Friday, February 11, 2011

J.E. Taylor interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?

JET:  Evenings and weekends.  Anytime I can find around my day job and my kids activities, which usually entails sitting in my comfy chair in the family room between 7pm and 11pm - which is smack dab in the middle of the household action.  Even though the television is on, I’m usually lost on my little netbook propped on my lap-desk.  

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

JET:  All computer all the time.  My handwriting is atrocious, so if I jot something on paper, by the   time I look at it, I have no clue what it says. 

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

JET:  Nightmares, fantasies, dreams and a little life experience thrown in for credibility.  

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

JET: Sometimes, especially if I’m taking part in a writing sprint or a monthly count like Nano month, but other than that – I just let it flow as it flows.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t beat myself up when I find myself running in circles.  Goals are good, especially when they are attainable. Unrealistic goals on the other hand can cripple your motivation.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

JET:  Both. 

I’ve got an erotic thriller series (Survival Games, Mind Games and End Game) published through eXcessica – a small erotic/romance publisher that deals primarily in e-books, but also offers paperback options through Createspace.   I also have the first two books in my FBI thriller series (Dark Reckoning and Vengeance) published through eXcessica’s sister company FIDO Publishing.  They only offer e-books out of the gate, so I worked out a deal and ventured on my own to produce trade paperbacks through Createspace for these two titles. 

On the e-book self publishing front - I made the decision late last summer to publish my short stories via Smashwords and have been growing my backlist in both erotic shorts and mainstream shorts ever since. 

As far as covers are concerned, I have a fantastic cover artist (Willsin Rowe ) down in Australia that I’ve worked with for three of the five novels currently published – he is truly phenomenal.  I picked the photo(s) that we used from 123 Royalty Free Photos and he did his magic.

I played around enough with photos to branch out and do my own for Vengeance and was fortunate enough to find the perfect picture matching my mental image of Steve Williams at Romance Novel Covers, which is now gracing the cover for my next FBI thriller Hunting Season due out this May.  

I also produced the covers for all my short stories using these same resources listed above.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

JET:  It’s really stress relief for me. I got so far from a creative outlet in the day job that I was going nuts.  I had been writing technical documentation for years and then was promoted to managing those writing the documents and lost that edge, that creative outlet.  So when my daughter asked …If I can do anything what would it be… with no hesitation, I said write a book and get it published.  That was in February of 2007 and between that time and the end of 2008 – I wrote eight books.  They just poured out and I loved every minute of creating lives on paper and playing God with them.  What’s more liberating, is when I get pissed off at work, I get to come home and work out the frustrations on paper.  Looking at the kind of books I write – you might venture to guess I went through some very frustrating months in the day job.  J 

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

JET:  No, not a separate device.  I have the PC version of the Kindle on my netbook and I’d love a Kindle or Nook in the future, but right now, I’m still good with paperbacks or reading on my netbook between writing.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

JET:  Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, Sandra Brown, Heather Graham, Lisa Gardner, David Morrell, Kay Hooper, Jonathan Maberry, Cat Connor, Lisa McMahon 

I’m reading Stealing the Marbles by E.J. Knapp and Liquid Soul by Matthew Carter right now. 

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

JET:  I think book trailers are an essential way to get the message out there.  I have trailers for all my books and I’ve made all of them but one myself.  I contracted Willsin Rowe to do Survival Games and he came up with a fantastic and very different trailer.  My trailers are posted on my website,  my Facebook page, Goodreads, and a few other places around the web. 

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

JET: The last in the Games series – End Game, which comes out today – was an easy title to come up with - it was just the natural progression and the end of the series – so End Game just seemed right. 

The most challenging title I had to come up with was Dark Reckoning – the first in my FBI thriller series featuring Special Agent Steve Williams.  For years – I’m talking over twenty years – this book was titled Mirror Lake.  I started it while I was in college and didn’t pick it back up until the summer of 2007.  Well, I wrote the second and third books, Vengeance and Hunting Season which have much more impact and are much more telling of the stories within the covers.  But Mirror Lake didn’t seem to fit the story line – yes it was the setting, but I needed something with more punch, just like the story, so while sitting in my son’s Jukido class,  I had a conversation with some of the fathers and bounced some titles back and forth with them and out of that conversation came Dark Reckoning. 

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

JET:  I’m just finishing up the final edits to Hunting Season which will be hitting the virtual shelves in May of 2011.  Out of all the books I have written, Hunting Season was the most fun to write.  I took the characters from my Games series (because they just wouldn’t shut up) and threw them in the world of Steve Williams.  Imagine Criminal Minds suddenly melded with Supernatural and you’ve got Hunting Season. 

Here’s my Bio:
J.E. Taylor is a writer, an editor, a manuscript formatter, a mother, a wife and a business analyst, not necessarily in that order.

She first sat down to seriously write in February of 2007 after her daughter asked:

“Mom, if you could do anything, what would you do?”

From that moment on, she hasn’t looked back and now her writing resume includes five+ novels either published or targeted for release along with several short stories on the virtual shelves including a few within upcoming eXcessica anthologies.

Ms. Taylor also moonlights as an Assistant Editor of Allegory, an online venue for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and lends a hand in formatting manuscripts for eXcessica as well as offering her services judging writing contests for various RWA chapters.

She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and during the summer months enjoys her weekends on the shore in southern Maine.

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