What’s your name, and where are you from?
L.S. Taylor, but you can call me Laura. *grin* I'm from various parts of Vancouver, Canada.
And the Internet. Can't forget that.
How long have you been writing?
My whole life. I told stories from the time I was handed a journal to write-in. Then someone let me try a word processor. I still wonder if they realize exactly what they started...
What genre(s) do you write?
My main work is fantasy, and my heartsongs are YA fantasy. But I also have other stuff on the go, and oddly enough my first publication, a contest win, was a science fiction piece. So I also dabble (read: want to write) in romance, and most recently, urban fantasy. Because there are so many stories that I *need* to get out of my head.
What’s your current WIP? Can you tell us about it?
At this moment in time, I've got two major projects on the go. The first is my nearly-ready WIP, the YA fantasy I'll be shopping around to agents very soon, that's just getting a few more (mostly) cosmetic touches. Here's the pitch:
When Janni was five, she was just Ilyra, princess of Nem—until her power-hungry uncle came at her with a hunting knife. Raised in secret by a loyal landmaiden, she’s discovered she has powers of her own, both as a wind-speaker and a devotee to the Land. Now seventeen, she wants nothing more than to be a landmaiden herself, a healer and lay-priestess serving her village. Unfortunately, even getting what she wants has dangers. Since custom dictates that she travel for a year, helping people in need, that means risking her biggest secret. When she crosses paths with a fugitive nobleman seeking to end her uncle's unlawful reign, she must choose between the quiet life she's crafted and the country that needs her.
The other project is one I've had in the back of my mind for a *long* time. In short, it's an urban fantasy set in Boca Raton, Florida. The story of how it came to be is a bit of a doozy, though, and since I'm still writing the first draft, I don't want to share too much about it just yet. Sekrit projects are sekrit, even when they hide in plain sight. And if that's not cryptic enough for you, well, let's just say the best place to hide a needle isn't in a haystack, it's in a pile of other needles.
What’s your current day job? How does it help or hinder your writing?
My job is awesome, if sometimes a challenge. I work for a service that provides alternate-format textbooks to print-impaired students. It's empowering and I love being able to help those who can't use regular print be able to read. I've said before that it is a job that involves many, many words that are not writing, which itself can be a challenge, but at the end of the day, it is so very worth it. Besides, I take my breaks together and get to spend an hour writing, too.
Who is your favorite author?
That one's hard to pin down. I used to have just one, and I could answer in a heartbeat. Growing up, I was strongly influenced by Robin McKinley, Tamora Pierce, Anne McCaffrey, and David Eddings. Nowadays, being able to interact with authors and more frequently of late, meet and get to know them in person, I really can't say. I love too many to count.
The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley.
What other hobbies or activities do you do outside of writing?
*Sigh* I used to be able to say I studied swordplay, but I had to put that on hold for a number of reasons. I love the outdoors (hiking especially, but also jumping off cliffs into glacier-fed rivers), and I think there is something fundamentally vital about connecting with nature and disconnecting from the digital world. It helps me recharge, and when I forget that truth is really when things get bad.
What is something unique about yourself?
Dangit, I used to say sword class... or the fact that I'm a total geek.
Really, I can't say how unique it is per se, but something that stands out is how vital community is to me as a writer. Whether it's the camaraderie that can be found through Twitter hashtags like #wipmadness (and my other regular writing thread, #fntwp); or the amazing discussions that can come out of the comment sections of blogs (it's no secret that my favourite is Magical Words); or the wonderful people I meet through NaNoWriMo write-ins (the Vancouver section has a group that meets year-round called "The Other Eleven Months”); they all matter. Writing is a solitary, intensely personal act, but that doesn't mean we have to walk the path alone.
Do you have a blog, Twitter, and/or Web site we can link to?
Sure! I'm always happy to meet and chat with others.