Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas my fine followers. . .

Christmas Eve morning and I'm all done with the shopping and wrapping, and have cookie mix ready to go for when my sister and her family arrive. Now I'm just relaxing and alternating between editing and watching television with the kids.

As I sit here and reflect on 2009, I figured I'd do one last blog to recap our year. I still can't believe 2009 is almost over!

Let’s see, this year was a very busy year starting with celebrating New Years in New Hampshire, a trip to the Carolina’s in February, a business conference in Orlando in March, a writer’s conference in New York City in May, a wedding in Nashville on July 4th, and summer vacations in Maine. Beyond the traveling, we also had school dances, spring sports, recitals, and rondoris, your basic mayhem with the kid’s schedule.

My son won an award in his Jukido Rondori, taking the first place trophy in his division. He also jumped up to a yellow 2 belt and continues to do well. He also pitched his first game in little league this past spring. The boy is a natural and the next sport he wants to tackle is football. So in 2010 it looks like he’ll get that wish.

My daughter graduated from middle school and chose to attend a high school for the arts. She is now dancing 4-6 hours a day along with her academics and has limited her extra curricular dancing schedule to only one class, but it’s a competing Hip Hop class and I’m told they may be competing in New York City in February.

This summer we had the pleasure of housing two college girls from Missouri who were working for the Southwestern Company doing the most hideous job I can think of - door to door sales. They fast became members of the family and when they left, it was like a blanket of solemn silence descended on our home. We truly miss them.

Both my husband and I continue to enjoy our day jobs. He is still playing in the APA (American Pool Association) at his brother's bar every Tuesday and whooping my butt every time we play at home. Maine was relaxing as always, unfortunately this year the fish weren’t biting and he came home empty handed most of the time, but he did reel in a couple striper and we got some stellar fish chowder courtesy of our neighbors at the campground. He was able to get a few golf excursions in between the rain storms and we got a rare treat at the end of the season, a clear warm day and we joined our neighbors on a kayak venture up the York River.

As for me, I’ve had a busy year between work, writing and a new assistant editorship for Allegory e-zine as well as the general taxi service on the home front. But by far the biggest news of the season is the publishing contract I landed for Survival Games.

Survival Games - an erotic thriller - will be released in both e-book and paperback on July 19, 2010 and can be picked up through my publisher or from You can now pre-order the Kindle version on Amazon!

Well that about wraps up the recap. I hope this finds you safe and warm during this holiday season.

Here’s to a Merry Christmas and a safe, joyous and prosperous 2010!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

JETaylor on writing Survival Games . . .

Now that Survival Games is going to see the light of day, I can share some of the more amusing stories relating to explaining the plot to folks like my family and my co-workers.

This was the first book I wrote when my family gave me carte-blanc to go for it and I'll tell you - after 20 years of not writing, the words sailed out. It took me less than a month to get the story on paper - of course after that it took two and a half years to refine it to what will be published - but the original book spilled out like a levy crumbling under a flood. And when I was done, I looked at what I created and had a 'holy shit' moment.

The book is dark and twisted, intense and graphic and I didn't realize I had that level of darkness in me - and the first draft of this book was much harsher than what will be in print in July - but regardless, I figured I'd better get over the WASP-bred embarrassment of creating something so controversial and steamy.

So I asked my father to read it.

Yes, my father.

Well, I'm sure I shocked the hell out of him but he didn't say much regarding how he felt about his little girl writing erotica or such a horrific tale. The one thing he did say is that it had a lot of sex - but he amended that by saying the subject matter warranted it and considering the plot line, he thought it was appropriate and not gratuitous. Overall he liked the story.

So after the slightly awkward conversation, he asked if I was done with the second book yet. He wanted to read that too - wanted to know what happened to the characters from the first book and as any writer knows, this is the best feeling in the world.

Ok - so I tested the waters with a co-worker and I'll tell you, the looks she gave me after she started the book - it was all I could do not to laugh every time I saw her. And then one day she asked a priceless question - she asked if I could teach her to dance because my main character in the book knows how to dance.

I did laugh then, because I have no rhythm what-so-ever. Two left feet and then some. And she thought there was reality based in the book. The only shred of “me” in the book is the fact that my favorite color is described. That’s where reality ends; the rest is just a figment of my imagination and a reflection of my nightmares.

I said, "Oh honey, the book is FICTION - I can't dance."

Needless to say she was both embarrassed and relieved.

The next slightly awkward moment was right after I announced to my co-workers that I got a publishing contract. It was one of those not so politically correct moments. Most of my co-workers know I’ve got an unpublished FBI agent series, but most of them didn't know about the erotica, so well, you can imagine the raised eyebrows.

My boss had announced to a group - did you know JET got a publishing contract? And of course, someone asked what type of book.

“It’s an Erotic Thriller.”

"Oh neurotic thriller? Like something by Woody Allen?"

I laughed and said "No - EROTIC thriller, like something by Jackie Collins." Bad example - but all it was all I could think of at the moment and while I turned about five shades of red - my co-worker tripled that. To lighten the shocked silence I added. “But I'm the one who’s neurotic."

So after tackling my parents and my co-workers, I feel confident I’ll be able to speak coherently and not turn sixty shades of red when I participate in a panel called "You write your mother with that pen?" at the Backspace Conference in New York City in May about incorporating sex scenes into your novels.

Anybody else have some fun stories about explaining their novels to friends and family? I’d love to hear them.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

Hello! It's snowing in CT and I figured I've neglected my blog long enough. The stew is on the stove simmering and the Christmas shopping is done, so I've got no more excuses. :)

November was a mad rush of a month - my first Nano and I didn't hit my goal. In the past 2 years I've done 4 successful Writing Marathons through Backspace hitting 50k or more in a month each pass but not this year.

This year it went by the wayside because I just didn't have the story fully baked in my head. I could sit here and blame it on the day job or sifting through the Allegory submissions or even on the edits for Survival Games or the holidays even, but every one of those reasons is just a lame excuse.

My brain was more centered on the things I need to do in the Games series, and the fixes I want to make in the FBI series. I do have 3 partial stories started and waiting for the timer to go off, but until I clean up the existing ones, I really can't seem to focus.

I did have some success with short stories though. I've written one for an eXcessica anthology and am editing my way through the second as we speak. I also have a third one due by year end and I don't know if I'll make that deadline with all the other items on my plate - but I'm sure going to try!

In the meantime, the release date for Survival Games was moved from May to July - just in time for the summer heat. :)

Well, the big fluffy flakes are falling and the fire is cranked in the wood stove, so it's time to get back to the creative side of writing.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy holiday!