Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?
Heroines are always my favorite character to write. With each story I craft a woman in a particular situation that I hope my readers can identify with and/or recognize. I love depicting strivers and overcomers who at first don't realize the inner strength they have or haven't yet actualized the power of that strength on behalf of others.
Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Plain imagination gives birth to my heroes, but as I write and chart their character growth I find there's a trait or characteristic I've noted in a real life man that I develop in my heroes. My heroes start unaware of their flaws and how those flaws are holding them back. As they journey through my story they see where they're stuck, they see the trait I dangle before them like a carrot and encourage them to go for it. They always come after the plot/story idea because I start with a what it scenario and try different types of characters in that scenario. That's how I land on whose story I end up telling.
Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story? Your favorite book?
Again my heroines come from my imagination. But as I write them I have my ideal reader in mind. She is an African-American woman living in an urban setting in the Northeast whose church plays a big role in her life. She reads for inspiration and enjoyment. I continually ask myself what woman in what setting will inspire and entertain them, what story will encourage and uplift them today. Thus my heroines are African-American women from all walks of life in different eras finding ways to love life and find love. Just like with my heroes, my heroines come to life after I come up with the plot/story idea. If I had to pick a favorite book with a heroine I enjoyed it has to be Bernadine Brown from Beverly Jenkins' Bring On The Blessings. I love her vision and spunk.
Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
I choose my antagonists based on whose interaction will make my heroes and heroines grow the most. There's an old saw that says every villain is the hero of their own story, thus my villains/antagonists for the most part aren't evil, but are capable of evil. I focus on their desires to make them human. Everyone can identify with wanting but not having. Therein lies the empathy my reader can have with the villain, even while they're rooting for them to fail.
What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
My alter ego, Michal Scott, just released a novella this past September in the charity anthology, Falling Hard. My story, Who Can Find A Virtuous Woman, is a steamy historical taking place in 1898 and deals with finding love despite class differences. The hero is Madison Dugger, the first generation of his family born out of slavery. The heroine who has always been attracted to Madison is Eve Richardson, the only daughter of a pillar-of-society family. The villain/antagonist is Rev. Hiram Quansah who Eve's family want her to marry for safety and status reasons.
What are you working on now?
Writing as Anna M. Taylor I'm working on Always the Dead Between and 10,000 Midnights Ago which are books three and four in my Haunted Harlem gothic romance/ghost story series. Always the Dead Between is contemporary where my heroine believes she can find love traveling back to the past while in 10,000 Midnights the heroine learns about love from some feisty but deceased Harlem Renaissance entertainers. I'm working on a historical inspirational romance and an inspirational romantic suspense under my third penname, Anna Taylor.
How can people find you?
Twitter - @revannable, @mscottauthor1
Anna M. Taylor Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Anna-M.-Taylor/e/B0894LFCTV?author-follow=B0894LFCTV&
Anna M. Taylor Newsletter - https://mailchi.mp/7d60e5679ab4/anna-m-taylor-writes
Michal Scott Amazon Author page: https://amzn.to/2TSHzRn
Michal Scott Newsletter - https://mailchi.mp/106e6b05cdfe/michal-scotts-newsletter
Who are your favorite authors?
Beverly Jenkins and J.D. Robb. If they write it, I buy it.