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April 22, 2013

Meet the Author: AK Taylor

You might be wondering who I am and where I came from, so here we go!

It’s hard to believe I have been writing novels for over half my life—has it been that long already? It seems like I was just 16 yesterday when I wrote my first book. I have been building worlds and writing small things even before I took on novels.

I grew up in the backwoods of Georgia in a couple different parts of the state. Most of my life it was just me and my parents. Needless to say I am very shy and introverted. I had to create friends and have animal companions. I rarely had people come over to play with me, and that didn’t change much even when I went to school. Other kids didn’t understand me or wanted much to do with me.

For the majority of my childhood, I embarked on adventures in the woods and in the backyard. I always loved being outside. My parents and I would go hunting and fishing, and we would go swim in the river with snakes and all. The bream came and nibbled on my toes. It was weird swimming in a pool for the first time because it didn’t move or have anything living in it.

Then one day my dad’s work carried us to the suburbs, and these were the hardest years of my life. The tough years of being a teen and the presence of cliques kept me shut out for the most part. I always was in the “no more” category in the tagline: “Us Four and No More”. I didn’t fit in to any group; I was just “there”. Usually invisible.

Becoming a teen also meant I had to give up what brought me the most joy: playing and my imaginary friends. Being in suburbia also took away the woods. It was almost too much to bear. There was nowhere to go fishing. So, then I delved into more reading and video games. I began to entertain the thought of writing to enter back into my imaginary worlds since I couldn’t play anymore; I had done this before on a small scale. I already loved creative writing. I also liked to draw. I wanted to try to something bigger. How would I fare in taking on a novel? Not knowing how to start I just did.

My parents had an old computer in their bedroom with a Microsoft Word already installed. In a short time I sat down and began to write the first pages of my first novel Neiko’s Five Land Adventure even though it was called something else at the time. I don’t want to mention what it was; it’s just too embarrassing. 

I found gold. I would hurry up to get my homework or chores done so I could write. I would bug my parents to quit their solitaire game so I could write. When dinnertime bedtime, or my parents’ turn for the computer came, I would groan in protest. On weekends or during the summer I would keep my parents awake well into the night with the computer’s glare and me hammering on the keys. They would beg me to go to bed. Just one more sentence/chapter/paragraph! Boy I wished I had the money to buy my own computer! After Neiko’s Five Land Adventure I wrote Escape from Ancient Egypt…

The adventures came by the droves became more elaborate. More ideas for other characters and adventures came to me. A younger cousin and I began to make stories together and just took my imagination to soaring new heights. It felt nice to share and have someone understand and like what I did. I began to draw the maps of worlds and colored sketches of characters, and filled notebooks and folders with notes and sketches. Being left out, ignored, or the only girl not at prom didn’t bother me much any more. When I was alone, I pondered on the next part of the story. At school I just immersed myself in my musical and academic ability when I wasn’t daydreaming about the story. I did my homework during “social time” so I would have less to do so I could write when I got home. I also hoped band practice would end early for the same reason!

When college came, I had less time to write because of working, labs, and class. Since I was a science major, I had a lot of labs. There was a creative writing course, but I couldn’t fit it into my schedule because it was always offered when I had to take a required lab. Even so, I never stopped brainstorming or doing research on something that might find its way into the story later. The last year of college I began to write again during study or down time when I didn’t have any reading or work to do. College provided me with more writing practice even if it was just required work.

For the longest time I had no fathom of the talent I had; I had nothing to compare it to. I didn’t share my writing and art with anyone. I wrote and drew because I loved it and doing anything creative. I didn’t take formal writing courses, and no one taught me how to write a book. I taught me by reading books and implementing the basics I learned from language arts.

I never anticipated or set the goal of being published. I knew I would always write for fun. I didn’t think anything I wrote was “good enough” to publish, whatever that meant or was anyway. I only thought rich city people got published, not a backwoods girls like me. Publishers everywhere would scoff at anything written by a kid; I was no Edgar Allen Poe or Shakespeare. They would think my stories were stupid.

Friends, family, and total strangers from different walks of life told me otherwise: I should publish, and I have something worth sharing. This was because I couldn’t seem to keep a lid on it; people peeked.

So, now here I am. I am still writing, drawing, and enjoying the great outdoors. I explore other hobbies and interests, including beekeeping with my dad. I have now published the first two books I had ever written with many more still needing edits and rewrites while I am still writing more. Now I have two blogs I dump more stuff on. I still enjoy drawing and coloring my characters. I try my best to make each book a piece of art. I let any curious reader to see what’s in my head on different levels.

About The Neiko Adventure Series:

Neiko's Five Land Adventure (Book1)

The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of war. Neiko--a warrior with the glistening title of "the Chosen One"--finds herself facing a collection of enemies. Her archenemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to destroy her reputation with the help of a phony Indian chieftain.

However, during the unfolding of their plan, Neiko finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real--and more terrifying than she ever imagined. It turns out that Ramses--the arch-villain of her collection--has sinister plans of his own for Neiko, whom he eventually traps in Qari.

Neiko must find her way back home and turn the tables on her enemies, but what she finds out during her travels in Qari will change her entire existence for all eternity.

Buy it at Amazon!

Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book 2)

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?

Buy it at Amazon!

Connect with the Author:

Twitter  *  Facebook  *  Goodreads  *  website  *  Google+

AK Taylor is offering a lucky reader an ebook set of Neiko Adventures (books 1 and 2). Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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