Sloane Taylor

Sloane Taylor

Welcome this month, Sloane Taylor, author of Teddi Turns On, available from Triskelion Publishing. Sloane has three more books under contract with Triskelion, based on her Magnificent Men of Munich series. You can visit Sloane’s website, at www.SloaneTaylor.com

Sloane is a first time published author and she’s going to start off by giving us a peek inside her daily journal and how she juggles family and writing.


The Sloane Taylor Diaries: Day One

The Sloane Taylor Diaries: Day Two

The Sloane Taylor Diaries: Day Three


Sloane Taylor on the Craft of Writing

Questions for Sloane Taylor


Bio of Sloane Taylor:

The best thing my parents taught me was to read. The best thing my first husband taught me was to travel. What a combination! As an adult I discovered reading on vacation was the epitome of self-indulgence. My favorite reads were and still are fiction. Escaping into an author’s dream world forced my mundane life into the background.

I’ve kept a diary since before bound books and rarely miss a day of entering something. One day my insides simmered and then boiled into a story that had to be told. The words finally cooked up into a novel not fit for category romance. The editor told me it was too mainstream, too explicit. Explicit? thinks I. Okay, so maybe there weren’t any shafts of hot steel or womanly cores, but come on, who the hell really has those?

Now I have the best of all worlds, writing erotic romance set in exotic foreign countries.

Like every other writer, I was sure if I hadn’t at least written the Great American Novel it was in the top two. From Jan Springer’s class, several of us formed what has become the Brazen Vixens group.

Through all these patient and talented people life has become sweet. I’m a member of RWA and proudly hold PRO status. Chicago-North, Love Designers, and Passionate Ink are the three chapters I belong to. For several years I’ve reviewed new releases for Rendezvous and now Passionate Ink. You can read some of them under my Review link. I also hosted Vacations Can Be Fun, a weekly travel show on cable TV, as Sharon Chafin.

I was born and raised in Chicago then lived in Houston for two years with my first husband. A second marriage brought me back to the Midwest where I’ve remained to be close to my wonderful daughter and her terrific family. Not too proud, am I? Every possible moment is spent with Studly DooRight, my mate for the remainder of my life, either at our home in Lansing, IL or our weekend cottage in Highland, IN. I love to cook for them whenever they’ll let me.

Sloane Taylor on the Craft of Writing

Q: Can you describe your office setup and why you have it that way?

A: Again this dear friend offered her opinion so I went the feng shui way.

I’m in a room dedicated to writing. My desk faces the door on a slant. I love angled furniture, don’t know why. There’s this fantastic floral and black settee that I use when my bony rear is tired of the computer chair. A blue lapis world globe stands by the door. The windows are on my right side. All the tools I need, dictionaries, translation books, etc. are on an old trunk under the windows. Directly across are my overloaded built-in bookcases and the collage of my current WIP. The walls are very pale lavender with charcoal and ink black framed pictures. There’s plenty of natural light as well as table lamps. The atmosphere is very conducive to writing.

My desk is another issue we probably shouldn’t discuss. LOL.

Q:What books are on your reference shelf?

A: Probably way too many. I freely and ashamedly admit I have books that I’ve never read once they hit the shelf. The ones I use daily are Roget’s Super Thesaurus and J.L. Rodale’s The Synonym Finder along with two Webster dictionaries. Because my books take place in Europe there are several language dictionaries from Germany and Italy. And of course, the bible for all writers, The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. The other two important reference books are Daily Sex and Pocket Karma Sutra which I should utilize more often.

Q: Your Blogs contain a lot of hard earned lessons on writing, thank you. Why did you post them?

A: I’d learned everything from my CPS who are a small group of talented and patient women. It was important to me that other new writers move forward and not waste as much time as I had.

Q: What’s the worst advice ever given to you regarding your writing?

A: There were two pieces of bad advice;
My writing was good. You should have seen that first pile of liter box filler.

Write category romance. I wasted a lot of time trying to be a round peg.

Q: What’s the best advice given to you regarding your writing?

A: Quit your day job. Jan Springer told me I had a God given talent and not to waste it.

Q: Your favorite books run the gamut, romance, mystery, fantasy, philosophical, how do these different genres influence your own writing?

A: You know how we’re always taught to read the genre we want to write? That’s missing waaaay too much good writing.

A book has to grab me in the first page, preferably the opening paragraph. Not very unique, am I? LOL. My favorites all begin with a throat grabber, at least to me.

The variations in style allow me to stretch my mind. I love to write fantasy scenes in the character’s head. Let them explore their sexual desires without embarrassment. Just like we all do. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series taught me how to write fantasy with depth.

Beth Anderson, James Patterson, and Kathy Reichs books taught me how to plot a manuscript, even though I wasn’t writing suspense. Through their worked I also learned not to dump the entire back story all at once, boring the reader to suicide.

Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight Run is great for the sensitive feelings required in monogamous erotica. Jenna Howard’s addition to the Zodiac Series educated me on the finer points of writing a sexy novel. The Good Girls Guide to Sex filled me in on positions and attitudes I never knew existed.

London by Edward Rutherford and The Word by Irving Wallace proved to me facts have to be researched and then checked again.

Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is the perfect example of accepting your life and rising above it.

I needed to read each of those books over my lifetime to comprehend the depth a writer must achieve.

