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T.I. releases second novel

174251545T.I.’s name used to be synonymous with music.

But then he started branching out into films (“Takers,” the upcoming “Identity Theft”) and in the last two years has turned into a TV presence with his hit VH1 reality show, “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle” and a meaty role on Kelsey Grammer’s “Boss,” airing on Starz.

Last year, he entered the literary realm with his first work of fiction, “Power & Beauty: A Love Story of Life on the Streets.” Co-written with New York Times bestselling author David Ritz, the partially-set-in-Atlanta book followed the saga of Paul “Power” Clay and Tanya “Beauty” Long.

Since that one ended with a cliffhanger, T.I. knew he had more story to tell. Earlier this week came “Trouble & Triumph,” the sequel to “Power & Beauty,” which finds the namesake couple separated – a situation that obviously cannot last long.

The book, which T.I. will sign at two appearances next week, is filled with numerous characters and action that hopscotches from Atlanta to Miami to Tokyo.

The rapper-actor-author called recently from his Atlanta home to talk about his foray into novel writing.

Q. How long ago did you start writing this sequel?

A. When I was working on the first one, I knew I had more story to tell. I just kind of made it the prequel to the second book. It took about seven or eight months to write.

Q. What’s the most challenging thing about writing fiction, compared to songwriting?

A. To remember that there is no limitation – how far left, right or how far high or low this character can go. There’s no comparison [to songwriting].  Most of my songs are based on a reality that they devise from something, and with these novels, which are the first I’ve ever done, it’s not married to any reality.

Q. What’s the process like working with David? Who contributes what?

A. We definitely have an equal collaboration. We start out brainstorming and the best ideas stick, obviously. Once the main script is drawn up, it’s shared and viewed by both parties, comments are made and we draw up the manuscript and write more. That process continues to take place until you’re satisfied.

Q. There are a lot of characters to keep track of – are they based on people in real life?

A. No, no, they only have traits or there may be certain activities that I could point to in real life. But no one is completely patterned after 

Q. Do you feel you’re being respected in the literary community?

A. I think the respect that matters comes from the fans, people who enjoy the book. No one else’s opinion really matters.

Q. How far do you see this series going?

A. I think that the sky is the limit. Right now, I see that the success of each project determines the life of the story.

Q. You’ve said that one reason for doing these books it that you want to promote literacy. Were you a big reader growing up?

A. Early on in life I was, then as I got older, I read more for information than entertainment. I would read anything, man – the newspaper, the Bible, certain biographies, like the Malcolm X autobiography, anything I felt I could learn from.

Q. What do you want people to take away from this book?

A. I just hope that the story continues to captivate them as much as the first one did. I am happy with it, proud of it.

T.I. will sign copies of his book at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 26. Books-A-Million,  258 City Circle, Peachtree City. 770-632-1296, www.booksamillion.com ; and 7 p.m. Sept. 27. Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-261-7747, www.barnesandnoble.com .

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene

24 comments Add your comment

Sluggo

September 20th, 2012
5:44 am

“We definitely have an equal collaboration”

Lending your brand name to a ghost writer counts as an equal collaboration?

mike

September 20th, 2012
7:25 am

Way to go TIP. Do whatever you dreams are willing to take you.

Sheriff Lobo

September 20th, 2012
8:53 am

Seriously??

T.I. releases a 2nd novel??? Implying there was actually a 1st one??

After hearing his musical articulation, I didn’t think this guy could write a coloring book.

What credentials does he have to know anything about authoring books?

I know he has had some judges and law enforcement officials “THROW THE BOOK” at him…

cwilliams

September 20th, 2012
9:10 am

Sheriff Lobo let me say this, whom ever you are maybe desire to be. You really should stop hating to say that you are perfect I don’t think so.

The music TI does obviously is not for you no problem it’s not for me either but I’m not going to say that he can’t articulate what he is trying to say and obviously somebody likes becasue it causing him to laugh all the way to the bank.

Sheriff Lobo what was the last book you wrote it appears he (TI) has two so his brain is working. All i see Sheriff Lobo doing is finding the energy to drum up the past and obviously has nothing better to do than to try and rain on somebody’s parade.

Feel sorry for you Sheriff Lobo you really need to get a life then you could stop ridiculing others for the life they have that is not hurting anyone, one who gives to the community and feeds those who are short of food and clothes.

Sheriff Lobo what have you done lately. Oh by the way as I previously stated I don’t care for the music not my style but I do care for the person he is a nice guy he admits to doing wrong and from what I see have corrected his ways.

Sheriff Lobo you should go somewhere see what your heart is pumping and get a transplant.

Rethink yourself.

