Interview with Stephanie Taylor

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading "Pippi Longstocking" while I was supposed to be in my room napping! But a childhood favorite--and incredibly influential series--is "Anne of Green Gables". It was the first series of books that truly brought a character to life for me, and I invested wholeheartedly in Anne, her journey, her relationships, and in Prince Edward Island.
How do you approach cover design?
I approach cover design the same way I approach cooking: find someone who can do it better than I can so that it turns out delicious! (For cooking, I turn to my husband; for cover design, I count on the talented Natasha Snow.)
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery because it never gets old (and I never get too old to read it!)
2. The "Rabbit" series by John Updike because he managed to take a character who was deeply flawed, and to convince his audience that following Rabbit through decades of his life was a journey worth taking.
3. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"--sharp, foreign, dark, unique...totally engrossing.
4. "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson because the subject matter was tough, but never once did I lose interest or feel like I wasn't experiencing it all through the eyes of the protagonist.
5. "11/22/63" by Stephen King. It's time travel and it's Stephen King--need I say more?
What do you read for pleasure?
Pretty much anything that looks interesting! I'm generally not a fan of fantasy or science fiction (unless there's time travel involved!), but I read biographies, non-fiction, YA, literary fiction, magazines, CNN, the backs of cereal boxes...
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I've been writing, querying, getting positive feedback, and collecting rejections for about 15 years now. I started submitting my work in college, and at that time, the only real option was traditional representation and publishing. It's only been over the past few years that ebooks have taken off, and really only in the last six months have I considered it as an option. After tearing through books, websites, and tons of information online, (and after going through the tortuous process of querying and waiting yet again) the idea of having total control and creative freedom lit a fire in me to pursue indie authorship for not just my own work, but the series that I'm writing with my 11-year-old daughter. We're so excited at the world of opportunity that's out there!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is getting lost in the story. To be working and creating, and then to come out of the fog and realize that hours have disappeared without a trace is almost a mystical process. And sharing it all with my daughter has been truly rewarding--really one of the most amazing things we've done together.
What are you working on next?
In addition to the series I'm writing with my daughter (which is called "The American Dream Series"), I'm also tackling a project about a fictional island in the Florida Keys. It's based on a romance that I wrote several years ago and loved, but I wanted to dismantle it, rewrite it, and look at other angles beyond just the traditional romance. I'm really excited about that series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I once heard a quote that went something like: "Everyday is another chance to get it right." And that motivates me to get out of bed each day--that idea that today might be the day that I get everything right!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a high school teacher, so that occupies a lot of time. Photography is another hobby, and I love wandering around on foot with music playing in my ears...I can do that for hours!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I read a lot of magazines, so any time they have a page of book recommendations I usually rip that out, then download samples on my iPad to check out later!
What is your writing process?
Inspiration strikes. Start tapping away. Take lots of handwritten notes. Make a visual inspiration board. Tap away some more. Enter trance-mode. Somehow magically exit trance-mode with 80,000 words written. I'm not saying these are great words, but I always end up with a full draft! From there, I edit, edit, revise, share with friends, edit, revise more...and hopefully end up with a final draft that pleases me--and others!
Published 2015-05-31.
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