Friday, 30 September 2011
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - TOMMY TAYLOR
1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Tommy Taylor, I was born in Fort Worth Texas and have lived here all of my 61 years.
2. Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always wanted to write, and had about 150 articles about hunting and fishing published before I wrote my first book.
3. When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I don’t consider myself a writer. I just consider myself lucky enough to be able to tell a story that others want to hear.
4. Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It took about a year and a half.
5. Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I have the best job in the world. I am a high school librarian and so I get to buy all the books that I want and I get to use other people’s money doing it.
6. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My book title is, “The Second Virgin Birth.” 10 years in the life of a little girl who was chosen by God to be the next Madonna in the second coming.
7. Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I had a publisher, but decided that I wanted more control over content. I wanted to write a book that caused friends to have disagreements over it’s not so clear cut meanings. They wanted a book that would sell well. So, I cancelled my contract and self published. Best thing I ever did.
8. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It took me 6 months to write and a year and a half to edit. The sequel is taking 2 years to write.
9. Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
The second one is much harder because you just can’t make stuff up as you go, It has to follow what happened it the first one.
10. What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
After I finish this one, I am going to change gears and write a romance……yes I know, it is a long way from what I am writing now, but I think that is the point. To do things outside of our comfort zone.
11. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Currently have written 25 chapters of new book. My first book was 34 chapters, therefore I am guessing that I am about 2/3 of the way through.
12. What genre would you place your books into?
13. Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I know that most would say that one of the main characters would be their favorite character, but for me it is the janitor, Pedro, who is my favorite. It is because when surrounded by brilliant men, he is the only one with enough common sense to see the solution to their problem.
14. How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I have only been writing for about 5 years now. I started writing as a way to overcome my grief at the death of my 19 year old daughter. Now, don’t be confused, my books are not self help books in any form or matter, but the sitting down and concentrating on the telling of a story is what helped me get through some of my darkest hours.
15. Where do you get your book plot ideas from?
I got my idea for the plot of my book while trying to find a way to bring my daughter back. Insane, yes I know, but that is where it all came from.
16. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
Not just one, but several different people and groups of people. I had librarians, a Bible study group of about 30 and a college class of 40 read and tell me what they found as unbelievable so that I could correct that part of the story. A writer has to have a thick skin. After all, we pour our heart and soul into a book and then some people rip it to pieces.
17. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes I do gift books, but only with the understanding that they will write what they truly feel about my story.
18. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes I do. I try to learn something that will make me a better writer from each one. However, some people are not truly interested in writing a review as they are in trying to empress others with how smart they think they are.
19. What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I have been very fortunate and have had many great reviews. Those one does not remember, but I remember the very first email I got about my book. I was so excited that someone took the time to find out my name and write to me. It said and I can still quote it today, “I have not read your book and I will not, but if you were a Christian, you would not write such trash.” I was crushed of course and what I did I am not proud of, but I replied to this email by saying, “I don’t care what you say about my book, just as long as you keep talking about it.” Tacky, I know, but honest.
20. How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
The title, The Second Virgin Birth, was not my first choice, but number five. The other titles that I wanted to use were already books. I am so glad because I truly think that this title fits the book. However, it does turn some off who say that they don’t read religious books. Which it is not any more than The De Vinci Code was a religious book.
21. How do you market/promote your books?
I don’t. I know that sounds strange, but I did not write my books to make money. I wrote my books because I had a story to tell. So, when I am finish, I just put it on Amazon and let the public decide if they enjoy it or not.
22. What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
For a book to be a really good seller, people of all kinds have to be able to relate to both the characters and the story line. Being a librarian in real life, I read a lot of books, and I can tell you that there are some truly great books out there that never became a best seller.
23. Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes, we all have I suppose at one time or another. I don’t try to fight it. The story will come when it comes. So, I get up from the computer and do something else. I go to the computer when a line or idea pops into my head and just expand on it.
24. What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love the outdoors. I fly fish as much as I can. I camp and spend time surrounded by nature.
25. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I’m sure most writers will say yes I have and I need to say that also.
26. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
When I had my book read by a class of college students, they came up with over two dozen hidden messages in my book, but honestly, there is none, I just wanted to tell a good story.
27. Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
My favorite author passed away last year. Authur C. Clarke who’s short story, The Nine Billion Names of God, truly got me hooked into reading and for that I will be forever grateful.
28. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Actually, I guess I am showing my age but the least favorite type of format is ebook. I have a Kindle and have many books on it, but it just does not look as nice up on my shelves as a hardback book. Now, it you judge a book by its cover, then I must prefer a paperback book, because they are without question more worn out.
29. What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I try to read all of the books I have more than once. It is amazing how much you miss the first time. My favorite book and people are going to hate me for this, but I enjoyed and laughed out loud for the first time in a long time when I read Christopher Moore’s book, Lamb.
30. Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I want to say that some do, but most do not. The worst book to movie transfer had to be Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I kept saying all through the movie that did not happen in the book. My wife finally told me to shut up. The only thing about the movie and the book that was similar was that they were both about dinosaurs.
31. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I just got a paperback book today from Amazon and have not opened it yet, but I will start it tonight and the book is: The Demon's Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan.
32. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I pray that books will never be replaced by anything, especially something that needs batteries.
33. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I can only speak of what I know. I teach in high school and there is very very little encouragement to read anything but what is required for the course. I see no writing classes at all.
34. Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
As a librarian, you may find this answer funny, but there have been many many books that I could not finish because I thought this is terrible. I give a book the first 50 pages to hook me. After that I either put it back on the shelf or finish the story. But, that is not a bad thing. I think this would be a very boring world if we all like the same flavor of ice cream.
35. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
Oh, many many things. Everyday I think of a line or sentence that I just know would have made the book better if I had only written it in. But then, I don’t think a writer can every truly finish a story.
36. What do you think about book trailers?
Book trailers are just another form of advertising that is now becoming popular. If I was wanting to advertise my book, I without question would have book trailers out on every web site that I could.
37. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Quit worrying about what other people think. Write from your heart. It would be a shame if the world did not get to hear the story that only you can tell, because someone else simply said that they did not like it.
38. Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
No I don’t and I don’t think I ever will.
Where can readers follow you?
Your blog details?
Don’t have one
Your web site ?
Don’t have one
Your facebook page?
Don’t have one
Your Goodreads author page?
Buy on Amazon.com
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview, I look forward to receiving a copy of your book to read and review!