Our guest today is Regan Taylor, author of paranormal and time travel fiction, talking about her books, her life and her latest release. Welcome, Regan!
Hi Adriana! Thank you for having me and for the chance to get to know you better. We get so busy with our lives and all that more and more we seem to miss chances to get to know the people around us so I’ve enjoyed this.
Why don’t you start by telling us about yourself (Where are you from? What do you write/do in the publishing world? What do you do when you’re not writing — your “day” job, hobbies, obsessions, etc.?) I’m originally for a small town on Long Island called Seaford. Well at least it was when I grew up there. When Jewel Adams invited me to one of her “kick-butt writing weeks” back in 2005 I’d written two non-fiction books but aside for enjoying the research I didn’t much care for it. She opened up a whole new world for me with fiction. When I’m not writing I’m usually playing “tickle-tickle” with my kitty Missy, trying to win over my feral Bogie and assuring my white Persian kitty, Mel, he’s the handsomest boy in the world. I also read and hang out with my friends.
If you were stranded on a desert island with only five books and five CDs, what would they be? (We’ll just imagine you can play the CDs – after all, this is fiction!) Hmm, the books are easy. CD’s, well I don’t listen to much music. For books I’d bring Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers and the Man in the Iron Mask. I’d also bring Rosemary Roger’s Sweet Savage Love and Kathleen Woodiwiss’ The Wolf and the Dove. For the CD’s I’d bring Enrique Igleses Enrique – I know he’s building a reputation as a naughty boy but I do like his voice. The other four would be Melissa Etheridge – any of them would be wonderful.
Do you read primarily print books, ebooks, or both? I’m about 50/50. My commute to and from the day job is about an hour each way and as an avid reader since I could read my biggest “fear” is running out of reading material. I’ve been reading ebooks since 2001 when I got my Franklin Ebookman and now with my Kindle I never have to worry about not having reading material. That said, sitting in bed at night I do like to hold a print book.
Do you own an ereader? Why or why not? If so, what’s on it? I’m on my third one—I stated with my Franklin Ebookman in 2001, moved to a Palm in hmmm, about 2004 and my Kindle this past year. Currently on it is Rosemary Rogers’ Bride for a Night and Ten Years Later by Alexandre Dumas. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)
Tell us one thing about yourself people would be surprised to learn. I’m actually very shy and introverted. It’s really a struggle for me to talk to new people.
Tell us about your writing: How long have you been writing? What genre(s) do you write in? What have you written (short stories, novels, etc.)? What works are currently for sale? Where? I’ve been writing non-fiction since 1992 and fiction since 2005. Mostly I write time travel which by its very nature opens the door to write in any time period and any genre. My 16th book, Her Eyes, was released two weeks ago. Devil’s Details and With All Dispatch are due out next spring. About half are novellas and the rest are full length novels. My current back list can be found on my website at www.ReganTaylor.com and all are available at Amazon, ARE and all the regular suspects.
What made you decide to write? My non-fictions were/are text books. One of them was written specifically for a class geared toward helping people with disabilities succeed in college. The fiction came about because Jewel Adams encouraged me. Once I started I couldn’t not write.
What do you like most about writing? Least? I like researching a new book before I begin writing, the actually telling of the story in the first round, the thrill of an acceptance letter, working with a great editor (and my two are outstanding) and opening up my cover art for the first time. Again, my two cover artists are fantastic. I don’t particularly enjoy going back through a book the 4th and 5th time – but I have to because I’m always concerned I’m going to miss something. And promoting – it’s just hard for me because my mind is more on the next story.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Definitely a pantser once I start writing – but I plot while I’m researching.
How do you get ideas for your stories? What inspires you? Life in general. It seems (fortunately) not a day goes by that an idea for a scene or an entire book doesn’t come my way.
Any advice for those who want to write? Write. Just write. I have two friends right now who keep telling me “I want to” and “I’m thinking about it.” I keep telling them they need to do it. Just sit down and do it. Don’t worry about the grammar or continuity or punctuation or selling it – just tell the story that wants to be told. Worry about the rest when the time comes.
What’s the most useful book on writing you’ve ever read? You’re going to laugh….the California Style Manual.
Which is your most popular work in terms of sales? Critical acclaim? Which is your favorite book you’ve written and why? Most popular with readers is Indentured Bride, the first of my bride series. It’s a western and I just love this series. My favorite is book two in that series, Mistaken Bride.
