Brii Taylor was born, raised and resides in Portland, OR. Being the eldest of her mother’s six children, she used reading and writing as an escape at an early age. She’d spend countless hours writing poems, short stories and songs. Picking up her first Urban Fiction novel at age fifteen, she fell in love with the intriguing genre. Knowing her long term goal was to eventually become an author/writer, she now knew the genre she’d write.
In June of 2015, she started writing her first series titled, Love And A Thug. It was later published in August of 2015, under Urban Chapters Publication. Seeing that she had a true talent to capture the reader’s attention, she continued to pen other works.
Brii’s main goal is to minister Love, Joy, Hope, and Peace with an Urban Twist. Her biggest hope is that someone would pick up her books, and have a positive, life changing experience. She is a lover of love and a true hopeless romantic. Her faith in God is big and bleeds through the pages.
Driven by the scripture, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13), Brii’s plan is to pen more stories, leaving her mark in the literary industry.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I appreciate this opportunity. Thank you for thinking of me. I knew writing was my calling at the age of twelve. I’ve always loved to write poetry, short stories, and songs. I’m the oldest of six children and always used writing as an escape. I’m able to create alternate realities and live in them, that’s what I love most about writing. What I hate most is having writer’s block. Writing is literally my escape. When I can’t access my escape, it upsets me. Then I go into what’s called a writing slump—much like depression.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Well, I write romance books. Particularly, urban romance books that range from contemporary, Christian, street, and I’ve written a couple of LGBTQ Urban Fiction books. All of my books are available on Amazon under Brii Taylor. You can also go to www.justbriitaylor.com to get the links.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My inspiration comes from personal experiences, and different scenarios that pop up in my mind.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
This is a funny question, lol. I didn’t used to think I needed a schedule. I hated the idea of having a schedule. I didn’t like the idea of my writing being ‘work’. It’s always been something to relieve stress or free me. Now? Yes, I do have a schedule, and I see the necessity in having one. Being that I’ve recently started taking my writing more seriously, I find it helpful to have writing hours. I didn’t always outline my novels, lol. I’ve always been the type to make it up as I go. This was when I first started. I still make it up as I go, but I find making an outline helpful. It keeps me on track. I’m currently working on a re-release, a new urban standalone, and a Christmas novella.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
The very first book that moved me emotionally, and it’s funny because I had no interest in reading it at first, was Speak by, Laurie Halse Anderson. I had to read it for a high school project. I remember just feeling the emotions of the protagonist. I guess I had a connection to it, because I could relate to what she was going through. Right now, I’m currently reading a book called Woke Up Married to My Kingpin by, Nikqua.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
My most significant achievement as a writer is literally getting a book published. It’s been my dream since I was twelve. All I’ve ever wanted to do was write and read, lol. Now I get to do that for a living, and it’s a blessing. Within the next five years? Wow…prayerfully, I would have turned one or three of my books into a movie or show. I also see my books to help another individual face their demons. I see myself working alongside other amazing writers—creating, innovating, and just collaborating on something big.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
When it comes to rejection, my view is, ‘if you like it, you like it…if you don’t, you don’t’. I embrace all feedback—good and bad. So, I find it okay to be rejected. It keeps me on my toes. There is so much more I need to learn and will always be open to learn. My advice to aspiring authors/writers is to be themselves. Write how you write and what you like. Don’t write, thinking about who’s going to read or like the book. As long as you put your heart into it? your work will speak for itself.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
I don’t find it hard at all to juggle the creative and business side of being a writer. This is where I learned that having a schedule pays BIG TIME! You set aside time to do both things. Let’s say you’re doing a 5k day. You get half of your word count done, take a break—getting anything such as promotion, contacting editors, maybe create a digital promo—and then come back and do the other half of the word count. I’m not going to lie about building your author platform up. That can be hard depending on how consistent you are and also who you’re connected to. I wouldn’t say I had a hard time building mine up. I had a dope publisher who came with readers, and they became my readers too. My problem was/has been keeping them interested. I had a moment where I wasn’t releasing, so I lost a few. There are still a handful, including new readers that are supporting though.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
I love reading my work before it’s published. I don’t typically read it after it’s out there. However, that’s not because I don’t enjoy it. The only time I willingly read my work after it’s out there is for character and background research purposes. Like, if I’m going to write a sequel, or if a previous character might make an appearance in a new book.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
The answer to this question is simple: Absolutely not! It’s never too late to become successful in anything. I don’t believe in late starts. I believe everyone starts at an appointed time—whenever or whatever stage that is of their life—and can/will be as successful as they allow themselves to be.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
My answer to this question is, my faith in God. No matter what the book is about, I try and make sure he shows up on the pages. I try to make each book be about ‘something’. Like, I want every reader to get something positive out of each book. I want someone to have a major life/soul changing experience when they read my book. I want them to see themselves in the characters and be encouraged. My purpose in writing is to spread Love, Joy, Hope, and Peace. Writing helps me with that most because it’s easier to type the words than to say the words for me.