Monday, October 7, 2013

Taylor Stevens - An Author's Grass Roots Story

Over the past year, Taylor Stevens has gone out of her way to let us readers know what the book business is like.  Now, she tells us how she started writing, and the odyssey she undertook.  It's a fascinating story and gives hope to any and all aspiring writers.  If you are the least bit interested in writing your own book, or even if you're just an avid reader, like I am, you will want to see what Taylor went through to become a published author (the last paragraph of this post is a description of her 1st book, The Informationist).

When I first started writing I was a stay-at-home mom with two toddlers and worked odd jobs from home to help supplement the income. We lived very frugally in a two-bedroom apartment, drove old and used cars, skipped on things like cable, eating out and such, but on one modest income we struggled to pay even the bills we did have.

Life being what it was, it was difficult, very difficult, to mentally project forward to the point where I could see anything beyond the struggle, but I did understand that never mind the circumstances that had brought me to this place—circumstances over which I’d had no control—from this point forward my own limiting beliefs and willingness to settle for a little bit, because it was so much more than I’d ever had before, might possibly the biggest thing standing in the way of any success in life.

I don’t remember exactly when this story took place, but I was far enough into THE INFORMATIONIST that the book was more than an idea—had maybe written the first 30,000 words or so. Not far from where we lived, there was a bookstore next door to the grocery. That day all of us were running errands together and we parked in front of the bookstore in order to walk to the grocery store.

In a very spur-of-the-moment decision, while the others went on ahead, I paused in front of the bookstore window. I wanted to see if it was possible to take myself out of the moment and visualize what it might be like to actually have my name on a book somewhere—to see the impossible as a way to dampen my own lack of vision and change my perspectives on what could actually be.

I have no idea what book I looked at, no recollection of the title or author. All I remember is standing in front of the glass, while in my minds eye I took away the author’s name from the cover, and put mine on instead. The emotional reaction, the mental reaction was instant and overpowering. For one second, I visualized and dreamed, and in that same second the disbelief, the mental dissonance, combined with the sudden revelation of what life might be like if this vision were true, became such a rushing torrent of uncontrollable emotion that I burst into tears. 

I could not at the time, in any way shape or form imagine how such a thing could come to be, did not even know the steps I would have to take in order to make it happen, but I saw it there, on the other side of that glass window those many years ago, and I dared to dream, worked daily toward that dream, and it has since come true many times over.

Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher will love Vanessa Munroe--a resourceful loner who grew up overseas and has combat training, a wry sense of humor, and plenty of sex appeal. Vanessa Munroe deals in information--expensive information--working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. A Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. Pulled into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the land of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that made her who she is.

Postscript:  Her 4th book in the series will be published next July.


  1. The way she has opened up to all of us email readers is really impressive.