Interview with H Mark Taylor

What is 'Memoir of a Man' about?
A story based on the lives of real people about Life, Betrayal, and an Undying Love. Their struggle for peace and happiness in a world of conflict and stress reveals amazing triumphs in the midst of crushing defeats.
The news flash interrupts the life of Kit Conner and changes the course of a nation. Kit spins into the future and its a dog-eat-dog world where the search for a little peace & quiet can bring great sorrow or greater gain. Will Kit dodge the obstacles of life and manage to pass on a future legacy?
What is the story behind Memoir of a Man?
DAD GREW UP in the Depression years and served in WWII. He never spoke much about his past and I never thought to ask. As he grew old there were a couple of times he opened up. Later, I made a point to obtain as much information as possible from Mom. I always meant to put the stories to paper but never got around to it.

One Christmas, my daughter gave me a special gift. As I tore through the wrapping paper, I held a book and have to admit I was a bit disappointed at first. But there were things that didn't add up. The author had the same name as my daughter. "That's odd," I thought. The table of contents had little bubble pictures of... her mom and me? What is this? No one has accused me of being the sharpest tool in the shed. As my wife and I paged through the book, she exclaimed, "Oh, Andrea wrote a book about us." Turns out she wrote it and then put it in print through a self-publishing web site. I was stunned. We placed that work of art in a special display cabinet and it became a challenge to me. Thus began a four-year journey to research and write 'Memoir of a Man'.

The book started out as a simple record of 'grandpappy and gramcracker' as they were affectionately known. As I wrote, I found the book had a mind of it's own. It was never satisfied with the format... the wording... the story. After two years I had enough of arguing with it and stopped writing for a while. But every time I passed that cabinet I caught a glimpse of my daughter's book and just couldn't let her outdo me.
When did you first start writing?
As a young teen I wrote in an attempt to understand life, love, and betrayal. Later I was given the opportunity to live it. Finding I still don't understand it, I decided to write about it further. I've always found myself writing about something and it gives me a solace of sorts. As Mom and Dad began their final journey, I wanted to pass on the legacy of their life to my daughter and wrote and published my first book.
What are you working on next?
After the trials and pains of writing 'Memoir of a Man', I vowed to not write another. But I think perhaps 'Letters to My Daughter' is a good possibility.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The swashbuckling and intrigue of Dirk Pitt and the NUMA files account for more than five favorites. Clive Cussler is a great writer and I highly recommend giving him a read. More recently, I just finished three of Vince Flynn's exciting spy novels. Can't leave out Louis L'Amour. Just about anything with action in it will do. I also like reading the Bible for meditation and common-sense wisdom.
Describe your desk
A plain brown desk wedged into a corner. An iMac percolates, blends, and mashes bowls of meaningless thoughts into spaghetti streams of communications which are transported to hungry patrons by efficient servers. The small gooseneck lamp reveals piles of paper that somehow found their way to a final resting place. Looking at the mess makes me contemplate the meaning of 'digital age'. A cheery fire provides warmth to the room while pictures of family and a daughter's art bring warmth to the soul.
How do you approach cover design?
I met a great artist. She was 4 years old at the time but I could see she had great potential. That little girl grew into a young woman and pursues her talent as a freelance graphic artist. She designs marketing ads, books, and even found spare time to assist with Memoir of a Man.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
We are an Apple family, mainly due to the ease of integration with multiple devices; so the iPad. But it tires the arms really fast where a book somehow doesn't. I read via the Kindle app, iBooks, and a number of other formats. Ebooks are a wonderful creation to reduce the paper trails in my home, but there's nothing quite like the feel of a real book.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
This is my First Book, so I'm going to have to navigate that mine field of marketing. Any suggestions are welcome. The 'Smashwords Marketing Guide' by Mark Coker was very insightful with plenty of help.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
It wasn't so much as 'where' I grew up as 'how' I grew up. As a youngin' I found a love of reading that could take me away from all the complications of life. Author's like C.S. Lewis, Louis L'Amour, and Clive Cussler influenced my style.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My hope is that there will be something useful, some insight or wisdom that I can impart to the reader. Or, at least, some good entertainment.
Published 2014-05-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.