What’s the sexiest feature on a man to you? Why? On a man, I would say his butt…however, the other day while waiting for the bus home I noticed this man or rather I noticed how incredibly blue his eyes were. I couldn’t help but smile because he just had the most gorgeous eyes. He came over to me and asked about the buses heading into Marin and was he in the right place for his…we ended up riding the bus together, exchanged information and I have no idea what his butt looks like but he does have the most amazing blue eyes and melting Australian accent.
What’s your own sexiest feature? Ha ha, I have no idea!
What’s your earliest childhood memory? My father telling me I had a little sister named Arlene. I asked him if we could return her because I didn’t want her.
Who are your latest crushes (celebrity, book character, or otherwise)? Do you ever keep those people in your mind when writing your own works? LOL – Brendan! My bus riding Aussie friend! And my hero from my current WIP now has dark blond hair and blue eyes…he was originally brunette with green eyes.
If you could pick anyone in the world to be the cover model(s) on your latest release, who would it be? I’m going to start to sound obsessed here….Brendan!
Are you a book hoarder? Hoarder? Why no. With over 13,000 print books to my name and hmmm, close to 7,000 ebooks I prefer to think of myself as a bibliophile or an astute collector. Wouldn’t you agree?
Do you have a favorite character out of all the ones you’ve written? If so, who is it and why is s/he your favorite? It’s Kendrick from Mistaken Bride. Hands down, it’s him with Rick Hansen in the same series a close second. There is a vulnerability to Kendrick that makes him so appealing.
Is there a way for fans and others to contact you? (email, social networking links, etc.) Regansreads @ gmail.com is probably easiest to reach me. Or other links on my website www.regantaylor.com. While you are there please do check out my links on transplants and organ donation.
Tell us about your latest release – we’d love an excerpt, too! My latest release is Her Eyes with Awe-struck (www.mundania.com).
When Frank White married Catherine he took to heart the words “for better or for worse.” With Catherine he got the worst…or did he?
After Catherine attempts to murder Frank while he sleeps, much to her surprise, Frank’s dog lashes out at her. When Catherine wakes, something very strange has happened, so strange that even Catherine has no idea what to do.
An ambulance roared by, its sirens blaring disturbing the quiet that otherwise surrounded the house. Without a doubt the lights were flashing and sirens blaring. The road in front of Catherine White’s house went for miles, stretching from a rural section of cattle farms inGreenburgCountyall the way to the city. The sound of the siren quickly came and went as they rushed someone to the hospital.
Catherine stood and walked to the kitchen doorway to look into the next room to see if the sound had disturbed her husband, Frank. There he sat, morosely swilling beer, trying to pretend she wasn’t home. Catherine White hadn’t spoken to her husband all day.
What was the point?
They had nothing to say to each other. She heard all marriages went through this phase, where conversation drags and the couple slowly pulls away from each other. If it were only that, she would be fine with it.
The truth of it was she had never shared Frank’s goals, dreams, or desires. He never understood that.
Frank wanted their marriage to work.
She wanted her freedom.
Well actually, to be more precise she had wanted out of this farce of a marriage prior to James, her lover of six months, dying in a plane crash. Why he had to go toSpaina week ago was beyond her.
Mourning him would take more energy than she cared to spend on just another man. The dumb ass shouldn’t have left her. In the week since he’d died her wish to have her marriage concluded rolled over and over in her mind.
Now there was nowhere for her to go, so she stayed with her husband and wished for someone else. It was her curse. She’d built a safety net in Frank but slowly, irrevocably, that net had changed to a cage.
All that really mattered was having a man. It was the only thing of importance in her life. Not just any man, though. He had to dote on her and think she was the sun and moon. Oh yeah, and he couldn’t be Frank.
Not that she expected it to take long to find a replacement lover. After all, Catherine never had to look far for male attention. Ever since that first time behind the bleachers event during a football game it had been easy to attract men who could give her the things she wanted.
So why did I go off the deep end and marry Frank?
She’d have to chalk that up to temporary insanity. Well, that and wanting to show up that unbelievably plain and utterly bland Pamela. Pammie. Ugh. How bland ole Pamela ever made the cheerleading squad was beyond Catherine. But somehow dull and boring ole Pammie made it. The bitch had gotten everything in high school: the top grades, the best scholarships, the squad. The one thing she didn’t get was Frank White.
That was the one thing Catherine got.
She smacked her gum and returned to the kitchen table, putting on the last coat of nail polish. She should’ve had them professionally done, but her last manicurist had tossed Catherine out of the shop after she had innocently flirted with the woman’s husband. Jealous, so many jealous women out there, and they made life hard for Catherine. It wasn’t fair. She couldn’t help being beautiful.
