"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
With a bachelors in Theatre, a masters in Counseling and a career path that moved from litigation secretary to police dispatcher to reviewer Regan Taylor brings a diverse background to her writing. An avid reader since childhood—yes, even the toothpaste tube would do in a crunch—in retrospect it seemed inevitable she would one day turn to writing.
PNR: Can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Regan T.: On the non-fiction side it was because I developed carpal tunnel and while waiting for my surgery I spent night after night sitting up, reading the phone books for Marin, Sonoma and San Francisco counties trying to see what kinds of assistance I could find so I wouldn’t lose my home. Carpal is worse at night, the pain for some reason gets worse and I’ve always been a night owl so I would stay up at night doing that, making notes and during the day I’d contact the different agencies and entities and managed to make it through the process without losing too much. I kept copious notes and two friends of mine kept telling me I needed to write a book about what all I’d found. Right, write a book….I couldn’t even hold a tube of toothpaste. Enter the world of voice recognition—I was actually on a couple of television shows showing how it worked and to shut up the friends I wrote the book. It was the only way I could stop their daily harassment to do it. I got it published and it actually sold about 700 copies.
My second book was a take off on the first. For my masters my thesis advisor wanted a textbook to go with a class for people with disabilities so once again the harassment began until I wrote that book.
Clearly I’m not a fan of writing non-fiction. Fiction, however, I discovered I really enjoy.
I “discovered” that when I “met” Jewel Adams when I was interviewing her and she invited me to join one of her kick butt weeks on her group list. I figured what the heck, it might be fun—so I joined and Spell Across Time: The Pentacle was the final result.
PNR: Do you have a strict writing schedule? How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Regan T.: No, no real schedule. Discipline, yes, but formal schedule no. I’ve dreamt most of my books and I set the alarm to get up earlier than needed in the morning so I can write out the scenes from my dreams. My “gift” to myself is 1,000 words a day and I try to take that time at night before I go to sleep to write. The 1,000 word minimum a day is a commitment to myself that for the most part I’ve kept for the past two years.
PNR: Being a newly published author, who or what has been the biggest influence on your work? Who or what has been your biggest support?
Regan T.: Influence—my dreams and my life in general. My biggest support, well, my cats—now Miss Molly and not-so-little Mel “help”. Miss Ginny was more of my constant companion before she died the day after Christmas last year—you will be seeing her in a story soon. But Mel and Molly have stepped up to sit and hold my paw….errrr…hand, while I write. And from the human realm Jennifer Cloud, my critique and soon to be writing partner. She nags the heck out of me but she’s stood by me through some of the ickiest times in the process.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Regan T.: Engaging all the senses, fully developed characters, a mystery of some sort, even if it’s a secret like in Miranda’s Heart where if Jason would have just told Miranda what was going on things would have been a lot less bumpy for them! Scenery…but not too much detail, just enough to paint an environment for the reader.
PNR: Could you tell us about the publication of your book, SPELL ACROSS TIME: THE PENTACLE? Where did the idea for the story come from? How do you develop your story ideas?
Regan T.: My baby. I started it when I was working as a non-sworn member of the police department and one of the officers pissed me off. I was beyond angry at him and hoped that I’d get to see his karma come back and bite him bad. I believe in karma, reincarnation and that spells can go bad if the caster doesn’t know what he or she is doing. I have been stalked myself and, as a therapist, I knew where to look for the information on just what their deal is. Mix it together and what if the reason creepy things happen to people is because of something they did a long long time ago and never took the time to figure out how or why. That became The Pentacle—the first book of the Spell Series. Book 2 is the Crystal Ball, still in draft mode and it moves Kelly along a bit on the law enforcement path. In future books she will be going to the police academy and moving up through the ranks in a local police department located in Northern California cleaning up the corruption that permeates that department. Mind you, it’s not a REAL department….just one I made up. Right?
The True Story of the Wicked Witch (currently the #1 best seller at Whiskey Creek, my publisher) came about from a dare from the publisher. I have long believed that they got the initial story wrong. Hansel and Gretel weren’t exactly sweet innocent kids. Oh no, it was that witch that was the victim!
The others, Miranda’s Heart, Indentured Bride, Traveling Bride—they all came from dreams.
PNR: The storyline of SPELL ACROSS TIME: THE PENTACLE revolves around a reincarnation, and is complex; what were the challenges you faced in story continuity and world building while maintaining reader interest?
