Growing up the fifth child of eight, I was the quiet one in the family. Most of the time, I could be found curled up in a chair reading a book. I was never the most popular person in my classes, but I’ve always had one best friend and a couple of very good friends. It’s still that way today. In fact, I met my best friend during my freshman year of high school. Thirty-four years later, we are still best friends. That may not seem significant, but I think not focusing on popularity allows some freedom because I didn’t waste time worrying about what others thought of me.
I became a respiratory therapist by pure chance because I had no clue that the ad in the paper for one meant the person had to be qualified. That one little phone call changed my life because I found a job I enjoyed doing.
I stumbled into writing in a similar way. I started writing fanfiction in the mid-90s and eventually turned to writing original fiction in 2009.
The idea for No Good Deed initially came to me after reading in the newspapers about the American enemy combatant, Jose Padilla, a.k.a. the Dirty Bomber. I found more information about American enemy combatants and wondered what would happen if someone completely innocent was caught up in a modern day witch hunt—substituting terrorist for witch. However, I didn’t write the story until someone posted a writing challenge as an informal-yet-intriguing contest on a website calling for writers to have our characters wake up in a padded room and wonder how they got there. I wrote the scene that ended up being the scene where Mark is in the cell in shackles when Jessie comes to see him shortly after his arrest.
Sadly, the scene did not win the contest; although people liked it, it was too bleak as it ended with Mark just left there in the cell. (The scene that won the contest was my second entry, so it was all good! It was a fun, sexy scene about a couple waking up in a padded room. I’d love to expand that into a book someday too.)
So, that is how No Good Deed was born. I turned the scene into a short story, and I kept getting requests from readers, asking for more. So I started the story over from scratch to make it flow better. I only kept the one scene with Jessie, and one other scene later when Mark is in prison. I didn’t expect the idea to become a whole series, but readers kept asking for more, so I continued telling Mark Taylor's story. I’m currently writing the fifth book in the series.
The Mark Taylor 4-Book Omnibus is currently on sale for just $5.99 (£4.10). It is available: