For local romantic suspense author L.J. Taylor the timing couldn’t have been better. Her debut novel, Just Dreams, was released on Aug. 31, less than three months before the Miami International Book Fair. The Street Fair on Nov. 22 found her in a booth on author’s row.
A voracious reader as a child and the oldest of six children, Taylor grew up in New York and tried writing her first novel at the age of 13. She moved to Miami in May 1992 immediately after graduating from law school, and is a practicing attorney. She taps into that area of expertise for Just Dreams, but said she was inspired by a wide range of genres.
“In high school I read every romance novel I could check out of the public library,” Taylor said. “My tastes later changed to include spy novels, legal thrillers and classics. Some of my favorite authors include Nora Roberts (writing as J.D. Robb), Robert Ludlum, John Land, Tom Clancy, Scott Turow, John Grisham, and Eric Jerome Dickey. I’ve been inspired by all of them in some way. Just Dreams is a romance novel, suspense novel and legal thriller all rolled into one book.”
Taylor said that her family also was a source of inspiration for the characters in her book, the first of a planned series.
“Four of us are girls,” Taylor said. “The Brooks sisters are very loosely based on us. Kathy Brooks is the eldest sister like me — the responsible one normally held up as an example to her younger siblings. Ivy Brooks is the baby sister — the wild rambunctious one who got away with everything as a child. Mariah Brooks is the tough, down-to-earth middle sister — the kickboxing prison guard. But sharing a few personality traits, professions and family structure is where the resemblance ends.”
Her writing is extremely well-crafted and engaging but she grew tired of approaching top level agents who replied with nice letters but declined to represent her. She decided to follow the growing trend of both amateur and professional writers and become an independent author. Creativity appeals to her.
“I like writing because it provides an outlet for my wild and crazy writer’s imagination,” Taylor said. “It also allows me to entertain and maybe touch people’s hearts with my stories. I read fiction to decompress and escape the sometimes-harsh realities of everyday life. I’d like to think my stories help others to do the same.”
The press release describes Just Dreams in this way: Sparks fly when attorney Kathy Brooks agrees to represent novelist Charles Morgan Jr. in a high-profile suit against a powerful government defense contractor. But when Charles’ hidden agenda threatens to expose the government’s dirty little secrets, what started out as the case of a lifetime could cost Kathy her heart, her career and even her life. She currently is working on the second installment of the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series, Dreams Deferred, featuring Kathy Brooks’ baby sister, Ivy Brooks, as the heroine. It’s scheduled to come out in January 2015.
For information and links to her book on Amazon and other dealers, visit her website www.ljtaylorbooks.com.