Let me introduce myself, my name is Stephen Taylor and I am a writer. There I’ve said it. It took me a long time to be able to call myself that - a writer. I just used to tell people that, “I do a bit of writing.” I feel like a new recruit to Alcoholics Anonymous, standing up and admitting to the world that I have a problem. I needed to stand up and admit - yes, I’m a writer. Welcome to my world.
My addiction has been with me for over twenty years now; it’s the craving in my particular life. I need to write, I need to tell stories. When I was younger if somebody told me a good joke, when I retold it, it was twice as long, embellished, the story enhanced, the characters fleshed out. I’ve always done it, its something in me, I suppose. With me, it was never just about and Englishmen, and Irishman and a Scotsman. It was an Englishman in a bowler hat with a monocle, an Irishman in a donkey jacket with a pint of Guinness and a Scotsman in a kilt with a set of bagpipes. From my newly acquired lofty status as a Writer (there I've said it again) I can see that these are all descriptions that are clichés, they are racial stereotypes. I know; but then jokes were never PC were they.
But it’s a mighty big jump from telling an amusing gag to writing a novel. Novelists are these truly insightful people aren't they? They write memorable things, don't they? “Call me Ishmael.” - Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851). “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813) or my particular favourite, ‘‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. ’’ Charles Dickens’s terrific opening lines from A Tale of two Cities. (1859).
Well yes it is, yes they are, and yes they do; but not all writers can be a Charles Dickens. But we all aspire to tell a compelling story, to engage our readers, to take them away from their humdrum lives and transport them to a long past time, or to a fantasy place where the rules of modern living do not apply, or to engross them in a nail-biting crime thriller where good fights with evils. My first love is Historical fiction - I am an avid reader of it. I conceived the concept of a Georgian trilogy. Three stories, each standing on their own, but each set in Georgian London; a decadent time and a decadent place. And so the long process of research started.
I was once a happy and reasonably well-adjusted person; that was until an urge to write invaded my psyche, this need to be a writer, to tell tales. I spent my days as a Tax Inspector (Now come on out from behind the sofa – they’re a fine bunch of lads and lasses at the Tax Office), and chauffeuring my daughter about. I was born in Yorkshire but brought up in Manchester. I am now retired, living in Hathern Nr Loughborough with my partner Sian.