Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing

Meet Ted Tayler

on 04/01/2017

It has been a pleasure to read and review the first book in the thriller series of The Phoenix by Ted Tayler. Non-stop action, spies, plots, terrorism and the precarious balance of justice are masterfully tackled by this author and have grown into a five-book series (for now;) – see a sneaknpeek into no.6 below). I am very grateful Ted Tayler has taken the time to be my guest for an interview.

“I grew up with reading and writing all around me. My mother loved books and I had 2 aunts who taught English. There was no escape. I put it on hold after school because of my music and work. I wrote my book of memories from my life in bands in 2008. It was eventually published in 2011. At the end of 2012, I wondered if I could write fiction! Those are the when’s. I’m beginning to wonder why!

I think of myself as a storyteller; I hope with each successive book I get better at it. What I’ve been told is the reader feels as if we’re sat across the table from one another over a drink, and I’m just chatting with them.” 


Interview Time

1. Why do you write? 

I enjoy communicating with people. If it’s verbal, face to face, then that’s fine and I enjoy that too; however, I can reach more people with the written word and long after I’m gone the books I’ve managed to get finished will be available, somewhere for anyone who wishes to read them.

2. What’s your latest project?

The sixth book in The Phoenix Series, ‘A New Dawn’. I’ve introduced several new characters, and expanded the reach of the stories; this one is designed to be the springboard for books seven to twelve. Although the style is transitional, I hope there’s still enough excitement for my readers.

3. What is your favourite character among the ones you created? 

The Phoenix (Colin Bailey) has been the best thing to happen to me in the last decade. He’s a stone-cold killer; so why do I like him so much? He’s a joy to write about that’s why! Perhaps I’m uncovering a character trait I’ve masked all my life but villains are far more fun to write about than a dashing handsome hero. 

4. Which books/authors do you admire and why? 

I’m a crime fiction anorak I’m afraid. As a young man, I read all sorts of things, but over the years I’ve ‘homed’ in on thrillers, murder mysteries etcetera; if I’m not reading, I’m watching a TV series or a film about it. I still marvel at the ingenious methods people use to kill their victims. 

5. What was your favourite book when you were younger or a child? Why?

“A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. He wrote entertaining stories, with great characters. Yet behind each story there was perceptive social comment that laid bare the troubling side of Victorian England.

6. If you didn’t write, would you try any other arts or crafts? 

I love all kinds of music. As a former singer in bands during the 60’s and early 70’s I travelled across the UK. Since then I have been a DJ, a promoter, and a manager. Whatever job I was doing, my main hobby was always music related. I still write a review most weeks on gigs at a local venue. My last stage performance was in November 2012. I was keen to carry on, but one month later I started writing ‘The Final Straw’, my first novel. Colin Bailey was born, and I was hooked on writing about him. Now I don’t have time for any other hobbies! 

7. How do you deal with criticism, promotional activities, editing/proofreading?

A writer must accept criticism. You can’t please everyone. If it’s informed criticism, then it’s useful. You can use it to improve your writing. The reviews I hate are those that offer nothing helpful. My mother used to say ‘if you can’t find something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything’.

Nobody told me in December 2012 writing was only 10% of the process! I’ve used dozens of book promotion techniques. For three and a half years I got nowhere. In June 2016, I switched to two or three popular sites, and downloads suddenly rocketed. I’m planning to promote The Phoenix Series in 2017, rather than individual titles, and I’m hoping to increase my marketing budget.

The editing process is my major drawback. I use the free Grammarly app to correct issues with my grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Using Pro-Writing Aid helps to reduce other problems, but I’m aware my titles aren’t as slick as they could be if I sent them to a professional editor.

There’s the rub. If I pay for an editor, I can’t afford promotions. I’m retired, on a limited income, and I commit as much as I can afford to supporting my writing. 

8. What has been the most difficult thing for you to write so far?

The blog post after a young woman I had known for twenty-five years died of breast cancer at forty-five. You can find it on my website under ‘Time for Reflection’. 

9. If you could sit down for a chat with any famous author or character, who would it be and what would you talk about?

John Arlott, the writer, poet, cricket commentator, and wine connoisseur, who died in 1991. We would sit in the Members Stand at Lords on the first morning of a Test Match against Australia, talking cricket and enjoying a bottle of his favourite red wine. 

10. What do people usually say about your writing? 

Forgive me if I select a few of the more complimentary things! They say I create dynamic characters, and intricate plots; and using current issues of political and economic concern gives my stories an intensely realistic feel. A reviewer said my ability to weave recent events into a tale of good versus evil was unsurpassed. There’s no shortage of material for my next six books to complete the series. Every TV bulletin or newspaper headline is a potential story line. Evil is all around us. 

Extract from ‘A New Dawn’

“Even if our armed forces, security services, and judiciary were overhauled and refocussed, things wouldn’t change. That would only happen if our leaders were prepared to accept significant levels of collateral damage. Change is painful; unpalatable decisions are not taken. When that happens; evil smiles, and continues to flourish.”

“Then we must show them the way forward; guide their hand. Our actions must highlight the benefits of change. We must never shrink from taking the difficult decisions.”


2 responses to “Meet Ted Tayler

  1. Malise says:

    Thank you for this great review. I didn’t know this author. I’ll definitely will by his books.

    Liked by 1 person

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