Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
I am at the age where my mind is younger than my body, but still young enough to appreciate many things in life, and remember the lessons I’ve learned. This year, I also became a veteran world champion in Taekwondo.
I am a pre-reader as well as a writer, and I enjoy reading a wide variety of genres. As for my own writing; to date I have written an historical western (Dakota Skies), several short contemporary romance stories and some comedy. Secret of the Manor is the first time that I’ve combined genres and I hope people like it.
It wasn’t until I was made redundant that I tried writing. Lily Velden encouraged me submit my first original piece of work to Dreamspinners, which successfully made it into their anthology Don’t Try This At Home. Since then my stories have been published by Wayward Ink.
Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
I live about 15 miles south of Birmingham, UK. Whenever I go into the city shopping, I see to see this little church from the train. At the time I didn’t have a clue about its map location and all sorts of creative scenario’s used to pop into my head regarding its origins. Then one day I was exercising my friends’ horse and I happened upon it.
Oh that’s easy. Two cocks are more fun to play with than one.
I used to read a lot of M/F but I found the stories much of a muchness. Then I read an M/M one and it was brilliant and different. I’d never considered writing an M/F story, but I was so inspired by what I read in M/M that was the way I had to go.
Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
No one character that I write is based on one particular person. I tend to take characteristics from people that I’ve met, add some imagination and merge them into one character.
For instance in the anthology Bollocks, I have a story DIY Delights. In that the early years of Duncan were based on my son. He’s not a fan of gardening unless a power tool is involved.
Similarly, in Secret of the Manor; Carl is a combination of stable owners that I’ve met over the years with my own little twist inserted into his makeup.
Anyone who knows me would not be able to read a book of mine and say that’s Fred or John. However, they may recognise characteristics from them.
Do characters and stories just pop into your head, or do you take your time thinking about them?
Um, yes is the general answer. Sometimes a plot will jump into my head, but when I think about it more, it doesn’t have legs for anything major. This is where I like the Wednesday Briefs, headed by Julie Hayes. The prompts she sends allows a small idea to pop into my head and that may inspire something bigger, later. If not, it stays as a small free read between 500 and 1000 words.
When a character pops into my head for a novel, I then sit and think about them for a long time. That allows me to plot out where they have come from and their life experiences. All that helps me understand the person they are and why. Much of the time that part doesn’t make it into the final story, but it does help me know how they will react to certain situations.
Are you a panster or a plotter?
Oh panster. I’ve tried plotting, and when I start a story I have a general plot line in my head. However, with most of my stories, the characters take over and the story goes in another direction.
In Secret of the Manor, I never intended it to finish the way it did. But about a third of the way through my characters demanded a different outcome.
What are your writing and personal goals for 2015 and beyond?
Currently, I’m on crutches, as I managed to twist my knee and I have ligament damage. As there’s not much left of 2015, I’d like to get of my sticks and get back into training. Then, I’ve got to take care of my knee so that nothing recurs preventing me from attending the next TKD world champs in 2017.
Literary wise, once Secret Of The Manor is out I will start my next novel which has an Egyptian feel to it. But I have more research to do first.
What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
As I am writing articles for the promotion of Secret of the Manor, it is difficult to sink into another world. So, I am putting off starting my new novel until closer to Christmas.
During these times, I delve into the world of fanfiction and play around with NCIS stories. I love to pair DiNozzo and Gibbs. I’d love to give you a snippet, but my laptop recently crashed, preventing me from accessing any of my files. My son has generously allowed me to use his machine while it’s being fixed. So, if a little ffn is your thing pop over to AO3 and look up maryhell.
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Can you tell us about your pets?
I have had both cats and dogs over the years. If I had to choose, I’d say I’m a cat person. Though, I wouldn’t have a pure bred one. I lost 2 Siamese cats to leukaemia while they were very young. It’s so heart breaking, I’d never go there again. It’s one thing to lose a pet that has had a long life, it’s another to lose them barely into adulthood.
When I was a child, I had a black cat called Tango. As a kitten she’d been abandoned in hospital grounds with her fellow brothers and sisters. When I first had her she could turn around in a sock. We did everything together. Everywhere I went in the house, Tango would be draped around my shoulders.
Another cat of mine was Sue. She was an ex farm cat who put everyone in their place. If I was reading a book and she thought it was time to put it down, she’d come and sit on it. Sue even put my greyhound in his place.
As for my current dog, Dino. He’s the laziest mutt on the planet. He used to race and has now been retired for more years than he raced. He’s a couch potato who knows when I’m opening a packet of ham, even when he’s out in the garden and I’m being extra sneaky cutting the packet open instead of using the rip-tab.
Are you obsessed with stationery? And if so, what and why?
