Tuesday 15 January 2013

#OBBigBang Orangeberry Big Bang - Sierra by Taylor Dean

Updated on 28th December 2012

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Genre – Romantic Suspense (PG13)

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Website - http://www.taylordeanbooks.com/

What is your favorite quote? Work as if everything depends upon you. Pray as if everything depends upon God.”

What is your favorite color? Blue. Just walk into my living room and you’ll be bombarded by a blue and white theme. I love it.

What is your favorite food? Ice cream. Does that count as food?

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? It’s a toss up between Lake Tahoe in California/Nevada and Monterey, California.

*I spent a few summers camping in Lake Tahoe as a child and LOVED it. It holds many fond memories. It’s so beautiful.

*We were stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, California for nearly two years. It’s only an hour away from San Jose, California, where I grew up. My family spent many Saturdays bumming around Cannery Row. Also my first daughter was born in Monterey. Hence, it also holds many fond memories. Of course, both places have made their way into my writing.

When and why did you begin writing? I have always had stories wandering around in my head. All. The. Time. I wasn’t just fantasizing, I was writing stories in my head, word for word. After raising my four children, I found myself with an empty nest and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my time. My job had left me! I told my sister I was thinking about writing a book. She encouraged me, saying that I should write children’s books.

But I had other ideas.

You see, twenty years earlier I had scribbled the first ten pages of a story that had been hounding me for months. I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was as if I had to write it or I would explode!

So, I dug the pages out of my files, knowing I had saved them for a reason. In the back of my mind, I knew I’d write the full story one day.  I sat down at my computer, wondering if I could really write a book.

I could! And I LOVED it! That book is now Sierra.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Absolutely! I ‘cut my teeth’ on this book, so to speak. Sierra was my first novel. To this day—out of all of my books—it is still my personal favorite,. I learned so much while writing it. I learned how to construct a novel, how to format a manuscript, how to write dialogue, how to make the book flow, and how to keep suspense alive. Most importantly, I learned that I love to sit at the computer and bring my imagination to life.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I LOVE to write ROMANCE. I write in many different sub-genres: paranormal, contemporary, and suspense. But no matter what the sub-genre is, the main theme of the book will always be ROMANCE.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? No. Never. Here’s why: by the time I sit down at my computer, I already know exactly what I want to write. I never sit down and stare at a blank screen and wonder what I should write. Too discouraging! Just the idea makes me break out in a cold sweat! Instead I do mind numbing chores. I vacuum my house, clean my bathrooms, dust, do laundry and dishes—and all the while I’m imagining. I make up my next scene in my head, word for word. By the time I’m in front of the computer screen, I can’t type fast enough to get it all down onto paper!

How did you come up with the title? My original title was . . . are you ready for this? . . . Sanguinity. Ugh. I know, awful. No one really understood the meaning—as it pertained to the novel—besides me. My family and friends kept calling it Serenity, as if they couldn’t remember the word Sanguinity. So, I changed the name to Sierra. For obvious reasons. The novel takes place in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Who designed the cover? I chose the image and my daughter sized it into a book cover and added the text. She does all of my covers for me and I love working with her. My original cover was an actual picture of a snowbound cabin. It’s a beautiful picture, but when I made the decision to go with animated covers, I felt all of my books should match.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes! When life is not going well, when it looks as though all is lost—don’t lose hope. Look to the future and know that there is still happiness awaiting you. The concept that happiness awaits us if we hold on and remain steadfast through trials has always intrigued me.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? I received my inspiration for Sierra from the true story of the abduction of Olympic medalist, Kari Swenson. As I watched the 1987 TV movie of her ordeal, entitled Abduction, it sparked a “what if” story in me. What if the kidnapping had been successful? What if she was taken deep into the woods? What if she was rescued there? What if she had to stay with her rescuer through the winter? My imagination took over from there—and the results are Sierra!

How long have you been writing? I have been seriously writing since 2006.

How important do you think villains are in a story? VERY important. Villains make the hero look even better than he really is! Also, villains often provide the catalyst that propels the hero and/or heroine to act, giving your characters valid reasons for their actions.

What are your goals as a writer? I love to write and I will continue to write for the rest of my life! Writing is a part of who I am. I will continue to publish my novels and make them available to the public. I’d like to write and release at least one book a year. That being said, my goals as a writer also include: making people happy with my stories, providing entertainment to my readers, and to always, always bring the reader’s emotions to the surface. If you cry while reading one of my books, then I’ve succeeded!

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I am currently reading, “Take this regret,” by A.L. Jackson.

What are your current writing projects now? I’ve been slowly releasing all six of my completed novels during the past year. (two more to come!) This has taken up all of my time.

Lancaster House         June 2012

Sierra                           June 2012

I Have People             Sept. 2012

The Middle Aisle        Dec. 2012

Joshua’s Folly             March 2013

For Nick                      June 2013

What contributes to making a writer successful? Perseverance. Don’t quit! Don’t give up when you receive the infamous rejection letter. Keep on trying. The only real failure is to never try at all.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I often take a two mile walk with my hubby in the evenings. It’s great exercise and it gets me out of the house and off the computer! Then I love to watch one of my favorite reality TV shows. (I’m ridiculously and utterly addicted to American Idol, Survivor, SYTYCD, and DWTS). They get my mind off my current book, giving me the opportunity to start fresh when I return to my manuscript.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’m published! AMAZING!

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