Today we have the opportunity to get up close and personal with 18-year old novelist Patrick Taylor as he talks about his first book Minority, which was published earlier this year.
Q: So, you're an author. Tell us about the book.
A: Minority is set in a dystopian future where a cruel government rules the city and mutants are outlaws. But a group of young adult mutants and anti-heroes are fighting against this corruption to win back their rights.
Q: Not too many teenagers can say they're published a book, what got you started?
A: I remembered reading in Chickadee magazine about Nancy Yi Fan, who wrote her first novel when she was 12 years old, so I knew it was something I could do too. And I've been writing stories since Grade 7.
Q: Any inspiration in terms of other books?
A: One book in particular that influenced me was Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. It is also about mutants in a dystopian future, so that was interesting. But I found he had too much talking and not enough action. I wanted to write a book where the characters were developed by what they did. If they're saving someone or fighting, that's character development. Sitting around talking about how strong you are − that's just boring.
Q: Sounds very action-y. How does your hero compare to the hero of Steelheart?
My hero is Desmond Shannon and he's 21 years old. He is out to overthrow Kelvin Doe, the oppressive ruler of New York City, and his seven assassins. He's more focused on the mission and less on romance, unlike David Charleston, the hero of Steelheart.
Q: How long did it take you to write?
A: It took me a year and eight months. But I spent four months re-writing it after I lost my data stick in the computer room at school. But that doesn't matter, because I made it better the second time around.
Q: Any tips for other aspiring authors who might want to self-publish their own book?
A: Be sure to check out all your options. I spent a lot of time looking into online publishing, but it was really complicated. Then I talked to some self-publishing companies, but it was very expensive. Finally I decided to just go to a printer in Brantford and get it done myself. All you need is a PDF for the text and I made the cover using Photoshop. It costs me $7.50 a copy and I sell them for $10. I sold out the first 75 copies and recently we had another 25 printed.
Q: Plans for the future?
A: I want to write a trilogy and I am already working on the sequel Minority: Lockdown. It would make a great movie. Or maybe a video game. And I am thinking of going to Conestoga College for graphic design after I finished high school this year.
Autographed copies of Minority are available from Patrick for $10. He still has a whole box of books left!