Interview with E Lucas-Taylor

Do you enjoy writing? What is it about this art form that enchants you the most?
It’s a simple answer. Writers love writing, or we wouldn’t do it. Ask any writer and they will tell you they have to write. It is like breathing. It’s the interruptions we don’t like, the endless marketing and promoting, but it needs to be done.
Why have you chosen to write in the genre in which you write?
As for why I chose my genre, it just seemed to happen. I write about current events, drugs, politics, love, hate, murder, and the list goes on. The works in progress I have covers several genres. I think it is unrealistic to expect creative writers to stick to one genre. I have a couple of ghost stories in me, as well as intrigue and more espionage, and I want to try my hand at a vampire story. I see more and more authors writing in different genres, and I think if readers like your style of writing, they will buy your cross-genre work. I don’t stick to one genre when I read and I tend to follow authors, not genres per se, so I doubt it will be a stigma to cross genres as publishers at one time thought (or forced) in the past.
What were you like as a teenager?
Terribly boring, I’m afraid. I was a rebel, always questioning the Donna Reed stereotype for women of cookies in the oven and waiting at the door for the husband to come home. It was the day of girdles, gloves and hats for women. My entire teen years came with the admonition “nice girls don’t do that.” Insatiable for knowledge, I always had my head in a book, and lived at the public library reading everything I could get my hands on, from the wicked to the inspirational. Then in college, I came home with books on Stalin and Karl Marx needed for one of my classes. It was a tough time for my parents.
In what ways does your writing benefit from your training as a hypnotherapist? Do you feel that the life skills you possess helps you approach writing a novel and, if so, how?
The answer to that would be the ability to focus, the attention to detail, and paying attention to semantics, what your characters say, and why they say it. Words, sentence structure, inflection, all tells the story of each individual we encounter. Stories are puzzles. All the pieces have to fit. It is the same with working as a therapist. It is the odd piece of your life’s influence that can build you up or make you feel terribly inadequate. Neither has to make sense, it just is. If it works, go for it. If it doesn’t, get rid of it. Truth is what works. And yet, we spend a lifetime trying to figure it out. It’s the same for my characters.
Could you describe your path that led you to publication—any stumble along the way? Is there anything you would do differently?
I began by attending a local writer’s group conference in Phoenix, and joined the group. I learned you have to have a real tough hide to be a writer and you have to be persistent. Writing is work. You need to unquestionably believe in yourself. With the first book it’s always a jungle and a juggle, and it doesn’t get any easier, other than you have a bit more self-confidence about your work once you get that first one out there, and you learn quickly the areas you need to brush up on.

The main “learning experience?” I listened to too much bad advice in the beginning. Everyone had an opinion. Every writer has different experiences, a different approach as to how they write and how they will market. All an author can tell is what worked for them. What worked the first time may not work the second or third.

What would I do differently? I would have self-published sooner, but the market wasn’t there at the time. Now there are wonderful opportunities. The same rules apply. Write a good book.
Do you always know a story's ending when you begin writing?
(laughing) Well, I think I do, however, every writer will tell you their characters have a mind of their own once they are created and some personality traits are formed. You do know there will be some resolution at the end and what it should be. The “how” of it depends on the characters. You get very protective of your characters, especially when asked for revisions. But yes, to some extent, you know the story’s ending.
Do you express your inner self in your writing or do the personas you create exist only in your imagination?
I think with most writers it's a bit of both. For me, some of my characters are composites of the people I’ve met along the way, the good and the bad. Sure, my opinions come through in some of my writing, there is no doubt of that and it is unavoidable. It is who we are. The secret is not to make it sound like a soapbox unless it is character motivated and the character is suppose to be on a soapbox. The “won’t” and “don’t” and “can’t” in vocabularies speaks volumes as to how crippled emotionally and professionally people are. It is the same with created characters. All one has to do is listen to the conversation around them, and there you have it.
What do you find to be the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing is the marketing, getting your name out there, and having name recognition. It is a competitive market. Staying current with new marketing development is important. It is always changing, redefining itself. You can’t do it all, so I suggest writers pick and choose what is easiest for them. No one said you had to do it all. Be kind to yourself. Most writer would rather write
Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced to publish. Is there anything you would do differently, knowing what you do now?
Publishing, finding a publisher, querying, finding an agent, more querying is a time consuming business. It is the political quagmire of a few who have it in their heads of what will sell and what won’t sell, and don’t let anyone tell you differently. I wish I knew the secret to shortening the process, but I don’t. Even authors with dozens of books under their belt have to go through the process. I was an unknown, first time author, which is another political hurdle.

What would I do differently? I’d stop wasting time playing the political crap game of traditional publishing and self-publish. The money is the same, maybe better, and the writing, editing and marketing is the same.
Would you like to close the interview by telling your readers any writing tips for the young aspiring writers?
Read. Read different genres. Get a feel for how stories are constructed and learn to recognize the author’s voice. Develop your own style. Find your own unique writing voice. When you read, think about how you could expand the story line of the novels you read. Ask yourselves how you would write it differently, how you could improve on the story.

Next, attend all the writing workshops and conferences you can, especially in your area. Learn about manuscript format. Join a local writers group, and/or online groups and attend meetings. Get your rough draft on paper or on a word doc. Writing for submission is rewriting, editing, rewriting, rewriting and more editing and then comes the polishing. Every author has a different way of approaching their writing. Some write in the mornings, some late at night, and some write only on weekends. Some writers sit down and write chapter 1, then 2, and so on. Others piecemeal, jump around. Find out what works for you. Writing is a craft. Learn everything you can about your craft. Develop your particular writing voice; don’t try to emulate anyone. Learn to read those precious guidelines, follow them to the letter. Believe in yourself, even if it seems no one else does. Consider Self-Publishing.
Published 2013-11-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Soul's Music: Thoughts & Reflections
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 58,480. Language: English. Published: July 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Latin American Poetry
E. Lucas-Taylor shares selections from her many poetry collections. Her work is powerful, straight from the marrow. She dares to dream, and generously shares those dreams through words.
Dangerous Conspiracy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 83,370. Language: American English. Published: October 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Drugs, money laundering, guns for terrorists, murder. Greek tycoon Dmitri Aleksandros’ fashion empire, Simera, is under a cyber attack. The Leonides drug cartel infiltrated his company computers, tied him and his reputation to some nasty criminal activity, wrecking havoc with his financial future, not to mention the very real death threats.
Lost Legacy
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 85,710. Language: American English. Published: August 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general, Fiction » Romance » Suspense
(Think Indiana Jones and Lara Croft) The murder of two elderly archeologists, their stolen research, missing work journals, and the theft of a piece of carry-on luggage—all seem to have one theme in common: Dr. Gillian Bradford’s ancient piece of tapestry. Can she uncover the secret of the original Anasazi migration, before whoever killed her parents manages to kill her too?
Lies, Spies & Unfinished Business
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 68,820. Language: English. Published: February 4, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Romance » Adult
A missing husband and a fake emergency number sends Lindsay Mayer into a tailspin. Enter close friend, Chloe Brennan, an attorney with the Justice Department, to help solve the problem of a dear friend who is emotionally lost over the betrayal of a lying, wandering husband. You give her a new name, a new life, a new reason to get on with living a full life.
Deadly Business
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 89,460. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A Black Market in nuclear weapons stolen from the breakup of the Soviet Union, stolen nuclear capability sold to the highest bidder, a bio-threat directed at Western countries, hidden underground military bases, unreported nuclear reactors, a planned invasion of South Korea and Japan. Follow Dexter and Chloe as they stop a ruthless North Korean General from destabilizing the Asian Rim.