Getting to Know the Author: April Taylor

hand-shake-love9April TaylorWelcome, April. Let’s learn more about you …

What is your genre? Why did you choose it?

Fantasy crime set in an alternate Tudor universe.I’ve been fascinated by Anne Boleyn since I was 14 and felt she had a raw deal. The idea for the series came from the phrase “Henry’s black-eyed boy” and ‘what-if Anne had carried the boy child she lost in 1534 to term?’ That is the basis for ‘The Tudor Enigma Series’ to be published by Carina Press.

Ooh, just my sort of read!

Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?

I can be editing one manuscript while working on a draft of another, yes.

Do you work with a writing/critique group?

Yes, Hornsea Writers. http://www.hornseawriters.com. Without them I would not be where I am. Simple as that.

Can you remember your first reading book?

“Little Grey Rabbit and the Speckledy Hen” I think I was six. That was the first book I read all the way through without help.

Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?

No, but I try to drink water – and frequently fail.

Tidy desk or a bombsite? Describe your writing area with us.

Large modern office desk in a rounded L-shape. Edwardian inkstand, modern angle-poise lamp. Logitech sound system attached to the iMac. I have a large poster of the island in Thailand where the Bond film ‘Man with the Golden Gun’ was filmed opposite my desk next to a large pastel I did years ago of a bucolic 18th century Derbyshire landscape. On one wall I also have an old shower door that I use for scribbling ideas on and working out plot connections. The room is mostly tidy but I do have a thorough de-clutter after each book and whenever the clutter gets on my nerves.

Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.

d34ce32f3044837ce63b8d207c1597f8667c366e-thumbI self-published two non-fiction books and one book of short stories, but in Spring 2013, Carina Press offered me a three book deal for my series “The Tudor Enigma” and I spent the rest of 2013 focussing on that. The most exciting part of the journey has been working with Kerri Buckley, my editor at Carina Press. A huge learning curve that has made me a more considered writer.

Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?

Agatha Christie for her plotting and misdirection skills.
Ellis Peters for her ability to bring a historical setting to life.
Jurgen Wolff for his books on targeted thinking and his online Massive Action Days. http://jurgenwolff.com

What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?

First of all, you might think writing the book is the difficult bit. Absolutely not. Editing it is and for that you not only have to have a dispassionate eye for contradictions, you MUST know your software package inside out. For example, I’ve used Word for years, but only since working with Kerri have I encountered the ‘Track Changes’ and ‘Review’ modes. Roller coaster is a cliche, but it is accurate. If you can join a good writers’ group, do so. Hornsea Writers members are all experienced published authors and we take no prisoners when giving feedback. However, in order to edit, you have to have written something. If I were to recommend just three books out of the hundreds out there to help, they would be:

To help you craft your book – “The Writers’ Toolkit” by Penny Grubb and Danuta Reah – http://amzn.to/1aLrlMy

To help you understand how writers think – “Reading a Writer’s Mind: Exploring Short Fiction. First Thought to Finished Story” by Linda Acaster – http://amzn.to/1mw0F4D

To help you with characters etc – “On Writing” by Stephen King – http://amzn.to/1hmcQA4

A couple there I hadn’t heard of, I will investigate.

If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?

Oh, I love this question! Luke Ballard – Alex Pettyfer: Anne Boleyn – Julianna Margulies: Gwenette Paige – Elisha Cuthbert: King Henry IX – Alex Russell

I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?

The incident of the spider in the bedroom. I hate spiders with a vengeance. The thought that I might have to emigrate with my husband to a new job in Australia was completely overshadowed by the knowledge – and experience – of the size of their spiders. Thankfully, he turned the job down. He doesn’t like spiders much, either. When stressed, I have spider nightmares.

So there we were in that very hot summer, in bed, just a bed sheet over us, window open, fan on full, trying to get cool enough to sleep. A loud bang and the electrics went. No fan. Paul ran downstairs and reset the fuse. Fan on again. Ten minutes later, Bang! No fan. Paul set it once more. Ten minutes later, Bang! We gave up with the fan and tried to go to sleep, having pulled back the curtain to let air in. I pushed the sheet off me.

