Thursday, September 2, 2010
Authors On The Rise Interviews Beverly Taylor
Authors On The Rise Is proud to bring you an interview from the talented author, Beverly Taylor. Enjoy!
AOTR: Please tell us about yourself and your books.
Beverly: Hello, Dee Dee and thank you for the invitation.
I was brought up in a Christian-family environment and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the age of sixteen. I didn’t know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior until my early thirties. I have two wonderful children and two adorable grandbambinas. I live in metro Atlanta. I am a licensed counselor/therapist and the founder of Chastity House, a residential facility for disadvantaged teen girls. Our goal is that they are positioned and equipped to one day have a successful career, spiritual enrichment, healthy marriage and family relationships.
I’ve authored 7 books: My first novel is entitled Waiting to Exit Hell (a metamorphosis of sort); Woman Take Your Position (a nonfiction); Lust of the Flesh (church fiction); Foolish Virgin (Christian teen novel); It’s Me I See (children’s book); God In Me (children’s Book); Desires of the Heart (Christian/Romance Fiction). I also write under the pseudonym Beverly Rolyat (Taylor spelled backwards). Rolyat novels are “mirror” books written for the carnal minded individuals, as a way for them to see themselves through the characters and as a result, make a change in their lives. Beverly Taylor books are written to encourage the spiritual minded.
AOTR: Did you always want to be a writer?
Beverly: Not really. However, I’ve always been an avid reader from the time I learned to read. My favorite child author was Beverly Cleary.
AOTR: What age did you first begin writing?
Beverly: I was the editor of my high school newspaper.
AOTR: Where did the ideal for your first book come from? What inspired you to complete it?
Beverly: My first book was a mixture of fiction and nonfiction combined, inspired by some personal events. My current release, Desires of the Heart, was inspired by the actions of women at a conference I attended a while back. I spoke at a church’s women’s function which the theme was “Improving Your Image.” The ethnic composition consisted of substantially white female, a few black women and a handful of Latino women. Nearly one-third of the attendees had some sort of cosmetic surgery, whether breast or buttocks enlargements, nose reduction, facelift, Botox, collagen injections, liposuction, gastro bypass, tummy tuck, chin lift, permanent eyebrow stencils, permanent eye-liner stencils, bleached skin, etc. You name it, they had it done. These were Christian women, some were even Evangelists, Ministers, Pastors and Deaconnesses. Some gave their testimonies that they had their appearance enhanced to appease their husbands, some did it for themselves to improve their self-esteem, and some teased and stated they did it to get a man (preferably a young one).
AOTR: Please share your Journey on how you became a published author.
Beverly: I kept a mental journal on events in my life and some I wrote into a diary. As years progressed, I shared some of my stories with family and friends and they thought it would make for a good story. I pumped out a manuscript and was in search for a publisher. I received one acceptance letter and the rest were rejections. I decided to self-publish. As a self-publisher, you become the entire publishing house—the manager of every department—wearing many hats.
AOTR: After you wrote your first book, did you have a hard time moving on to write the next one? Was there pressure to write a better book than the first? If so, how did you handle it?
Beverly: Absolutely. Pressure was there for me to write a sequel to Lust of the Flesh. I didn’t realize that so many people read the book and enjoyed it. I sold several units and I wanted to self-publish the sequel, Lust of the Eyes, but financially and physically, it wasn’t possible. With little effort, I shopped both books around for a publishing house but came out empty. As a result, I shelved Lust of the Eyes until I can find a house or agent for it.
AOTR: Have you ever suffered from writers block? If so, how did you get over it? How do you keep creative juices flowing?
Beverly: I have a love for the written word. As a counselor, writing nonfiction is therapeutic. I’ve never had writer’s block, per se. However, I have been in a position where I struggled with composing a comprehensive chapter.
AOTR: Do you plot out your stories or are they character driven?
