After reviewing Goldsmith Jones, I’d like to introduce you to the author, Sam Taylor-Pye.
Hi I’m Sam Taylor-Pye and I’m a historical fiction writer. Goldsmith Jones is my first published novel.
My story takes place in 1860’s San Francisco. I grew up as a part time resident between Washington State USA, and British Columbia, Canada. I have always had an affinity with the Pacific Northwest, the culture and the history.
Like many authors, I began writing as a child. I used to ‘sell books’ to my family members. I realise now they were probably pages of stick people with scribble stapled together, but, it’s the ideas that matter!
I was always intrigued by stories of the old west: the ‘wild west’. And carried a fondness of romance that began probably earlier than it should have for my years. I’ve always been ‘in love’ with some imaginary man (or boy when I was a child) and have not grown out of that, despite my several decades of life.
My childhood, I realise now, is reflected in Goldsmith Jones in several ways. I had a foster brother for many years starting at 3. We were very close. Got into all kinds of trouble. Laughed, fought, set fire to things. Planned to get married etc. Sadly, when I was 8 he was taken by social services to live in another foster home. I saw him there twice. The last time I was given a slice of cherry pie. Said goodbye to him, as he ran off to play with the boys and that was it. I never saw him again. Until I started writing Jones, and he came back in the guise of Raccoon.
When my foster brother left, a lot of things for me changed. Like Jones and Raccoon, we were a team, and when my guardian team player was not there anymore, things went bad. To make a long sad story short, I was subjected to two years of repeated abuse of a sexual nature. Those words will never get easy to say.
This abuse, even after it stopped, set the stage for the rest of my young life. From then on I was scarred by these events, and other perpetrators came out the shadows. In the novel, one returned in the character of Sweet Virginia. The others, showing later in my life, combined themselves into one wicked man: the Golden Daddy.
But does that mean Goldsmith Jones is me? Is this some kind of autobiography? Well, no. It’s not. But, writing in a voice that’s not your own definitely allows for you to talk events that are otherwise silently hurting and harming you every day.
So, where did Goldsmith Jones come from? I do sketches alongside my novel. You can see a drawing I did of him on my website that has a once forgotten beginning.
One day I was clearing out my closets, and came across a sketchbook that I’d kept when I was 13. As I turned the pages I came across a drawing I’d done of a boy I’d called ‘Kevin’. He was 14. He was an orphan. And he worked in the sex trade on the streets of Vancouver. I knew this because I’d seen ‘him’ on the TV, with his face hidden from the camera. He’d stood there alone, in front of reporters, to tell his story about being a rent boy. And I remember, as a 13-year-old girl, watching him speak. All I wanted to do was help him or save him, or something. I have no idea what the rent-boy on TV’s real name was. All I knew is that he was my new imaginary boy friend, who I would repeatedly save from the nasty streets of Vancouver. And take home to live with me. Where he’d be safe. And maybe so would I.
When I looked at that drawing, that day, months after I had published the novel, I saw the image of Goldsmith Jones. Somehow, he’d stayed in my head all these forgotten years. Waiting to tell his story. Or the story circa 1863 as he would like it to be told.
Back to reality. Now I live in Kent, England. In a quaint village that would be absolutely perfect for a murder mystery- if I could write such a book. I have a wonderful daughter and two cats. The closets are not as cluttered but the house is always a mess. I use every experience, happy or tortured, to help fill the pages of my next novel, about Goldsmith Jones.
Thanks for that, Sam. Best of luck with the blog tour.