On your web page, you talk about how travel and reading. How have they combined to affect your writing?
Sloan Taylor: As a child I loved to read because it was a great escape from my world. When I married my husband worked for an airline which made travel overseas easy and cheap. Now I've been married a couple of times and haven't exactly lived like a saint so much of what I write is taken from experience. Places and people I've met along the way. Although I have to admit a lot of the sex stuff is wishful thinking. Now Allie, to finally answer your question; I write what I know, except for the wishful thinking then it's what I want in a relationship.
As an RWA Member, how do you think RWA feels about the ebook industry?
Sloan Taylor: Hmm, how to answer without committing author suicide? I'm a member of Passionate Ink which is an RWA chapter of erotica writers. We had a long and difficult journey before RWA recognized us. It's the same with e-books. I think it's to the point where RWA has no choice but to accept the change in the publishing world. I have a friend in the printing business who is convinced by the next century printed material will be a thing of the past, everything will be E.
Your list of favorite books is an eclectic mix, from Harry Potter to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. What is it about a book that makes it a favorite?
Sloan Taylor: The grab is the intensity of the story, how long it stays in my mind. I read Solzhenitsyn in 1976. Yes, I was only two when I read it!! Okay, so I was really well past my first marriage. Damn, I hate this honesty stuff. Anyhow - I've always hated injustice to people and animals. Yeah, I'm a softy. I love to see the underdog win.
What first got you started writing?
Sloan Taylor: I've always kept a journal since before dirt was invented and letter writing was one of my favorite hobbies. It was always easy for me to write how I felt about a situation rather than say the words. One day, what now seems like eons ago, this sensation, like a roiling, continued to build. Along with the weird feelings came pictures, silent movies of modern day with people I'd never seen. I thought I was losing my mind. To self-treat I wrote out everything that was making my brain ache. Next thing I knew I had this book.
Why erotica/romantic erotica?
Sloan Taylor: I'm a romantic at heart so I write romance. At a conference I'd met an editor from Silhouette who wanted my work. The book went through two readers before it was rejected. Her letter was uplifting as she had written my work was mainstream, not category, and I should reconsider my choice of publishers. Sounded good to me. It always bothered me to write about shafts of steel and womanly cores
What kind of writer are you?
Sloan Taylor: Lazy is probably not the answer you're looking for. I'm a pure mutt because I plot and wing it. I start a book by doing a characterization on my hero and heroine. There's also a spiral notebook with tons of info on my WIP. Somehow it's never enough and all of a sudden these pictures form in my mind and the book takes on a whole new angle. I also make a collage of the local, language, what the characters look like - all the characters - a map of the country
How do you approach the blank page?
Sloan Taylor: Like it's my sworn enemy. Just kidding. Every morning I work two crossword puzzles while I drink my hot water and lime. The pictures come to me like a movie clips and off I run (do you actually believe I run anywhere?) to enter these scenes into the computer. Must be the puzzles and lime combo that relax my mind and let it all come together.
Explain any writing habits or quirks you have.
Sloan Taylor: I really hate to admit my little foibles because people will think I'm crazier than I am. The first is word count which is supreme. I check it constantly and almost sob when I have to delete something. Pathetic huh?
Second, to relax my mind after a long writing session, I play Spider Solitaire. It's a bad habit but I'm totally addicted. I'm also a bad player.
What is your philosophy of reading/writing?
Sloan Taylor: Read what interests you. Be sure to step beyond the genre you write. It will fill you out as a person and you won't be a bore at parties.
Writing is a different matter. I'd say you have to go with what you love. I love romance and I really love sex. Like the old adage - I write what I know, but even more so, I write what I want.
Who are your writing role models?
Sloan Taylor: Beth Anderson, who is also my mentor. Without her patience and humor I would never have been published. She is truly dedicated to her profession. It's amazing how she can tune out the world and write for hours.
There's a host of authors who are prolific and wise. I can't name another one without looking like a suck up.
What is the best writing advice you ever got?
Sloan Taylor: If you want to write then do it. Sit your ass in the chair and write.
What (writing) advice do you give others?
Sloan Taylor: It's a career, one you chose. Treat it like any other job even if there isn't a weekly paycheck. Show up on time, do your job like you're getting reviewed bi-yearly, and prove to the boss you've got the stamina to do it.
Has your writing evolved?
Sloan Taylor: Good Lord, yes. If you saw my first attempts you'd probably still be laughing.
Where do you see your writing going in the next ten years?
Sloan Taylor: True crime and a series of children's books. How's that for diversification?
How do you jumpstart your writing when you hit a red light or when your ascii wastebacket gets filled up with wads of ascii paper?
Sloan Taylor: You mean after I stop banging my head against my glass desk? I take a long drive with a notebook and pen on the passenger seat. For some reason battling expressway traffic allows me to think clearly and revitalizes me.
Can you talk about your most recent publication?
Sloan Taylor: TEDDI TURNS ON is about a widow who owns a travel agency. Gee, what a surprise! I used to be in the same situation. Teddi gets screwed over by a German tour operator on a group tour contract. Her only recourse is to confront him, face-to-face, and force him to honor their agreement. Along the way she meets David, who owns a successful boot manufacturing company. He's not a cold man, sex is an important part of his life, commitment is not. Teddi hasn't yet learned to let go of the past. The attraction she feels for David brings on guilt she doesn't know how to deal with. Their story is a learning experience for both people.
What else do you have in the works?
Sloan Taylor: TEDDI TURNS ON is the first of four in THE MAGNIFICENT MEN OF MUNICH series which is based on four German university friends who have become successful men in their chosen fields. Their lives weave in and out of each others', leaving little time for women unless it's a one-night stand. Each man has a problem from their past they refuse to face. The four American women these guys hook up with all have a connection of some sort to the travel agency. Each has a unique strength that attracts their man, thus allowing him to recognize and overcome his weakness. The books are, of course, erotica and get hotter as the series progresses.
Thanks for allowing me to blather on. I've enjoyed spending time with you and this opportunity.
Thank you Sloan for visiting with us.