Trustice Gentles a.k.a. Jatye
Urban Book Source
Born and raised in the Bronx, Trustice Gentles has seen his share of ghetto life. Having many of his friends succumb to the streets, Trustice made his way out after seeing it wasn’t all that it was chalked up to be, and often times wrote short stories about his experiences.
After getting his Associates degree, Trustice a.k.a. Jatye, took his writing to the next level, and penned his first novel Rage Times Fury, which was later, published by Triple Crown Publications. Motivated to show people that intelligence should overcome ignorance in problem solving, Jatye told the tale of Malik and Soraya, two young parents seeking revenge for the senseless killing of their child, while coming to grips with their loss.
Born Assassin is Trustice’s lastest novel and the first one released under his publishing company, Jatye Enterprises.
UBS: We’ve heard that you have been confronted by quite a few people who think that some of the characters in your novel, Rage Times Fury, were based on them. Is this true? If so, how do you handle this? And where did you get inspiration for your story?
Trustice: Yes, but it wasn’t serious to the point of real beef though. Just an exchange of words. In the Bronx, where this occurred, it seems like everyone knows everyone so they think it must've been about them. It wasn't big though. I got the inspiration for the story when I was watching the news and saw that a child was killed by random gunfire. From there it clicked that I was going to write that story.
UBS: When did you start writing?
Trustice: While I was a teenager, me and my people would have a lot of beef and fights with other people from different neighborhoods. I then started writing about the shootings and all that and showed it to my people and we’d laugh about the experiences but they would always tell me that my writing was good. Then it was a progression to where I got serious about writing to where I am today.
UBS: What would you say to anyone who makes negative statements about the urban/street fiction?
Trustice: They have the right to their opinion. Just like I might not necessarily like the genre of books they like. If they can explain intelligently the basis for not liking urban literature I would listen because I can defend Urban literature so they should be able to back up their stance.
UBS: What would you say to people that say Urban fiction only contributes to the violent cycle in our neighborhoods?
Trustice: I would say that they’re ignorant and hypocritical because those are the same people that would read books or watch movies with white “heroes” and would not say that those contribute to violence. If in a Tom Clancy novel, the main character killed a police officer, they wouldn’t say that it contributes to cops being killed in real life. Urban fiction is just that, fiction. Putting classifications on it and implying that because it’s geared towards an urban market, we will take the novels to heart and act them out or whatever the case, is ignorant and racist.
UBS: Can you give us a brief walk through your novels Rage Times Fury and Born Assassin?
Trustice: Rage Times Fury is about a father who seeks revenge against those that harmed his son by trying not to use violent means to do it but manipulating situations instead. I purposely made that book as cerebral as possible. It was cool for my first novel but I’m still progressing. My new book, Born Assassin is a about a woman who's an assassin for a drug gang in the Bronx. That’s the story on the surface but the underlying theme to Born Assassin is choices and how the choices we make affect not just you but also your family and people around you. The main character, Destiny, is conflicted in that she loves her son and her sons' father but they do not live together because her sons’ father is adamantly against what she does and doesn't want their son anywhere near her “profession”. She wants her family to be together but she likes the money and perks that her “profession” provides. Also, her mind is kind of twisted in that a tragedy in her teens made her an angry individual. So it’s like, what's more important, materialism or love of family?
UBS: You deal with a father seeking revenge against the senseless killing of his son, who doesn’t want to perpetuate the violence. How do you think we can put a stop to the violence in our neighborhoods?
Trustice: The best I can say about that is for people to know that we are not each others’ enemy. Think about who loves us killing each other.
UBS: Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Trustice: No, I never get writer’s block because I know where the progression of the story is leading and I know peoples’ nature or reactions in different situations within the story.
UBS: What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Trustice: Do research. Go to different book events and speak to different authors about their experiences regarding publishing companies and distribution companies etc. A lot of published authors won't help aspiring authors but there are those that will. And stay away from shady publishing companies like Triple Crown Publications or else you won’t get the money that is rightfully yours and you will get lied to about it.
UBS: What can your readers expect from you in the future?
Trustice: More books and putting more books out from other authors from my publishing company, Jatye Enterprises. And not just in the urban literature market. There are so many talented authors out there that are better writers than a Stephen King or Tom Clancy. There’s a market for them also.
UBS: Where do you see this “hip hop” literature genre in 10 years?
Trustice: Hopefully evolving so it doesn’t seem like the same story is being told a thousand times. It has to evolve or the genre will be stagnant.
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