LaSuria Kandi Allman interviews Author, Publisher and Activist Richard A. Taylor. "The Hot Seat"
Richard Taylor was born on February 26, 1978 in Goldsboro, NC. His parents, Rodger and Aletta Taylor, reared him and his two older sisters in the Pentecostal holiness church of Tabernacle of Prayer for all people. It was in this setting, Richard began to hone his creative abilities. He became active in many aspects of church ministry including, youth choir, playing the drums, ushering, and doing poetry and plays.
In addition to spirituality, Taylor also excelled in scholastically in academics and sports. In the seventh grade he was chosen to take the SAT and received a score of 980. With advanced courses and academically gifted classes, Richard quickly realized his potential for learning and mastering concepts. In the football and basketball arenas, he was equally impressive. He received honors and accolades from his time in little league recreation league, until his departure from sports in his eleventh grade year.
Despite scoring 1300 on the SAT as a junior, Taylor grew disillusioned with school and athletics. Instead, as many youth of the early 90’s did, Richard gravitated to the ever so alluring life of the hustler/gangster. Influenced by the music of artists like Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Biggie Smalls, and Nas, movies like “Scarface,” “Juice” and “Menace to Society,” and other negative influences, Richard soon found his way in the streets, learning to make large amounts of illegal money before dropping out of high school.
However, with the urging of his parents, Taylor completed a high school diploma program at Wayne Community College, in Goldsboro. As his father’s rules dictated, Richard was forced to either go to college, or move out and live on his own. With five shoe boxes full of scholarship offers and invitations from schools like Duke, Harvard, Yale, MIT, and other coveted schools, Richard just reached into a box and picked an envelope. The college chosen was North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina.
Despite being accepted to the school, Taylor’s mind was still focused on illegalities. In August of 1996, Taylor enrolled at NCCU with three pounds of marijuana in his suitcase. His goal was to continue making money with marijuana, as he learned to do on the streets of Goldsboro, selling crack. Everything was fine. Or so he thought.
With an outgoing personality, and a criminal mindset sharpened on the streets of Goldsboro, Taylor found himself the big man on campus in no time. He established several marijuana connects and a large basis of repeat customers, on off campus. However, danger is always lurking amongst ill-gotten gain.
Taylor’s popularity gained him many friends, as well as enemies. Near the end of the first semester, Taylor was robbed at gunpoint by a civilian who frequented the campus to buy weed. Two days later, Richard was shot point blank range in the back, while attempting to buy more weed for sell after the first robbery. This incident should have straightened him out, but it did much to further his foray into the criminal lifestyle.
After the shooting, Richard stopped going to class. At the end of the year, his parents neglected to send him back to college because of his grades. Despondent over the loss of two close friends (one to death, and one to prison), Taylor drifted into a state of depression, filled with drugs, alcohol, gambling, promiscuous sex, criminal charges, and overall destruction.
During this four year period, Taylor was arrested on robbery charges twice, accumulated four DWI’s (Driving while intoxicated), a felony hit and run, felony and misdemeanor gun charges, assaults, affrays, and other outlandish charges. Also, there were several fights, shootouts, and dangerous disagreements that Taylor was fortunate to survive.
One night, after a shootout at a liquor house (bootlegger), Richard decided it was time for a change. When a childhood friend came to visit for thanksgiving in 2001, Taylor asked for permission to leave town when the friend left. The friend agreed and Taylor left Goldsboro with $100 a trash bag full of clothes. Most importantly he left with a mindset to change.
Upon arrival, his god-brother, guided him in the transition; teaching him how to be responsible, hold a job, respect people and how to get out of the negative mindset he was in. The plan worked with Richard holding two jobs and being independent.
Soon, however, as Taylor got familiar with the seven cities, he once again gravitated to the criminal element. Before long, Taylor was engaged in the same behavior that had caused the problems in Goldsboro. When he felt himself returning to destruction, Richard went home to Goldsboro, where he gave his life to Christ at his father’s church one Sunday in 2003.
When he arrived back to Virginia, the devil had a plan. Richard met a powerful cocaine connection and began dealing again. This time, Taylor advanced in the lifestyle in a manner he never predicted. Soon he was making 4 to 5 thousand a week, and life was good. However, he developed a debilitating cocaine habit in the process.
For the next 3 years, Taylor engaged in many types of lewd and lascivious behavior. Cocaine parties, dice games, and sticky situations became an everyday way of life. Soon, the crowd that Taylor hung out with began to rob, steal from and kill each other. After a couple of near death situations involving guns, Taylor decided to leave the lifestyle.
For the next 2 and a half years, Taylor struggled to remain straight. He obtained a real estate license and worked for a marketing company during that time. Even though he made a decent living, his alcohol and drug habits didn’t allow him to save money.
It was in the latter months of 2007 when Richard met his child’s mother. A month after meeting, Richard impregnated the woman. Feeling the pressure, Taylor began to drink more heavily. His behavior led to an angry outburst at work and Richard lost his job at the marketing company two months before his daughter was to be born.
The only way he knew how to make as much money as he did at the job was selling cocaine. Richard made calls to his old connections, and within weeks he was back in full swing. However, his habits of using and drinking continue to get worse. After Italy, his daughter, was born, Taylor continued his behavior. He was out of control and headed for destruction.
