Please join me in welcoming J.E.Taylor to my blog as part of the 2010 writer interrogation series.
Now Jane, you may know that Christchurch was recently hit by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake –aftershocks are continuing and have reached over 2000 in number. However, Wellington is still waiting for the big one; In the event of an earthquake – Drop, cover, and hold. If there is a Tsunami,
you’re screwed you have ten minutes to get to high ground.
Cat: What’s your favorite type of takeaway? (Yes, that means take-out in NZ speak)
JET: First of all, thanks for having me and I’m so glad you’re safe after the earthquake!
Now to the question, which is a tough one because I recently started the Jenny Craig diet system so take-out is off limits for a while, but if I had to answer, it be Italian – A chicken parmesan sandwich to be specific. Man do I miss those. . .
Cat: Describe your current mental status.
JET: Crazed. We just closed up our place in Maine – so my de-stress (is that a word?) getaway is no longer in place - at least not until May 1 when we open again and I’m starting to look at the calendar because come October, I better get on the ball and start promoting my November releases – two – again. J
Cat: How exhausting is it having two books released in the same month?
JET: July made my head spin. At least I wrote them both under the same name, I don’t know if I could do it under two different pseudonyms. I’d never know who to be from moment to moment. Seriously, it is a lot of work, but I never shied away from that, as a matter of fact, the busier I am, the more I seem to thrive off it. Call me crazy and in November I’m doing it again.
Cat: Do you have a favorite coffee?
JET: Don’t drink coffee, or tea, or anything with caffeine in it, it makes me way too edgy. I’m naturally energized – scary but true. Although there are times when that energy rides low that I wish I had developed a taste for it. But then there’s always chocolate – right?
Cat: I am almost afraid to ask, because I have read both of your books – where do your ideas come from?
JET: Most my darker ideas are born from nightmares, my deepest darkest fears transformed on paper. Survival Games, for instance, came from a recurring nightmare I had for years. What’s really funny is since I wrote it, that nightmare no longer haunts me. Go figure.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some of my more, a-hem, steamy pieces come from those fantasies we all have but most women won’t necessarily admit to. Me, I tap into those more decadent thoughts and sometimes a pretty good story comes out of it. Other ideas come from writing prompts on Backspace or from Anthology themes over at eXcessica.
Cat: Walk us through a typical day. (Do you make sure you’re wearing your lucky underpants before you sit down to write, or perhaps you prefer commando? While we’re discussing your underpants, thong, granny pants, boy-leg, something totally sensible in black and cotton?… inquiring minds want to know. (Okay so it was friend Dionne who wanted to know.)
JET: Victoria Secret Hi-thigh briefs and the more colorful, the better. Of course that doesn’t work under a white skirt but that’s just the way it is.
As far as a typical day – I have a pretty demanding day job and when I get home, after dinners are prepared and sports events and dance classes have ended, I come home and collapse into my comfy chair (I have a picture of it on my website) and filter through emails, read some Allegory submissions and kill a few dreams, read some Dark Recesses submissions, kill a few more dreams, format a few books for eXcessica and then write a few pages – or edit if I’ve got a book that I’m cueing up for the next release. It’s really crazy and between all that, I’m blogging, updating my networking sites and doing interviews like this – which honestly, I love doing especially with the type of fun questions you have here!
Cat: Do you ever see yourself writing a vampire story? (Team Edward or Team Jacob… or are you more likely to join me by stuffing your head into a gas oven than ever going to the Edward or Jacob place?)
JET: I could definitely see myself writing a vampire story, but it’d be more like Salem’s Lot than Twilight. I like the scary vampire as opposed to the pining, whining vampire. I was quite disappointed with the Twilight series, my teenage daughter made me read them and at the time, she was over the top for Edward. Her favorite book was also the one I wanted to throw in the fireplace when it was done. All that hype, all that buildup and then nothing really happens. I wanted to see some dead vamps. I know I’ll get a lot of heat for that, but you know what – if you’re going to string the reader on, you better give a kick ass ending that leaves them breathless or feeling like someone blasted a hole through their core. Kind of like you did with Terrorbye – never saw that ending coming and it was so very worth it. As far as the Team Edward or Team Jacob, if I had to choose, I’d choose the wolf hands down. I’ve always had a thing for wolves and the very idea that they can rip apart a vampire really pleases me.
Cat: Who are your favorite writers?
JET: Stephen King, Tom Clancy, David Balducci, Kay Hooper, Anne Rice, Heather Brewer, Jack London.
Cat: Who inspires you to do better?
JET: My kids. My husband. My parents. My critique partners. My editor. Depends on the situation but overall, my kids drive me to excel, to do better for their future.
