Interview with Taylor Caley   Leave a comment

mToday’s interview is with Taylor Caley. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Taylor Caley Author PicI am from south central Pennsylvania in the United States. I am currently enrolled in creative arts at Full Sail University. Rising up the ladder in the creative industries is what I want to do with my life, as an author and a filmmaker. Until then, I pay my bills by working full time at my local ski resort and as an Uber driver in my free time. Despite full time work and college, I am always writing and continuing to expand the fictional tale I have to tell.

 

My current novels can be found on Amazon as well as my website, www.taylorcaley.com, where people can learn more about my works as they unfold.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

 

Some people adopt writing as a hobby, others are adopted by it instead. That’s what I believe, and I’ve always believed myself to be among the latter. I’ve been telling stories on paper ever since I was six-years-old. I haven’t the faintest idea what it was about, but I remember everybody telling me I had talent for such a young child. When I was 13, my aunt urged me to take my talent to the next step, asking me to write for her a full length fictional story. This was what inspired me to step onto the road of professional writing, and after nine years of editing and evolving of the story, just after my 22nd birthday, I paid her a visit to personally give her a paperback copy of my first published book, Ice Cold – Part One: The Dark Zone.

 

That is really neat. What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?

 

My favorite genres to read have undoubtedly always been fantasy and science fiction. I read the Harry Potter series throughout middle school, and after that the Lord of the Rings, and just fell in love with the idea of such boundless limits in the worlds of fantasy. Ever since then, the vast fantasy genre has become my favorite to write as well. I wanted to create a great universe such as those I had read that I could call my own, but at the same time, I wanted to go beyond that. I wanted to create something that nobody had done before, and I’ll be spending the rest of my years bringing it to life. My first book, Ice Cold, is just the beginning of that.

 

What are you passionate about?

 

I am very passionate about the creative industries as a whole, in fact there is nothing I am more passionate about. I follow new films and television series very closely, and rarely ever watch them without a computer handy because I am constantly doing research on every aspect, story elements, people involved, anything I can learn from them in the interest of improving and advancing my own writing.

 

 

When you are not writing, what do you do?

 

Well, when I’m not writing it usually means I’m either working or at school. However, there is one activity I enjoy, my passion for which is right up there next to writing, and that is the game of paintball. My friends and I play most weekends throughout the summer, and I’ve always felt it was the best activity that could take my mind off writing for a while, considering it’s more or less the polar opposite.

 

 

Nice. I use hiking to fill that activity void myself. You have to vary your interests. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

 

Most of the inspiration for my writing comes from my dreams. J. R. R. Tolkien once said, “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities,” and he’s absolutely right. Perhaps the greatest inspiration I’ve had was when I was writing my first book, Ice Cold, the setting of which takes place in the Appalachian Mountains. I was greatly inspired by the beauty of the mountains after having lived in the Appalachians as a teenager, and one of the most common praises of my book has been my descriptive ability to make my readers vividly see the beautiful forests and mountains in my writing.

 

 

What sort of research do you do for your novels?

In developing a sci-fi/fantasy literary universe of my own, the bulk of my research has been in the areas of ancient legends and religions, in order to twist historical and mythological contexts and transform the world we all know into one of epic fantasy across all eras of time; chief among those being Plato’s concept of a hollow Earth and the curious but rather far-fetched multiverse theory.

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

 

                Usually I’d say you’d be better off trying to learn quantum physics in five minutes. Joking aside, I like to call it a new generation of science fiction. I say this because the style of my writing can be compared to modern day stories and films such as the increasingly loved Marvel Cinematic Universe, in the sense that my writing is made up of many different stories and series along the same chronological tangents, all of which are meant to converge to bring about the ultimate climax of the story. To contrast it with said comparison, what makes my writing different is that it is completely original, therefore my biggest challenge is that, unlike Marvel which has been around for decades, I can’t just jump right into the middle of the series and expect my audiences to go along with it. Because of this, my writing has been expanded into an incredibly large, complex tangent of novels and series. In this way, I can slowly introduce characters that my readers can fall in love with, and sci-fi elements that they can eventually accept as if they’ve known it all along as they dive deeper and deeper into an ever-growing world of adventure and excitement. It all starts off easy; my first novel, Ice Cold, merely tells a simple tale of a native culture battling against foreign foes that seek to wipe them out, but as read into it you soon begin to discover that there are some unknown, outside elements that make you realize there’s a lot more going on, and a lot more to come.

 

 

That actually sounds like a really good start to a series. Do you have a special place where you write?

 

I don’t have any special place to write in particular. All I need is solitude as well as peace and quiet, of which any writer can certainly agree. I have found that the best time for me to write is at night, when the mind seems to be at its most active point. Often, I get so lost in my own worlds that I end up writing until dawn!

