When I tell people I'm a writer (and I have to tell them first, or otherwise, like, how would they know?), I'm often asked where I get my ideas. "There's nothing new under the sun," I reply. "That's why I steal my ideas from the greats of literature." Take my grand novel A TALE OF TWO SUBURBS, for instance. I borrowed that concept from Mr. Charles Dickens, the 'artful dodger' himself. Dickie, as I like to call him, started his novel with, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I started mine with, "It was good, but then stuff happened."

It's the ‘stuff happened’ that makes for great literature, by the way.

Writing is hard, you know. Most people don't appreciate how hard it is because they learned how to write in grade school and, heck, if grade schoolers can do it, anyone can. Still, even as a grade schooler, I would say to myself, "writing is hard." First there's writer’s cramp, which comes from gripping a pencil like a baseball bat. Then there's typing. I typed with one finger for years before learning how to use two, and it was fine for me, really — I sometimes had to slow my fingers down or they'd run ahead of my thinking. But then war intervened, I found myself in uniform and preparatory to fighting the enemy, the Army taught me to type with all ten fingers. Now I really had a problem with my fingers running ahead of my thinking, but I learned to cope with it by going into "hold mode" by typing "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party," which my fingers knew by rote and could type while my brain caught up. My first novel came in at 2,344,667 words before I used universal 'find and replace' to remove, "Now is the time for all good men..." from the manuscript. Afterwards, the word count was a more reasonable 233,000 words, many of them the, and, to, and but, which hardly count.

About Richard Taylor

Personal Info: Born in Lomita, California.  Married to Jacqueline, wife of twenty-seven years. Owned by two cats. Lives in Cambria, California where the novel The Haunting of Cambria is set.

Life Experience: U.S. Army military intelligence analyst; Vietnam vet; screenwriter; short story writer; Hollywood studio historian; corporate in-house magazine publisher and editor-in-chief; Chief of Security of Warner Hollywood Studios for nearly 15 years; and now novelist.

Interests: Macintosh computers; history; reading.

Favorites: Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden, anything by Nelson DeMille; John Ford’s (and James Warner Bellah’s) She Wore a Yellow Ribbon; The Matrix; Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings; Beethoven’s 6th Symphony; Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Symphony; anything by Ravel or DeBussy; the film scores of John Williams (all), John Barry (Somewhere in Time), Thomas Newman (in particular Meet Joe Black and Road to Perdition), Bernard Herrmann (North by Northwest and Vertigo),  Rachel Portman (Cider House Rules), James Horner (Deep Impact and Titanic), and Alan Sylvestri (Contact); Chinese food.

As this photo was being taken  I was thinking about global warming, cherry pie, marital aids, the really shapely legs of the woman sitting next to me, and the relative tastiness of gas-inducing foods, thus bringing me back to the issue of global warming.

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