JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Tiffany Wright, author of The Cartel Vixen
(Deja Vu Publications)
As the self-proclaimed vixen of Central High, Monique was a force to be reckoned with. On the surface, she appeared to have everything she desired in the palm of her hands. In reality, abuse, family secrets and emptiness plagued her.
Popularity, money sex and her ride or die crew become her escape. Her life appeared great until one reckless night with her boyfriend sends her world crashing down.
Slowly, friendships she once had began to die. Family begins to fade from her life. Freedom becomes a distant memory. Forced to prove herself, Monique does the unthinkable.
A family tragedy becomes her fresh start. All goes well until she reunites with an old friend. Questioning her sexuality and friendship become the smallest of her problems.
Proving her love and loyalty to the game, Monique finds herself caught up in a drug ring that spirals out of control. With death and crime surrounding her, Monique must decide if she will remain down for the one she loves before it’s too late.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write The Cartel Vixen?
Tiffany Wright: I always enjoyed writing. In middle school, I wrote short stories and poems. I never thought about writing professionally.
Initially, I wrote The Cartel Vixen to encourage my girlfriend to get started on her own novel. I began by writing four chapters in eight hours, and I emailed it to her at work.
She called me and I asked her was she mad that I wrote four chapters in eight hours. I expected her to say yes and that she was going to get started on her book. Instead, it had the opposite effect.
She demanded that I finish the story because she needed more. At first, I was like whatever. I had no desire to write or get published. But she hounded me to finish what I started.
Long story short: I completed the manuscript, and she loved it.
JP: What sets The Cartel Vixen apart from other novels that detail money, sex and drugs in the inner-city?
TW: The Cartel Vixen has a positive ending that is not to fairy tale. It covers sexuality and sexual identity, hardcore family problems, friendship and entering adulthood.
No matter who the audience is, The Cartel Vixen is sure to touch someone due to the situations covered. When you read a lot of these urban novels, it deals with one particular thing.
Although this story is not my own life, it’s someone’s life. Instead of talking about what king pin did what or one scenario, I made the character go through it all. The moral of this story: just because you are faced with all of these problemsdoes not mean there isn’t a away out.
JP: Vixen is a word that has been thrown around a lot the past couple of years. What is your definition of “vixen”, and what does it mean in the context of The Cartel Vixen?
TW: Here is my answer: Vixen was not used in it’s typical form. It was actually an acronym (Victomized, Independent, X-rated, Envied and Notorious) to describe the character and the many things she went through.
The reason vixen was used as apart of the title was because the word vixen itself demands attention. When you see the cover and the title, you feel compelled to want to find out more.
When you hear the word vixen, you think a sexually-attractive, glamorous bitch – someone who superceeds standards and mediocracy. And the main character definatly earned the title Vixen.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish The Cartel Vixen?
TW: I wrote my novel in three weeks. I sat on the couch in front of the TV while watching all my children and started jotting stuff down. I didn’t have an outline, character names or description of anything.
I made stuff up as I went. The original title had 34 chapters. After several revisions, the book now how 38 chapters. I had no structure or any idea where the story would take me. I just wrote whatever came to mind.
JP: What’s next for Tiffany Wright?
TW: I am currently working on the sequel to The Cartel Vixen. My next novel entitled SFTG (the title is a secret) is almost done, so I’m excited about this one more than the first.
I have two other titles in mind that I will began working on once I have completed the sequel. I’ll be working on a sound track and audio project for the book with a few artists I know.
My goal is to turn both books into a movie. I think this would be a great story to see on the big screen. Right now, I want to get my hands into as many projects whether literary or community-based as possible. I want to be able to reach out to as many people as I can, so I am able to help them reach their goals.