Hello, Hello fellow bloggers and book enthusiasts!! I have such a treat in store for everyone!!
As most of you know by now, Luke Taylor has become one of my favorite authors! I am always just so floored by his eloquence and incredible ability to transplant me right into the story. You can really tell that he puts 100% into each word, and every line. There is so much dedication to his craft; and I am so happy that I have had the chance to read his work. Plus he is just one of THE nicest people I have had the privilege of speaking with. He really makes an effort to get to know his fans and create an amazing repertoire with them all. You can not go wrong in befriending this man. Of course his book recommendations are also on point 🙂
Luke has given me a chance to read an ARC of his new book, Vault of Dreams, which is now available on Amazon.
Albanland. Emerald hills and ice blue lochs, bordered by Nørds raiders and the haughty monarchs of South Angle, each dynasty eager to seize lands weakened by a civil war in which a usurper has risen to seize the cloven throne.
Morgance, Faer Princess of the Night.
And by her side, the fearsome Ultan Skölhammer, sworn Guardian of the Crown.
But Rhoswen, rightful heir to the throne, princess in exile, leads a final uprising from the depths of the forest, an uprising that twists together the lives of the most unlikely companions.
A notorious thief accused of a crime she did not commit.
A baird apprentice searching for the meaning of life.
A pair of brothers who can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
And a gypsy bound to the ancient artifact known only as the Vault of Dreams.
“The prose in VAULT OF DREAMS is rich and lyrical, so much so that it sweeps you into the magical world it describes and holds you there as if hypnotized.” – Julie Eshbaugh, Author of Ivory and Bone
“Fans of dark fantasy and historical fiction need to read. This. Book.” – Rose Reid, Author of Crown of Crimson
“.. Luke painted the picture of Nordic coasts and forests. I seriously felt like I was in Scotland or Norway. It was just beautiful… It was within the very first 5 pages that I KNEW, this book was going to [be] a favorite for 2016, if not my lifetime!” – Jackie Boyster [My Review]
I have been writing since the age of seven and knew that, no matter what, I would be writing forever. My first “books”, were stapled together, carefully illustrated, and contained some sort of linear plot line and realistic character development, so much so that my parents knew there was more to my latest “creation” than met the eye. It is a great blessing to be a writer and though I thoroughly relish staying up late to craft intelligent suspense thrillers and detective mysteries with a romantic edge, the dawn of every new day compels me to create Sci-Fi trilogies and Fantasy epics as well. I truly believe I’ll never be without inspiration for new material and the interpretation of that inspiration is a living, breathing journey just as rewarding as finishing the book itself. Thank you very much for reading, and may the tales never cease, for all of us!
- Jackie: Tell us a little about yourself, and your writing background. What made you want to be a writer?
Luke: Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for this opportunity!
Well, I’m twenty-eight and I’ve been writing off and on since I was seven. I’ve always been a visual writer, and I had tons of great books as a kid, but I can say seeing Star Wars Episode IV for the first time made me a writer, because it was like an explosion in my imagination, and I started making books for kids at school, and then there was Indiana Jones, and the whole thing spiraled because it would inspire me to continue the story with my own adventures, drawing storyboards and narrative and everything. I started playing guitar 15 years ago and I really fell in love with words when I started writing songs and poetry, and so, as a writer, I really feel like a poet and a film director. My mind is like a film studio and I just try to translate what I see into words, and they always come out with that sense of poetry and imagery.
- Jackie: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Luke: I have the ambition that my writing will bless people. Entertain, inspire, and hopefully give them something that will live on in their heart.
- J: Tell us a little about your influences. What authors or stories influence your writing?
L: I’m more influenced by film directors, which is too long of an answer, so I’ll say Derek Cianfrance, Akira Kurosawa, and Christopher Nolan for the Directors, but as far as authors I can seal it off into two moments of inspiration, because I took a break from writing for four years. So, when I was in high school and wrote seven novels that didn’t (and won’t) get published, I loved Dashiell Hammett, Alistair MacLean, Robert Ludlum, and Stephen R. Lawhead. Skipping forward to my renaissance of Young Adult and Fantasy, which I absolutely love, I have to say Leigh Bardugo, Julie Eshbaugh, and Roshani Chokshi are some that know how to give me everything I want. That said, I’m always reading and I know there’s so many books I haven’t read and want to, so, I’m always ready for that next book or author that will inspire me.
- J:Tell us about some of the books you have written. What was your favorite to write? Why?
L: Well, Evening Wolves started it all for me. It was all written in the moment, off the cuff, so it will always be very special. Evening Wolves taught me how to write, and how to be myself. How to forget all the rules and do what I do. And Vault of Dreams felt just like that only in a different genre. Still, it’s a multiple POV ensemble, and I feel like that’s where I’m the best, so, those two were my favorites to write and read, for sure. However, with The Muiread, I felt the need to make the most self-indulgently from the heart book I possibly could, without thoughts of editing myself in the least. I’m always amazed that it won an award and resonates with so many readers who take the time to slow down and get into it. It’s really an archaic sort of piece and was very easy for me to write in that I didn’t hold back or think that I had to over-edit to make it appeal to more people. I just let it out. The Quiet Kill is usually the book I recommend for the more traditional reader, it’s probably the easiest to read, the least amount of commitment. It was written in five weeks, and is sort of an homage to the muse of mystery itself. Mystery material has always been in my life and will always be at the foundation of my work. That said, Vault of Dreams is my favorite book and I’m so thankful for it. It fell out of the sky and was marvelously easy when I look back on the nearly four month writing time. It really came together and I had a great handle on what I wanted to do, but it turned out so much better than I could’ve imagined, thank God.
