Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Day 2 with Diana Wallis Taylor

Welcome to our second day of visiting with Diana Wallis Taylor, California resident and author of Biblical fiction.

What does a typical day in the writing life of Diana Taylor look like? 
After walking the dog, letting the two chickens out of their hutch, and seeing what I can have for my Weightwatcher’s breakfast, I usually check e-mails and respond to those I need to, then begin work on the current project. Just finished a 750 word article on Halloween and reviewed the final copy of another book, coming out soon. If I have appointments in the morning, I write in the afternoon and vice versa. I am a sporadic writer, sometimes don’t write for two days and then I can spend 10 hours in one day writing. I’ve been known to get absorbed and miss appointments doing this.

What is your favorite part of researching for a new project? What part of that process do you least enjoy? I love researching the Scriptures and commentaries, as well as other books on Biblical times. It makes filling in the background, meals, clothing, customs, easy. I least enjoy editing. I have no problem with grammar or spelling, but I sprinkle commas with abandon and heaven help me if you try to talk to me about dangling participles. I once searched a manuscript frantically, trying to find the change the editor wanted me to make after the “dingbat”. I had only one character that fit that description but they didn’t appear on that page. I confided my dilemma to a friend who has a Phd in journalism and she burst out laughing and between gasps, told me what a dingbat was. I wrote it up in a humorous manner and sent it to my editor. Her office had a good laugh.

Describe your office or favorite work space. 
You have to be kidding, right? : ) My office is about 9x9, it is one half of a former bedroom. We took one half for a bathroom for the new master bedroom and I gave up my whole office room to my husband. We gutted the closet and built in a desk for me with cupboards, file drawers and plug ins for my computer and printer. I have a 7 shelf book case in one corner with all my reference books and a window. In front of that is my late grandmother’s boudoir chair and table for my quiet times. I have a four drawer file cabinet and another smaller cabinet. Some of my awards are on the walls and there are two shelves for pictures over the file cabinet. I get claustrophobia sometimes but when I’m deep in a chapter I forget what’s around me and get caught up in the story. There’s a sign on my desk that says, “A messy desk is a sign of genius”.

Before you begin to write, do you have a firm grasp on your characters’ loves, hates, favorites, and quirks, or do you prefer to let them surprise you?
I know a lot of people use storyboards, outlines, etc but I sit down and wing it. Somehow I know where my story is going and I let my characters take me there. Sometimes they do surprise me as the story enfolds.

What’s next? What can we look forward to reading from Diana Wallis Taylor in the future? 
A favorite manuscript that has finally come to fruition. It is about an organization in Thailand that helps get lost soldiers out of Vietnam and Laos. They are still there, left behind when the war ended, and no way to get home. My character is wounded, found by the Hmong guerillas, and ends up living in a small town in the mountains of North Vietnam. The underground church is instrumental in getting he and his ½ Vietnamese daughter through the jungles of Vietnam and Laos to Thailand and home to face a family who thought he was dead. It is called “Shadows on the Mountain”.

Any final comments? For those of you who feel too many years have gone by and your dream of writing a novel seems lost, let me be an example of what God can do. I wanted to be a writer when I was 12 years old. My first book was published by Revell when I as 71. I have published 7 more books in the last six years. Give it a try. The first chapter always begins with the first word.

Answer 's question below for a chance to win a copy of . Include your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com and respond before 8:30 a.m. EDT this Friday morning to qualify for the drawing. This week, US and Canada readers may qualify.
What attracts you most to historical fiction, and what is it you most look for in the story?


Anonymous said...

This was a very good interview. I am thrilled with what this organization is doing. May GOD bless them with success. These veterans have suffered enough without being forgotten. But what a thrill it must be is the family finds they are still alive. I haven't heard of this group but very much respect them for doing this. I know it's got to be a good job. Do they do this with donations Diane? This is one of the big things I love about the Historicals. Since I started visiting the many authors sites, I have learned so much of our History I had never known. Wish they had made history this interest and fun to learn when I was in school. I would love to win this book. I know it will be a good book. I love that you write Biblical Fiction. Please put my name in for a chance to win. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Linda Marie Finn said...

I like to learn more on history and I love it when a story can make that come alive for us. I look for a story that sucks me into the time period and brings it to life for me, makes me feel like I am really there.
Linda Marie Finn
Faithful Acres Books

Susan P said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing about yourself - including the "dingbat" story. That was a word I grew up with - if you did something stupid you were called that in my family. LOL (yes, we still use it!)

karenk said...

I love the Historical time period...the simplicity of it..and the 'hardships' involved. Thank you for the chance to read this wonderful story.

kmkuka at yahoo dot com