Interview: Sentu Taylor about new novel Sinsane Asylum
Sentu Taylor is the genius behind the Gangpire Trilogy. A series that wraps vampires, Ethiopian history, satire, blood, gore, and even a little bit of love into an epic tale about two friends who turned themselves (and many others) into modern-day vampires. If you haven't read Gangpire, you most definitely have to check it out. Now, let's delve into Sentu's new release Sinsane Asylum, where he once again reveals his ability to create relate-able characters with a hefty dose of sarcasm and gut-splitting jokes. I had the pleasure of reading this novel pre-release and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book is definitely a break for the normal monotony of the literary world today.
Sinsane Asylum takes a completely different direction than Gangpire. What was the inspiration behind the story?
It was really a neighbor who would beat my ears up about the Professor Griff speaking engagements, and halfway listening to this neighbor a spark came to me like "This stuff would make a great novel," and from there I began watching the YouTube clips of him, David Icke, Maliki York, and others. Icke being my favorite.
The main character, Deon “Kasino” Brooks, is a rapper who displays his lyrical talents throughout the novel. Do you rap? How did you come up with his catchy rhymes?
Lol, I used to battle rap as a youngster and kinda tapped into that mind frame again, rhyming random words and so on and so forth. I really had to stop myself from just over loading the novel with long ass raps and dilute the novelty of it.
Sinsane Asylum contained powerful quotes from the likes of Phil Specter, Marilyn Manson, and Sid Vicious. What role did these people play in inspiring or question, in your work?
They all where part of or connected to the music industry and all have been linked to murders, and I just dug into their quotes to find some that would sync with the pacing of the story. For instance the Phil Specter quote set the stage for Deon talking to an invisible person. Big Lurch was a rapper who, while high on pcp, ended up with lung tissue in his stomach and a butchered dead body in the room, his was a metaphor for Deon being coked up and knocking off Clarence and Gospel. At first glance they all are just cool quotes that fit the climate of the story but the person's background who they were taken from gave them a double meaning.
Sinsane Asylum is different than Gangpire, but still incorporates your wit and odd sense of humor. The character Deon is very likeable and will have the reader rooting for his success. How much pressure did you feel to top Gangpire’s success and the notoriety of characters and make Kasino and Trife just as memorable?
Ooh that's a tough question, there was definitely pressure to live up to the expectations after Gangpire scored so well with readers, but with this one I aimed more to top myself creatively. Sinsane Asylum went deeper into my personal views, opinions, and how I feel about things. I put more of "me" into it than any of my other works and thus left myself vulnerable, at times during writing it I questioned if this was too early in my career to do something so experimental.
After reading Sinsane Asylum, it is evident that lots of research was done in order to complete this novel, from the mention of Mephistopheles, to Lucifer, and Reptilian Nephilim to the inner workings of the music industry. How much time did you spend pouring over research in order to make sure that Sinsane Asylum was accurate historically?
Over a year, I began researching this as I was still working on Winter's Chill and GP3, I ended up with folders full of notes. There are countless conspiracy theories out there and what sucked is I couldn't use them all, I think only 20% of the research I did made it into the book, just because I didn't want it to come off preachy, or forced. It was also challenging on the subtle one word references like Sandy Hook, the Johnnie Cochran assassination, Ice Cube's Lethal Injection album cover being rumored to show how Eazy E really contracted......
You brought back Seattle from Gangpire, and made her Deon’s love interest. Is there any chance of a continuation of their story or a Sinsane Asylum 2?
I don't plan on doing a part 2 for Sinsane Asylum, but as this novel revealed which of the alternate endings of GP3 was the real ending, there is a possibility that there will be a spin-off novel that will connect the characters from both stories. I think I fucked up and got too attached to the Menelik character from the GP series, he's like the kid I never had lol, so I'm having a hard time letting him go. Enough hints?
You insinuate that the Illuminati runs the music industry. Would you consider yourself a conspiracy theorist?
Somewhat. As far as the reptilian theories I don't believe in them, and playing with them was really difficult not to let this book turn into a cheesy sci-fi laser blaster epic. But the aspect of a couple of companies owning all forms of entertainment and dictating what we listen to and are distracted by I know to be factual. I also was part of a taping of a reality show years ago and it was as staged and phony as I suggested. I tell you this from first hand experience.
Deon is the name of your younger brother. How similar is the real life Deon’s personality to the character Deon “Kasino” Brooks?
Very vaguely, actually. Well besides the parts were the fictional Deon was telling bold face lies in his journal to cover his ass, that's something my brother definitely would do.
You insinuate that there is a lack of depth in hip hip and music today, and that very few artists remain true to their craft. What current artists do you feel continue to stray from the pressure of the industry and remain true to the music?
Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole instantly come to mind. I don't know if Slaughterhouse would count as current since all the members have been active for many years.
Trife betrays Kasino for money and fame in the industry. He basically sells his soul to the devil. Do you believe that mega success requires some degree of disloyalty?
Like Balzac's maxim says, "behind every great fortune there's a great crime."
In one sentence, what message would you want readers to take away after reading Sinsane Asylum?
What is your current work and when do you project its release?
I'm hashing out a collab story called "Bad Call" it'll be non-paranormal, and hopefully out this winter.
What are you currently reading?
Dudoir Confessions , by ,you, Tanasia Thomas.
How can readers connect with Sentu Taylor? On Facebook @ authorsentutaylor Instagram @sentu_taylor Oh and please, pretty please follow my troll blog on FB www.facebook.com/BVgang
It's composed of screenshots of me internet pranking people, and hey, web troll's might save the world one day like in my book so you might as well get acquainted with joy of bullshitting strangers.