Just-WHY

September 20th, 2012
9:14 am

You know what…he’s know different that some of these other folks who lend their names to books that they didn’t wright. Also, what about the guy who Oprah had on her show and later found out to be a fake. So, I’m not mad at him…. Get it while you can because after while it will be someon else.

Jewels

September 20th, 2012
9:19 am

I read the first book and loved it. I can’t wait to read this new one. He’s right the book is far more expressive then his raps. I like both.

Carol

September 20th, 2012
9:21 am

Finally he’s doing something and others should follow because they are always expecing hand-outs. I’m tired of my taxes going to take care of these kind.

Awgi

September 20th, 2012
9:39 am

TIs second novel? Seems the “word” novel no longer carries any weight whatsoever. No doubt this book is chock full of illogical and stupid platitudes, ramblings and just plain ignorance.

TI = Total Idiot.

Mavis Beacon

September 20th, 2012
9:46 am

cwilliams @ 9:10 am -

Perhaps you should get a “ghost writer” to pen your blog responses for you, cwilliams, as your post is very difficult to read due to its supersaturation with elementary-school-level errors in basic grammar & punctuation.

Assuming you are not this unfortunate “T.I.” himself, cwilliams, perhaps the two of you either committed felonies and/or did prison time together?

I hope your blind rage, seemingly directed at law officials as indicated by the lack of personal accountability for one’s own actions in your rambling diatribe, doesn’t get the best of you during a traffic stop, cwilliams.

In all sincerity, I do indeed wish T.I. all the best in cleaning up his act and in all of his future endeavors.

If other intellectual lightweights in the music industry such as Jessica Simpson & Randy Jackson can have books on the shelves at Barnes & Noble, there is no reason why T.I. should not have one as well.

linda bacon

September 20th, 2012
9:55 am

hey give this man a break we have all made mistakes in life if god gorgive us forget about man people need to stop being so hard on peopleand give folks a break we have all fallen short

miekal

September 20th, 2012
11:16 am

WHY TI CANT BAIL OUT MORRIS BROWN? U NO HE GOT THE MONEY!

Cmon family...

September 20th, 2012
11:19 am

Black people, please lets stop letting these white folks get us mad on blogs. They do it on purpose! Tip is doing well. The first book did good. We dont have to defend him. The proof is in the pudding.

Sbwga

September 20th, 2012
11:27 am

I hope he sells a lot of books, makes money, and pays taxes to contribute to society instead of wanting my income “redistributed” his way. We have enough cry babies wanting “somebody, anybody” to pay their way. What if Six Flags operated like that?

Attention Customers: We have 20 people in line that want to come in and ride the rides. Oh, and they want to eat too. We want anybody in line that has cash in their pocket to step up and share their cash so these folks can have fun. Wait, where is everybody going? Why are you leaving? If you are not staying, leave your cash anyway. These people want to have fun and we need you to pay!

Income Redistributor

September 20th, 2012
11:32 am

If you don’t give us your money, the government will just print more money and we will give that away instead.

WOW!

September 20th, 2012
1:18 pm

I agree totally with CMON Family!

Gimme a Break

September 20th, 2012
2:52 pm

Congratulations to T.I.! I had no idea he had written a book; but, I am happy for him. He that hates to see him do something noteworthy really and truly has a problem with himself. In the words of Malcolm X, “if somone is more successful than you, they are doing something you aren’t”. So stop all the hating, the cussin’ and fussin’, get up, get out, and do something,

Free Enterprise

September 20th, 2012
3:01 pm

@Awgi….Spoken like a true HATER!!! Have you read it? Have you read the 1st one? If not, how can you be so judgmental? I hate people like you, everything to say about people who are doing something but you’re doing nothing at all!!!

This guy is making LOADS of money and empowering other people while he’s doing it. So stop hating and start taking notes, maybe you can to have someday!!!

Free Enterprise

September 20th, 2012
3:06 pm

Its a known fact that Americans “HATE” on people that are doing better than they are! Get off your lazy azz and find something you can hustle!!!

GaPeachy

September 20th, 2012
4:13 pm

Great job TIP! I will pick up both. Anything that will encourage the youth to pick up a book instead of a video game I am all for.

TheLazyComic

September 21st, 2012
12:59 pm

Atlanta Music Scene? That’s laughable.

Didn't Know He Could Read

September 21st, 2012
4:30 pm

TI be a man of letters. Who Nu? I guess he put down the pipe long enough to turn a few pages in a book somewhere along the way. Good for him.

[...] no comparison [to songwriting],” T.I. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Most of my songs are based on a reality that they devised him something, and with these [...]

[...] no comparison [to songwriting],” T.I. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Most of my songs are based on a reality that they devised him something, and with these [...]

[...] no comparison [to songwriting],” T.I. told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Most of my songs are based on a reality that they devised him something, and with these novels, [...]