I originally wrote this for a guest blog for Between the Pages and Beyond but I decided to share it here as well because, believe it or not, part of the reason I blog is that I’m hoping if you like my writing enough in small samples that you’ll click on one of those books in the right sidebar and buy it to read on your Kindle, Nook, or iPad. I’m just going to put it out there: I want you to buy my books.
Who is Phil Taylor and Why Should You Read His Books?
That is the question isn’t it? This is a blog about books and authors. No one reads a book hoping that it’s just like what they experience every day. You read it because you want to discover new characters and worlds to believe in that take you away from the ordinary. You want to find a character like you who you can live through vicariously as they navigate their way through something you’ve never experienced. Or perhaps you want to find a character who infatuates you or with whom you wish you were friends. It’s possible you’ll find any or all of those things in my books. You’re reading this blog with that hope in mind.
Blah, blah, blah. I just bored myself to death with that first paragraph. Every author says crap like that in their Foreword. Sure, it’s all true, but it’s pretentious, self-indulgent crap. I can be as full of that as anybody, but I try not to be.
Here’s the deal: I write to be read. I want you to read my books. My books are funny, suspenseful and somewhat unconventional. If you want a nice, polished, formulaic novel don’t read mine. First and foremost is the funny. It’s part of who I am. I’ve made fun of things my whole life. I believe that life should be fun. If you can’t laugh at almost anything then you’re doing it wrong. Secondly is the suspense. I grew up reading The Hardy Boys, then Robert Ludlum, and then Stephen King. I like suspense. I like being put on the edge of my seat. I want to worry about the main character that I’ve become invested in. I want to keep reading to make sure it turns out ok for them.
Actually, I can’t say that all my books are suspenseful. One is not. In the 1990’s I dabbled in doing stand-up comedy. I did pretty well at it, but I didn’t have the time to go out to bars a few times a weeks to work on my material. When the internet came along I began doing stand-up online. Not on Youtube, but on my blog, The Phil Factor. After eight years I decided to publish a book that included the best fifty humor essays from my blog. What else would I call it but Fifty Shades of Phil? By the way, if you look at the book cover and can e-mail to tell me where I got the idea for the tie on the cover I’ll give you a free e-book of any of my books: email@example.com
But Phil, you’re wondering, what about the suspense? You promised us suspense! Well, if I gave you that answer quickly and easily, how suspenseful would that be? My other two novels are fun reads, but they include the suspense, and a few other elements that I think make them slightly different reads. In White Picket Prisons I chose to have the first person point of view switch from character to character. When I read a book I always wonder what the other characters are doing while I’m watching the main character. In White Picket Prisons you get to see all the pieces to the puzzle.
In The Sneaker Tree, which is a prequel by twenty-five years to White Picket Prisons, for those of you who read on e-readers I included live links to the 80’s pop culture references the characters make. I wanted the book to be able to kind of come alive if you wanted it to. If a character mentions a song, you click the highlighted word and you instantly see and hear the YouTube video of that song.
So that’s why you should read my books. They’re not for everybody, but if you want something slightly left of center with humor woven throughout and endings that you want, give my books a try. You should also continue to read this great blog that Sue has put together. We’re at the dawning of a new era in publishing and people like Sue who support indie authors truly deserve thanks for the time and effort they put into their websites.