Taylor Stevens was born in New York State, and into the Children of God, an apocalyptic religious cult spun from the Jesus Movement of the '60s. Raised in communes across the globe, separated from her family at age twelve and denied an education beyond sixth grade, Stevens lived on three continents and in a dozen countries before reaching fourteen. In place of schooling, the majority of her adolescence was spent begging on city streets at the behest of cult leaders, or as a worker bee child, caring for the many younger commune children, washing laundry and cooking meals for hundreds at a time. In her twenties, Stevens broke free in order to follow hope and a vague idea of what possibilities lay beyond. She now lives in Texas, and juggles full-time writing with full-time motherhood.
This biography was last updated on 03/23/2011.
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A Conversation with Taylor Stevens, Author of The Informationist
Q) Your debut thriller, The Informationist, features a kick-ass heroine named Vanessa "Michael" Munroe who is getting some nice comps to Stieg Larsson's feisty protagonist Lisbeth Salander. How did you envision Munroe? Did you know when you first started writing the book that she would be such a strong, fierce character?
A) From the beginning, when writing Munroe, I never viewed her in terms of strong or weak, good or evil, or even, in a sense, male or female. Initially, when thinking of her reactions to situations, I was drawn to the emotional conflict and skill of Jason Bourne, and the sensual confidence of Lara Croft, but these were gut feelings, nothing specific or tangible. So to me, Munroe has always been who she is as the natural result of her storied life, and I honestly didn't realize just how strong - and perhaps unusual - she is until feedback started coming in from early readers.
Q) What exactly is an "informationist," and how did you come up with the concept of the novel? Did you have an aha moment, or did the novel come together over time?
A) Everything about writing The Informationist unfolded backwards. When I started, I had no idea ...
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