An Interview with Mystery Author Regan Taylor
Welcome to my mysterious blog. Mystery writer Regan Taylor is my featured author today, and her background is fascinating. Here’s the cover of her latest book, THE GLASS CAGE.
In early childhood Regan became an avid reader of the classics. Alexander Dumas and Charles Dickens carried her away to different times and places, and she was hooked for life. She found that she preferred a good book in the quiet of her room, to noisy crowds. Taylor traveled far beyond those four walls, and developed a strong imagination. It was while working as a police dispatcher (first for the California Highway Patrol and then her local police department) that she began to write fiction, primarily time travels and romantic suspense. Her favorite thing is writing in her bunny slippers, with her fur-faced children: Mel, Missy and Bogie, curled around her feet.
To start the interview Regan, We’d love to hear about your work-in-progress. What could you tell us?
I’m about ready to start the third book in my McKenna crime series, The ROOMMATE. Anyone who has ever had a roommate will understand the issues that come up simply because of different personalities. Not all endings are happy ones. I had one roommate for seven years and despite differences now and again we persevered and talked through things. We went through each other’s job changes, romances and issues around aging parents. Since then I’ve had a diverse group of people move in and out, each with their own unique personalities. And a few of them were so over the top their characteristics beg to be in one of my books.
I knew when I was writing book 2 of the series, THE GLASS CAGE, that Kelly’s original roommate would be moving on. It’s time for Kelly and her guy to move their relationship to the next level and to do that space needed to happen in her living situation. In book 3 a transitional roommate moves in and she has more problems and issues that any one person should have to deal with. When the roommate stumbles on criminal activity Kelly gets drawn into the morass.
THE GLASS CAGE sounds very interesting. I always think that bringing your protagonist’s personal problems into the mystery adds a lot of depth, and makes the story more compelling, at least to this reader.
Next question: What do you do when you’re not writing?
I work a 40 hour a week day job as a legal secretary.
Ah ha! More grist for your writer’s mill, I’ll bet. We’ve been talking mostly about your work, so let’s skip to fun stuff. What gives you the most pleasure in life?
My three cats, writing and reading. I’m pretty much a loner and my alone time is incredibly special to me. Sitting with the kitties while reading or writing is like heaven for me.
So your life revolves around your writing. Who designed your book cover? Did you have any say in the matter, and were you pleased with the final result?
Skylar Sinclair designed both my covers for the McKenna Crime series. I told her what I wanted and since she knows me well, she got it right the first time out. We wanted to stick with the same couple on the cover, and then create a scene from the book to appear on the bottom half. Skylar has an amazing flair for the dramatic and strong sense of what draws readers to a book.
Do you have a personal quirk that you have given to one of your characters?
Just one? My cats appear in some form in each of my books either as themselves or at least their names.
I’m an animal lover myself, so I totally understand. On this same note, do you find yourself talking to your characters when you’re doing ordinary tasks such as putting on makeup, washing dishes, driving your car?
Oh gosh, yes! And not-so-ordinary things, also; especially when I find myself stuck, and I’m not sure which way to go. I believe that most of us use only 10% of our brain, but when we write, act, paint or engage in other creative pursuits we tap into that other 90%. I believe that our characters are parts of us, including the bad guys. Even though we would never carry out a particular act, most of us at least fantasize about nasty people receiving their just deserts. So when I find myself getting stuck I have a dialogue with the characters, even the secondary ones, and ask them what they think should happen.
Have you ever found yourself growing too fond of a villain? How does this affect your story and how do you deal with the problem; assuming it is a problem for you?
Yes! In THE SPELL the bad guy almost got off without any punishment for his crime until my editor said, “you know, in real life that wouldn’t happen.”
For a change of pace, let’s get back to your cats. Tell us about this special relationship.
Actually, I’m on the staff of my three cats. Mel is a 13 year old white Persian, Bogie is a black feral and Missy thinks she’s Queen of the Universe. She’s also black. I call them my Oreos. They are my constant companions and actually have quite a following on Facebook, themselves. Each kitty unique with his or her own strong personality.
What are you reading now and who are your favorite authors?
Because I commute an hour each way every day, I read 3-4 books a week. What I’m reading today will change in a day or so. My favorite authors are Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rogers, Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to research a book, and if someone else pays expenses, where would you pick?
That ‘someone’ would have to figure out how to buy me a time travel ticket! My choice would be to go to Atlantis and see just how accurate Plato was about their civilization.
That would be an interesting trip, although you’d probably have a hard time finding a travel agent to make the plans.
Thanks a million for dropping by and chatting, Regan.
Readers, send Regan your comments and questions. I’m sure she would be glad to respond. Here are a couple of links so you find out more about our author.