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Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Interview With Author, Tommy Taylor

As the author of the book "The Second Virgin Birth," I thought you might be interested in why I wrote the book in the first place. I truly believe that each one of us has inside our very souls, something that we need to accomplish before we pass from this world to the next. Mine was to write a book. One that was not just entertaining but inspired thought among its readers. One that could cause heated debates among friends about its not so simple and clear-cut meanings. I feel that I have accomplished my goal with a book written on a subject that could touch us all and with characters that are so lifelike that they could become your true friends or your worst enemies.
My idea for this book began after a p...more

Tell us about The Second Virgin Birth in a few sentences. 

The book is ten years in the life of, Mary, a little girl from Alabama from the age of six until she is sixteen. But she is unlike most “Mary’s” that you would expect to find in a book that brings our lord and savior back a second time. She goes completely insane at the age of ten, spends half her life in an insane asylum, and becomes involved in child pornography. This Mary is a character who truly develops and makes right and wrong decisions in front of your eyes as the story unfolds.

How did you come to write this particular book? 

Very long story; I lost my daughter at age 19. I went totally insane. I thought that there had to be a way to bring her back. A way to hold her in my arms one more time. I just knew there had to be a secret government project that would clone her. I even saved the hair off her hairbrush. Then a year later I came to my senses and thought if I wanted to bring back a loved one, that perhaps others did also. But just as I was about to begin writing I decided if I was going to bring back a love one in a story, why not bring back the most loved person of all time. Jesus Christ.

If you have a favorite character in your novel, why that particular one? 

Pedro, because he is nothing more than a common man, yet it is his common sense makes all of this possible.

Where and when is your novel set and why did you make these specific choices? 

It’s time frame is today and it takes you all over the world before it is done.

How can people buy your book? 

Amazon is the best and fastest way to get a copy. But if USA readers go to the used book link, and click on the used books that I am selling and tell me that they found out about my book from this website, I will send them a brand new signed copy for the price of a used one. Plus they will save about $7 off the cover price. (Sorry, this can't be done on the UK Amazon site).

What qualities make a successful writer? 

Three things; having a story to tell. Actually sitting down and writing it. Then most importantly, have someone who wants to read your story.

How do you set about writing a piece? 

Nothing magical; just lots of research on places, people, and things that will be used in the story. I always believe that by interjecting real objects into a story, one adds a thread of believability.

Beginning writers make many mistakes; what do you think is the most harmful?

Thinking that their story is finished with only one or two edits. When one edits a story, that is when some real meat can be added.

To what extent are grammar and spelling important to a writer? 

Unfortunately, they are extremely important. How tragic it would be if a misplaced coma or misspelled word distracted a reader from really hearing the story, you are trying to tell.

How much revision of your MS do you do before you send it off? 

When my wife finally says, “Enough is enough.” About five or six times at least.

To what extent do you think genre is useful in the publishing world? 

Well, if you like romance, then it weeds out a lot of books for you. We need genre even though I cannot find exactly which category my book should fall into.

How do you know where to begin any given story? 

That is the one thing that you should not worry about at all. My chapter four ended up being chapter one and chapter one being chapter six. Just start writing and you will move everything around until it fits like pieces of a puzzle.

What sort of displacement activities keep you from actually writing? 

Having to work at a “real” job takes away from a lot of time. But then having a real job also allows me to take all the time I need to develop a story.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?

Lots of family support. Lots of friend support.

How long does it normally take you to write a novel? 

Six months to write, eighteen months to edit.

If there’s a single aspect to writing that really frustrates you, what is it? 

Yes, it is my friends and family all asking me to “put them in the book”. A little trivia, all the characters that die in the book, are my friends and families names. Sick, yes I know, but then I do not have to worry about putting them in the sequel.

Is there any aspect of writing that you really enjoy? 

I truly enjoy it when a reader emails me and says, “I had that chapter completely figured out, then bam, it went totally where I did not see it going,”

Do you think writing is a natural gift or an acquired skill? 

Writing is a natural gift that requires lots of hard work, dedication and time to become skillful.

What single piece of advice would you give to writers still hoping to be published? 

Don’t let someone else keep your dream from coming alive. If need be, self publish. There were several self-published books that went on to become successful. One that most of you have most likely heard of was, “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”

What are you writing now? 

I am writing the sequel to my first book, and it is so much harder. I will never write another sequel again. The reason is that in the first book, you can just make stuff up to fit the story. In a sequel, it not only has to fit the needs of the current story, but what happen in the previous one as well.

Do you have a website or a blog that readers can visit? 

I only use one website to promote my book and that is Goodreads. The link to my page is:

Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?

This may not be what you are normally hearing, but anywhere that a sentence or thought hits me and I have something to write it down on is a great writing environment for me.

Where do you actually write? 

Even though I write fiction, this is not fiction but the truth. I wrote 75% of the book while up in a tree deer hunting. I would take my laptop to the stand and type away. It was great. The sun coming up. No phones, TV, etc. I could just type. And to answer your question, No, I did not get a deer that season. I guess you have to look up every now and then to get one. 

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