New York Times Best Selling Authors, Ashley and JaQuavis have been writing books since they were teenagers. The 25-year-old husband and wife duo have over 36 books under their belt but their latest novel, Murderville (Cash Money Content), is one of their most highly anticipated yet. Murderville is the first of a new trilogy about African immigrants who have big dreams when they get to America, but discover some harsh realities about life and the streets. VIBE caught up with them to chat about their writing process and what fans can expect from their books.
What can people expect from Murderville?
JaQuavis: Murderville is our best book to date! It’s honestly the best love story ever written. It’s about two kids coming from Sierra Leone⎯both taking different paths to achieve the American Dream. When they get to the United States, one of them gets caught up in the sex trade, which was human trafficking and the other person, who is the guy, gets adopted by a kingpin drug lord. They end up meeting back up when they were adults. It’s a very intricate story that touches on the Blood Diamond crisis.
I would imagine that you use some of your real life influences in some of the novels. Talk about where your inspiration comes from.
JaQuavis: We are from Flint, Michigan, and anybody who knows about it knows it is real destitute there. There really is no positivity coming from my city. Everybody has the same gutter mentality. Our inspiration comes from what we know. We never want to write about what was fake, we wanted to give a real portrayal of where we come from and who we are to our readers. So, we write about life experiences, what we feel and what we know, that way we can extend it to our readers and they feel it. So really our upbringing in the city and our experiences is where we get our street tales from.
What’s the hardest thing about co-writing a book?
Ashley: See, its not really that hard for us because we are so in tune with one another. Before we were a couple, we were like best friends. We have always seen eye to eye so, making our writing patterns was almost always seamless and there was no conflict. We do know that with every story, we end up having one big disagreement as far as the content is concerned, but once we have that big argument, that’s when we know we got it because it’s two creative minds that come to head over one book. The writing process is pretty smooth with us. We outline the entire book and then it’s like the lottery draft pick, like how does this happen or how do I portray this in this way? And he says well I want this chapter. We assess each other’s writing, so I never try to change his content and he respects what I do. Our talent matches each other. It’s not one that carries the other. We are equally talented.
Are there any plans to make Murderville into a movie?
Ashley: Not yet but it’s crazy that you just said that. We just got a call two days ago from Cash Money about Cartel. We can’t reveal too much yet but it’s going to be a major film production.
Throw out some names of who you would like to see in the movie if you had your way.
JaQuavis: I don’t want to offend anyone if someone else gets the part but I’ll put it like this, we would definitely love for Idris Elba to be in one of our movies.
What is the culture importance of the stories you tell?
At the end of the day, me and Ashley write to entertain. We definitely drop gems within the pages but the overall goal in our pages is to give people great stories.