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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

INTERVIEW: REGAN TAYLOR

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Regan Taylor, whose latest release World in Her Hands is available from Extasy Books.


I asked her to tell us a little bit about the book that she didn't put in the blurb.


"My hero, Frank Turner, has a LOT of elements from the investigator I work directly with at my day job. Aside from the real Frank Turner being 6’3” (in the book he’s 6’4” cause I like that height in a man) with blond hair and incredible blue eyes there is a lot of his personality in the character. The real Frank Turner is a caring, nurturing, funny, entertaining person and one of the most intelligent people I know. Despite my own law enforcement background I turned to him for some of the 'street action' because he had a lot of experience, especially in the surveillance and interview aspects."


Regan is currently working on a new novel tentatively titled "Sapphire" and the idea for it came from an unlikely source.


"This story has its genesis from the cover. My artist at Devine Destinies (where the book will be published – Devine is an imprint of eXtasy Book) has a portfolio of covers she designs when the mood strikes. She’s incredibly talented and a keen sense of what her authors are looking for. For instance, for my cover for World in Her Hands, I gave her a list of elements I thought would work and in about an hour she designed the cover. It not only has everything I wanted but she added some dimension to it I hadn’t considered. Given how talented she is, she creates art in the form of covers. I saw the cover for Sapphire, requested it and it was mine. That meant I had to write the story for it and that’s where my fun began. The cover features a young woman in a bustle dress and a clipper ship at full sail," she explained. "I love doing research and for Sapphire I dug into the history of clipper ships and the important roles the captain’s wives played. The clipper ship era ended before the particular bustle in the picture became vogue so I needed to figure out how to bring the two together. I’m a stickler for factual, and therefore historical, accuracy and given the 20-30 year difference between those two elements I had to come up with a plausible way to work with them. About that time I met an Australian gentleman named Brendan and I knew what to do—a time travel."


"What inspired you to start writing?" I wondered.


"Around 2004, I was interviewing Jewel Adams about her writing and she was kicking off what has become known as her kick butt weeks. It’s a commitment to yourself to write at least 1,000 words a day for 7 days. Jewel encouraged me to participate and after thinking about it for a few days I did. At the time I was working graveyards as a police dispatcher and, as most dispatchers will tell you, while you may not receive as many calls at night as you do during the day, the night time calls can be the most intense you ever take. Some of those calls stuck with me and using those as the kernel of a story caught my attention. I’d written, and published, two non-fictions in the 1990’s so writing fiction was very different. In a couple of days I was hooked."


She told me she never suffers from writer's block…story ideas are constantly running through her head and not a day goes by that something doesn't happen to give her another idea for a story.


"World in Her Hands is a prime example of that," she told me. "One of the attorneys at work had a meeting with a senator coming up about a sensitive issue. That's all it was, just a pending meeting. We barely discussed the meeting itself, but more what he needed to know to discuss the issue. Just that little incident led to the story."


What she does have is time block—not enough hours in the day to do everything she needs to do and write. She works a full time job, an hour commute each way, has her three cats plus a foster with a bit of a health issue, writes a column for Examiner.com, wants time with her friends, and tries to walk 30-45 minutes every day. So, the hardest part of writing for her is having the time to do it in.


During her commute she can usually read two-four books a week. She has been reading Edgar Rice Burrough's Barsoom series on her Kindle, because with A Princess in Mars (John Carter) coming to the big screen, she wanted to read the books first.


"I’d read Burroughs years ago and forgot what an incredible writer he was," she told me. "If you read A Princess of Mars, which was published in 1917, you quickly see it is a timeless story with someone for everyone be the reader young, old, male or female. It is a fabulous series I highly recommend."


She loves reading on her Kindle, especially for the commute. Before the days of e-readers, she would always carry two books: the one she was currently on and a spare, just in case she happened to finish the book she was on.


"Heaven forbid I have to sit and look out the window on the bus! With my Kindle, I never have to worry about running out of reading material and even if I did read everything on it I can always download something new," she told me.


"My biggest complaint in life, which given the scheme of things isn’t that bad, is 'too many books, not enough time,'" she confessed. "The past two years I’ve been rereading Alexandre Dumas (the elder’s) backlist, not just The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, but starting with Queen Marguerite and reading forward. Dumas is such a timeless author. Again, he is one of those authors who writes for any age, male or female. He has something for everyone. I also started to reread Rosemary Rogers’ backlist. She is the first romance author I read and a good part of why I read and write romance. In between there are dozens of books I have ready to read. One reason I like Goodreads is I can keep my entire TBR/TBB there in a nice, neat order."


"What is your favorite and least favorite foods?" I asked.


"Ice cream is my favorite and chocolate makes it one of the four essential food groups! Least favorite is sea slugs. Yes, sea slugs. For my birthday several years ago my boyfriend took me to one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in San Francisco and I’m always looking for something new and different. I had a beer on an empty stomach and whatever possessed me I said I wanted the sea slugs. Now I think 'yeech' and yes, they were 'yeech'. "


To continue with the personal side of things, I also asked her to share with us the most embarrassing thing her mother ever did to her.


"My freshman year of college she showed up on campus, unannounced," she told me.


I wondered why that was so embarrassing. Regan explained more fully.


"My mother’s constant lament when I was growing up was all I wanted was a little girl. What she wanted was a doll to dress up and play with but she’d never admit that. When I was five, on an Easter Sunday my dad needed or wanted to fix something on the car. He got down there under it and was doing whatever it was. Well I wanted to help so in my little white dress with my little white stockings and little white shoes, I got under the car with him. The dress, stocking and shoes weren’t quite so white after that…my mother had a fit. That sort of drama continued with her through my life. When I went to college I was a theatre major and she came to the conclusion I was a costume major. I saw no reason to disabuse her of her fantasy so I didn’t tell her I did lighting design and rigging. I climbed sixty-foot ladders with heavy cable with the best of them. Well one night she showed up on campus and after combing through the costume section came looking for me….and found me…sixty feet in the air, hanging off a ladder hanging lights. She let loose with a diatribe the likes of which I can still hear about how she wanted a little girl and what have I done. When she started demanding I come down I was no fool…I knew what was coming so I sat up there until she left."


Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Regan's latest book World in Her Hands.


About the Author:
From earliest childhood Regan was an avid reader and upon discovering Alexander Dumas and Charles Dickens she was hooked on books that carried the reader away to a different time and place. Preferring the quiet of her room and a good book to spending time with people she traveled far beyond those four walls.


It was while working as a police dispatcher, first for the California Highway Patrol and then her local police department, she began to write fiction, primarily time travels and romantic suspense. In the spring of 2009, she returned to the day job she always liked best, working as a legal secretary. Although, curled up in her bunny slippers with her furfaced children, Mel, Missy and Bogie, while writing is one of her most favorite things to do.


Find her online at:


www.ReganTaylor.com


The World can be a mere rainbow away.


Following a successful event, party planner Sarah Dinetti meets Detective Frank Turner and feels an instant connection. A faithful and loyal friend and lover, she tries to ignore her feelings about Frank but when her current boyfriend begins to engage in some highly suspicious activities, Sarah turns to the handsome and oh so hot detective for help. But can he protect her from herself?
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1 comment:

Debby said...

eXstasy has some wonderful authors. Great post.
debby236 at gmail dot com