I'm so excited to be interviewing Taylor today!
Taylor is only seventeen years old, but she's already accomplished so much.
You're going to love Taylor's bright spirit and cheerful outlook on life.
So, let's dive in!
Home schooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, which released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.
Tell us a little about your younger self. When did you first start writing? Did you always know that you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always known that I want to be an author! But...I never really knew it was POSSIBLE until I became a teenager and started researching what it took for a teen (or anyone else, for that matter) to get published. When I found stories of other teens getting published, I decided to get serious about pursuing my dream.
However, I’ve been telling stories since I could talk, and I’ve written them down since I knew my alphabet! I wrote my first attempt at a novel when I was thirteen, and I’ve never stopped since.
Did “Porch Swing Girl” turn out how you thought it would? If not, what was different?
In general, yes. It turned out pretty much like I’d planned. The beginning and the ending stayed fairly consistent with my earliest plot diagram. But the middle...not so much. The general story arc was the same, but I added in a lot more scenes and twists throughout the editing process.
Did you have any imaginary friends as a child? If so, tell us a little about him/her!
Okay...so, I’m an only child—one might assume I had an entire ARMY of imaginary friends. But I didn’t. Instead my Mom was my #1 playmate!! Whenever I wanted to play “Nancy Drew” or “Little House on the Prairie” Mom stepped in as a character or two. She was an amazing play-actor , and getting to use my imagination with her resulted in an incredibly strong bond. She has been (and forever will be) my best friend!!
What do you find the hardest in finishing a book? Is it the writing process, the editing process, waiting to hear back from publishers, etc?
The hardest part for me is, without question, the first draft stage. I love planning out my story, and I love editing it when it’s done. But the first draft? No. Thanks. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which means that I don’t like to write sloppy ANYTHING...even a first draft! I’m somewhat of a pantser, so writing the first draft is a bit of an exploratory process for me. While that is exciting in and of itself, it’s also scary!! XD
If you could have lunch with any author, who would you choose?
Hmmm...that’s tough! I’d definitely want someone with a heart for the Lord who’s also super talented. It would be so fun if they were a fellow Instagram nerd! So...probably Sara Ella. We don’t write in the same genre, but her books are incredible (that’s coming from someone who pretty much despises fantasy) and she’s just a wonderful person!!
Are you more of a coffee or tea person?
TEA!! I actually haven’t had much coffee at all. While I absolutely love the smell of it, I do NOT relish the idea of getting a caffeinated buzz for the rest of the day. My brain tends to run a little fast as it is...Therefore, I stick to decaf teas or (even better!) hot cocoa.
Do you write down story ideas as you think of them? If so, how many do you have written down/in your head?
Oh, goodness! I have waaaay too many story ideas. Probably somewhere around fifteen, but more ALWAYS pop up. The ones that really stick with me actually get made into Pinterest boards! It helps me capture the mood of the story I want to tell. For me, the mood—the “literary aesthetic” if you will—is the most important part for me. As long as I know the mood, the true heart of the story, I know what I need to write.
What is one thing about your MC that we might not know? (this can be one his/her favorite things, something you edited out of the book, etc.)
My MC is Olive Galloway and, though I have a whole fun bit of family lore as to how she got her name, it never made it into Porch Swing Girl. As the story goes, Olive’s parents had planned on naming her Olivia, but, when she was born, they were delighted by her beautiful, olive-green eyes. A split second decision led to them shortening her name to Olive.
Somehow, none of this made it into the book—and her green eyes are only mentioned once!
What project are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Porch Swing Girl, which releases NEXT APRIL!!
What is one piece of advice that you would give to an aspiring author?
I would love to meet every aspiring author in person, give them a BIG round of applause for their audacity and willingness to dive into such a beautifully difficult industry, and tell them to NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THEIR PASSION. It’s easy to get hung up on sales numbers, post likes, and website hits when really, we write for the love of WRITING, not for the world’s admiration. That’s a hard lesson to learn, especially during the querying process, but it’s such a valuable one!!
Where can we find you on social media?
You can find me just about everywhere!! I love hanging out with all of you readerly/writerly people, and my favorite platforms are Instagram, my website, and YouTube, though I’m learning to embrace Twitter as well. (You can also find me on Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest. I might have an obsession with that last one...)
Connect with Taylor!
I had too much fun doing this interview!! =)
Make sure you grab yourself a copy of Porch Swing Girl and connect with Taylor through one of the links above!
Until next time friends, keep letting your lights shine!