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Q&A with Helen Scott Taylor

Cordelia has sworn she’ll abstain from looking into Michael’s future–particularly when the image in the gilded smoke of her divination mirror shows him half naked. Yet she can’t resist watching the sexy rascal slowly running his hand down his ribs, over his abdomen, flicking open the button on his jeans with a little flourish like a magician performing a trick.

Respectable wise woman Cordelia restrains her secret water nymph sensuality with the Celtic symbols painted on her skin. But Michael’s powerful fairy glamour leaves her breathless, off balance, struggling for control. When Gwyn ap Nudd, the Welsh King of the Underworld, steals away Michael’s infant nephew, Cordelia must work with him to save the child. But how can she trust her instincts with Michael tempting her to explore the hidden elemental depths of her nature and insisting that she believe in the power of…The Phoenix Charm.


Hi Helen. Thank you for agreeing to an author interview today. Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I live in Devon in South West England in a beautiful part of the English countryside. I live with my husband and two kids (although they’re not really kids any more), two Shih Tzus, and a sweet cat who was the inspiration for the cat in my latest book.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing in 2003 and initially tried writing short contemporary romance. I quickly realized that my ideas and characters didn’t fit the contemporary Harlequin lines so I tried writing paranormal romance. The Magic Knot, published early in 2009 was the third book that I wrote.

What is your writing process like?
I get to know my characters well and have a rough idea of the plot. Then I start writing. I make up most of the story as I write. Sometimes I start writing a scene with no idea how it will work out. I’m often surprised by how the characters handle things

Can you tell us about your newest release The Phoenix Charm?
The Phoenix Charm is the second in my contemporary fantasy series based on Celtic mythology. The hero is the identical twin brother to the hero of The Magic Knot. In the first book, I sent my characters to Ireland. In The Phoenix Charm Michael and Cordelia have to visit Wales to see the Welsh Fairy King, who is also King of the Underworld, to persuade him to release Michael’s nephew.

Will we be seeing more of the Magic Knot Fairies series?
The third book in the series is called The Ruby Kiss. This is Nightshade’s story (he’s the vampiric nightstalker) and it will be released on December 28th 2010. I send my characters to Scotland in this installment. Nightshade gets tangled up in the machinations of the Seelie and Unseelie courts. I had fun visiting Scotland this summer for research.

Do you have any other books releasing in the near future?
I have a novella called The Feast of Beauty in The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance out on Jan 28th 2010. This story is about King Esras who is mentioned in the first two Magic Knot Fairy books, although it is set in a slightly different setting as Esras is a sea fairy—one of the people of the Irish sea god Lir. I also have a novella set in my Magic Knot world in a fantasy anthology due out at the end of September 2010.

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on yet another novella—one for The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2. I’ve tried something different this time and created a new world around a group of men called the Sons of Ra, based on Egyptian mythology/history. They renew themselves and the women they love with fire, while protecting themselves and the world from Set and Anubis and their evil followers. I’ve ended up trying to cram a whole long story into a novella. I think I’ll have to write some long novels about these guys.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Everywhere! A single word, a song, a historic building, a piece of jewelry, a picture. One tiny thing can set off a chain of things in my mind—like knocking down a row of dominoes—and I have a new fantasy world and characters in my head.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?
My favorite genres are romance, women’s fiction, fantasy, and mystery. I love a good cozy and read authors such as Michele Scott and Melinda Wells. I read so much romance it’s difficult to pin down favorite authors, but I always love Nora Roberts, Jayne Anne Krentz, and Julia Quinn to name a few. Trudi Canavan is one of my favorite fantasy authors and in women’s fiction I enjoy Santa Montefiore’s books. I’ve recently started reading the Little Black Dress imprint—a mix of romantic comedy and chic lit. I also enjoy reading YA stories. I’m currently reading a fabulous book called Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon. I can’t think of any author who influenced me especially. I tend not to read much paranormal romance. I like to keep my ideas pure and not be influenced by other authors’ ideas.

