Taylor, Gillian F. 1967-
TAYLOR, Gillian F. 1967-
Born January 2, 1967, in Hethersett, Norfolk, England. Education: Sheffield University, B.A. (with honors; archaeology, ancient history), 1988; Computeach International, diploma, 2001. Religion: "Heathen." Hobbies and other interests: Role-playing games, wine-making, sewing, knitting, annoying the cats, gardening, collecting pony stories.
Novelist and clerical worker. Sheffield University film unit, volunteer, 1988-96; volunteer for local Oxfam shop, 1994-98; clerical worker, beginning c. 2002.
NOVELS: "BLACK HORSE WESTERN" SERIES
Rocking W, Robert Hale (London, England), 1993.
The Paducah War, Robert Hale (London, England), 1996.
The Horseshoe Feud, Robert Hale (London, England), 1998.
Cullen's Quest, Robert Hale (London, England), 1999.
Darrow's Law, Robert Hale (London, England), 1999.
San Felipe Guns, Robert Hale (London, England), 2000.
Darrow's Word, Robert Hale (London, England), 2001.
Hyde's Honour, Robert Hale (London, England), 2001.
Navajo Rock, Robert Hale (London, England), 2002.
Darrow's Badge, Robert Hale (London, England), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Research into carnivals and fairgrounds of the late Victorian era in the United States.
Gillian F. Taylor told CA: "I always loved to watch westerns on the telly as a child, partly because of the horses.… Creating characters and stories came naturally to me. I wrote my first novel at about age fourteen. I could never think of anything else I could really want to do, other than write books, and I still can't.
"After graduation, I tried writing science fiction and fantasy, which I love. My efforts recieved very little attention from agents and publishers. When I saw the movie Young Guns I was inspired to write a western based on those characters, even though I knew westerns are deeply unfashionable amongst publishers. I found a publisher who took westerns, and although my first offering was rejected—the main reason was length—the rejection letter asked to see future work, giving details of their requirements. I tried again, was rejected, …edited Rocking W again, and was accepted!
"I've learned to write a strong, clear plot where the hero must take action to resolve the situation. There's nothing to beat a good villain, someone the reader can enjoy and understand. I like to include a range of ethnic types in my books; the West was populated by a mass of immigrants, so I have included Swedish, German, English, and Dutch settlers, along with Irish and Ukrainian cowhands. Spanish-American and coloured characters occur wherever it would be logical.
"I have used 'Indian attacks' against characters, but I take care to explain their motivation, and to portray their actions and beliefs with accuracy.
"When I am writing, I aim to write around two pages a day. I like to have the overall outline of a novel developed before I start, and I'll probably have imagined several scenes in advance. I develop the main characters, noting clothing, tastes and quirks. Once I have finished a manuscript, I go back and read it again. I always have to do some rewriting, as I have to write to a standard length of 45,000 words and I'm never on spot first time. I'm never afraid to throw out whole scenes and completely rewrite the course of a plot. Editing a book is the most important thing an author can do.
"The more westerns I write, the more ideas I have. Once I have created a good character, I want to know what else happens to them. I daydream as I walk to work, do the washing up, and as I remove the endless cat fur from furniture and carpets. Those daydreams, the people I create, who take on lives of their own, have to be set down for others to share. No one else can put down on page the people and places in my imagination. I'm proud of my work, which goes beyond straight-forward 'cowboys and Indians' stories. With perseverence and time, I may be able to give up the day job!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Gillian F. Taylor Web site,http://www.geocities.com/freyni (October 2, 2003).