Empi Baryeh | Strawberry-Lit Magazine



You write sensual African, multicultural romance and women’s fiction, is any of your writing based of some of your own experiences?

My experiences probably influence the kinds of stories I tell and the heroes/heroines I write about. However, for now, none of my plots is based directly on a personal experience.


I think it’s amazing how you finished your sisters’ story. Is this story one of the books you’ve published and what about the story inspired you to write?

Funny you should ask. I continued it and even started a sequel, but I never finished either. I was in high school, and at the time, I had to focus on my education. When I returned to writing, I realised my interests were not in young adult fiction but more in adult romance. The story is still in my stuff somewhere. If I ever decide to try YA again, I’ll definitely want to complete those two stories.


We know that you are from the Africa, what are some things we can expect to see from your country in your writing? What are some important things you find yourself mentioning quite often that explains your culture?

I write about the Africa I live in, which means (non-African) readers will get to see a different Africa from the one the see on the news. I tend to showcase the food and some cultural practices. You’ll see a lot of it in my From Ghana With Love series (Chancing Faith and Expecting Ty’s Baby) which feature heroes from the US coming to Ghana and finding love. Ultimately, I’m telling stories about two people falling in love. No matter how much culture is woven into the story, the focus is always on the romance and the happy ending my readers expect.


As a romance writer, what messages are you wanting your readers to understand?

The short answer is this: Love is universal. It doesn’t matter your race, complexion, dress size, sexual orientation or where you live in the world. It should be no different for characters in a book.


What is a recent thing a reader has commented about you work, and how did that make you feel?

When the Rona hit, and countries were going on lockdown, a member on a Facebook group said she’d self-isolate with my hero, Omar, from His Inherited Princess. That totally made my day.


A lot of people feel that Romance Genre is an easy genre to sell. What is your experience in making a name for yourself inside this genre?

I don’t know about romance being easier to sell, but romance readers are dedicated. That’s for sure. New opportunities in the indie publishing landscape, means there’s A LOT of competition out there. This means an author must put in more effort to get noticed by new readers. I don’t have a cult following or anything (lol), but readers who find me tend to come back for more of my stories. Which makes me very happy.


Do you have any upcoming projects?

I do! It’s a royal romance. Those who’ve read my book, His Inherited Princess, have already been introduced to the Royal House of Saene series, which currently has 3 books about the princesses of a fictional African kingdom, Bagumi. I’m writing about Kalahari, the king’s illegitimate son, who comes to claim his rightful place. The heroine is, Edina, a princess from another kingdom who’s engaged to another man. I can’t wait to share them with the world.


What can you tell us about your most recent release?

My most recent release is Most Eligible Bachelor. The heroine (Chantelle) is a jaded reporter who’s anti-Valentines’ Day. The hero (Lord) is a billionaire who’s had a thing for her for a while. She has to interview him, and let’s just say things get steamy. Here’s the blurb:


Can their one-night stand turn into something more?


Magazine columnist Chantelle Sah doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day—not since her fiancé’s betrayal four years ago. After botching her first assignment as a feature writer, she’s more than willing to put in a hard day’s work this Valentine’s Day; even if it means going on a date with gorgeous construction Tycoon, Lord McKenzie, and opening herself to an onslaught of all things love.


When Lord—his given name, not a title—sets his sights on Chantelle, it isn’t just work he has on his mind. But even he couldn’t have predicted the magnetic attraction between them when they meet, nor the evening ending with more than an interview. Now he has to convince Chantelle that their one-night stand wasn’t a mistake.


Does your name have a meaning? If so what does it mean?

It would be more accurate to say my name has a story. I don’t tell it often (a girl’s gotta keep some mystery about herself, right?). Hehe. What I’ll say is that it’s coined from a longer name.


Who are some of your favorite authors?

Ooh, it’s a long list. I’m going to try and limit it to my must-reads and auto-buys, starting with some African romance authors. Nana Prah, Kiru Taye, Amaka Azie, Nana Malone, Kennedy Ryan, Alyssa Cole, Delaney Diamond, Reese Ryan, Brenda Jackson, Olivia Gates.


What would you tell aspiring authors, who are struggling to tell their story?

There are many opportunities in traditional and indie publishing, but the competition is higher now more than ever. So, make time to write, learn and improve your craft. Make friends with other authors at various stages of their writing journey (so you can exchange ideas), read a lot, do things that energise you to write.


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