Splaying her wet red nails on the tabletop, she lightly blew on them. Her diamond rings sat in a neat little pile in front of her. Each was a gift from Frank, a trinket of his affection. Some affection. When each nail was dry enough, she added her jewelry, watching it sparkle in the overhead light.
Eight years later and all Frank spoke of was having children. That and maybe moving closer to his parents. She wanted none of it. And why should she? She was only twenty-five and certainly didn’t need the baggage of dirty diapers or crying kids. Frank was too much baggage all by himself.
If only Frank were gone…
She would have the house, the money, and no husband. She wouldn’t jump into another set of vows either. For once in her life, she would be free to do what she pleased.
If Frank were gone.
The chilling thought clung to her mind, digging in with a life of its own. She popped the gum in her mouth and thought about it. The act of murder was easy. Over the years, she had watched a dozen television shows about catching killers. There were ways to do it and not get caught. Shoot him then claiming someone had broken into their loving home wouldn’t be hard. Playing the sad and devoted widow might be nice.
Catherine felt a smile spread on her face. There would be so much attention. Men and women alike would flock to her to offer their condolences. She could have her pick of men and they could sleep next to her right there in Frank’s bed. She might even manage her men two at a time.
On a whim, Catherine went to the bedroom and pulled the forty-five from its box in the closet. Frank had bought it and had taught her to use it for those nights when work kept him late. He called it work. She knew that his evening work meant wining and dining different developers who might be interested in his services. There were occasions when supplies were shipped late or an interstate job ran at night instead of during the day. Let him stay late every day for all she cared.
His little construction company was hardly the glossy enterprise that her friends’ husbands held. She had to admit that the hard work gave him a nice body, but one she didn’t want touching hers. There wasn’t a reason why, at least none she’d ever been able to put her finger on. He was tall, broad-shouldered with thick brown hair and amazing eyes and was really quite handsome. More often than not, he turned women’s heads wherever he went.
Frank never noticed.
He just went about his business. Maybe if he would have gone after a few of those women, some spice, some challenge, would have been added to their marriage. But not good ole Frank.
Her mind returned to the task at hand. The pistol had a good grip, and she clutched it, enjoying the weight. It had a rich smell of oil and metal, something unique she never noticed in another object. The cold metal of the silver gray gun reminded her of ice. She supposed murder should be cold, emotionless.
She didn’t feel emotionless though. Holding the gun, knowing what she was about to do was euphoric.
Catherine opened the clip and checked the bullets the way Frank had shown her. The man wasn’t much good for anything, but at least he had shown her how to load and fire the gun.
There were five bullets. The thing was ready to go with a flip of the safety. She would finally get out of this marriage. How simple it would be, a pull of the trigger instead of long arguments with a lawyer presiding.
She paced to the window and peered out over the yard. Divorce could be an option, if she wanted to be poor and her infidelities brought out for all to see. Strong, silent and stoic Frank would grant her one.
He might even want out of the marriage, too, but his sense of right and wrong wouldn’t permit him to make the first move.
No, a bullet to the brain would be more merciful than a long, drawn-out divorce. It would be so easy. After he was dead she would mess up the room, make it look like someone broke in and then call 911 to report an attempted robbery. There had been enough visitors to the house that the police would find other fingerprints, and if they didn’t, well, her story would be the intruder wore a mask and gloves.
Catherine went to the hallway, trying to move silently. The door to the den, Frank’s room, was open slightly. He’d been sleeping in the den for the last five months. She suspected that he knew about her affairs. He had to. The timing of his move to the den coincided with her meeting James. She remembered the night he came home early and looked her deeply in the eyes before asking if she still loved him. She’d told him yes. She’d lied, not to be mean, but because she didn’t know what else to say.
Barely into the room, she heard him breathing low and deep, already asleep. That was life with Frank. Come home, have a beer, go to sleep.
The door swung open slowly, his damn mutt on the floor by the couch. The Shepherd looked up and bared his teeth. That dog never liked her.
I may need to take a shot at him as well.
Frank loved the stupid dog and had named him Winter, although he only called him “Win” most of the time. He’d gotten the dog five months ago, about the same time he found out about her recreational activity.
“Stupid dog,” she whispered.
Maybe she shouldn’t have said anything because the dog looked at her, watched her pull the gun up and aim it at Frank. For a minute her heart raced in her chest, excitement mixed with fear that he would wake and see her standing there. She didn’t want him to know it was her.
Her hand trembled.
She hadn’t expected that.
There was a click from the gun as she eased off the safety and started putting pressure on the trigger.
The shot would be close.
She wouldn’t miss his head. She drew in a steadying breath, but before she could exhale, Win charged snarling, growling, and pain ripped through her face.