We are super excited that Big Shots By Marla reached out to us to introduce us to Taylor Evans an amazing teen writer! Here is Marla’s interview…
Tell us a little bit about the book.
My book, “The Unknown”, is about two twin sisters; Casey and Kate. They live in our world and then discover a fantasy world. They find out that they were actually born in the fantasy world and learn of a prophecy written about them. It foretells that the sisters will split into the sides of good and evil. In order for one side to prevail, one sister must kill the other.
How long did it take you to write this book?
It took me five years to write my book. It all started during indoor recess in 6th grade. Up until 6th grade I hated reading, but my mom finally convinced me to try reading a Twilight. I devoured the series in a matter of three weeks and fell in love with reading and decided I wanted to write a book. At first I wrote in a notebook I still have and then transitioned to typing on the computer. Since then I’ve been writing and editing and my story has been evolving and maturing as I’ve gotten older.
What would you tell other teens who want to write/publish a book?
First of all, you have to have a passion for it. It’s not all about the writing. Over the years I’ve visited various editors, literary agents, and published authors to gain insight on the publishing industry. I’ve also attended writing and publishing conferences right here in Cincinnati where I had the opportunity to speak with literary agents and authors about the elements of writing as well as options for publishing a book. And, of course, having the support of friends and family. So many people have helped me on this journey and I am so thankful to each and every one of them.
Who has inspired you?
I’ve had lots of inspiration over the years, from Twilight to Percy Jackson series, from Harry Potter to Eragon. All their stories and authors have given me ideas for my own story.
What was a turning point for you, when you knew the book was really coming together?
One summer I sat down with my sisters and we drew the characters from my book. I’d always had visuals in my head of how I wanted them to look, but by drawing them they became much more concrete and real. I think that’s one of the coolest things about creating characters. When you have a mental image of them, and then you draw them or see someone that’s looks like how you envision your character, the story just jumps to life.
What is the next step for “The Unknown”?
In the beginning of August I held a crowd funding campaign for my book to try to raise $3000. It was incredible and the support was overwhelming. I reached my goal and used part of the funds toward a cover contest. I used a website where graphic designers compete and submit designs for my book cover. I critiqued them and chose a top 5 and then asked friends, family, and student body at my school to vote on their favorite design and help me come to a final decision. The publisher I’m working with has told me that my book could be out and for sale by the holiday season on Amazon!
Any future writing plans?
I am at work on the sequel already! I see it as a trilogy, but you never know!
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Taylor Evans, 17
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