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Interview with L.J. Taylor, author of Just Dreams

Author’s Bio: The oldest of six children, L. J. Taylor grew up in New York City. As a child, she escaped her noisy siblings by voraciously reading every book in her parents' collection and every romance novel she could check out of the public library. Her tastes later expanded to include classics, spy novels, and thrillers. Inspired by the stories she read, she began writing poetry and song lyrics and even tried to write a fantasy novel at the tender age of 13. She began writing novels as an adult during National November Writing Month in 2007 and has been chugging along ever since. When she's not writing, L. J. practices law in Florida.


DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?

LJT: I’ve always loved romance novels and action movies, so I married the two genres in my novel. The heroines are very loosely based on me and my four sisters. So, Kathy Brooks is the oldest of four sisters and an attorney like me. But the rest of the story is entirely fictional and straight out of my overactive imagination.


DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LJT:
I used to read a ton of Harlequin romance novels in high school and as a young adult. Also, one of my favorite authors and writing influences is Nora Roberts.


DL: How long did it take to write your book?
LJT:
I wrote the first draft of Just Dreams over thirty days during National November Writing Month in 2007, but I didn’t revise it until 2014.  I tend to write the first drafts of my novels quickly - usually within 30 days. Then I take another couple of weeks or so to revise them. Lately, I’ve been using dictation to create my first drafts, so now I’m able to whip out a first draft in two weeks or less.
DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
LJT:
I’m a big believer in outlines. It makes for a much smoother first draft and an easier revision - especially if you write fast.
DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
LJT: Sometimes, I listen to music while writing. If I do, it’s soft jazz or something else without words to distract me.
If Just Dreams had a theme song, it would be: “My Heart Never Had a Hero” by Toni Braxton.
DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
LJT: For me, email marketing and paid ads have been the most effective ways to market my books. But it’s hard to get much traction unless you have at least four books in a series. That gives you the flexibility to do things like discounting one book to attract readers, creating box sets, etc.
DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
LJT: Keep writing. Don’t give up. Hone your craft, and if you can’t or don’t want to get traditionally published, consider self-publishing. The ultimate judges of the quality of your work are your readers. They’re the only people whose opinions matter.
DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Just Dreams?
LJT: Here you go:


“You can do this. It’s just another client meeting.”  Kathy Brooks mumbled the words under her breath like a mantra.


Nerves had her loitering in the hallway instead of entering the conference room where her new client waited. She’d learned of the case only two hours before in a meeting with the managing partner of her law firm. He’d made her lead partner on the case saying it was time she came out from behind her senior partner’s coattails and made a name for herself.



Lead partner. Kathy swallowed hard. She and her mentor, Steve Perdue, had tried cases together for the past five years. They had their respective roles down to a science. She dealt with the details. He dealt with the people. Together they made a highly effective team winning multimillion dollar jury verdicts and bringing in substantial fees. The very thought of having to deal with the people part of the practice made Kathy feel queasy. But she had no choice.


She glanced down at her navy-blue pants suit and sensible pumps to make sure she looked the part. She transferred the legal pad, file folder and business card from her right hand to her left, took a deep breath, and opened the conference room door.


He was standing by the window, gazing out at the view of Biscayne Bay, his back to her. Tall and lean, he wore dress slacks and a shirt tucked into his belt. His long legs and taut rear-end filled out the slacks nicely. She caught herself staring and shook her head.


He turned to face her and, for a moment, time stopped. He had a caramel complexion, high cheekbones, and hazel eyes she could just drown in. She felt her smile slip for an instant before she recovered her composure.  
DL: What’s next for you?
LJT:
Caged Dreams - the third book in my Brooks Sisters Dreams series is coming out next month. The fourth book in the series, Closer to Her Dreams, will come out in October 2018. The second book in the series, Dreams Deferred (Ivy Brooks’ story), was released in June, 2015
DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
LJT: Here are L.J. Taylor’s links:

Here are Just Dreams Links:

DL: It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.
LJT: Thank you for having me.




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