Cat: Do you ever put pants on your dog, cat or budgie?
JET: I’m ashamed to admit – yes, on our first dog, a small, very endearing Chihuahua named Gizmo.
Never, ever on my German shepherd.
Cat: Describe your ultimate day?
JET: Wake up at our place in Maine with the temperature in the high sixties/low seventies (Fahrenheit), briskly walk the two mile stretch of beach and back, shower, hang at the beach for a bit with the kids, return to the camp, clean up, sit at the computer in our sun room and write for a couple hours while glimpsing the ocean. Have a nice meal with the family and then share a campfire with family and friends.
Cat: Who is your favorite fictitious villain? Or are you all about the hero? Who do you love to hate?
JET: Randall Flag. He was one scary SOB. I’m not really all about the hero. He or she has to be strong but without a really twisted villain, what good is the story. As far as my favorite hero hands down is Jack Ryan, absolutely love that character – just the right mix of flaw and valor, smart and dumb choices to make the stories move. And there’s one that I’ve read recently that could very well surpass Jack Ryan in my favorites list and that’s Joe Ledger (Patient Zero).
As far as villains that I love to hate - I’d have to say Kyle Winslow is at the top of that list followed closely by Frank Aris. Both of these characters are my creations, Frank’s a sadistic bastard but he still doesn’t come close to Kyle. Kyle’s the ultimate badass – a really sick MF – smart, calculating, deadly and he’s one of my characters introduced in my next novel, Vengeance.
Cat: Do you have any quirks? (I realize how dangerous that question is – and yet I asked it anyway!!)
JET: Besides writing really slanted stories? Not that I’m aware of. I even asked my husband and he looked at me like I had two heads. On the writing front – I have a few quirks that my editor is trying to beat out of me and she’s succeeding for the most part. J
Cat: What’s your preferred medium when it comes to writing – pen and paper, computer, typewriter.
JET: My netbook. I love this little computer. Feel lost without it. I can’t write legibly anymore with a paper and pen. My writing looks like a child’s or a doctor’s take your pick, but I think years at a keyboard has killed my dexterity.
Cat: Being an editor yourself, how much do you enjoy being edited?
JET: It’s an opportunity to learn my writing quirks so I recognize them in the next manuscript and an opportunity to make the story better. I like my editor very much and she did a fantastic job with Dark Reckoning. I’m waiting on edits for Vengeance as we speak. I actually asked for her this time around because we worked so well together and was lucky enough she felt the same.
Cat: If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?
JET: 99 Nubble in York Maine. It’s my dream house on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I love York and if we could swing a place on the beach there, I’d love it.
Cat: What is one thing you know about New Zealand? (Do not mention LOTR. I hates it… I hates it my precious.)
JET: I know you live there and the landscape is beautiful and it’s one of the places my parents want to visit and we (my sister, brother and I) toyed with sending them to for their 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, the price tag for an extended trip was too high.
Cat: What’s the worst book you have ever read?
JET: I can’t remember the name, but it was a Deane Koontz book that was so out there that I couldn’t finish it no matter how many times I tried.
Cat: Name a book you wish you had written.
JET: The Stand
Cat: How many novels have you written, both published and unpublished?
JET: 8 complete manuscripts and 4 partials, not to mention more than a dozen short stories - all written since February of 2007.
Cat: What were you before you became a writer?
JET: A business analyst for a very large financial services company. I still am – it’s a great resource for character development in my stories and my stories are a great form of stress relief. You know, like when you wish you could take a two-by-four to someone’s head at the office, well you can come home and do it in a story. How therapeutic is that?
Cat: What can we expect from you next?
JET: I’ve got two November releases, both sequels to my current novels on the market. Vengeance is being released by FIDO Publishing on November 1 as well as via Createspace/Amazon for those who prefer paperbacks to e-books. This is the follow up to Dark Reckoning and puts Steve Williams, my FBI Agent undercover in a drug ring in New York City.
Mind Games, the follow up to Survival Games is being released at the end of November. Both books will be available across the web well before Christmas.
Beyond these, I’m working on shining up my Superhero Fantasy novel titled Dome Warriors that’s geared to those sixteen and up and I’m toying with taking the traditional publishing route for that book, with an agent and all.
Cat: If you’re not writing, what are you most likely to be doing?
JET: Reading, hanging on the beach, watching a little television or carting my kids around to their activities.
Thank you for dropping by Jane. (See how I did that? Like you had a choice.) I sincerely hope the restraints weren’t too tight. A bit of Arnica cream on those bruises will heal them in no time.
All the best for November. xx