Monday, September 30, 2013

Interview and Giveaway with A.K. Taylor

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

Hi everyone! In the real world I am known as Amanda Taylor, but I write under the pen name AK Taylor which is just a variation of my own name. I am married with nonhuman children (animals), and I live in the Middle Georgia backwoods.

I am an action, science, and chocolate addict. I am an avid reader, writer, and gamer. I play musical instruments—I tend to like brass and percussion. My music addiction began with the French horn. I also like to draw.

Living most of my life in the woods makes me an avid outdoorsman and nature fanatic. I mentioned I love science already, but I like just about all of them with chemistry being my favorite.

I love all animals including snakes and creepy crawlies. I enjoy beekeeping with my father, and it is a rewarding hobby we share. I also garden and put away fresh veggies and fruits. I have plans on experimenting with soap making and candle making from beeswax.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

In the general sense not really, but some parts of Neiko’s double life I do—the part of her the person from the street would see if they bumped into her in her world are based off of my real life. A couple of family members have found their way in, but I haven’t written in anyone I didn’t like in school.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

The biggest one is no never give up no matter how bad things appear or how invincible your foe may seem. In some ways I have experiences with this concept in real life, and the concept of “escape” seems its make their way into my work even if I haven’t planned on it.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

Hmm, well I suppose one thing could be something I haven’t mentioned in question one: I was a teen novelist. The two books I am touring with are the first two books I had ever written. I wrote Neiko’s Five Land Adventure at 16 and Escape from Ancient Egypt at 17. They didn’t come out perfectly in the very beginning; some improvements and revisions were made over the years, but the storyline is the same as it was back then. I am happy to share that these teen writings have gone on to win a couple awards, which is exciting considering how much I have grown since then!

I never stopped writing since then except when I had to put things aside for college. With full time college and working part time and homework, there just wasn’t any room. That was tough, and I couldn’t wait to get back to writing fantasy rather than writing lab reports and academic papers—oh, how I loathe the literary analysis!

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

When I don’t have to do the hum-drum stuff like dishes, laundry, and scrubbing toilets, I am doing something outdoors, reading, drawing, or playing a video game.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

I’ve already done the occasional nonfiction, so I am looking into thrillers, mysteries, and maybe even horror at some point, and no, I am not going to be writing under a different name for these. I’ve already experimented with thrillers a little bit with a short story called “Bloody Klondike Gold” that I shared on ReadWave and received good feedback. I may end up publishing it. I may make a YA mystery/thriller series from the characters in this story, but that’s still on the drawing board. It’s not too far away from fantasy action adventure, just minus the fantasy. I may even get into pure science fiction at some point since I love science, and I incorporate it a bit in with the fantasy in the Neiko books.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Ooh, this is a tough call. I have a lot of favorites for different reasons, including a couple of the antagonists/villains.  I guess if I had to pick one it would be Neiko, the main character. She is a lot like me; we’re almost twins. She does the things I wished I could do. Other readers who have met her really like her, too—at least the ones who have shared their thoughts.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Both of these are part of a series of at least 30+ books, so Neiko has many more adventures already written (just needs edits and illustrations) and more to come.

Book #3 is Black Hand Vacation. After her adventure in Egypt old and new enemies are closing in on her. To make matters worse, Ramesses’ ka is haunting her and another mysterious pharaoh she remembers vaguely from childhood is plaguing her. Things in Hawote and the Five Lands really heat up. After 25+ years the Black Hand starts to stir again after their original overlord supposedly died in a battle with Neiko’s mentor. Teen and young adult warriors begin to go missing, and mishaps, threats, and near misses begin to happen—Neiko could be next. Neiko desperately needs a vacation, but she is also put into hiding for her protection. This is no normal vacation, and she is not safe…

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

Black Hand Vacation will be released sometime in 2014. “Bloody Klondike Gold” (the short story) will be released sometime in 2014. Book #4 Ramses Vs. Hawote is finished awaiting edits and illustrations, and I am writing Book #5 Trapped in Ancient Qari. Book #6 Perils in the Unknown needs a serious rewrite and adjustments, so I will begin that when I finish writing Book#5. I skipped around in the series so I am going back to fill in. Release dates are unknown.

I coauthored in a nonfiction project Minding Your Business which should be released in October.

I am also going to write a book about bullying called Rising Above the Ashes which is going to be lyrical prose, metaphors, and experiences from my own life.

Neiko’s Five Land Adventure
The Neiko Adventure Saga
Book One
A.K. Taylor

Genre: YA Fantasy Action Adventure

Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Date of Publication: September 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1936198856

Number of pages: 354
Word Count: Approx 101K

Cover Artist: A.K. Taylor, Kristeen

Book Description:

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of war and presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to up the ante and break the stalemate into their favor. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and contains a legendary and otherworldly evil within it. Not only that, she becomes trapped there and must escape the world, the people within it, and the sinister evil within. 

Neiko must find her way back home and turn the tables on her enemies. Can she come back home and escape the evil that seeks to claim her?

Escape from Ancient Egypt
The Neiko Adventure Saga
Book Two
A.K. Taylor

Genre: YA Fantasy Action Adventure/ Historical Fantasy, time travel

Publisher: Telemachus Press

ISBN: 978-1484107355

Number of pages: 290
Word Count: Approx. 90K

Cover Artist: A.K. Taylor, Steve Himes

Book Description:

Seeking his revenge on Neiko for exposing him, Francesco banishes Neiko into ancient Egypt just like he did her friends eleven years ago. During her stay there, she unravels the mystery of what happened to her four friends. Now she’s faced with a bigger problem—how to get home. After a series of unfortunate events, Neiko is now entangled with Pharaoh Ramesses II. Francesco also comes to make sure their fates are sealed. Can Neiko and her friends beat impossible odds and return to Hawote and back to the present?

About the Author:

A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Neiko's Five Land Adventure by A.K. Taylor

Neiko's Five Land Adventure

by A.K. Taylor

Giveaway ends October 28, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Escape from Ancient Egypt by A.K. Taylor

Escape from Ancient Egypt

by A.K. Taylor

Giveaway ends October 28, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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1 comment:

Amanda Taylor said...

Thanks so much for hosting me!