Fourteen-year-old Goldsmith Jones is left stranded in crime-ridden, gangland territory. He finds himself living at The Shades, a home to local street kids. While selling sexual favours down the Dead Man’s Alley to survive, Jones is charmed by a seaman he knows as Sweet Virginia. Moving further away from the relative security that The Shades and his best friend, Raccoon, offered him, Jones is drawn ever closer to the manipulative Sweet Virginia.
When Raccoon falls gravely ill and is taken to convalesce on the rural Rancheria, Jones is left under the controlling powers of the unscrupulous navvy. Swindled and wrongly accused, he is unexpectedly rescued by the leader of the villainous Suarez Brothers, the charismatic Saul. Faced with a choice between becoming Saul’s ‘little brother’ and saving Sweet Virginia’s life, Goldsmith Jones must embark on a dangerous journey which will change his young life forever.
I was born in the UK but grew up in between Vancouver, British child I travelled the pacific northwest coast- going south- quite a bit, and the San Juan Islands. We went to a replica old west town once. I remember, after seeing the schoolhouse, the tour guide pointed to the next building saying, ‘and this here’s the brothel’. That was a bit creepy.Columbia and the US, across the border in Washington State, a place called Birch Bay. As a
I was a very fanciful child and, except for when at school, lived in fairly elaborate fantasy world of magical horses, bipedal cats, forest animals and toys come to life. I also had a thing for Huckleberry Finn. I must have read the young adult version of the book. In my imaginary world my goal was to keep him away from Tom Sawyer- who I thought was a bad influence- and come with me into my magical world and save Ken from the evil Barbie’s who had kidnapped him and were holding him prisoner in my closet.
As soon as I could write words, I started making stories. And kept writing into adult hood. I worked on a crazy fantasy fiction novel for about ten years. Picking it up and putting down again for another rewrite of an unfinished manuscript. In between time I went to college part time. Dabbled in everything from art history and English literature, to geology and economics. I also had a beautiful daughter, and worked as a waitress, a cook and a childcare assistant.
I moved back to the UK about ten years ago. I found the Open University-a life changing experience- and finally completed the degree I’d never finished. From there I did an MA at Lancaster, where Goldsmith Jones the novel was born.
I’ve travelled a lot since I’ve been living in the UK: Australia, Hong Kong, Parts of Europe, and back over the Atlantic to New York and Florida.
Right now, my day job is working in medical admin. I’m currently writing the second Goldsmith Jones novel. My main goal in life today is working on this series. There isn’t a day I’m not thinking about Jones and the story, and my hope is to gain him a readership, and take them on his journey for the next few years.
I’m not much of a hobbyist, but I do enjoy baking, drawing – I sketch illustrations to go along with the novel- and playing RPG games some of which have some great storylines. I get bored very easily. Lose interest pretty fast. On the other hand, I get obsessive over things like games or writing Jones. One of my favourite films is Titanic- once a year I start out with a bowl of popcorn and then continue to watch it over the course of three days. I get really weepy at the end.
I scan through a lot non-fiction historical stuff. I have an attachment to the whole Anne Boleyn story. She’s always intrigued me since I was a child. So Hilary Mantel’s books on the subject are two of my favourite fictions. My guilty pleasure is Elisabeth Chadwick. The Greatest Knight is an all time favourite. I just loved him. And also an American novelist from the 50’s called Anya Seton. My all time favourites however are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and DH Lawrence’s Son's and Lovers. I first read Son’s and Lovers when I was 16, when they didn’t have a copy of Lady Chatterley’s lover in the school library. For my writing, I turn to the boys. Mainly Twain, Dickens, Steinbeck, and London.
Things I’m not good at: I’m terrible at poetry and writing about myself. I can drive but I’m too scared to. Keeping things tidy- that just doesn’t happen. I don’t know why but brain seems to prefer things scattered around the house as opposed to being in order. Although if somebody came around the house and offered to put things in place id be very thankful. Probably invite them to stay.
Other things? I watch lot funny cat videos.
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About Sam Taylor-Pye
Sam Taylor-Pye grew up on the border between Washington state and British Columbia, Canada and currently lives in Kent in the UK. She received her BA from the Open University, and has an MA in Creative Writing. This is her first published novel.