What books are on your keeper shelf?
The early Laurel K. Hamilton books (my husband is reading them now); Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series; J.D. Robb’s In Death series; Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

What was the first romance book you read or the one book that has stood the test of time for you?
I read lots of Harlequin Romances and Harlequin historicals. I can’t remember one title in particular. I do remember the first speculative romance I read. I found Shielder by Catherine Spangler in a local shop. It was a revelation, as I had no idea futuristic or paranormal romance existed. In fact, it didn’t in the UK. I had to order my books from America. One of the first paranormal authors I loved was Dara Joy.

If your book was made into a movie, which actors would like to see as the lead characters?
I don’t know about actors, but I love the models that were used in my book video. The producer did a fantastic job of finding images that exactly matched how I see the characters in my head. Michael and Niall (the heroes of the first two books) are identical twins and the producer used different images of the same man for these two characters—and they are spot on. I also love the woman used to portray Cordelia the heroine of The Phoenix Charm. She is exactly as I visualized Cordelia in my head.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters, who would it be & why?
Oh, wow. What a difficult question. I think it would have to be Cordelia, the heroine of The Phoenix Charm. I would love to have a cat familiar as she does and I definitely have a soft spot for her hero, Michael.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?
I don’t have much spare time as I tend to pick up a book in any spare moment that I have. I enjoy watching movies and some TV. I also like to walk in the countryside, but I’m often thinking about my stories whilst I walk, so I’m not sure that counts. I also enjoy spending time with my family.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?
Is there a paranormal character that you would love to read about but haven’t found in a book?

Where can readers find you on the internet?
www.helenscotttaylor.com. I have free short stories and book excerpts on my website.

Facebook: http://profile.to/helenscotttaylor/

***Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of The Phoenix Charm. Good luck! 😀


32 Responses

  1. cool interview!

  2. Great interview.I’m looking forward to reading this series.

    I think I’d like to see some type of bird shifters.

  3. Your book sounds great!

    As for new characters, I’d like to see ones that evolved out of little known legends. They may turn out being a vamp, shifter,or fey, but their history/story would be different.

  4. great interview. I read and loved the Magic Knot. I would like to see stories about mermaids.

  5. Hi Bama,

    Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.

    Hi elaing8,

    Funny you should mention bird shifters, the Scottish Unseelie King in my third book, The Ruby Kiss, shifts into a golden eagle.

    Hi Rachel A,
    I know what you mean. You’d like to see a new spin on some of the traditional favorite paranormal characters. I love doing this. I have a fairy vampire called Nightshade in my series, but he isn’t like traditional vampires. He is alive and mostly bites for enjoyment, like sex, rather than to survive.

    Hi Robin,
    I’m delighted that you enjoyed The Magic Knot. I’ve not written about mermaids, but my story in The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance is about the People of Lir the Irish sea god. I have a fun underwater scene with the hero and heroine. Lots of fun to write!

  6. Great interview! This series sounds good. I would love to read it 🙂

  7. Maybe more stories about Satyrs.

  8. My favorites are vampires and I enjoy reading about shapeshifters. Looking forward to your release!

  9. Awesome interview and I love love love the cover of the book! It sounds fabulous!

  10. I’ve never heard of this book, but it sounds interesting. There aren’t a lot of stories about nymphs!

  11. I would love to read a story about the girl going after the guy. Throw is some paranormal flare and I am there. Great Interview!!

  12. Hi Helen! Thanks for visiting the blog today! I would love to see more Drows in romance.

  13. I enjoyed the interview.

    I would like to see more pixie stories.

  14. Great interview! There isn’t really a paranormal character I can think that I would want to read about. Authors have pretty much covered everything. Which is awesome 🙂

  15. Love your interview.sounds like a great book.adding it to my list of books to get.I don’t know how you did not have Paranormal Romance in England.must cost a lot to buy it from here.

  16. What a great interview! I enjoyed reading it. “The Phoenix Charm” sounds like a really good book. I will have to get the first one in the series and start reading them. This series sounds really good. I would like to see more bird shifters in stories, don’t find that type of character in many stories.

  17. I can’t think of anything different. I love all kinds of paranormal but my favorite is shifters. I can read about them all the time.

  18. Great interview. And looks like a very interesting series.

  19. I love the first book in this series. Looking forward to this one.

  20. Your books look great and I’m excited to read them. I can’t think of a specific PN character….but I do love (old lover) ghost stories where they come back together after their long seperation. I also love all the old stories about the constellations….I always imagined that Orion was my hero/hunter.

