Hi! I'm Taylor Morris and I write books and stories for teens and tweens. This is my publishing life's story, which includes lots of luck and good fortune.
I was born in Dallas, TX, and raised in Arlington, which is right between Dallas and Fort Worth. Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys. You can also find every chain restaurant in the entire nation right there, almost all of which I have eaten at.
When I was 19 I got bored. I was directionless and attending a junior college when I ran into our high school's resident stoner in the library. Knowing we went to the same school made me realize it was time for a change. I wasn't interested in any colleges in Texas (the horror!), but a friend was living in San Diego and said I should come try it out. So, I told my dad I would only be gone for one year, just to check things out. That was fifteen years ago. I haven't been back since. (To live, not to visit.)
I had no idea what I was doing with my life or even what I wanted to major in. So I took the course catalog of San Diego State University and dog-eared all the majors that interested me. (I highly recommend this tactic.) I only tagged one: journalism. And even though I wasn't interested in being a reporter, I knew I liked to write and that I was pretty good at it. A year later, I was in Boston attending Emerson College, which is where I discovered my true love for writing.
Wait: I didn't exactly get accepted into Emerson -- at first. Truth is, I was flat-out rejected. The problem was…I'd already moved to Boston. That's another story entirely. I got into Emerson by finagling a meeting with the Dean of Admissions, who had no idea who I was until he asked me to repeat my name. He went back to his office (he only met me in the lobby!), and when he returned he had a smile on his face and said he remembered and loved my entrance essay. Right there on the spot, admission was granted!
After college I made my way back to California, where I lived in Irvine, Newport Beach, Hollywood, and finally the west side of Los Angeles proper. I got an awesome job as an assistant copy editor (and later assistant editor) at Jump magazine, a teen mag "for girls who dared to be real." When the magazine folded a few years later, I wondered aloud if it was the best job I'd ever have. Besides writing books, it was the best job.
Never to be deterred, I hit the pavement searching for a new job. My first stop was an LA book publisher named Girl Press, which published "slightly dangerous books for girls." The publisher didn't need any editors, but she needed a writer. She asked if I would be interested in writing a book about a few trailblazing women in the entertainment industry. Even though I didn't know a thing about Josephine Baker -- the first woman she wanted to profile -- I immediately said yes.
So basically, my first book was handed to me on a silver platter. I know -- it's so lucky it's almost unfair. Let it be a lesson in asking. The same goes for my admission to Emerson College. You'd be surprised by the things you can get in life just by asking.
Soon, I left LA and moved to New York, where I'd dreamed of living but never really thought I would. My luck was still rolling when I found an apartment in Brooklyn on my first day in town. New York is easy!! Thus began a three year dry spell of luck.
Once I got situated I decided to try writing a novel, so I took a 12-week novel course through MediaBistro.com, and Class Favorite was born. I got an agent, and he got me a publisher. In the meantime, I got a side gig writing YA book reviews for Romantic Times Book Club, where I really got to know my genre. I reviewed three books a month for five years. Despite the pay, it was a great gig (free books!).
I've written for several magazines, but I'm most proud of the short stories I've had published in Girls' Life magazine.
Please click over to the books page to learn more about my novels.