1) Tell us a brief bit about yourself (and please include your pen name).
Hi there, I live in the South West of England in a rural valley between the misty expanse of Dartmoor and the rocky Atlantic coastline. I've loved telling stories since I was a child and read fiction all my life, but I only started writing in 2003. My husband is very supportive of my writing. He reads everything I write and tells me it's wonderful. Shame he doesn't own a publishing company! I've discovered a wonderful international family of kindred spirits through joining Romance Writers of America. I write under the name of Helen Scott Taylor—close enough to my real name that I don't stare blankly at people when they speak to me.
2) What's your story about in a nutshell (ooo look, it's me in a nutshell!)? Please include the title of your book.
My title is The Magic Knot.
A thirty-something London accountant is searching for her past and a bad-boy Irish fairy is running away from his. When their paths cross in the mystical depths of rural Cornwall the ancient power of The Magic Knot binds their destinies.
3) Is it true you write in a trance?
I spend most of my life in a trance! It's scary how many times I climb in my car and arrive at the destination with no memory of the trip. I actually think I enter a time-warp when I write. Often I sit down at my computer for what feels like five minutes. Then I look up and find three hours has passed.
4) Don't you secretly wish the other contestants would just drop out?
Course I don't want them to drop out. But if they would all like to step into Dr. Who's Tardis and visit the other side of the universe for a few months that might be nice J
5) What is your favorite paranormal being and why?
Ah, my favorite paranormal being is something called a Midnight Visitor that I've invented. I can't tell you too much in case someone nicks my idea. Suffice it to say, Midnight Visitors are tall dark sexy men who have something to do with spiders, opals, and Hindu gods.
6) Ever had a paranormal experience yourself?
A few years ago I learned how to channel my spirit guide and, wow, that was an experience. My guide visits me in my dreams sometimes. This is going to sound really weird, but he is the one who told me to start writing.
7) What's your writing ritual?
I used to think I could only write when the mood struck. Then I went on a writing course where I had to write from 9am to 12 noon every day. I discovered writing is just like any other work—I don't need to wait for inspiration. If I sit in front of the computer and tell myself to write, the words come. I often write late into the night when my family is asleep so I have peace from the other demands on my time. I blitz a first draft, writing around 3000 words a day until it's finished, then take a few months to revise and polish. I wrote the first draft of my latest story in four weeks and had the partial polished and submitted to a publisher six weeks from when I wrote the first word. I've decided the only way to succeed is to write a lot of stories.
8) How much are you going to pee yourself if you win?
Good gracious, not at all. I'm British. Stiff upper lip and all that. I'll be totally cool and laid back. J
9) If you could mud-wrestle any author, who would it be and why?
Okay, please tell me Gerard Butler has written a book. If not maybe he plans to write one soon and that qualifies him as an author. Do we get to take our clothes off?
10) What kind of underpants would your main character wear?
The hero in The Magic Knot wears combat pants and an old leather flight jacket. I honestly don't think he'd bother with underpants. Now his twin brother is another matter; he's a leopard-print thong kind of guy. The heroine is an accountant, so sensible white cotton panties for her.
11) You have to pick two cartoon characters to duke it out in a colossal battle, Godzilla-style. Who would you pick and how would it throw down?
Having grown up on a diet of Tom and Jerry, I'd have to choose them. Jerry wins of course--brains over brawn every time.
12) Alliance or Horde? Peas or carrots? Franks or beans?
I have no idea what Alliance or Horde refers to, but I'm guessing something to do with war games or computer games. I'd go for Alliance as it sounds organized and dignified, but I'd secretly admire the revolutionary Horde. Have to go for peas, especially the mushy ones we get in fish and chip shops in England. What are Franks? Okay, Googled Franks and found out they are a West Germanic tribe first identified in the third century. Somehow I doubt this is what you mean. To be on the safe side I'll opt for beans.
If you'd like to learn more about Helen Scott Taylor and The Magic Knot stop by her website: http://www.helenscotttaylor.com