Here it is, the beginning of November already. Hopefully by now you are enjoying cooler temperatures. I know I am. :)
Today we have the pleasure of getting to know more about Donn Taylor. Welcome Donn. How did you develop a 'love of story'?
When my brother and I were in grammar school, our grandmother entertained us with oral stories about a character named Puppydog. A great aunt told us stories about a cowboy named Cliff Simmons. Sometimes she let us invent part of the story. We were still in grammar school when our father read to us much of the Mark Twain canon. (I still remember the riverboat pilot oaths from Life on the Mississippi: "egg-sucking, sheep-stealing, one-eyed son of a stuffed monkey.") Stories were a significant part of my family life.
Chuckle. How long have you've known you're a writer?
I suspected it at age 14 when I began writing music. (The songs had words.) The suspicion grew during college when I wrote some fairly respectable poetry and a short story or two. Then my Army years interrupted, and all I did from time to time was technical writing. When did I know I was a writer? When a justification of some air reconnaissance that I wrote in Europe was incorporated verbatim in a Pentagon memo from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense. But for creative writing, it was after I retired from college teaching and actually got a poem accepted for publication. (Yes, I did poetry before fiction.)
Wow. :) What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
Psalm 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." That psalm is a favorite because of its technically perfect form. Verses 1-6 describe God's physical ordering of His creation. Verses 7- 11 describe His moral ordering of His creation. In verses 12-14, the psalmist considers what all of that means to the himself, ending with his prayer for God's ordering power to order the psalmist's life.
That's a great one. Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?
I don't have a favorite, but I like the professor's first meeting with his new student assistant:
An apparition entered. She stood some five foot ten. She wore short shorts above long bare legs topped by a short-sleeved blouse whose buttons threatened to pop off at any moment. Green plastic loops dangled from her pierced ears, and the side of one nostril sported a lavender bead. But her hair was the most striking feature. It stood in sprigs about an inch-and-a-half long, and it was dyed in three front-to-rear stripes of yellow, green, and blue.
“I am Rainbow Glencannon,” she announced. “Professor Elam has assigned me as your student assistant.”
She made it sound like Pope Urban II announcing the First Crusade.
Chuckle. She sounds like an interesting character. How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?
After that scene, one might wonder. Actually, the faith and spirituality work because they're too much a part of me for me to write anything else. I planned for my first novel, The Lazarus File, to be a hard-nosed suspense novel of guerrillas, spies, and airplanes. It was (and is) that. But my Christian orientation kept coming through on hero and heroine. Every book since then has addressed a specific theological question, though in fiction an entertaining story must always be primary. Lightning on a Quiet Night addresses the paradox that virtue, pursued to an extreme, becomes the sin of pride. Murder in Disguise accepts God's control of the tides of history but asks how closely He controls individual waves.
You have me intrigued. What advice would you give to new authors?
Two items: The first is patience. Getting good enough and market-oriented enough to publish is going to take several years more than you think it will. Compare it to learning to play a musical instrument or a new sport. Second, take time to learn basic grammar and punctuation. Every problem in those, no matter how small, interrupts a reading editor's flow through your story. Getting them right removes the obstacles and aids the flow.
Great advice. Where can readers find your new book?
On Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/y7mpsskd
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Donn. It's been a pleasure.