2020 Snapshot: KJ Taylor

K.J.Taylor was born in Canberra Australia in 1986 and is somehow still alive despite a long history of really poor decision-making. She published her first novel when she was just eighteen years old, having lied to the publisher about her age, and is most well-known for her epic fantasy series which began with The Dark Griffin in 2009 and is still going. She lives in a yurt with her pet rats, and has an irrational fear of fish.

  1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My most recent book is Shadow of the Skytree, a young adult fantasy novel published by Odyssey Books. It’s something a bit different from what I usually write in that it has steampunk elements – a first for me – and is partly centred around a romance. It’s also a deconstruction of some of the more traditional fantasy races, most notably elves. The truth is that I cannot stand the traditional kind of elf Tolkien unfortunately inspired: that is, basically a race of ubermensch with pointy ears who are superior at everything. These elves aren’t superior – they just think they are, and it leads to them doing some pretty terrible things purely because they believe they have the right.

Other than that, I’ve got a science fiction novel in the works which I’m currently trying to find a home for, and am writing my first crime thriller novel which is pretty close to completion. It’s been great to branch out and try new things after about a decade of nothing but fantasy.

  1. What has been the best publishing experience of your career so far?

Tough question! I’ve had so many wonderful experiences in my time (and some crappy ones as well, of course). Most recently though I think I’d have to say the work I’ve been doing with Shooting Star Press, where I’ve been taken on as an editor and associate publisher. It’s been a real thrill working from the other side of things and facing a bunch of interesting new challenges.

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge? 

Another tough question, but I’m going to have to go with Blackbirds Sing by Aiki Flinthart. It’s wonderfully well-researched and incredibly well-written – one page in and I was hooked! Might I add, I’m pretty jaded when it comes to fantasy these days, so it takes an exceptional book to really get me interested. 😊


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