Monday, February 17, 2014


I'M WITH YOU is now back from the editor and I've been spending every spare moment polishing my manuscript.
Release date is March 30, 2014.

Sadly, I discovered that this image has been used as a book cover already.


I still love it though. The coloring on my book cover is very different. So I'm keeping it!

SIERRA is also undergoing a good editing. A few mistakes were kindly brought to my attention and now I cringe every time I sell a copy of this book. I hate mistakes and I want them fixed yesterday! The story line will not change, the manuscript will simply undergo a bit of a polishing.
(Just for the record, I do know the difference between vain/vein and bear/bare. Unforgivable mistakes that I didn't catch!)
While I'm at it, I have decided to add the UNPUBLISHED EPILOGUE to the novel. 
When I published SIERRA I was worried about the word count. The epilogue is 5,000 words. SIERRA is a 100,000 word novel. If someone is willing to invest their time into this novel, they deserve an epilogue! What's 5,000  more words when you've already read 100,000 words?
I've also noticed that some readers feel the novel ends too abruptly. Hopefully, the epilogue will provide some needed closure and give readers a more satisfying ending. While the epilogue is not crucial--or even necessary--to the story, I enjoy the glimpse into Alex and Alyssa's life.
The UNPUBLISHED EPILOGUE has previously been posted on my blog. You can read it here.

Did you know my inspiration for SIERRA came from a TRUE story?
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 (Abduction, 1987 by Vidmark Entertainment) 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?

Here's the story of Kari Swenson, taken from Wikipedia:

On 15 July 1984, Swenson was abducted near Big Sky, Montana during a training run on her favorite cross-country route. She was held captive for over 18 hours, most of it spent chained to a tree. A search party was organized when she was overdue.

Swenson had been abducted by father and son pair Don and Dan Nichols, two experienced survivalists who had designs to make Swenson the son's bride and start a family in the mountains. A friend of hers, Alan Goldstein, accidentally stumbled onto the Nichols camp and was killed by Don Nichols, and Swenson was shot through a lung by Dan Nichols. Spooked by the turn of events, the two Nichols abandoned their camp, leaving Swenson chained to a tree. She sat alone with her dead friend for over four hours before being discovered by the posse.

The Nicholses evaded capture until December, 1984. Both men were eventually tried separately in Virginia City by prosecutor Marc Racicot. In May 1985, Dan Nichols was sentenced to 20 years for kidnapping and misdemeanor assault. In September 1985, Don Nichols was sentenced to 85 years for kidnapping, murder, and aggravated assault and remains in prison. Dan Nichols was released on parole in 1991. Dan Nichols was again in trouble with the law in 2011 when he was allegedly caught with marijuana that he intended to sell at a concert. In May 2012, Dan Nichols was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Swenson completed physical rehabilitation in time to compete in the world championships, winning a bronze medal, despite having only 80% lung capacity.

When people say SIERRA is unrealistic, I think to myself, just ask Kari Swenson. She'll set you straight!

As most of you know, JOSHUA'S FOLLY is different from my other novels.
One reviewer even called it Taylor's Folly. 
She also called the plot preposterous.
People have asked me, "What was your motivation for writing this novel?"
Good question. The answer is personal.
When my father was only three years old, his father took him for a drive--a drive that my father still remembers to this day. During this ill-fated drive, his father announced to him that he was leaving and he wasn't coming back.
My father's parents were divorcing.
His father moved to Kansas and my father never heard from him again, not once. Not a card on his birthday, not a phone call, NOTHING. EVER AGAIN.
This has greatly affected my father throughout his life. I can't imagine how such an experience would make you feel. Your parents are supposed to be the people who love you the most in this world. What kind of insecurities must it create when you are denied that love?
In JOSHUA'S FOLLY, I wanted to explore the affects of childhood trauma on our adult lives.
The story hits close to home and that's why I wrote it.
Some people like it, and some don't.
And that's okay.

