Sometimes a story can save us. Kathryn Taylor’s world turned upside down when her second husband abandoned her. So she did what a born storyteller must do: she wrote about it. Describing her prose as “truthful, dignified, and pragmatic” and “elegantly descriptive and effortlessly precise,” Kirkus Reviews says Taylor’s memoir “speaks tenderly and directly to her readers: ‘You, too, have the ability to regain your confidence, abandon your hopelessness, and realize that you are not a woman to be tossed aside and forgotten.”” Two Minus One: A Memoir is available November 6, 2018.
What have you learned from parenting, or from your own parents, that you bring to your work as a writer?
When my first marriage ended, I had two young daughters to raise on my own. After selecting Virginia from an atlas provided to them, the girls and I boarded a plane in California to begin a new life on the East Coast where we knew no one. I was terrified, but of course did not want my daughters to know that. What I did want them to know, and what I worked hard to instill in them, were two basic things: they were loved unconditionally, and they could be fearless. Life held endless opportunities to be explored and fear would only keep them from tasting all that it had to offer. I had to be fearless in writing my story – in an honest and open way – and was confident in the knowledge that whatever the outcome, I had the unconditional love of my family and friends.
Where do you write? What do you love (or hate) about it?
My writing came directly from journals and scribbled notes which were often written at the beach or scattered throughout the house. For the most part, I am fortunate to have an office where I can pull those random thoughts together into an orderly and sequential – and publishable – product. The most difficult part of writing for me is sitting! As a retired elementary school teacher, I rarely had a moment to sit!
If you had a motto, what would it be?
Never give up!
Who inspires you?
My daughters are my biggest inspiration! They are strong, intelligent, and resilient women unafraid to face life’s challenges and willing to embrace its opportunities. I try always to think of them when I am faced with doubt or adversity. Just the thought of them provides the courage and strength for me to move forward.
Is there a charity or community service are you passionate about?
As a retired elementary teacher, I am passionate about early literacy. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and its local affiliates – in my area, it is Begin with Books – is important to me. I try to donate my time – and my finances – whenever possible.
What are you reading now (or recently) and/or what book do you recommend?
I have read several great books recently including: Hans Rosling’s Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World and Why Things Are Better Than We Think, Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdad’s Sing, and T. Greenwood’s Rust and Stardust.
What is the most satisfying part of being an author? What do you least enjoy about being an author?
The most satisfying part about being an author for me is connecting with other people through my story. I have met so many wonderful and collaborative authors, readers, and supporters because of putting my experience on paper. I have been exposed to a world I had only imagined and have a far deeper appreciation for the efforts an author puts into polishing, perfecting, and marketing their work.
The least enjoyable – or at least the most challenging for me – is the technology – especially the social media! It was all completely foreign to me, and I still often feel overwhelmed by the demands. Ironically, those challenges have provided some of the most inspiring connections and deepest rewards.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be?
I retired from my “calling” and teaching career to relocate in support of my second husband. I had adjusted to that retirement when without explanation, he announced he was done with the marriage. I wrote Two Minus One: A Memoir to heal from the unexpected loss and abandonment. If I was not writing, I would return to unstructured retirement days filled with reading lots of wonderful books, friends, travel, and sunshine and sand at the beach.
Kathryn Taylor was born at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois and spent much of her life in the Chicagoland area. She is a retired teacher and had taught in the schools of Illinois, California, and Virginia before her retirement and relocation to South Carolina. It was there where she wrote her book, Two Minus One: A Memoir, following the unexpected abandonment by her second husband. An avid reader, enthusiastic traveler, and incurable beach lover, she resides outside of Charleston, SC, which affords her the opportunity to enjoy all three of her favorite past times. Two Minus One: A Memoir is her first book. She can be found at https://kathryntaylorbooks.com