Constance (Connie) Taylor, Author

I grew up in California. I attended public school in the fall and winter and I loved riding my horse, Daisy, in Napa Valley in the summertime. In the summer of 1963, I took a trip to Alaska and decided to move there. I packed up and moved to Alaska that same year of 1963, just in time to be in Anchorage for the huge 1964 earthquake. What an experience that was!

In 1966, I moved to Cordova, Alaska, a town on the beautiful Prince William Sound. I lived about an hour from town by boat. I learned to crab and salmon fish in Prince William Sound, and I became a commercial fisherman. That means that fishing was my job and the fish I caught were sold so people all over the country could buy yummy Alaskan fish at the grocery store. I fished until 1988.

In 1986, I started a printshop and art gallery on Cordova's water front. I learned how to operate a printing press and how to prepare negatives for printing masters the old-fashioned way: cutting out typed words and images with an Exacto knife and pasting them down to the master sheet with hot wax. Things have changed a lot since then, and I really appreciate that now I am able to create a whole book on a computer screen.

During my later years of fishing, I also began writing newspaper columns about fishing activities that were published in the Cordova Times, the Alaska Fisherman and other newspapers. I also started publishing books and created Fathom Publishing Company. The first books I published were written by Cordovans about life in Cordova. Eventually I moved back to Anchorage, and began publishing legal text books, which are big books with lots of words about the law. Then I published a series of fiction books for grownups and some biographies and short stories.

I started to learn photography in 2013, and really enjoyed taking photos of Alaska and Alaskan animals. In 2017, I was visiting Potter Marsh near Anchorage, and I spotted an arctic tern family. That summer I took photos of the baby arctic tern as he grew up and learned to fly. After I had all these photos, I was looking through them and the story came to me. I started imagining what was happening in the photos. For example, one of the photos is of the baby tern looking at its parent. I got to wondering, "What were the birds thinking as they looked at each other? Maybe the baby wonders why its feathers and colors are different from its mom and dad’s." If the birds could talk, this seemed to me like a question that the baby might ask. So that was the start of the story - thinking of what the baby bird would want to know and learn. I had so much fun writing it. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Image of Constance Taylor
mage of Constance Taylor
mage of Constance Taylor
mage of Constance Taylor

FAQs about the Author

Where do you get your inspiration for writing?

When I first started writing, I was writing about the Prince William Sound commercial fishing industry. I got inspiration from the things that were happening around me every day. I remember one story I wrote about a "fish dance." We'd had a few days of very slow salmon fishing. The fishermen gathered together on a tender (a large boat that hauled our catch to the processors). Someone turned on a radio and all the fishermen started dancing to bring the fish. Just like stories you've heard about "rain dances."

Where do you write?

When I first started writing, I either used a pen and paper or typewriter to write stories. Now I always compose stories on my computer. I've gotten spoiled with using a word processor that makes it easy to correct errors and rearrange paragraphs. I still make notes on paper when I get an idea. If you don't write down an idea when it comes to your mind, sometimes it gets lost.

When did you start writing?

I started writing when I first came to Alaska. I wrote long letters to my family about things I saw and learned and did in Alaska. Everything was so different from living in California that I found lots to say. I still have those letters and it is like having a diary of what I did in the 1960s and 1970s. Now I wish I had actually kept a diary all of my life. It really helps to remember when you have something to jog your memory. I first sold stories to newspapers when I was a commercial fisherman in the 1980s.

What is the hardest part of making a book?

The hardest part is thinking of the title. The title needs to let people know what the book is about. It can only be a few words, so those words need to appeal to people who might want to read the book. It's best if those words have not been used before as a title by some other author.

The next hardest part is proofreading for typos. The person who wrote the book knows everything in the book and that makes it very hard to read every word slowly and find anything that was misspelled or where there is a comma that should be a period.

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