- Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Joshua Taylor seems to have a sense of purpose beyond his 14 years.

Already he has written at least 40 books and had two published and is working on another. Taylor’s writing also has appeared in the Southeast Missourian Jr., printed monthly.

His two published books are “The Humming Bird’s Song,” self-published in 2010, and “Epic — Book One: History Mealevolence,” an e-book published in 2012 by Heard Word Publishing in Aurora, Colo.

Meant to be like a bedtime story, “The Hummingbird’s Song” is about two friends who befriend a hummingbird neglected by its mother and take care of it. “Epic — Book One: History Mealevolence,” a novel for preteens, centers on four friends who accidentally cause historical figures to come to life, Taylor said.


A student at R.O. Hawkins Junior High School in Jackson, Taylor said he’s been writing books since age 4 and always had a passion for reading. He’s taken part in the Southeast Missourian’s junior reporter program for almost two years.

“I always thought, ‘Hey, why not just write something? Why not be one of the greats?’” Taylor said.

Nonfiction is what he most enjoys writing, although he said he hasn’t penned much of it. “I like to write about things that could happen, would happen, or did happen a long time ago,” he said.

His parents LaKenya and Adrian Taylor are among Joshua’s fans. In a text message to the Southeast Missourian, LaKenya said Joshua wrote “little books” all the time, so she challenged him and said if he met a certain deadline, she would get his book published. “He worked hard, and in a few months (with) no TV, he got it done,” she wrote. The second time around, Joshua set his own goal and hit it.

When he gets older, Taylor wants to pursue a career in journalism. He hopes to start off at the University of Missouri and then attend the University of Tasmania in Australia.

Taylor said the beauty of Tasmania would inspire him to write.

“It’s a very nice place. Like I said, it’s very beautiful. I think it’s a very nice place to raise a family, live your life, retire,” he added.

Ideas for his books come to him in cycles. When one pops into his head, he writes it down and then another, and if another notion doesn’t come to him, Taylor starts working. Currently, Taylor is working on “The Candy Striper” about a girl who works at a hospital, and when “something tragic happens” it becomes a mystery for her to figure out.

When he’s not writing, Taylor likes to read one of his favorite authors, science-fiction and fantasy writer Alan Dean Foster.

“Science fiction is very good, but I think my favorite subject would be nonfiction stories mainly related to history and nature, along with science or dictionaries,” Taylor said.

Reading dictionaries is another way Taylor passes time. As of last Sunday, he said he was three-quarters of the way through a Chinese-English dictionary and would start a Scrabble dictionary soon. Reading dictionaries also helps Taylor in his writing, and he tries to use the words in sentences throughout the day.

Story Continues →