Regan T.: Hmmm. Because I believe in reincarnation and karma it wasn’t really a challenge for me. Because I grew up in an environment where both were believed in and discussed I’m pretty used to explaining it. Putting it in words in a story wasn’t that difficult because it was just like telling someone who had questions about it. People who believe will understand it. People with questions, I hope, will understand a bit more. If someone has any interest in it at all they would be interested, at least to a point. I think most people like to consider possibilities—what if you did do something that went wrong in another life and you bound it so only you could change it? But because we do not remember the details of past lives, at least not like we remember a trip to the mall last week, we only have glimpses of what we did and what we need to do to undo it. Does that make sense?
PNR: Your heroine, Kelly, is being pursued by three men, each with their own agenda; could you tell us a little about the development of her character? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Regan T.: I think it’s actually Rick in Traveling Bride. He came as a total surprise to me. I first “met” him as Brett’s friend in Indentured Bride and he as just a supporting character. About half way through I realized Brett’s brothers should have stories too and it was going to be the Parker Brothers’ Brides series. Well, one night, in a dream, it came through that Rick should have a story as well. In fact, he demanded one. As I started the story it became clear that Rick had some serious issues to work through. Very much the wounded hero—more so than Brett. He was fascinating to write.
Kelly—well actually she is based on a character that was my alter ego in high school. I’ve always been kind of reclusive, preferring to sit in my room and read than to be around people. It didn’t mean I didn’t want adventure, I just didn’t want to actually go through it if that makes sense. So I kept a separate diary about Kelly and her adventures. I still have a few of them and she got into all kinds of scrapes. So she’s actually been around in my mind for about 40 years.
Challenging…..hmmmm. They all pretty much just happen. They seem to really have lives of their owns and show them to me in my dreams. As you can see, I really do believe in the mystical/metaphysical side of life.
PNR: SPELL ACROSS TIME: THE PENTACLE has a good balance of character focus and plot conflict. Do you find it difficult the juggle the two elements?
Regan T.: Thank you! No. Honest, the hardest part of the whole process was the editing. That’s where the rubber hits the road. The last read, the errata, is the hardest part for me because I know after that I will probably never read it again. It’s like saying good by to a friend. I always thought writing was so difficult, but I haven’t had the problems with fiction that I did with non-fiction.
PNR: SPELL ACROSS TIME: THE PENTACLE has its roots in the lost civilization of Atlantis. The mythology of Atlantis has long captured the imagination of readers. Why do you feel mythology in general, and Atlantis specifically, is such a popular theme in the paranormal romance genre? What is it about this genre that captures your imagination?
Regan T.: Yes! Atlantis! It has fascinated me since I was a kid. I still have vivid memories of the movie Atlantis the Lost Continent and I truly believe they were an advanced civilization—but I believe the reason we haven’t found it is because it’s on another planet. In Spell Across Time it’s here on Earth, but I personally believe it is on another planet and survives to this day.
What we hear of them, mostly through A.R.E., the Edgar Cayce Foundation, are from his readings about Atlantis and from Plato’s writings. They were smart, developed, civilized and by all accounts became so full of themselves they ultimately destroyed themselves. They were the first pagans-witches. I think with mythology and specifically Atlantis there is so much possibility, not just in our imaginations but in reality. They represent not only virtually every civilization that came after them, but each person. If you look at almost every great civilization, it grew and grew and thought it was smarter than the one before and then imploded. We, as individuals can do that too. Over time I’ve seen so many people, mainly women, turn to Witchcraft not so much for the spirituality it offers, but because they mistakenly think it is about being able to have personal gain…mostly to have someone fall in love with them. Atlanteans purportedly used their magic for their gain. But what if some of them survived? What if they are still among us? Would you go there if you could? Or would the stories of some of their experiments, i.e., cloning, stem cells, transplants, make you stay away?
For me the paranormal is about possibilities. It’s about going beyond our basic five senses and seeing more of what is there and what can be. To me, that is what Atlantis was—the possibilities. I have some outlines for stories about Atlantis—but where I think it was on another planet.
PNR: You have written erotic fantasy in THE TRUE STORY OF THE WICKED WITCH, Science Fiction in MIRANDA’S HEART and mythology themed fantasy/romantic suspense in SPELL ACROSS TIME: THE PENTACLE. What is your favorite genre to write? Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Regan T.: The Bride series starts out with 3 Westerns and moves into the present with a time travel. Book 5 was starting out to be a firm present day suspense, but somehow she has ended up back in either Atlantis or Greece…I still don’t have a fix on it. Book 6 is where I want to try to really stretch because I want to write an African American heroine. Sami’s best friend, Jazz, in Traveling Bride is African American and I want to give Jazz her own story. I want to do it well and do it right and I’m fortunate that one of my closest friends is African American and will help me do it well. My characters to a point are multi-cultural, but this will be a big stretch for me.
