Singer Tanille Turns A Story Written During College Into a Novel


J.K. Rowling, take note! You’re gonna need a single with your next bestseller.

Tanille, who writes under her full name of Tanille Edwards, is unique by setting her young adult novel to her own music…and she isn’t finished yet.

You have songs marketed together with a novel. If you could do this for other novels not written by you, what songs and books would you tie together?

I have a song I’m working on now titled “Trust Asks You to Believe.” I would tie this in with Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bridget needs a little more trust in her life. I just love that story. We all go through the second guessing. It takes practice to calm that down.

My song, “Feel It,” reminds of more than one murder mystery I’ve read lately. It’s sort of silly to admit, but I enjoy these Agatha Christie short stories. I can read them before I go to bed or while traveling, and there’s so little commitment because it is a short story. There was one that had me particularly disturbed titled, “Miss Marple: A Christmas Story.” I think “Feel It” fits in because there is a young woman who is so desperately in love with someone who clearly isn’t in her best interest. If she really thought about whether or not he felt true love for her, it could have saved her life.

Matching songs with titles is not always simple. It is sometimes the obvious emotions and undertones that match with the song. Other times it is the quite longings a character has that match.

Obvious question…were you inspired to name the book after the old music group also called Cameo? As in the guys with Mariah Carey on her “Loverboy” song?

Maybe subconsciously…I am an 80’s child. I have a few songs, like “Baby Comeback to Me,” that are inspired by 80’s dance. Even the track for “Cameo” is like old school 80’s dance.

The title of the book though was changed. Cameo is based on a screenplay I wrote years ago titled “Fever.” As I thought more about the story, I realized that Nia’s relationship with the guys in the story were more like Cameo’s. She still was sort of stuck in between these two loves, one from the past and one right in front of her. I wrote Cameo a few years back in college. I felt like the song really conveyed how Nia felt in certain moments. I even went as far to insert it into the party scene. It’s like a living piece of the backdrop of the story. I have to say Mariah’s “Loverboy” collaborators are definitely 80’s icons. I can only hope Cameo, the book, will be as memorable.

Did you use your own real life experiences as a young woman at any part in the book?

Yes! Absolutely, yes! I really try to thread the emotional tone of my stories with true feelings. I think some of the confusion Nia faces in love, I’ve faced before. I think some of the friendship conflicts and internal trust issues she has come from a very real place. Being a teen was such a conflicting time. I wanted to be as true to it as possible. It wouldn’t be fair to write a story about teens and not be honest about the things they are going through. Heck, even the start of my adulthood at times can be confusing emotionally. Why did he do this? What did he mean when he said that? I really want to talk about why they didn’t call me back yesterday, but I let it go. We have get over ourselves; it is part of growing up. It makes us better people. This is only highlighted by the things we used to do in our teen years.

As an author, what is the best way to react when you receive blah or negative feedback about your book?

I understand that everyone can’t love my work. That is not the nature of the world. I also understand the key to life is to focus on the positive. There are plenty of people who love my books. If someone doesn’t, I am sure there is another title out there for them. That is why variety is so great!

What are your best young adult novel recommendations for people, besides your book, of course?

I love the Harry Potter series. My favorite is Chamber of Secrets. I like Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. It’s such an empowering story. It is a little tough. I’ve been working like crazy on my next YA title, Broken, another romantic thriller. Due to time constraints, I haven’t been reading as much new stuff in my genre as usual. My next read is mostly likely going to be Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. I love murder mysteries.


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