Michal Scott is the pen name of Rev. Anna Taylor Sweringen, a retired United Church of Christ and Presbyterian USA minister. A native New Yorker, Anna is a recent transplant to the Southwest and is enjoying the great weather along with her husband of thirty years and their rescue cat, Scully. She has bee n writing fiction professionally since 2003 and had an inspirational novel, Through A Glass Darkly, published in 2008. Her loves of history and romance came together in her first erotic romance novella, One Breath Away, published by Wild Rose Press in 2016. Anna is a member of the Women’s Fiction Association and several Romance Writers of America chapters. In addition to erotic romance, writes as Anna Taylor (inspirational romance) and gothic romance as Anna M. Taylor (women’s fiction and gothic romance).
Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?
Anna: I write in three romance genres under three different pen names: inspirational (Anna Taylor), gothic (Anna M. Taylor) and erotic (Michal Scott). I write inspirational romance because dealing with stories where people grow because they wrestle with faith issues. I write gothic romance because the flaws of the more deeply wounded gothic hero appeals to my love for the redemption/second chance romance trope. I write erotic romance because the heat level of erotic stories gets me closer to my life-long goal of understanding and exercising the power of eroticism as I’ve experienced it in the writings of the love mystics of Begijn and as articulated by Audre Lorde in her talk Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic As Power.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Anna: I have to give credit to my mother, my mother-in-law and author Mary Buckham. My mother created a voracious reader in me that inevitably led to my writing stories of my own. My mother-in-law’s challenge to write stories about my own characters rather than writing fan fiction led me to join RWA and begin to hone my skills. Finally, the fabulous Mary Buckham encouraged me to believe in myself as a writer before I became published and she continues to push me to be the best writer I can be.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Anna: A favorite piece of music, re-reading a passage from a favorite author or being inspired by a new work I happen across.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Anna: Yes, I do. I don’t know how many people remember Mighty Mouse but his “Here I come to save the day” encouraged me as a little kid. I loved watching something as tiny as a mouse prove to be heroic. If a teeny tiny mouse could save the day, so could a skinny little kid like me.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?
Anna: Michelle Obama. She really shone as a great first lady in the tradition of Eleanor Roosevelt. She’s her own woman, has her own message and picked a partner who needed an equal like her. Her dedication to young people being healthy mentally, physically and spiritually continues to inspire me.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Anna: If I were still in New York, I’d go to one of my favorite museums and split the day between a new exhibit and one of my favorites. Now I’m here in the Southwest, I’d find a sunny bench in a park where I could read with the sound of children playing around me.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Anna: Right now I’m giving Women’s Fiction a try by taking on Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle operas but told from the POV of the female characters as African-American women during the Gilded Age through the first two decades of the 20th century. I’ve completed and am presently revising the first draft of Or What’s A Heaven For, my take on the first opera, Das Rheingold and am working on my outline for A Damned Mob of Scribbling Women, my take on Das Valkyrie.
Blurb for Wife Wanted: Marital relations as necessary. Love not required nor sought…
A brid al lottery seems the height of foolishness to ex-slave Caesar King, but his refusal to participate in the town council’s scheme places him in a bind. He has to get married to avoid paying a high residence fine or leave the Texas territory. After losing his wife in childbirth, Caesar isn’t ready for romance. A woman looking for a fresh start without any emotional strings is what he needs.
Queen Esther Payne, a freeborn black from Philadelphia, has been threatened by her family for her forward-thinking, independent ways. Her family insists she marry. Her escape comes in the form of an ad. If she must marry, it will be on her terms. But her first meeting with the sinfully hot farmer proves an exciting tussle of wills that stirs her physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
In the battle of sexual one-upmanship that ensues, both Caesar and Queen discover surrender can be as fulfilling as triumph.
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