Please welcome Kyle Taylor to Decadent Delights. I hope you enjoy the blurb, excerpt, and the short interview. :) Kyle will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and as a special prize, Kyle's previous book, Billion Dollar Dreamer, will be given away free on Amazon the last day of the tour.
Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/10/virtual-book-tour-exposition-by-kyle.html
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~How do you come up with a title?
When I started laying out the book, I kept thinking that I wanted a one word title. And I wanted a word that looked good graphically. Exposition had a nice sort of double meaning too – It’s about a world’s fair but it’s really about the main character’s true self being exposed. I suppose the revealing nature of the word could be interpreted in a steamier way too!
~Which character caused you the most difficulty to write?
Walter Wyatt, the father of the main character, Benjamin, was tough in one respect. He’s cut from the same cloth as another character in the story, real-life architect Daniel Burnham. They’re both brash, eager to take on a challenge and insatiably ambitious. So I had to make sure they each had defining sorts of characteristics. Burnham is more aloof than Walter Wyatt. Walter Wyatt grew up as a boxer and street fighter. He never lost that unrefined quality, even when he built his fortune. He’s more of a barbarian millionaire. Burnham has finesse.
~When do you do your best writing… morning, afternoon, evening, night?
I learned a while back that my writing is best in the mornings. Typically, when doing a book like this, which requires a great deal of research, I like to research in the evenings, let it ferment overnight and then write the actual scenes in the morning.
~Out of all the stories you’ve written which one are you most proud of?
I give the edge to Exposition because of the interweaving of various subplots into the whole. The story not only follows the relationship of the hero Benjamin and his lover Spencer, but it also reveals the story of the building of the fair. Plus, there is this sibling rivalry between Benjamin and his impulsive younger brother, Jamison. The novel has an epic sort of feel to it, but it moves. It doesn’t get bogged down.
~Do you plan your stories and, if so, to what extent?
Exposition started with an inspiration from a conversation I had with an old apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wrights’ coupled with my desire to write a lush, gay period piece akin to The Age of Innocence. Because of the interweaving of plotlines and historic details, I worked a lot on the front end – creating an outline of the events and trying to set them into specific moments of the fair’s construction and aftermath.
I like to lay out my stories generally using one note card per scene. I separate books into five acts and plot out the whole thing on my living room floor. It gets messy when my golden retriever, Winston, decides he is in desperate need of a belly rub and plops down in the middle of all the cards! (By the way, Winston makes a guest appearance in human form in Exposition as an ancient butler for the Van Buren household. He also played himself in my first novel, Billion Dollar Dreamer.)
~How many stories do you work on at any one time?
I also write articles for architectural magazines, so I always have that going on – but normally, I just do one novel at a time. I’m so impressed by writers who can write several stories at once.
~Is there anything you’d like to tell? Maybe something in the works you would like to promotion? Feel free!
I just finished the manuscript for my next novel. It’s another historical fiction piece about a real-life aerialist drag queen named, Barbette. It’s called: Wildflower: The Dramatic Life of Barbette – Round Rock’s First and Greatest Drag Queen. The research on the piece almost killed me! I follow sixty years of his fascinating life – from growing up picking cotton out in the fields of Central Texas at the turn of the last century, to his salacious high wire/trapeze drag performance – headlining in some of the most famous night clubs and theaters in the 1920’s and 30’s in Europe. He collaborated with Orson Welles, Cole Porter, Vincent Minnelli and Judy Garland. He helped Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon with their female impersonations in Some Like it Hot. I don’t want to disclose more, but it’s a gritty, exalting and yet tragic story I felt needed to be told. I’m just starting to shop for a publisher. I’ll keep you posted.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to be interviewed! I appreciate your time and thoughtful questions! Best wishes to you!
by Kyle Taylor
Meet Benjamin Wyatt, a handsome young architect helping create the magnificent 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. While immersed in work at the famous architectural firm of Burnham and Root, Benjamin’s pugnacious, social climbing father, Walter Wyatt, pushes him to marry the stunningly beautiful debutante, Evelyn Van Buren—thus securing the family’s position in Chicago society. Yet, when Benjamin meets the cocky young electrical engineer, Spencer Bowles, who is also working on the fair, his world and its ambitions are forever shattered.
Set amidst the opulent splendor of Chicago in the late Victorian Age, Benjamin Wyatt must confront the perils of accepting his own true love and risk destroying everything he worked so hard to achieve. Meticulously researched and filled with lush images of the Gilded Age, Exposition, tells the epic story of a love that dare not speak its name…
“Where is Evelyn?” Genevieve Wyatt looked about.
At that instant, Evelyn descended the grand staircase, wearing a sumptuous, pink silk gown accentuating her full bosom and tiny waist. A diamond choker adorned her neck and matched her teardrop, diamond earrings. Her auburn hair was now upswept like the other ladies in the room, an indication she was no longer a girl, but a woman, an eligible one at that.
Benjamin watched the heavenly, young creature glide down the staircase, like a cherry blossom softy floating to the ground from a springtime tree. The closer she moved towards the party, the lovelier she appeared. He marveled at the perfection before him: her figure, her hair, the construction of her face, lips, cheeks, nose, and brilliant blue eyes.
“Good evening,” Evelyn said.
“Evelyn,” Benjamin stepped forward, “you are looking lovelier than ever.” He kissed her gloved hand.
“Why, thank you, Benjamin,” she replied. “I see time has been good to you as well.”
Jamison also took in the ravenous beauty Evelyn Van Buren had become. It was impossible to advert his eyes from her.
Winston reentered the grand foyer and announced, “Dinner is served.” His footmen slid back ornately carved, pocket doors revealing a grand gallery hung with oil paintings in golden frames of long lost scions of Van Buren heritage. To the other end of the gallery, another set of carved pocket doors were opened revealing a sumptuous dining room with a table brilliantly set.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kyle Taylor is the author of both Exposition and Billion Dollar Dreamer. The Kyle Taylor character debuted in Billion Dollar Dreamer as a journalist who was assigned to write a story about high school history teacher cum overnight billionaire John Driskil. Kyle has begun his next book, tentatively titled Wildflower. He resides in New York -- and of course he is a work of fiction!
Author Web Page: www.billiondollardreamer.com