Q: You’re working on your Magnificent Men of Munich books. How did you come up with this series? What is it about each of your heroines you like?

A: It was a fluke. I love Europe. I especially love German men. Like I said before, it all started when these pictures began to ramble through my head. As I jotted down the scenes more characters and their actions reeled through my gray cells. Sometimes I got headaches because the pictures came to fast to record. There was never a conscious action to write a book let alone create a series. Once I did start the process it soon became apparent there was too much for one story. If I wanted these people to leave me in peace I had to write a series.

The four heroines are different personalities. Teddi Howard is unsure of herself without any need to feel that way. Lonnie Copley is almost too sure of herself and gets tripped up at every turn. Francine Daniels is a hard and bitter woman. Isabella Carrington is a spoiled rich kid.

What do I like about them? They are feisty and each of these women has a lot to give. Their facades are self made. They grow and learn their real value through the right man.

Questions for Sloane Taylor:

If you have any questions for Sloane Taylor, send them to YasminePhoenix@aol.com

Here are Sloane Taylor’s answers to questions on Writing:

Q: I’ve read your Bio, what about reading made you believe you could write?

A: Nothing! One day all these pictures began to flood my mind. They were like silent movie, no dialogue, just action. It was driving me crazy. Actually, I thought I was losing my mind. I figured if I wrote this stuff down I could clear my head. It worked and I ended up with an abundance of adjectives and adverbs that would make an English teacher puke. Talk about your purple prose.

Q: Before you discovered, erotica, what did you write?

A: CRAP! Yes ma’am. Just ask my critique partners.

Q: How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold to Triskelion Publishing?

A: Just this one which was why I was amazed Triskelion bought it. When the excellent reviews came in I was even more surprised. I’m guessing many authors feel the same way.

Q: What is the good part of a writing day for you?

A: When the world leaves me alone.

A very dear friend returned from the RWA conference and brought me a doorknob hanger that reads, “STOP! 1. Are you bleeding? 2. Is the house on fire? If the answers are NO then GO AWAY!” I’ve changed my answering machine message to a variation of that. Not many of my friends are happy, but I can’t allow them to disrupt me.

Q: What is a bad writing day for you?

A: When I go blank. Not writer’s block, but when my logical mind is too full of every day life and refuses to let the creative side have her way.

Q: What erotica writers and/or romance writers have inspired you in your own writing?

A: TOUGH question, Yasmine and one I’m going to shun. See, it’s difficult to use just one or two names and not offend someone. So let’s suffice it to say that when I reviewed for Rendezvous a treasure trove of excellent authors was right at my fingertips. I do believe a writer must read books in the genre. We learn so much on technique that way.

Q: Describe how you and Triskelion hooked up?

A: Terey Ramin and I met at Autumn Authors’ Affair October of 2005 where I offered to buy her a drink. I pitched, she listened. We finally agreed on three chapters and a synopsis as my submission even though she wanted the full novel. What really got me were the diverse topics we discussed after the pitch. Terey spent over an hour listening to me babble.

Q: Describe, in brief printable words, your first, third and last reaction to Triskelion buying, Teddi Turns On?

A: Hehehe. I was sitting in my bathrobe drinking my usual hot water and lime when my inbox dings. I’d already sent an email to Terey apologizing for not having the rest of the novel to her. Personal situations had caused a major delay. So here’s this email from Terey and I’m positive she was telling me to take a hike. Instead she wrote how she understood the stress I was under and if it wouldn’t be more stressful would I sign the attached contract and get it back to her ASAP. That beautiful email is framed and sitting proudly on my trunk.

The first reaction was shock. I had sent her the pages because she was kind and hopefully her rejection would be as well.

When the reality of it all hit, I was screaming, crying, and jumping all over the house. Not a pretty sight, but who cared. Hell, I was going to be PUBLISHED.

I emailed Terey six times during this frenzy trying to be coherent. Each time she came back with understanding and humor. Once I emailed Kristi Studts, the owner, by mistake. She responded with humor and I died from embarrassment.

Finally I got myself professional. HA! Sent off a proper acceptance email then screamed and jumped some more.

Q: We’ve all suffered rejections, how did you handle your first one? What did you learn from the first one, about yourself, your writing and your support group?

A: I have a mentor who whipped my sorry rear into shape long before I submitted my first novel. The book had gone through two readers at Silhouette. The editor sent a beautiful letter telling me the book was too mainstream and to stop wasting my time with category houses. Shocked the hell out of me. Handling a rejection like that was painless. The editor had spurred me on to be even more creative, take chances.

A shy dear friend then advised me to take Jan Springer’s Erotica Writing class. And the rest is history.

It’s these three women who opened up a world I never thought was available to me.

Q: I know you’re a plotter, to put it mildly, why and how does plotting work for you?

A: It gives me focus. I know where the story starts, even after I dump the first few chapters, and how to get to a successful end.

I have this spiral notebook with characterizations on the mains and secondary people. Each chapter is listed with a general run down and on the corresponding page are the high points for that chapter.

The front inside cover is filled with my personal rules of writing and the back inside has columns for each chapter with the original and edited word counts.

Each morning I try to list my writing goals for that day and stick to it. Actually, if I don’t do that part I end up playing Spider Solitaire and accomplishing zip.

The plotting is my way of forging ahead.

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