Yes, pens. I love them and am very possessive over my favourites. It all depends on the pen as to how neatly I write. I have a fountain pen, and when I write with that, my letters are artistic. I can’t stand a ballpoint pen that is scratchy. I’ll retrieve one out of my handbag and use that instead of using a pen that grates the paper.
I have a favourite pen that I use on Christmas cards. And, there are certain pens that I will only allow my family to use under supervision, to make sure I get them back.
Title: Secret of the Manor
Author: Taylin Clavelli
Genre: Gay romance, mystery, paranormal, adventure
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Warren Blake is an accountant at the pinnacle of his career. After accepting a new position he decides to settle in the scenic Cotswold village of Walmsley Hackett. A village with a colourful history of myth, old wives tales and mystery.
One morning during his train ride into work, Warren notices a small quaint church which he becomes enchanted with. Curiousity compels him to find the church and when he finally does, he discovers an unmarked grave in the corner. Feeling sorry for its occupant, Warren becomes a frequent visitor.
Little does he know that the young man inside the coffin needs a champion and Warren is chosen.
What follows involves a ghostly medieval joust, witchcraft, love, and Warren risking his life.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Manor-Taylin-Clavelli-ebook/dp/B0174MHXS8/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Manor-Taylin-Clavelli-ebook/dp/B0174MHXS8/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/Secret-Manor-Taylin-Clavelli-ebook/dp/B0174MHXS8/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Secret-Manor-Taylin-Clavelli-ebook/dp/B0174MHXS8/
Excerpt - Night Ride
Suddenly, a patch of mist marred his path, and Warren shivered. It was as if the droplets of water were crawling over his skin, tasting it, testing it. A sweet fragrance filled his nostrils, and he was sure he could hear the vapour hiss as it delved beneath his collar. A small branch came out of nowhere and thrashed Warren’s face, but he kept going. The fog enveloped the scratch, which stung like tiny needles plucking at his flesh before the pain disappeared, soothed into non-existence.
Argo stopped, rigid, and puffed loud and deep, his ears twitching in all directions. Warren could feel the rise and fall of his steed’s chest under his legs and was afraid to urge the beast anywhere until he settled. Warren breathed deep, too. Something was ahead and he had no idea what it was. His arms shook from adrenaline, and a bead of sweat ran from his brow.
Thump, thump, thump. His heart stuttered, torn between turning tail and forging on.
Argo’s ears abruptly focussed forward. Then he snorted and surged ahead. Warren ceased to be the master and became a passenger. Argo seemed to know where he was going. It was as if Warren were on a train with a single-track line, and someone had removed the brakes.
Argo puffed in excitement and upped his pace. It was all Warren could do to hang on.
To save his skin, Warren leaned against Argo’s neck and put his trust in his charger. All he could hear was the one-two-three, one-two-three thunderous beat of his horse in canter. One-two-three, one-two-three. Argo’s thick black neck surged forward in time with the beat. One-two-three, one-two-three. Long strands of mane licked at Warren’s face, and he grabbed a handful to steady himself. He almost lost his seat when Argo took off over a fallen tree and burst out of the woods into a clearing.
With a whinny and a rear, Argo announced his presence. His front legs pawed the air. Warren clung to the saddle and prayed.
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2 x $10 WIP Gift Cards
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About the author
Taylin Clavelli lives in the United Kingdom, about 15 miles south of Birmingham, and a short journey from the world famous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory. She’s married with children and loves her family with all her heart.
Her love of books has been a long standing affair, with Taylin liking nothing better than to lose herself in an imaginary world.
Until she met Lily Velden, she never considered trying her hand at writing. However, after talking ideas, Lily encouraged her to put pen to paper—or rather, fingers to keyboard. Since, with a few virtual kicks in the right place, she hasn’t stopped. Her confidence eventually led to her writing an original work for submission.
Her first published work was Boys, Toys, and Carpet Fitters, developed for the Dreamspinner Press Anthology – Don’t Try This At Home.
Now she absolutely adores immersing herself into the characters she creates, and transferring the pictures in her brain to paper, finding it liberating, therapeutic, and wonderful.
Outside of writing, her interests include; martial arts (she’s a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwon-do), horse-riding, all of which facilitates her love of a wide variety of movies. Her action heroes include Jet Li and Tony Jaa—finding the dedication these men have for their art combined with their skill both amazing and a privilege to watch. If pressed, she’ll admit to thinking that the screen entrance of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl, and Shadowfax in LOTR, to be the greatest screen entrances ever. Her all-time favorite movies are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.
The simple things in life that make her day, putting a smile on her face are:
Laughter – especially that of her children.
The smell of lasagna cooking – it makes her mouth salivate.
The dawn chorus – no symphony ever written can beat the waking greetings of the birds.