A little back-story . . .
An agent worked with me on this novel, making it into a contemporary novel.
It used to include a story of child abuse, attempted assault, and kidnapping.
Too much? Maybe.
But sometimes I wonder if I should've left those plot elements in the book! It certainly would've been more exciting!
Ah, hindsight.
The agent wanted me to remove the wedding at the end and have Josh and Marisa "make love earlier in the story." 
I wasn't comfortable with that.
He was very polite when I told him I didn't want to do that and said he didn't want me to write anything that I wasn't comfortable with. But, he also said there was nothing more he could do for me and we ended our contract.
That was a tough day for me, but I couldn't go against my beliefs--and I don't want to write about pre-marital sex.

At the same time, not everyone considers my novels to be Clean Romance.
Go figure.

So . . . these are my thoughts on a sunny Monday in February.

What are you thinking about today?


  1. Hi, Taylor :) #1 I like your cover better...the colors and the tree being offset. #2 Who cares if people think Sierra is not believable :P I love the story and knowing the Kari story behind it is like wow! #3 I am so glad you didn't cave and put in pre-marital sex! <3 Keep writing your style because I love and appreciate clean romance!

    1. Hi Christy! #1 I do too. Thanks for the vote of confidence! #2 You're right, I write to entertain, above all, so believability is not always my main concern! The Kari story is amazing; it always resonated with me. #3 Thank you. Just couldn't do it. Goes against everything I believe in.
      THANK YOU for your sweet comment--and your constant support!

  2. I agree with you Christy!!!! Taylor, if there were any errors in Sierra, I was too involved to notice and I usually catch things like misspellings. lol I get lost in a really good novel and do not expect it to read like true crime or real life. I have seen many covers used more than once for novels. If you listen to everyone, you may never publish again. LOL I think you are doing a great job!

    1. Thank you for saying that about Sierra, Sherry. I can't see it clearly now, I'm too close to it and all I see are the mistakes. I needed to hear that, so thank you!
      The other day I was speaking with my daughter who was struggling with the plot of her own novel. She expressed that people on social media were knocking all kinds of plots in books and it was stressing her out because her plot included some of those things. I told her to STOP listening to what the world was saying--and sit down and write what SHE loves and don't think about what anyone else will think. That's the only way you can write from your heart and produce something that is uniquely you. My best books are the ones wherein I stuck to my guns and kept the plot the way I wanted it to be.
      If I constantly listened to what everyone else was saying, I'd lose my muse and never write again. So I appreciate your comment--it's something authors have to constantly remind themselves of! Me especially! Thank you!

  3. This was such an awesome, informative post. I love the backstory about Kari's story and the reasons behind Joshua's Folly. As always, I am one of your greatest fans and love all your stories. But it's true that authors can't please everyone, so you have to have thick skin and let the mean reviews slide off and not bother you. So excited for I'm With You.

    1. Thank you, Charissa! You are so sweet! I do not have a thick skin, unfortunately. Drives my family crazy. Good reviews leave me ecstatic, bad reviews leave me plummeting. It's something I need to learn how to handle. I appreciate your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the information in this post. In the beginning I thought I didn't have much to say, then it all came pouring out!

  4. Your cover is the best Taylor. You know I'm a huge fan of them!
    I remember seeing the kidnapping on the news and I saw a movie about it too. It's interesting where you got your inspiration.
    About the edits. I didn't catch those errors either and I read it twice!
    Joshua's Folly was sweet and innocent and life lifting. I'm glad you stuck to your guns.

    1. Yay! I'm glad you love my covers, Laura. So wonderful to hear. I don't know why the Kari story affected me so deeply. Maybe because it's every woman's worst nightmare. I also loved the idea of a handsome hero rescuing her . . . enter Alex Kendrick!
      I'm thankful to hear that you didn't catch the mistakes in Sierra--makes me feel a little better. I didn't believe they were there, till I checked my manuscript and found them. Ugh. Not okay. But it will soon be remedied and I'll be able to sleep at night!
      I greatly appreciate your kind thoughts about Joshua's Folly, even though it wasn't your favorite of my books. Your reviews are always kind and that means a lot to me! Thank you!