Today’s visitor from the Blogger Book Fair is science-fiction and fantasy author Margaret Taylor. Welcome, Margaret!
Tell us about your two new books.
I have two works out at the moment.
A First Love Never Dies, which is Book 1 of the Spi-Corp Series. This book starts you out here on Earth and then gives you a brief introduction into the “Universe As I See It.” It’s the story of Janel Canton who was bullied horrifically in her younger years, kidnapped from Earth shortly after she graduated from high school and sold on the Alien Flesh Markets of the Jaikalor Consortium. She comes back to Earth just in time for her 20-year reunion with the intention of finding her one true love, Jake Reeves. I won’t say anything else, because it would spoil it.
Wolf’s Paradox, Book 1 of The Layren Series, is the story of Kathy Granite, a writer whose words actually have the ability to affect other worlds. Only she doesn’t know it. She’s guarded, if you will, by her Layren Protector, Ronon Wulfdrak, who’s made sure to bring her people over the last six years who only want their story told. In other words, the people she talks to don’t have an ulterior motive.
When did you realize these ideas could fill series?
Well, with Spi-Corp, I didn’t know it would be a series. I wrote the first draft back in 2007 in a little under three days and had no intention of it being anything more than a stand-alone. It wasn’t until I started filling in the Universe in order to fill out some of the details in the book that I realized, hey, wait a minute, I might be onto something here. 17 books later and wow, I’ve got a series on my hands…
With Wolf’s, I’ve decided it’s only going to be four to six books. But again, it wasn’t until I actually started expanding the backstory that it dawned on me, wow, this could be a fun series!
What are the books’ opening lines? Why did you start there?
Well, with Wolf’s, it was easy. The idea actually started from a comment someone made on Twitter one day. I don’t honestly remember who said it, but one of my many followers piped up with, “It sucks having a demanding fictional boyfriend…” Which popped a scene into my head of a writer sitting at her desk having an argument with a character – as we’re prone to do anyway – but the character was physically standing behind her and not just in her head. And that led to… the first draft of Wolf’s Paradox about a month later.
With a First Love, I started it at the point I felt when I returned to my small home town for my 20-year reunion and the nervousness I had quivering in the pit of my stomach over seeing all those nasty people again. (Yes, I was bullied horrifically in high school, too.)
What actors would you cast as some of the main characters?
Wow. I’ve never really thought about that. I don’t think I could. Not that I’m so vain as to think no one could play any of these characters on the big screen, it’s just that they are their own people. In my mind anyway and finding someone to fill those shoes is tough. I don’t tend to see a picture of an actor or an actress and be inspired to create a character based on that image. My brain works much differently than most and call me crazy, but I see the character for who they are. I tend to create them, from scratch and I rarely let that be influenced by another person in the ‘real’ world.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
The creation process. I’m a panster, I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t plot or outline or anything like that. If I can see the first line of the book, the headphones go on, the music plays and I’m gone until the words just stop flowing. It’s only later that I go back and fill in the details necessary to the story. (The background, the Universe and so on.) And I love it. Mainly because when a twist or a turn hits me, I’m just as surprised as I hope my readers will be.
Please share a writing tip you’ve found helpful.
Well, someone once told me writing is like building your favorite sandwich. You need certain components to make it all work and if you follow that general outline you can put together a book easily enough.
You need a beginning and an ending – your two pieces of bread. If you don’t have that, you don’t have a sandwich or a book.
You need some meat – which are your main characters. They’re the heart of your story and without them, there’s no story – or sandwich.
You need your lettuce, tomato and etc. This is your plot. It complements the characters but doesn’t or shouldn’t overwhelm them either. If you overwhelm – put too much lettuce, tomatoes, onions and so on on your sandwich, you lose the flavor of the meat, or your characters.
And finally, you need your condiments, the mayo, the mustard, the ketchup, the relish. These are your sub-plots, the things that keep the story moving forward or make the sandwich really tasty.
What do you enjoy about the science-fiction and paranormal genres?
Oh, being able to make things up as I go. I hate research, I suck at it, to be honest, and being able to make up whatever I need to fit into the story and make it work and be believable is what I love.
Tell about your photography work, please.
Oh, it’s just a hobby more than anything else. I hate being in front of a camera, I really do, so from an early age I found myself behind it, snapping away. I don’t sell my photos or anything like that, but maybe someday I will. They’re more for me but occasionally I share them with my Facebook fans.
What’s your favorite book?
Wow, I could no more name a favorite book than I could take my next breath. Like most of us, I’m an avid reader – when I have the time, and I love the Indie Press. They are a no-holds barred, let’s twist this idea into something fun and new, I’m not going to write what everyone else is because it’s been so over done group that I adore discovering.
But, I do have some auto-buys such as Lilianna Hart, Julie Garwood, Colleen Hoover, Jill Slavis.
Who is your favorite fictional character? (Any medium)
Again, I couldn’t pick one if I tried. Right now though, I adore the Fellarians. You’ll meet them in Book 2 and see them interspersed through some of the other books and finally one of them, Brant Olin, gets his own story in Book 6.
If you could have one super-power, what would it be and why?
Hmmm…I think I’d like to be immortal. I want to live long enough to travel among the stars – if we humans don’t destroy ourselves in the interim.
What’s next for you?
Well, I’m continuing to polish off the Spi-Corp’s for release. As I said, there’s 17 books in the series which I’m releasing over the next year, year and a half. Beyond that I’m writing more for the Layren’s and I’ve got a series on my take of the Myth of Santa Claus I’m going to start releasing in the next few months.
Where can people learn more about your work?
Well, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, my blog or my website.
Please tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I’m a closet World Of Warcraft junkie if you must know…
Thank you, Margaret!
Readers can find her first book on Amazon.