was 12 years old. I started off writing short stories. I tried to write a poem, but I wasn’t good at that at all lol. My sixth-grade teacher saw that I had potential and encouraged me to go forward. Plus, I didn’t have many friends growing up so the world of make believe was my getaway from the real world. Also, I use to use my toys to make up stories.

Do you pull inspiration for your stories from real life?
Of course. Use it from my own experience or people that I know. Or stories if I’m sitting at a restaurant or at the park I listen to people or look at someone and if they’re good looking use them as a character in one of my books.

With so many writers in the genre, how do you compete?
My best advice is for this is to keep your game different. Step out of the box and just let your imagination go.

A lot of urban novels have similar themes of drug deals, violence, and sex, what steps do you take to set your stories apart?
I consider my books as a gumbo genre. Some books only stay focus on the drug and the sex. But I like to go behind the sex and violence. I like to put romance and a little humor in my stories. And I go really deep with my characters focusing on their past, the present, why they are the way they are, and the goal they’re trying to reach for. Because if the story just focuses on the drugs or violence you lose the audience because they will wonder, ‘Okay, what will happen next?’ My stories focus on life, choices, love, friendships, and taking responsibility for what you do.

Do your feel that violence in literary works reflect real life situations or just glorify negative and illegal behavior?
Yes, I do feel that violence in some literary works does reflect real life situations. Because as writers we show you in the books what’s going on in American society that the media will never ever show you. In America, that’ll you what’s going on in all these foreign countries and their dilemmas. But they won’t show you what’s going on in their own backyard. It’s like an old saying, ‘If you want to hide something from people put it in a book.’ So people be informed.


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