Author Interview: J.E. Taylor

Biography

J.E. Taylor is a USA Today bestselling author, a publisher, an editor, a manuscript formatter, a mother, a wife, a business analyst, and a Supernatural fangirl, not necessarily in that order. She first sat down to seriously write in February of 2007 after her daughter asked:

“Mom, if you could do anything, what would you do?”

From that moment on, she hasn’t looked back.

In addition to being co-owner of Novel Concept Publishing, Ms. Taylor also moonlights as a Senior Editor of Allegory E-zine, an online venue for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and co-host of the popular YouTube talk show Spilling Ink.

She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and during the summer months enjoys her weekends on the shore in southern Maine.

Visit her at www.jetaylor75.com to check out her other titles.

Share a little bit about Wicked Heart and the Shades of Night Trilogy.

The Shades of Night Trilogy (Wicked Heart, Crooked Soul, Tainted Mind) all revolve around Sarah Stone and her Monster Defense Agency (TMD) partner, Robby Young. They hunt vampires, demons, and anything that targets humans. And Wicked Heart opens after a very bad night for Sarah and the ensuing hunt is on. 

There is also a prequel – Young Blood because after writing Wicked Heart, I felt Robby needed his own story told, so this is the story of how he met Sarah and their time in training as TMD hunters and his ascension to Alpha of his pack.

You also recently released your Season of the Dragon Trilogy. Tell us what readers can expect from those books.

Season of the Dragon is a trilogy about the survival of the human race.  It takes place entirely in New York City after a pandemic which resulted in silence on earth as most people were quarantined in their homes during the height of the wave of illness. Because of that, monsters woke from their slumber and took over the Earth, hell bent on stomping out humanity. Led by the sea serpent, an army of Leviathans and Dragons rose from the bowels and now one of the dragons decided he didn’t agree with the direction of where the monsters were going and partners with a human rebel who has a secret he needs. Trust between the two is fleeting at times, but they form an alliance to save their species.

It looks like you first published in 2011? Do you know how many books you’ve published? What can you tell us about your collection of writings?

My first book – Dark Reckoning was published on July 5th 2010. by FIDO publishing which was a non-erotic publishing arm of Excessica. And I had Survival Games published by Excessica that same year.

I didn’t go full indie until 2011 when Excessica became a coop and I decided to go out on my own instead of paying someone else to do the things I had learned.

And as of right now, I have 63 books published. With my current series after Wicked Heart goes live, I will have another two novels and a prequel scheduled to be published this year.  I also have one more novel planned for December and a possible short story as well depending upon how quickly I blaze through Shades of Night. So, by the end of 2022, my total will likely be 67 books published which is all my single titles and does not include the box sets of my series.

You’ve obviously written a lot. What drives you to write so much?

If I say the voices in my head, they might put me in a padded room. 😊

Seriously, I have a really active imagination and its my way of sharing my stories with the world. I love the art of storytelling and I’m better on paper where I have time to tell the tale and don’t get all tongue tied like I would speaking.

With many books come many names. How do you come up with your character names?

Most of the time they are already formed in my head, but when that hasn’t happened, I will peruse baby name sites and look up names by meaning to find what I’m looking for.

What advice would you give writers who want to become prolific?

No excuses, just write. Even if its only a few words in a session, it adds up.  And don’t compare your output to other writers, especially someone like me who can churn out books every three months with a full-time day job. I am not really one to emulate. I struggle with the balance of living and giving my time to my family and the need to tell the story. I still haven’t found a balance and that is a high goal of mine. So while you do sit down to write daily, don’t stop living to chase this dream.

Do you have a favorite book and/or series that you’ve written?

That is so very much like asking who is my favorite child.  I love them all. I’ve had more fun writing my mash ups and crossovers with other series, but truthfully, the favorite of the moment is usually the series I’m in the middle of writing. So right at the moment, that would be Shades of Night.

What is your favorite aspect of writing? Why?

Playing God on the page. I’m creating people that stay with me long after the story ends. Documenting their lives, their trials, their darkest hours and redeeming them in the end – or killing them if it moves the story forward. It is a heady experience and I often wonder if I somehow have created these souls in some alternate world. It’s a fun idea to ponder.

