JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
E.S. Fuller, author of What About the Taylors????
The book What About the Taylors????” consists of five stories about a family whose origins start in a fictional town in Arkansas named Brookdale from a neighborhood that is on the decline from its past.
These stories start in chronological order from the mid 1980s to the 2000. The main theme in the book is that despite the experiences that each relative goes through, the thing is that they try to keep family ties together.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write What About the Taylors?????
E.S. Fuller: The inspiration to write this book came from one specific area. Everyone knows the type of relatives that they have who they like to be around, such as their favorite cousin, aunt, uncle, etc. at a family reunions or fish fries.
Some are quieter, so they naturally like to be around relatives that don’t talk as much. Others are more talkative and speak up more on issues of importance, and there are relatives that are more used to being around that as well.
This got me the chance to develop characters in short stories over a period of time.
JP: What sets What About the Taylors???? apart from other books in the same genre?
ESF: I always used to hear the words “be yourself” as a kid. And I think it was great if you had the opportunity to be around a relative or a teacher in school that could give you advice on things you needed to know, not just what you wanted to hear. There’s a good chance they might stress the importance of learning to be yourself and standing out from the crowd as well.
It’s funny how nowadays, when someone or some idea comes along that seen by most as out of the ordinary, some people might say, “You can be yourself, but to a certain extent. Just don’t be like them. Just don’t think that differently from others.” It’s hard for me to see that people still say this knowing an election came in 2008 that proved otherwise.
At best, this book shows just what I’m referring to. Sometimes there’s the gifted kid in school who wants to succeed, but other students (even adults) criticize him for doing so. Other times it might be that young girl who has one dream that’s a little different. She dresses and thinks differently, but there are those that despise her ambition. You’ll see glimpses of that in this book as well.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to What About the Taylors???? getting out to the public?
ESF: Mostly it’s been word-of-mouth more than anything. It has taken place through relatives, distributing flyers, letting people know about my website, or a few tweets on twitter every once in a while. I think the one thing I’ll work on more is the use of social media. I’m not the biggest fan of blogs, but sometimes you have to let people know what you’re about.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish What About the Taylors?????
ESF: I tend to write out my stories rather than sitting down to type at a computer. My thoughts come easier when I jot things in a notebook. As for the book, it first started as a group of short stories that I had worked on about 2 years ago. Most were finished, where a couple were still in drafts.
I didn’t think of combining them into a book at all until I began to see that there was a cohesiveness that existed between each one–that being family. It took me about a year from that point. I had to make sure that everything went together in respect to how people were related.
JP: What’s next for E.S. Fuller?
ESF: Right now I’m in the process of writing my second and third books at this point. One with be a poetry anthology, primarily hip-hop based. The other will be another book in what I hope to be will be a continuation of the Taylor family. This one will deal with two cousins whose names are in the first book.
I’d just like to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about this book, and I hope that in some way or form it can make a difference to someone. That’s about it.