Randall K. Taylor is a writer, poet, and now an author with “Mindsquill Verse A Tale” being his first anthology. He began writing at the age of 6 and writing poetry at 8. Currently, he is also working on his own poetry anthology as well as pursuing his MBA in Finance. He is a loving and caring soul that takes in all life has to offer in every breath he takes. A scholar, he loves reading and learning as much as he can from those around him. His ultimate goal is to help inspire people to find their creative voice in their passions and change the world through his writing.
Interview session held with RK Taylor
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
Currently, I am working on my own individual poetry anthology that I am hoping to release in the next year or so.
How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
I can’t reveal too much as it would give away the underlying themes of the book itself. However, as a little sneak peek, I can tell you that one poem is about sitting outside on a cool Summer evening while thinking about that one person you love or miss so dearly knowing that they’re already with someone else and how you might be an afterthought in their mind and possibly their heart.
Are there Any secrets from the book (that Aren’t in the blurb), you can share with your readers?
Not necessarily, but there will definitely be some nods and wordplay that readers will be able to pick up on if they read closely enough.
Tell us about your first published book? What and how was the journey ?
While it hasn’t been published yet, the journey of writing my first poetry anthology, as well as being included in Mindsquill Verse A Tale, has been a wild one. There were a lot more failures than successes but the hard work andlate nights are finally paying off. If you told me a year ago that I’d be featured in a global poetry anthology or that I’d be writing my own poetry anthology, I wouldn’t have believed you!
What was the inspiration for the story of this book?
The story was inspired by all the pain of loss and heartbreak during the past few years of my life. The title itself was inspired by the documentary from late NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, “Muse.”
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special?
It would probably be the Vermillion Bird that I mention in a few poems. My Nana told me about it when I was a small child and I decided I always wanted it to be a part of my writing somehow
What is the key theme and /or message of the book?
The main theme of the book is about how there is a certain beauty in absence, hence the title, “The Beautiful Scar.” As the saying goes, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is a serenity to loss, whether it be from death, heartbreak, or broken bonds, that can be found if one chooses to look at it from the other side.
What is the significance of the title?
The title was inspired by the documentary, “Muse,” by late NBA Lakers legend, Kobe Bryant, in which he described his achilles injury as a ‘beautiful scar.’
Where can readers purchase your books?
Once my book is finally published, I will be releasing it on all platforms, including as an e-book and kindle book.
Are you easily available for your fans and readers over social media?
Of course! My facebook is Silent Dreams Writing. My Instagram is @silentdreamswriting. My Twitter is @SD_Writing11. Come chat with me!
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I considered myself a writer the moment I started writing.
What inspired you to start writing?
Whenever I did free-writing in kindergarten, I was praised a lot for my writing ability. It carried on throughout all my English classes and I enjoyed writing more and more as I got older. I loved the freedom I had while writing.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in general at 6 years old and I started writing poetry at 8 years old. It was for a school project but I actually wrote my first poetry book in 4th grade.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
The three most important elements for writing are vision, passion, and an understanding of the world unlike any other.
What time of the day or night do you usually write?
During the day, I usually write around dawn and also during sunset. At night, I write during the late night hours.
When you’re Writing An emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
I usually listen to music that resonates with the mood of the scene. I like to imagine my scenes as if I’m experiencing them right in front of me or as if I’m watching a movie… it’s like what music would I want playing during this scene and then that usually gets me in the right mood I’m looking for.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I started writing.
Would you like to describe any typical writing experience of the day? Please tell us?
When I wake up and get myself settled, I turn my phone off and set a timer for an hour. First, I do about 20-30 minutes of journaling. Then, I’ll do 10-15 mins of reading, (I’m a fast reader haha.) Lastly, I finish it off with 10-15 mins of writing. I usually challenge myself to experiment with my writing such as writing a new poem, or I get experimental with my free-writing.
Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
My first tip is LOVE your writing! I’d be lying ifI said that you’ll like everything that you write but you should LOVE everything you write. My second tip is to be free and open with your writing! Try new things! Experiment to see what fits and what doesn’t and just have fun with it all! My final tip isdon’t be afraid to share your voice AND your vision with the world as much as possible! The world needs more of us so please keep writing! Stay strong and be free!
Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?
It isn’t just yet but as long as I take my time and stay true to myself and my craft, it’ll be my full-time career very soon.
How do you handle literary criticism?
It used to be something that I worried so much about. I always worried about if people were gonna like my writing or not and so I disclaimed a lot. That was disrespectful to my writing and the work that I put into my craft. Eventually, I learned to take it in stride. Not everyone is going to like your writing. Some people might interpret it in a completely different way thanintended and that’s okay. It used to frustrate me but now I enjoy hearing fresh perspectives on my work.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Plot. Characters are extremely important, but you need `a plot in general in order for characters to drive it forward.
On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?
I usually spend around 2-3 hours a day on writing in general. I’d lose my mind if I did it all day long. It wouldn’t be a passion anymore at that point, it’d be a job. So, I like to space out my writing sessions throughout the day so I don’t get burnt out.
Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?
Take your time and learn to love your writing. Once you’ve done that, you’ll eventually start to find your voice.
How do you do research for your books?
I either read books pertaining to the one I’m writing or I go online and I find articles and videos. Sometimes I’ll just do a random search and I’ll find something that sticks out to me. Research can be a bit much sometimes but it’s also pretty fun sometimes too.
Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?
For myself, there is. I usually brainstorm how I want the beginning scenes to play out but I like setting up scenes as though I’m directing a play. Is it day or night? Morning? Midday? Is it at a cafe, a bar, a library? What is the weather like? Is the general atmosphere supposed to be busy? There are so many different factors that go into even just preparing to write the story. I do think it comes down to your own individual style and what works for you though.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I usually like to read, listen to music, watch anime, play video games, etc. I do a lot of stuff so even when I’m not writing, I’m usually pretty busy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Originally, I wanted to be a professional basketball player in the NBA. Although, now I’m just fine with playing anywhere professionally but I’m not gonna be heartbroken if it doesn’t happen. I do love basketball, but the world has enough athletes. It needs more artists and philosophers. The world is desperately lacking in creativity right now. It needs us now more than ever.
If you could choose three people to invite for a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Dave Chappelle, Aristotle, and George Carlin. Now THAT would be one of the funniest and most intellectual parties ofall time.
What book is currently on your bedside or the table?
Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Man, there’s been so many I can’t name them all haha. To name a few, I’d have to say Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Rudy Francisco, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Stephen King, etc.
Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
Rudy Francisco, without a doubt.
If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books, what would they be?
What do you believe the purpose for your writing is? What’s the most unique part of your writing process? What does writing and being a writer mean to you?