Beverly: I write in the Christian fiction genre and my stories are character driven. However, my favorite genre is mystery and suspense. I’d love to sit one day and write a plot for a Christian mystery/suspense novel.
AOTR: Do your books deal with any important social issues?
Beverly: I think so. In my novel, Lust of the Flesh, it dabbled in racial equality and transgender issues. Desires of the Heart deals with self-esteem/personal appearances.
AOTR: Do the stories you write come from your imagination, or do you mix in some of your life with it?
Beverly: Only in my first novel attempt did I combine the effort of fiction and some reality.
AOTR: Name some of your favorite characters from your books and tell us why?
Beverly: In Lust of the Flesh, I enjoyed Paula. She is quite the peacemaker and the glue that holds the family together, along with her dedication to loving God.
In Desires of the Heart, my favorite and probably everyone else is Natalie Harper. Natalie is the wife of a prominent medical doctor. As such, one would think a wife of this statue would possess a meek, quiet and reserve spirit. Not Natalie. She’s one to tell it like it is (with tact and diplomacy, of course). Then there’s Detective Freeman. A man any women would love to love. He’s warm, kind and considerate.
In Foolish Virgin, I enjoyed Kirsten’s character. She is fresh, feisty and fearless.
AOTR: In a few words, tell a reader why they should pick your book next.
Beverly: Carson is suffering with depression; Katharine has insecurity issues. However, the ballet plays an important role in her life — as a means of expression, as a way to console, as a way to mark significant moments; Cindy is dealing with mental illness (which is the root of her promiscuity); and Deanna’s loneliness and craving for a father causes her to commit criminal activities. It is my desire to enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate readers that changing who you are on the outside does not remove who you are on the inside; in addition, to demonstrate how making selfish decisions can personally affect each member of the household in a detrimental way. The questions in the Readers’ Discussion Guide at the end of the story will stimulate discussion for reading groups and provide a deeper understanding of Desires of the Heart for every reader.
AOTR: If one of your books was made into a movie, what actors would you like to play the characters?
Beverly: In my most recent release, Desires of the Heart, I’d love for Angela Bassett to play Katharine; Idris Elba to play Carson; Jenifer Lewis to play Natalie, Lamman Rucker (he is so handsome) to play Detective Freeman, and Gabrielle Union to play Cindy.
AOTR: What upcoming projects are you working on?
Beverly: I’m working on a three-in-one novel entitled “The Sweetest Day Ever.” This novel will consist of three Christian romance stories about that infamous Midwestern holiday, Sweetest Day. It is a holiday primarily celebrated in the states of Ohio, Illinois and Michigan, and to these Midwesterners, it is more sacred than Saint Valentine’s Day itself. This romantic holiday is celebrated on the third Saturday in the month of October. I believe it will be a popular read for all romance genres as it will introduce this special holiday to Southern, Northern, East and West Coast readers who are unfamiliar with the Midwestern October occasion.
AOTR: What is one thing readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Beverly: I’m an NBA fan and an NBA playoffs fanatic. I love the game!
AOTR: If you were not a writer, what would you be?
Beverly: A kindergarten teacher.
AOTR: Where do you hope to be in your writing career five years from now?
Beverly: Screenwriting and hopefully working on my 12th or 13th book, provided I can write one book per year.
AOTR: How can readers find out more information about you and your books?
Beverly: Please visit my website at: www.beverlytaylorbooks.com
AOTR: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with Authors On The Rise! We wish you much success!
Beverly: Thank you Dee Dee for the interview and much blessings and success in your endeavors.
Beverly's 10 favorites:
Book genre: Mystery/Suspense
Snack: Pistachio Nuts
Pastime: Watching basketball games—on any level
Fruit: Sweet green grapes
Drink: Pepsi and Crystal Light Peach Tea
Author: Novelist, Sandra Brown
Holiday: Thanksgiving and the Fall season
Quote: “Is there anything too hard for God?”
Childhood memory: Roller skating at the neighborhood rink
Television show: I Love Lucy; The Golden Girls.