Your career includes more than writing books. Talk about the other areas you’re involved in (editing, publishing, etc.).

First, I work a full time as a business analyst for a large insurance firm. That involves technical writing of requirements so that the developers can actually build what we’ve outlined.

Beyond that, I’m a co-owner and acquisitions editor of Novel Concept Publishing, LLC. We are a micro-publisher that was created in 2012 when another FIDO author who I had edited his series while we were at FIDO reached out to me and asked if I was interested in starting a publishing house.  We have a small list of authors at this point as both my partner and I have focused more on our own writing rather than publishing books for other authors. I still look at submissions, but something has to really capture me in order for me to put time into publishing other’s books instead of my own these days. We don’t offer advances, but we also don’t ask for the author to cover any of the costs to produce the book. We distribute through Amazon and Draft to Digital and offer paperback distribution through Amazon.

I also have been a senior editor on Allegory E-zine for years. That’s a labor of love that I haven’t been as connected with in recent years as I used to be, but reading short sci-fi, fantasy and horror is such a blast. There are some very talented story tellers out there and I am honored to be able to read their submissions.

And if that isn’t enough, I co-host Spilling Ink twice a month on Saturday nights from 8 to 9PM EST. It used to be almost every weekend, but that piece I stated about balance above made me cut back to twice a month, especially since weekends are coveted family and friends time.

What does success look like for you as an author?

Having people tell me my stories made a difference to them in some way. Whether I’ve made them laugh, cry, get angry, it doesn’t matter. I’ve had a few people reach out and thank me for my stories and those are the most uplifting things someone can do for an author beyond leaving a review.

I’ve also had those that are highly upset by some of my earlier books.  Granted they were explicitly dark, but it still took guts to write an email about how I affected them. I’ve turned those around too by just saying thank you for taking the time and effort to share your opinion even though the story wasn’t their cup of tea. I acknowledge them and they responded in an entirely different way.

Anything additional you want to share with readers?

I have a new reader group that I’m trying to grow where I’m putting first views of covers, some excerpts and playing fun games if folks what to check it out… https://www.facebook.com/groups/jetcryptkeepers

Website: www.JETaylor75.com

Book Locations: Wide (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, iTunes/iBooks, Kobo) and I do have a few titles in Kindle Unlimited, but that is usually less likely these days.

Young Blood: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/bwKR5Y
Wicked Heart: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgEV5x
Crooked Soul: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/4ElZOA
Season of the Dragon: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYG06Y
Dark Reckoning: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2Xdkd
Survival Games: Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/3Lwo0X
Novel Concept Publishing, LLC: http://www.novelconceptpublishing.com/
Allegory Ezine: https://www.allegoryezine.com/
Spilling Ink: https://www.youtube.com/c/spillinginkshow

Excerpt: Note – this excerpt from Wicked Heart has not been formally edited yet.

His gaze returned to mine, but instead of the guilty look he wore a moment ago, that hunger he had just before he kissed me this morning was back, and it looked as though it was on the verge of detonating.

“What are you doing?” His cautious question along with the appearance of his canines only increased whatever had taken hold of me. His form trembled but he didn’t move toward me like I wished.

He didn’t bolt either.

“I’m not doing anything,” I said, but I wasn’t so sure now that desire to ravage him ruled my veins and since I was already damned by whatever I was, there were no more imaginary lines that we couldn’t cross. Thoughts of undressing Robby and feeling him on me…inside me stirred this carnal hunger. “Why?”

“Because you are tossing out pheromones like dice at a craps table.”

I chuckled and sucked my lower lip between my teeth, slowly raking it as I released it. There were several places on him that I wanted to bite, not just his throat. I wondered what sex with him would be like and certainty filled me. He would be the best I ever had by far.

I took him in from his dark hair and brighter than normal blue eyes. His face was chiseled with sharp cheek bones, a strong jaw, and a nose that fit perfectly in the middle above supple lips that were soft, and I would expect demanding in true action. His canines poked out denting his lower lip with their sharp points. Whatever I was doing was pulling his wolf to the surface and it thrilled me.

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