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A little chat with ...

Helen Scott Taylor

 

Would you call yourself a "pantser" or a "plotter"?

Iím definitely a pantser. I have tried outlining my stories, but this boxes my creativity in. I do some preplanning on my character, so I have the main characters clearly in my head, then I start writing. When I write, most of the time I donít feel as though Iím making up the story. I feel as though I am watching my characters live their lives and recording what they do.

What is your perfect writing atmosphere?

I need peace and quiet for my creative process to work when I write a first draft. When I am revising and editing, I donít mind working in a noisier environment, but I prefer to be undisturbed. I am always amazed when I read about authors who like to write in a noisy coffee shop. I wouldnít even be able to write a letter in a coffee shop.

Is there anything you want to write but haven't?

I would like to write a sweeping story covering generations and taking the characters to different countries. The book I have in mind would probably be mainstream or womenís fiction. I have an idea for a love story set in WWII, but I may never get around to writing the story. I hope I do because I have the characters living in my head.

 Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?

My first contract was for my American Title IV winning book, The Magic Knot. I discovered Iíd won the day after voting closed in the contest. But I had to keep the result secret until the official winner was announced at the Romantic Times Convention six weeks later. I was sitting in my office at home when I received the email from the RT editor telling me Iíd won. The first people I told were my critique partners and my husband.

 Romance leads people to expect a happily ever after.  Have you ever had to fight a character to achieve his/hers?

I havenít had to fight for a HEA, but I have had to fight three characters for a traditional HEA. They wanted to all three stay together. Actually, as the book stands, they are all three together at the end. I have never submitted this paranormal romance. I am intending to revise one of them out of the ending to make it more acceptable, although since I wrote the story the market has changed so much, the story might be publishable as it is.

 Have you found yours or are you still looking for it?

I celebrated my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary last year! Iím very happy with my wonderful supportive husband. I couldnít ask for a happier life.

 If I followed you for a day, what would I see or experience?

You wouldnít see anything very exciting as all the exciting stuff goes on inside my head. I get up late, because Iím a night person not a morning person. In the morning, I often read workshop notes, non-fiction, or fiction for an hour. Then I settle down to check emails and social networking sites. I may also do work relating to the business I own. Throughout the day, my employees may seek me out to ask questions, but I get to spend most of my time on writing or writing related activities. I tend to do most of my actual writing in the late afternoon or evening, as thatís when I find Iím most productive. I usually watch one hour of TV in the evening, a show Iím following like Greyís Anatomy, 24, Lost, or my favorite show Spooks, a BBC drama series about MI5. Iím never in bed before midnight, and I often stay up writing until 2am.

 What would be your perfect "me" day?

Quiet time without interruptions where I didnít have to tidy up after anyone. I would sit comfortably, eat chocolate, and read. Long uninterrupted fiction reading sessions are a treasured luxury for me now.

 What are some of your favorite things in life?

My home is in the countryside about thirty minutes walk from the coast. I love to walk down to the sea through the surrounding woodland. I adore my cat and wouldnít be without her, although her habit of sitting between my keyboard and me can get annoying. I like ice cream and chocolate, and ice cream with chocolate is even better. I love reading and wish I had more time to indulge. My tbr pile has become a tbr bookshelf stacked to bursting with books I want to read. I love travelling as well and visiting places that inspire me with story ideas. During the summer, I enjoy visiting historic houses. I always look for interesting historic sites and houses to visit when Iím on vacation.

 What character or couple would you love to bring to life, if you could & why?

I would like to bring to life the hero from the first paranormal story I wrote. Francois from Passion Beyond Reason is still my favorite character. He is wealthy, elegant, and sophisticated on the surface but very much the dark tortured hero underneath. Heís really a demon from a parallel world and he needs a lot of love and understanding.

 What do you currently have in the wings and what is just around the corner?

Iím currently writing the second book in my Magic Knot Fairies series. The Phoenix Charm will be out either at the end of 2009 or start of 2010. This book is Michaelís story, brother to the hero of The Magic Knot. I have three other books in this series brewing in my head. The third, which I plan to start writing soon, will be Nightshadeís story. He is the winged vampiric fairy from The Magic Knot, and seems to be a favorite with reviewers.

 Some authors say they are open to bribes to drop hints Ė if you would be, what type of bribe would it be? (Not that I'm suggesting anything)

Chocolate always works!  

How can a reader contact you and/or find out what you are doing?

 Website: www.helenscotttaylor.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/helenscotttaylorauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=1017908954&ref=profile

Blog: www.titlemagic.blogspot.com

Email: helen@helenscotttaylor.com

 

     

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