- J: It seems Vault of Dreams is your first foray into the Young Adult genre. Why did you choose this genre? Was it more difficult to write than your other novels?
L: Yes it is and it has changed me forever. Thing is, I used to think Young Adult was more first-person dystopian and I didn’t know if that was for me. And then I read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and I was blown away on so many levels and was so inspired. I felt like she’d written a book just for me. And so, I’ve found a home in Young Adult and will never stop writing YA books. I love to read them and have been inspired by them to no end and I feel a strong affinity for the authors and the audience. All that considered, Vault of Dreams was very easy to write.
- J: I would describe VoD like a Modern-day Epic. What was your inspiration for the novel and the characters?
L: Well, I was writing whilst watching Neil Oliver’s A History of Scotland, and, being Scottish myself, I have such a love for the land and the people and I wanted a multiple POV ensemble YA Fantasy that utilized Scotland in a nearly historical manner like Leigh did with Amsterdam and Norway/Sweden and Russia in Six of Crows. As far as inspiration for the characters goes, I am always inspired by characters the same way. It starts with a name and from the name comes the eyes, and then I look into those eyes and the rest of the body, physically and spiritually, takes shape inside of the story. In other words, I don’t have any characters outside of the story. They don’t exist before. They are formed from and belong to the story. Aerlyn O’Rye is a great example, because she’s my favorite character from Vault of Dreams. She’s the first one I wrote and the first one we meet in the story. Even in an ensemble there’s still a main character, and it’s her. I loved her name and felt that everything she is can be found in that name. She has such a strong spirit, such a vivid aesthetic. I felt like if Aerlyn didn’t work, then the story wouldn’t work. But, inspiration is a funny thing and hard to explain. At the end of the day, to me, I’m inspired by things that “just make sense” and the whole thing just made sense in my heart and I just ran with it. So, writing it was exactly like reading it!
- J: Reading this novel I can almost feel like I am on a lush, green Europe countryside, with a band of Nordic people. Your descriptions of the area and the people, even the battles are amazing! How did you go about constructing this world and bringing it to life? Have you been to any Nordic countries?
L: Thank you! Really, the world building so to speak is a sneaky tactic of mine, which is just trying to utilize what I assume the audience is already seen instead of trying to arm-wrestle their minds to try and describe something and get them what I want them to see, I just describe the movie that I’m watching knowing we’re all sharing the same basic images. So, if you watch A History of Scotland or even just see pictures of Scotland, that’s my world, my physical geography, climate, ect. Getting down in the “movie sets” so to speak, that’s more of the movie magic. You know, the lighting, the creaking floors, the smells, special effects, ect. And then for the battles, those are a matter of getting the right blend of confusion and chaos and a certain robust sense of cleanliness as well. There has to be a crispness to the action, it can’t be all messy and muddled. For Vault of Dreams I realized duels are one of my favorite things ever, so, I thought, hey, let’s have as many character interactions as possible be set in duels, let’s have the whole story be sort of a series of duels and I think that really helps the action and setting, because you’re right there with the characters you care about. Some fantasies lose me in their density and detail. I think Vault of Dreams is very simple. I have been to the UK but I didn’t use any of that for this. It was just A History of Scotland and my imagination. And as far as visualizing goes, I actually imagined Vault of Dreams animated, just like Frozen, because I love Frozen.
- J: Okay, so I have to ask, are we going to get anything (like a novella) else inside this world? I just can’t let go!
L: No, it’s a standalone, and I would love to be known for great YA Fantasy standalones, because everything is a trilogy or duology or cycle or series. I want to give everything I have, cover to cover, and move on, because I have so many stories to tell. Plus, the way Vault of Dreams is written, being very interpretive, I really want the story to live on in the reader’s heart, so, whatever happens after they finish the book is up to them. I love that.
- J: Why should someone pick up Vault of Dreams?
L: It’s my favorite book I’ve ever written and it has everything the YA Fantasy genre has to offer.
- J: Okay, now the most important question: Are you working on anything right now? Can you tell us anything about it (them)?
L: Yes! I’m working on a YA Sci-Fi/Horror called Exospherica and I don’t want to say too much about it except for it has one of the greatest covers I’ve ever seen in my life!
- J: Last question: You can choose one book to rewrite, or wish you had written. What would it be?
L: I’ve had this question before and can never answer it, so, I have to pass, sorry!
Thank you so much to Luke for being an amazing story teller, and for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to introduce him to a lot of you, and really get his name and his work out there.
Thank you to all my followers who stopped by to get a quick glimpse into the world of Luke Taylor! I hope you are all intrigued and go out and buy Vault of Dreams and all of his other works. I can’t recommend them enough!