Monday, January 21, 2013

Brad Taylor: Thoughts on Writing

The other night I had the super-fun experience of attending a book talk with New York Times bestselling thriller author  Brad Taylor.  He's on tour for his new book, Enemy of Mine.

After graduating from the University of Texas, Taylor was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry.  He served for more than 21 years, retiring as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel.  During that time he held numerous Infantry and Special Forces positions, including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta where he commanded multiple troops and a squadron.  He has conducted operations in support of US national interests in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations.

His final assignment was as the Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel in Charleston, SC.  He holds a Master’s of Science in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School, with a concentration in Irregular Warfare.

Perfect background for a thriller writer--and as daunting as his background appears, he's a surprisingly down to earth guy with a great sense of humor!

He discussed  in detail his research on Enemy of Mine, lots of which took place in the Middle East, as well as what inspires his writing. Taylor says news stories usually provide the inspiration for his novels.

An aspiring writer asked what steps he took to publication.  The usual, query letters to agents and numerous rejections.  However, Taylor explained that after a while, instead of focusing on agents who represented those resembling Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, he'd look for someone who didn't represent a Middle Eastern/thriller/espionage novelist--and it worked!

I asked if he depended on his wife's feedback.  He does!  But he also said he has several civilian readers.  If information isn't clear to them, he has to do some re-writing to make sure his audience can completely understand what he's written.  Those beta-readers are important!

Taylor's book talk was a great opportunity and I'm glad I had a chance to attend!  Thoroughly enjoyable evening with a thoroughly enjoyable, and really nice guy!

Any thoughts from novelists you'd like to share?

Thanks for visiting, and have a great week!


Old Kitty said...

I like his creative thinking for getting an agent!! Sometimes it does pay to think outside the box! Thanks for sharing! take care

Maria McKenzie said...

You're so right! I need to get out of the box more;).

William Kendall said...

He and I seem to be in the same genre. I also get some of my ideas out of news stories. I'll have to check out his work.

Maria McKenzie said...

I think you'll like his work!