The Treasures Antique Store series, the first of which is the Photograph has limitless possibilities of genres. You go into Mr. Merle’s Treasures Antique Store and your wildest dreams will come true. Book 1 is a time travel, book 2 is for my sister, Dorothy, who died in 1963 of leukemia. For a long time I wanted to do something special in her memory and her story where she will get to fly in a space shuttle is the venue I’ve found will work. If you go to my website you will see that I have a few links to the causes that are near and dear to my heart including Feed the Animals and the Breast Cancer cell phone project.
My favorite genre I think is western and/or time travel. I love reading a good western or a time travel and you put those two together and I’m in heaven. So I have to wonder what an 1860’s cowboy would do with himself in Atlantis.
PNR: Could you tell readers what your plans are for the SPELL ACROSS TIME series? Will we be seeing favorite characters from previous stories?
Regan T.: The Spell Across Time Series will be 8 books, each one centered around the witch’s tools. Book 2 is the Crystal Ball, Book 3 is the Anthame and will be followed by the Cauldron, Boolen, Broom, Cards and Runes. In book 2 Kelly comes to terms with her past…her whole past…and by the end of book 2 she is on her way to the police academy. She will continue to have flashbacks to her past lives, including the one in Atlantis.
PNR: Can you tell us about the projects are you currently working on, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Regan T.: I have a full time day job and a part time job as the Review Coordinator for Whiskey Creek Press as well as editing for two publishers so that kind of keeps me busy. But I do have my commitment to myself which is my writing.
My critique partner (Jennifer Cloud) and I are writing a paranormal suspense together. I have so much respect for Jennifer and love her work….she takes your worst childhood fears and brings them to life on the pages happening as an adult. She can be so creepy! At first I wasn’t sure how we’d mix her outstanding horror/suspense with my sweet but it’s looking VERY good.
I am working on book 2 of the Crystal Ball, have the first of the Treasures stories out for submission and am looking for a home for the Bride series. I have a start on Mistaken Bride (Kendrick’s story) and Dorothy’s story for book 2 of the Treasures. I figure that should keep me out of trouble for a while <G>
I have some excerpts on my website www.Regantaylor.com as well as my character blogs for both Spell Across Time and the Bride Series.
PNR: Thank you, Regan, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?
Regan T.: Thank you! Thought provoking questions, especially on Atlantis. Question for you... would you go to Atlantis if you could? You can find me at www.Regantaylor.com and my characters at: http://spellacrosstimethepentacle.blogspot.com and http://brideseries.blogspot.com
Whiskey Creek PressA love story that transcends time. She was destined for one man, fell in love with another, and in ancient Atlantis, cast a spell that joined them through time. That spell brought them together in lifetime after lifetime. In each one, she met her destiny and the one she wanted to love. Now she must decide once and for all which is her one true love, her soul mate…will she find him before the other ends her life?
February 1, 2007
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Mardi Gras Publishing
November 1, 2006
Five hundred years ago descendants of Earth, living on Eadron and Martan entered into a war because an Eadroni accidentally killed a Martan woman. Over the centuries, in retaliation, raiders from Martan kidnapped the women of Eadron and they were sold as slaves. When Jason Dumont of Martan first lays eyes on Miranda of Eadron at a slave auction, he knows she is the woman he has spent a life time searching for. He buys her, brings her home and takes her to his bed. Never having courted a woman because of attention his career, bedding them only when the urge would strike, he is at a loss of what to do with Miranda except to know she is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. There is one looming problem, The Accord. While at first terrified of her new life on Martan, Miranda finds herself falling in love with Jason. Before long she is as much in love with him as he is of her. But she also has a secret she does not tell him. Miranda grows from a shy, timid, political pawn to a woman in her own right. She fears angering Jason more because she doesn't want to lose him than of any fear for her own safety. Slowly but surely she comes into her own. Jason's goal is to win Miranda's Heart, at the end they have won each others.
Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
November 1, 2006
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You know that old story of Hansel and Gretel? That fairy tale that they tell unsuspecting little children? How the pair stumble on the “wicked witch’s” house, and how she acted nice and then prepared to eat them? Well, that isn’t exactly what happened or how. First of all, they weren’t kids. Not by any stretch. And that bread crumb thing? It was a picnic designed to seduce. Yup. And that whole “wicked witch” thing…witches aren’t wicked. No they are not. They are misunderstood, often very sexy, and always sensual women that people just don’t take time to really get to know. And that “eating them” thing? Yeah, well, there’s eating and then there’s eating, if you get my drift. And how do I know all this? Well I was there. My name is Molly and I’m a witch, and this is my story.
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