 

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

 

                I would definitely say that I’m more character driven. I firmly believe that characters are born from certain traits and qualities of the writer, and understanding where our characters come from can help writers to better understand themselves. Being driven by my characters, and watching them suffer and rise above the obstacles in their paths, helps me to move the story along, and to take the plot to places beneficial to their further development.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

 

I create detailed outlines of my books before I begin writing, laid out by chapter with specific points to help me understand why each chapter is important and how it leads to the next part of the story. The personalities of my characters, however, is often something I tend to develop along the way as they’re faced with new challenges that could change them, much like obstacles in our own lives have the potential to change us as well.

 

What point of view do you prefer to write, and why?

 

I was never a huge fan of first-person narration mainly because I feel it sounds like a story that has already passed, as it’s being told from the point of view of one of the characters. Third-person on the other hand, despite also being written in past-tense style, I’ve always felt carries the feeling that it’s happening as you’re reading it, and in essence, it feels much more exciting. The thing about third-person narration is that it can be told with aspects of first-person as well. I often write certain parts of my stories as if you’re reading it straight out of the character’s mind, and it really makes you feel like you’re literally right there beside them.

 

I like that! So, I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

 

                I’ve always wanted to see the mountains of Alaska, or to even have my own cabin. With food supplied to me, there’s not a lot of things I would wish to bring with me. Instead, I would find myself marveling at the beauty of the Alaskan environment, and remembering my days in the mountains that filled me with inspiration. Such solitude would be everything I’d need to immerse myself completely into my writing.

 

 

Tell us about your book.

 

              Taylor Caley Ice Cold  Ice Cold is part of a six-part series (more accurately the series is divided into three parts, each containing two of their own), and is where the grand tale begins. My first book, Ice Cold – Part One: The Dark Zone, tells the story of a small, hidden culture known as the Ravennites, descended from the mysterious Native American tribe, the Seluitah. The book pits the Ravennites against the oppression of Outside invaders, with the addition of a New York teen named Alex Lee, who finds himself accidentally caught in the middle of the conflict. After seeing the pain and suffering caused by the Outsiders, Alex’s journey begins when he sides with the Native culture and begins to fall in love with a young Ravennite woman.

 

                Ice Cold – Part Two: Winter’s Bane is nearly entering the publishing phase, and sees the climax of the war between the Ravennites and the Outsiders. At the same time, it explores more of the religious folklore of the Ravennites’ ancestors and deepens the bond between Alex and the woman he loves, but it is also here that key elements of the fantasy epic to come slowly begin to unfold.

 

                Between Ice Cold and the rest of this distinct series, I’m in the process of writing a short novella titled, Rowan. It’s a simple story taking place almost immediately after the end of Ice Cold, and centers around Rowan, the Ravennite girl whom Alex Lee had fallen in love with, and how she copes with life after her people’s war, all the while discovering secrets about herself that had been kept from her all her life. It’s designed to be a rather heart-rending story while leaving the reader anxiously wanting to see what her own future holds.

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

 

                I did not necessarily have a message or moral in mind when I set out to write, not within the story at least. If anything, it’s my desire more than anything to set an inspiration for other young, aspiring writers to go above and beyond their limitations to create great universes the world has never seen before. That’s the message I truly hope to give.

 

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

 

                Feel is the key word here. So far, my readers have told me that they can vividly picture the story and the settings, and that they have started to grow attached to the characters already. What I want is for readers to feel exactly what I felt when creating the story; the sense of realism, beauty, and love for the characters they encounter. The way I see it, feeling the happiness and pain in such fictional characters that seem so real is all people need to understand the same feelings in the people around them.

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

 

                Despite the obvious disadvantages that come with self-publishing, I would say that my main influence to self-publish was simply to learn the process for myself, and what it takes to own and manage one’s work. It’s not an easy task, but it opens doors to possibilities with my future works, such as how I can better market my books, and who I can bring over to my side and collaborate with in the interest of expanding.

 

What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?

 

The greatest advantage of self-publishing that I’ve seen so far is definitely being the one who makes the final decisions. That has its disadvantages, of course, but as I said before, the experience is what truly gives you the knowledge to make changes as you see fit and what you need to do in the future to avoid the obstacles you’ve run into the first time around if building upon your writing is what you wish to do with your life.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

 

                Of course, the main disadvantage is bitter fact that, at least from the beginning, you’re on your own, and that your campaign is based solely around the gamble of spending money to make money.

 

Who designed your book cover?

 

The cover for my first book was designed by my publisher, Outskirts Press, per my instructions, and I could not have been happier with the result. They truly captured the beauty of setting in one detailed illustration. However, with the only downside being the amount of money I spent on the cover alone, I am currently having the cover of my second book done by a separate entity at coversought.com for a much better price, and I have absolute confidence that they can produce the same astounding results as I’ve seen in my first book’s cover.

 

 

 

 

 Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

 

I believe self-published authors have more power to produce high-quality books than traditional publishers because these are the true creators. The only thing that really stands in the way of self-published authors is the means to make themselves known, which is why my hope is to collaborate and network with not traditional publishers, but other self-published authors to help give rise to the idea that self-publishing in the creative industries is, in fact, the future.

 

Where do readers find you and your books?

Amazon

Website

 

 

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