Just then I felt a cold tickle on my leg and looking down, was convinced I saw a spider running under Paul’s edge of the sheet. At which point I leapt out of bed as if all the devils in Hell were after me and put the main light on. Paul was convinced that my fatigue was feeding my spider phobia and tried to persuade me to come back to bed. It wasn’t until he threw back the sheet to show me there was no spider that he saw how big it really was – truly about 2” across. Needless to say, he leapt out of bed and smacked it with his slipper. By that time, of course, the spider had legged it over to my side of the bed. I stood looking at squashed spider remains on my sheet. I slept on the settee.Oh, dear! What a horror story! Having just left a country where I found Tarantula’s indoors, I feel for you.

Bio:

April Taylor (pen name) was born in the heart of the English county of Lincolnshire, the location of the most dangerous revolt against Henry VIII in 1536. She has written stories since she was a small child, but at the age of 14 became fascinated by the Tudors, especially Anne Boleyn.
April gained two degrees in information studies and has worked in various libraries, including prison libraries and public libraries in the UK. She ended her career as the R&D Information Manager for a global pharmaceutical company, retiring early to devote her time to writing. She considers her seven unpublished novels as an “apprenticeship”.
A love of history and crime, mixed with magic led to the creation of Luke Ballard, apothecary and elemancer at the Tudor Hampton Court Palace.
April now lives on the north-east coast of the UK where the land crumbles into the sea. Away from her desk, she enjoys playing the piano, singing, walking her dog along the beach and embroidery.

Internet Research forFiction Writers – http://amzn.to/RhS7T3

Cutting through the Academic Crap: An Informal Guide to Writing Your Dissertation – http://amzn.to/OYcuoT

Shadows in the Light: 15 short stories – http://bit.ly/THy4hG

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About Glynis Smy

I live in the UK, in the seaside town of, Dovercourt~Harwich, where I enjoy writing novels. I've written historical romance/suspense, Medical romance and my latest WIP is in the crime genre. The Victorian era fascinates me and the best part of writing a novel is often the research. Proud writing moments in my life: Shortlisted for Festival of Romance Fiction 2014 New Talent Award Reaching second round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 Maggie's Child: reached #1 Amazon best-seller: Historical Romance Victorian /February 2014/ebook & book paid list. May 2014 #3 Historical Romance Victorian, and #25 in Historical Romance paid top 100 best-seller list. Top 100 in three categories on Amazon UK best-seller listings in 2015. Seeing my books in a Suffolk (UK), library. Over the years I've written short stories in a variety of genres. I've also won a few poetry contests, my first was at the age of twelve, (a poem about the Bangladeshi war). I also won a children's short story competition where the prize was a first-aid box, I was so proud but my husband found it amusing because we owned two pharmacies. My articles have been published in magazines both in the UK and Cyprus. I am also featured in various places on-line. When I am not writing, I enjoy making greetings cards, Cross Stitch, fishing and the company of my little granddaughters.
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7 Responses to Getting to Know the Author: April Taylor

  1. Glynis – Thanks very much for introducing us to April.

    April – Thanks for sharing your experiences. I agree completely that the better you know your writing software, the easier editing is. It’s hard enough to have to go back and make sometimes major changes. If you’re not comfortable with the software it’s even worse. I wish you much success.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Margot. I think most people don’t realise how much time and energy can be wasted and work lost if the software isn’t familiar. It is a point I emphasise in my short guide to writing a dissertation.

  2. karen Wolfe says:

    Fun, fascinating and informative, especially regarding the editing process. I too am loving the idea of an alternative Tudor history, and looking forward to a jolly good read!

  3. April, that very premise, asking that kind of what if question and taking it from there, intrigues me. What ifs tend to lead us in all sorts of unexpected directions as authors. A pleasure to meet you!

    • Thank you for you kind comments. ‘What-if?’ is such an exciting concept to play with isn’t it? Have you tried using a huge piece of paper with ‘What-if’ written in the middle and then sending out lines of possibilities? I sometimes find unexpected things linking up to make a more cohesive plot. April.

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