  21. Helen I loved ur first book in this series would be awesome to read the second one congrats on its release

  22. Sorry to disappear, had a work emergency that took me away.

    Hi Raelena, thanks for reading my interview.

    Hi Armenia, satyrs are interesting characters. I have read them in fantasy a few times but not that often. Good pick.

    Hi Teresa W, I agree, vampires and shape shifters are such favorites. It is hard to beat them.

    Hi Jeanette, I was delighted with this book cover. Good thing that I love blue!

    Hi Arantze, I agree with you on the lack of stories about nymphs. That’s partly what attracted me to the idea of using the character. I like to be different.

    Hi Jen E, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi Lillie, thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be your guest. I haven’t heard of Drows. I’ll have to go and look them up. I love discovering about new mythical beings.

    Hi Estella, pixies is another name for piskies, so both my books are about the Cornish version of pixies. I did cheat and make them human sized though.

    Hi Chelsea B, there is a huge amount of paranormal novels to choose from. It is darn hard to think of anything original these days.

    Hi Stacey, we do have paranormal romance now, but it was really the Twiligh movie that finally pushed it in front of the British. I am amazed how long it took to catch on over here.

    Hi Becky, I agree with you on bird shifters, especially birds of prey. In my third book out in 2010, the Scottish Unseelie King is a shape-shifter golden eagle.

    Hi Sherry S, shape shifters are fascinating. I think it’s because of the innate conflict between civilised man and wild animal that is embodied in one being.

    Hi Donna S, I’m delighted you enjoyed the interview. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    Hi PamK, so glad you enjoyed The Magic Knot. Always good to hear!

    Hi Mitzi H, I haven’t read a ghost story in ages, and I love the concept of Orion being a hero. Wonderful ideas.

    Once again, sorry I didn’t get back to post again yesterday.

    Thank you Lillie for having me as a guest and thank you to everyone who read my interview and left a comment.

    Happy New Year!

  23. Great interview. I love shapeshifters so I would like to see some different types of shapeshifters.

  24. Very nice interview. Devon is one of the places in England I would like to visit but haven’t gotten a chance to yet.

    As for your question, I’m not sure there are any paranormal characters I’d like to see that I haven’t seen yet. Because I have such varied reading tastes, I’ve read a ton of paranormals with a variety of characters and can’t think of any that have been missing. Though I will say that my favorites do have a touch of magic in them, be they witches, wizards, or the fae, or any other combination of paranormal creature and magic.

  25. Hi Crystal B, so many types of shape shifter have been written about not, it is difficult to think of new ones. I wonder if anyone has done a Unicorn. A few people have mentioned that recently.

    Hi Karin, Devon is a beautiful county. Dartmoor is lovely, if a little bleak, and the coast is wonderful, rocky with sandy beaches.


  26. There are plenty of witches but where are the books focussed on warlocks?
    Thanks for this great interview!

  27. […] Helen Scott Taylor, author of The Phoenix Charm, by I Do Not Want to Wait […]

  28. Helen, Book sounds fantastic and so was the interview. Have a great weekend!

  29. Enjoyed the interview and the blurb sounds good. In China, there is an ancient story about snake shifters, The White Snake. Actually the Chinese believe that it is a snake that has lived for thousands of years and could change into a human being. Would like to see a story about snake shifters.

  30. Hi Helen!
    it’s great to see you here – your book is already on my wishlist and I love the cover…
    as for your question: honestly I can’t think of a character who hasn’t got his story already – there are a lot of fantastic books out there and the authors keep writing… but I love stories about shapeshifters and demons and I can’t ge enough of them 😉
    Greetings, Ina

  31. This sounds like a book I’ll enjoy. I look forward in reading it.


  32. Hi Sue A,
    You have a good point about warlocks. And those I’ve read of tend to be the villians. A hero warlock would be interesting.

    Hi Barb P,
    I’m glad you enjoyed my interview.

    Hi Tamsyn T,
    Chinese mythology is fascinating. If I wrote snake shifters they’d definitely end up as baddies. I am not a fan of snakes. Another interesting suggestion.

    Hi Ina,
    Demons are the new vampires I think. So many great books about them available now.

    Hi Tracey D,
    Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


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