New and Debut: Taylor Barton


My guest in the New and Debut feature this week is Taylor Brooke whose debut novel, Fortitude Smashed, comes out in September 2017. Read on to learn more about her, her inspiration and the stories she wants to tell.

Meet Taylor

1. Tell us about yourself and why did you decide to become a romance writer? 

You know, it’s weird, because I didn’t start out as a romance writer. My first three books are action adventure stories with hints of science fiction thrown in. I thought that’s where I’d stay – in a really fast paced environment with big, complex casts and high stakes. It seemed natural for me. I was a Special Effects Makeup Artist for years before I started writing novels, so making monsters was easy and exciting, on set and in books. But I had an idea I’d been playing with for years – a fate-based concept that explored the soulmate trope. Once I wrote the first scene, I was hooked. I found myself wrapped up in the characters, which isn’t new for me, I’m a character-driven writer, but this time was different. I tethered myself to the characters, the emotions, the internal urgency. I let my heart call the shots rather than sticking to publishing standards or trends. I can’t say I’m the typical Romance writer. I implement a lot of realism and try to stay true-to-life, so to speak, but it is romantic at its core, full of hope and struggle and strength.

I guess I didn’t become a Romance writer until I after I finished writing Fortitude Smashed, but once I did, it changed the way I wrote my next books.

2. Can you share some of your favourite books and authors?

Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles is incredible. It’s lush and heartbreaking, and influenced my style quite a bit. Maggie Stiefvater is another one of my favorite authors. She made me believe in magic again. Melissa Maar shaped a lot of my fantasies when I was in high school.

3. Who/what do you consider your writing influence/inspiration?

I don’t necessarily have an influence, but I’m inspired by all sorts of things. The Isolation Series, my debut series, was inspired by the state of the planet. It’s a story about resistance and freedom, with a huge, diverse cast of strong characters. Fortitude Smashed is autobiographical in some respects. The story was inspired by the time I spent in Laguna Beach in my late teens, early twenties. It dives into some heavy topics – mental illness, sexual assault, first everything’s, and it came from somewhere deep inside myself. I had to unpack a lot to write this book, but it’s my best work yet. I’m very proud of it.

4. What kind of stories can the readers expect from you (contemporary/historical/sci-fi, adult/NA/YA, etc)?

I write for older teens and adults, but right now readers can expect a lot of New Adult. My books center a cast in their early to mid-twenties, which is an age of in-betweens. It’s a confusing, jarring time for a lot of people, and I learned while I was writing characters much like myself that there aren’t many books that accurately portray what it’s like to be at that stage – not a kid, not really an adult. Many of us in our twenties feel like we’ve got to get it together, stay on a designated path, and focus on one main aspect of our lives – a major, a grad-program, a new career. I hope my books will help people my age remember to live for themselves. To pause, appreciate, and take their time. Especially when it comes to love, and mental health.

5. Please, introduce your latest/upcoming release.

Fortitude Smashed (September 21, 2017) is about an unlikely fated pair. It’s lyrical and heartfelt, and introduces mental illness in a way that I hope resonates with readers.

Official Blurb

When scientists stumbled across a human hormone anomaly present during moments of emotional intimacy, further research created the ability to harness the direction of living energy and pinpoint when two lines will merge. Personalized chips are now implanted beneath the thumbnails of every infant, where glowing numbers count down to the moment they will meet their soul mate. Fate is now a calculation.

But loving someone isn’t.

When Shannon Wurther, the youngest detective in Southern California, finds himself face-to-face with Aiden Maar, the reckless art thief Shannon’s precinct has been chasing for months, they are both stunned. Their Camellia Clocks have timed out, and the men are left with a choice—love one another, or defy fate.

Author Bio and Links

Taylor Brooke is a traveling story-teller, believer in magic, and a science fiction junkie. She writes inclusive Queer novels for teens and adults. She's the author of the resistance inspired YA trilogy The Isolation Series. The first book in her fate-based New Adult romance series Fortitude Smashed debuts from Interlude Press September 21, 2017. / @taysalion (Twitter & Instagram)

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