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21 April 2012

Saturday Spotlight Special ~ Welcome special guest: author J.E. Taylor ( @JETaylor75 )

Today we have author J.E. Taylor visiting. J.E. Taylor is a writer, a publisher, an editor, a manuscript formatter, a mother, a wife and a business analyst. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and during the summer months enjoys her weekends on the shore in southern Maine.

So, J.E., what inspired you to become a writer?
My daughter inspired me to get back to writing. I’ve always had stories playing in my head and when I was younger, I wrote quite a bit. But when I graduated from college and got married and obtained a job, things got too crazy to write. Then came kids and I just set it aside until 2007. Once I started, twenty years of stories flooded onto the computer screen.

When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it?
I wrote my first story in sixth grade. My father recently gave it back to me and I’m going to laminate it for posterity. It’s illustrated too and let me tell you, I still can’t draw worth a damn.

How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
I spent the first eighteen months just writing and ended with seven books. It took another two years of polishing those one by one before I was signed with a publisher for my erotic series. Since then, I’ve pulled my books under my own e-publishing label due to the amount of control that allows and I’m very happy I took that jump.

What genre(s) do you write in? What drew you to write in it/them? What’s your favorite genre of all to write in?
On writing...
"It’s a walk into the darkest corners of my imagination where my nightmares fester until something living and breathing escapes onto the screen of my laptop." - JET
That’s how I described my writing and in general, I write thrillers. Almost all my books fall into that vein – whether they are considered adult only thrillers or mainstream or young adult. I’m somewhat of an adrenaline junkie and love being scared, so this is just a natural extension of how my mind works. I do have a couple erotic romance shorts that don’t fall into this box, but those offer a different intensity level – so, I guess my adrenaline fix is satisfied in a different way with these.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
Best – dig deeper and engage all the senses, striving for a bouquet of descriptions meant to hook readers on a visceral level so they are unable to put your book down.
Worst – self-editing is all you need.

How do you celebrate/deal with acceptance/rejection letters?
I don’t anymore. :)
However, as a publisher, there is nothing more exciting than offering that acceptance letter and helping to bring a writer’s story to publication. It’s a fantastic journey and sometimes I’m not sure where my true passion lies – my own stories or those I bring into our publishing house. Both are satisfying in very different ways.
As far as writing rejection letters – that is one of the hardest things to do because I try to give some feedback that I hope the author is open enough to take to heart. I have written the standard no thanks too, but I really try not to do that because when I was on the query-go-round, I hated receiving the standard template.

In regard to the book you’re promoting, which actor and actress do you envision playing the roles of your hero and heroine? If there’s a villain or other characters who are pertinent to the story, who would play those parts?
Hmmm – this is a tough one because I can only envision Agent Steve Williams right now and I flip flop between Jensen Ackles – who portrays that gritty dark side so well in SUPERNATURAL, besides – he has that killer smile that just fits with my Steve Williams character image. The other actor I can see easily stepping into the role of Steve is Tom Welling. He is a much closer match to the face on the Hunting Season cover, but I’m not as sure about the translation into an FBI agent on the edge.
I haven’t put much thought into the other characters – but then again, none of the others in Crystal Illusions have occupied a space in my head or my heart like Agent Williams has.

The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, please list the order the books need to be read in for maximum reading enjoyment.
While Crystal Illusions is tagged as being A Steve Williams Novel, it truly is a standalone book. The main character in this book is not Steve Williams. My main character is Carolyn Hastings, an assistant district attorney in Manhattan. The focus is her life and what happens when she starts seeing a string of murders through the killer’s eyes. Agent Williams makes an appearance about halfway through the book after the killings are identified as serial killings and the city reaches out to the FBI for help. There are references to past situations that Agent Williams has been in, but nothing that would require the reader to have read the prior books in order to make heads or tails of this one.
However, with that said, the Steve Williams Series is comprised of five books: Dark Reckoning, Vengeance, Hunting Season, Georgia Reign and Crystal Illusions. The sixth Steve Williams book – Saving Face – is coming out later this year.

*** Now for some fun info… ***
What’s your favorite color?
Blue – like a crisp fall late afternoon sky when you have sunglasses on.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint Chocolate Chip.

Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
Sunny, warm beach weather.

What’s your favorite day of the week?
Saturday – my day to rest and relax in some way or another and let the stress of the work week melt off.

*** About J.E’s book/series… ***
Assistant D.A. Carolyn Hastings has an uncanny knack for putting away criminals. With one of the best prosecution records in recent history, her future as Manhattan’s next District Attorney looks certain. But her sixth sense for winning cases threatens to work against her when she starts seeing a string of murders through the eyes of the killer.
With suspects piling up as fast as bodies, and the motives of those closest to her questionable, Carolyn doesn’t know who to trust. When the FBI assigns Special Agent Steve Williams to the case, Carolyn discloses her deepest fear - that the man she loves may be the one responsible for the city’s latest crime spree.
The only thing Steve knows for sure is Carolyn has an inexplicable psychic connection with the killer, and all the victims have one thing in common…a striking resemblance to Carolyn Hastings.
And he knows it’s only a matter of time before this psychopath knocks on her door.
“Taylor has a strong thriller where every single character has reasonable doubt flashing like a neon sign hanging over them, and right from the beginning you are trying to guess who the killer really is. Gripping, rich and magnificent - crime whodunnits don't get any better than this!” Author Poppet / Gemma Rice – Author of Quislings, Blindsided, Djinn and Dusan

***Find J.E. Taylor here***

Thank you for joining us here today, J.E.! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.

Readers, thanks for swinging into this stop on my Blog Tour and I hope you’ll swing in to Bitten By Books on the 20th for a chance to win a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate and if you’d like to check out Crystal Illusions, you can purchase it here on Amazon.
Until next time, Ciao, JET

1 comment:

JETaylor said...

Thank you for having me today C.R.!