SEPTEMBER 15th, 2020
hours minutes seconds
Book Release Day
Forty-eight-year-old Corbett Thomas, a one-hit wonder of the 90s, now works as the lead sommelier at Napa Valley’s hippest restaurant. Set to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, Corbett self-destructs during his final exam, ruining his last chance at capturing the stardom and adoration he got a taste for in his youth.
When billionaire game designer, Brogan Prescott, asks Corbett to consult on a major vineyard acquisition, Corbett sees it as a shot at redemption, until he learns of Brogan’s ridiculous vision of a virtual-reality, Woke Ant Colony Winery. Disgusted, Corbett decides to buy the vineyard himself and preserve its magic and history. Cashless, clueless, and with his reputation in tatters, Corbett enlists the help of his bass-player-turned-lawyer Seamus O’Flaherty, who may have finally lost his stomach for Corbett’s bad ideas; his uber-rational daughter Remy, who wants Corbett to uncork some family secrets he’d rather leave in the cellar; and Sydney Cameron, whose sudden appearance in Corbett’s life may repair his heart or shatter it forever.
With their help-and sometimes despite it-Corbett discovers what Brogan has known all along: a four-billion-dollar gold deposit lies beneath the vineyard. If Brogan acquires the property, the ensuing gold rush will destroy Napa Valley.
But if Corbett can get out of his own way long enough to purchase the vineyard first, he’ll be faced with the hardest decision of his life: take the fame and fortune he desperately craves, or save the soul of the valley he loves so much.
About the Author
John Taylor has been writing about wine since 2012, but his meanderings on life began way before that. Born and raised in San Diego, California, John moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue dreams of screenwriting and filmmaking. He attended the University of Southern California, where he majored in Shattered Dreams and False Hopes, with a minor in Getting Gut Punched By Reality. After being handed a degree in Journalism in 1987 as a consolation prize, John dove into a career in music. Because getting gut-punched just isn’t painful enough.
By 1996, John and his band, The Uninvited, had produced four independent albums and became one of the most popular acts in the western United States. This lead to a deal on Atlantic Records, which released the band’s self-titled debut album in 1997. The band had two Top 100 hits, and toured nationally with Dave Matthews, Blues Traveller, Third Eye Blind and many other acts. Their music appeared in the TV shows Beverly Hills 90210 and Party of Five, and in the motion pictures The Commandments and North Beach. The band can also be heard in several HBO Documentaries, video games and on that annoying “One Hit Wonders of The 90’s” station your co-worker always plays on Spotify.
In 2001, John’s vast experience in shattered dreams was once again called into play as the band hung up their touring shoes for good. After a brief but horrifying career in real estate, John got wise and made a career out of his favorite hobby – wine – and has held various sales & marketing positions in Napa Valley since 2011. John’s writing career started in earnest at this point, with blogs, essays and short stories appearing in various publications. John is the author of three novels, including the aptly-titled Pairs With: Life, which will be released by Hurn Publications in September 2020.
Subscribe On YouTube
Interview With The Author
John, thanks for being with us today. Congratulations on your upcoming novel! We’re excited to jump into this interview, so let’s get to it!
Tell us your ‘path to publication’ story:
When I finished with PWL in 2018, I went the slush-pile route in an attempt to find an agent. For four months, I submitted to a total of 126 agents. I received 41 form rejections, 7 “encouraging rejections,” 5 full manuscript requests, and then in February of 2019, an offer of representation. Though my agent was very excited about the project, he wasn’t unable to get either a yes or a no from any of his submissions.
This even included friends in the industry. Flummoxed, we mutually agreed to part ways, and I began approach publishers on my own. That lead to a submission to Hurn Publications, which eventually agreed to publish the novel.
What’s your writing style/process like?
Voice-driven, emotional, entertaining and insightful. I am a serial plotter. In the Plotter v. Pantser argument, I am utterly pantless. I plot out all the beats that need to occur on my living room wall: inciting incident, first plot point, the call to action, etc., then start filling in those beats with scenes, dialogue and/or actions. I develop backstories for my characters and make sure their character arcs do all the right arcing at all the right times.
Once the story is completely laid out, beginning to end, I start writing, chronologically, from Chapter 1. By midway through, the characters have developed a life of their own, and often take the book in a different direction than I thought it would go. But I love that. I love to flesh out a world so detailed and intricate that it creates the story on its own.
What are some fun facts about Pairs With Life?
“Corbett Thomas” is a derivative of “Tom Corbett,” an homage to the first book that got me interested in reading, Tom Corbett, Space Cadet: Stand By For Mars!
Reality Star, the name of Corbett’s 90s band, was a name that my own bandmates rejected for our own group back in the 90s;
The gold mine mentioned in the book is real. Back in the 1980s, they pulled nearly a billion dollars of gold from the hills just north-east of Napa Valley;I was fortunate enough to have a screenwriting class taught by the legendary Bob McKee back in college. After the class, he pulled me aside to let me know that I was the most improved student in the class, but I still shouldn’t consider a career in writing.
Tell us about you in a Few Sentences.
Writer, musician, single father, wine guy and sci-fi nerd, though not always in that order. A bon vivant without a budget and a responsible raconteur.
Can you give us a few autobiographical words?
I was born, and then all this stuff happened, and now I’m trying to have a career as a writer. I’m also very tall.
Do you have any formal education, credentials or honors you’d like to share? We love giving authors an opportunity to show off.
- Miss Kim’s Happy Daycare (Sigma Cum Laude)
- Orange Glen High School (yes, it was in a glen full of oranges)
- University of Southern California, B.A., Journalism
Speaking of showing off, do you have bragging rights on anything that you’d like to share?
My band was once signed with Atlantic Records. Bill Paxton was apparently a big fan.
Why do you I write. Is there a philosophy behind the words?
I want to be able to write the thoughts and emotions that people empathize with but are unable to communicate themselves. Insights to the human condition would be great, too. And making people laugh is cool.
Can you share with our readers what your favorite books are and why they’re on your list?
The Sinaloa Story, Barry Gifford’s masterpiece. Visceral, exciting, compelling – Gifford has a unique way of developing complex characters in the course of three paragraphs and then killing them. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. My fave book from my fave sci-fi writer. Showed me that characters mean everything, despite the book’s genre.
Do you have any Professional & Literary Affiliations:
Member of the Author’s Guild
What’s your publication history?
Several online articles, features and blogs; three short stories in the anthology Harvest Tales and Midnight Revels (Bald Mountain Books).
What are you working to accomplish?
A general state of happiness would be nice; a safe world for my kids would also kinda rock; The ultimate goal would be enough financial stability to pursue the creative project of my choice.
Do you have any works in-progress?
The TV adaptation of Pairs With Life; my third novel, Tiffany & The Nightmare Hunters.
Anything else you’d like to let our readers know about you?
I have a cat named Jazzy who is practiced in the arts of cuteness and annoyance.