Joshua D Taylor started writing a few years ago when he realized he was too old to play make-believe. He lives in southeastern Pennsylvania with his wife and a one-eared cat. He enjoys gardening, comic books, ska-punk music, Disney World, and traveling with his wife. Raised during weirdness that was the late 20th century Josh’s eclectic interests produce eclectic works. He loves to mix-n-match things from different genres and stories elements to achieve a madcap hodgepodge of the truly unexpected. Josh strives to take old ideas and twist them into something new and unusual.
MWS: Hello Joshua! So good to finally talk with you today!
JT: Absolutely, I've been looking forward to it!
MWS: Awesome! So have I! You're a lab tech by day, has the job ever inspired a story?
JT: Actually I don't think so. I think stories are more escapism for me.
MWS: Where do you find inspiration the most?
JT: Mostly, I think it comes from massive amounts
of media I've consumed. I used to watch a lot of TV and movies growing up. And I still read books and comics.
MWS: Is there a movie/TV; book or comic, that made you sit back and say, "I want to do that. I want to write." ?
JT: Well, I've always loved stories since I was a little kid. I did a lot of make-believe,
acting out my own stories. It was actually books like Wayne Barlowe's Expedition and Dougal Dixon's After Man that made me interested at first.
Those are more world building/exploration books, and less narratives. I was really into that for a long time.
MWS: That's awesome! I loved playing make believe as a child, too. I used to get out the video camera and have my cousins act out scripts I wrote, or a book we were reading. You like to travel, tell me your favorite place that you've been so far?
JT: I always wanted to make my own movies as a kid, never did though. We were recently in Scotland and really loved it there. The country is so beautiful and the people were very friendly. Definitely someplace we'd like to go back to.
MWS: If money were no object, where would you go?
JT: If money were no option I'd want to ride the Trans-Siberian railroad and travel from Moscow to China. It is affordable-kinda, But I'd like to do it in the fancy
Victorian Style train cars. Like how the czars used to travel. lol. Also Japan, I was born there and it would be interesting to see the country.
MWS: Wow! That sounds amazing! Did you leave Japan soon after birth?
JT: Yep, about a month I think. So I grew up with stories from parents about it.
MWS: You definitely need to go back and connect with it. Be sure to write about it also, I would love to read about your experience with not only Japan, but the Trans-Siberian railroad as well. Would you specifically travel somewhere for research on a story?
JT: That's never occurred to me before, any excuse to go somewhere new is a good excuse though. I feel like my patience for research is kinda limited to Wikipedia.
MWS: I have bought other books that I use for research, usually purchased off Amazon, but since most of mine are fantasy I can wing it. lol. How many short stories have you had published?
JT: Just one so far, the Obelisk
in Salty Tales by Stormy Island Publishing. But I've been accepted to two other anthologies recently.
MWS: That's exciting! I look forward to reading them. When inspiration hit for your short story in Salty Tales, what scene did your mind's eye see first?
JT: Well the Obelisk was originally a piece of micro- fiction I wrote. Part of several pieces about a young girl that goes to live with her grandmother. One of them was the idea that I expanded into the Obelisk. The very first image in my mind was of a young child on a rocky beach staring off into churning sea.
MWS: I really enjoyed it. You did a great job! Do you think you will expand on it further, or just leave it for all to wonder? No spoilers here. lol
JT: I think that story is done. At some point I would like to write other pieces of micro-fiction to go with the others. The working title for the collection was going to be 'Tales of Ambiguous Woe'. You can kinda get the vibe from that.
MWS: Sounds good to me. Do you set aside time per day to write or just when the need hits you?
JT: Well, I try to write on break or lunch at work. Though I've been working at home in evenings more
recently too. I really should be more structured. I will write on my phone if I have to get ideas down. But it's hard to write very much on such a small screen.
MWS: Isn't that the truth!? lol I have done some quick notes on my phone but I mainly keep a notebook and pen in my purse. Maybe you could get a messenger bag and keep some stuff with you, or a backpack. Just a thought. What are you working on now?
JT: I do often carry a backpack to keep diabetes related supplies in, perhaps I should put a pad in there as well. So many things right now, pretty all for
submission. I have a story that's almost ready to send into Iron Faerie Publishing, some Romantic Fantasy that needs editing for Stormy Island Publishing. I just started a story about the moon for another company that needs to be sent in by April 30. And before all that started I was editing a story called "the most beauty girl in the world." That's now on hold. lol
MWS: There you go! Whew! A lot going on. What genre mash up would you like to see that hasn't been done or not done enough?
JT: I love mash ups, there are so many of them right now. I really like anything that breaks down the barriers between science fiction and fantasy.
MWS: Are you reading anything at this time?
JT: I was reading the Illuminatus Trilogy, but it's dense and long. Then my wife got me a bunch of books for
my birthday so I started reading one of them called 'A Skeleton in the Family' by Leigh Perry. It's about a single mother that solves crimes with an animate skeleton. The premise was so absurd I had to check it out.
MWS: Omg, I am going to look that one up! lol That sounds absurdly good actually. Tell your wife thanks for adding to my TBR also. Is there an author/book that you feel is a perfect example of how a story should be written?
JT: Um, that's a tough one. I guess I really like writers who try something new stylistically. SO the first things that come to mind are Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, nobody could have wrote that book but him.
And A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny.
I couldn't have picked two more different books.
MWS: I thought we weren't supposed to talk about Fight CLub!? lol . What goals do you have for the next five years?
JT: Five years is a little long term for me, but I want to get some more short stories published and continue to improve. At some point write something novel length. I've had a few false starts, but I have a good idea I'm outlining. I'm also toying with the idea of starting a Youtube channel about writing.
MWS: I will tune in to your Youtube
channel so let me know when that happens. Lastly, if you could give any advice on writing or submissions, what would it be?
JT: As cliche as it sounds, Believe in yourself! You can do this! I spent so many years not writing because I thought I'd never be good enough. And here I am, a published author.
MWS: Not cliche, just traditional truth!
You're right, so many great things happen when we just believe that we can achieve them! Thanks for being here, I enjoyed talking with you, Josh!
JT: It's been tons of fun, we'll have to do it again after my next story is published.
MWS: Love to!
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Fiction blog https://kevinscrossing.blogspot.com
Stormy Island Publishing's Samhain and Holiday Romance contests: http://www.stormyislandpublishing.com
First place in flash fiction contest at the blog Jadie's Words https://writingjaidie.wordpress.com