On October 31, 2008 Richard was in a hotel room with a female acquaintance and his three month old daughter. The next morning, the woman pulled a gun to rob him. When he refused to comply, the woman shot Taylor three times at point blank range, while holding the infant. After the shooting, Taylor lay on the floor besides his daughter and waited to die.
The ambulance and police came. While doing a search of the premises drugs were found. While in the emergency room, Richard was questioned about the drugs and denied them. Miraculously, the bullets missed every vital internal organ. After the doctors removed the bullets, Taylor left the hospital unbeknownst to police to avoid criminal charges.
Police caught up with him and he was charged. After being held for some time, he received bond. The traumatic experience led Taylor to return home to Goldsboro, to live a righteous life in his father’s church. This plan lasted for about six months, until Taylor was denied a North Carolina real estate license.
The rejection caused Taylor to go into another two year depression, reminiscent of the time before he left the town. He roamed around for two years, using drugs, and hanging with undesirables. Finally he snapped out of it and developed a plan to return to Virginia to sell drugs. On July 4, 2011 Taylor travelled to Virginia with cocaine to sell. The same day he arrived, the crowd he was with got into a shootout.
The police were called and Taylor was arrested for probation violation. He wasn’t allowed to leave North Carolina. He was confined for 5 months in Virginia Beach jail until released for time served. While confined, Taylor vowed to go to school upon his release. He enrolled in Tidewater Community College in the summer of 2012.
School reminded Taylor how much he liked to read and write. It was at this point, Taylor decided to finish the book he started in Goldsboro after being shot. The book was written as an attempt to figure out why he kept making the same mistakes over and over. The writing helped Taylor examine himself and the nature of his problems.
With money from a school loan, Taylor published the book in November 2012, holding a book signing in Goldsboro, book talks at TCC and speaking engagements at other events, conferences and programs. The book was well received and well supported.
In February of 2013, Taylor held a book talk at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk. At this event, Richard got reacquainted with an old friend. Three months later, the woman accused Taylor of rape, kidnapping, abduction, and abduction with intent to defile. He was arrested in the woman’s bed and held for five months in Norfolk’s city Jail.
At the trial, in November of 2013, it was found that the woman was lying. Taylor was acquitted of all charges and released. However the mental toll and emotional stress of being falsely accused was devastating. Three months later, Taylor was diagnosed with two brain aneurysms and required immediate surgery. With only enough time to pray with his mother and father over the phone, Richard entered surgery fully confident. Five hours later, Taylor emerged from a procedure that most don’t survive. Ten days later, he walked out of the hospital under his own power, with all of his mental, physical, and mechanical abilities intact. This was the last straw.
A month after surgery, Richard received a job at Goldkey Resorts. Having a new lease on life, Taylor threw himself head first into the job. Within months, he had broken a sales record that stood since the company’s inception. A year later, October, 2015 Taylor sits at the top of the production board of his entire department.
Also, Taylor has recently rededicated his life fully to righteous living, by joining the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ. Invited by fellow employee and NJCOGIC member Annette Dunbar, Taylor today is excited about his new journey and opportunity in Christ.
Currently, Taylor is in the midst of promoting his first work “Brushes with Death: The Blood of Jesus.” Also, Taylor is readily preparing for the release of his new book, “Wrongfully Accused, Rightfully Acquitted,” to be released on December 5, 2015.
In accordance with his activism, Taylor has enlisted the services, knowledge, and experience of legendary, hip hop icon Professor Griff, of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Rap Group “Public Enemy.” Mr. Griff, who travels the country tirelessly in attempts to enlighten people, has agreed to accompany Taylor to the book signing in Goldsboro, NC. His lecture and comic book “Who Stole the Soul” will headline the event.
Also, Taylor has many video journals on youtube.com and facebook.com where he takes to the streets discussing everyday issues with everyday people and performs poetry On September 11, 2015 Taylor also started his publishing company, TAYLOR HOUSE PUBLISHING, which was designed for creators and artists of all genres as an avenue to promote their works. Also, Taylor plans a children’s book series, a poetry book series, as well as a sequel to his first novel.
Taylor is available for interview, booking, and performances via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also the book is available on www.amazon.com, www.kindle.com, and www.facebook.com/taylorhousepublishing. Also, you can reach him direct at 757-214-4926.
TAYLOR HOUSE PUBLISHING
“Bringing the voice of the voiceless into the minds of the masses!”
What city and state did you grow up in?
What was it like growing up in North Carolina?
A small town 40,000 to 50,000 people. A Good Ole Boy
Tell me something about yourself?
I am a student of life.
How many books have you written?
Do you have a website where your books can be purchased?
What was the title of your first book? and what was it about?
Brushes with death (Blood of Jesus)
It stems from an incident where I was shot 3 times. While holding my 3 month old child by an acquaintance.
It stems from an incident where I was shot 3 times. While holding my 3 month old child by an acquaintance.
What inspired you to become an author?
After I looked death in the face and I survived. I went right back to my connect. So I went back to the same lifestyle. A week later I went to my father church. I returned to my spiritual roots. I heard a voice plain as day, and it said write. I started writing scriptures and the voice said write your story. Viewing the book as a third person allowed me to look into my life. To see the why and what I was doing. It became therapy.
So your fans can follow you what social media sites are you?
Fb, YouTube video, I am a video journalist.
What community programs are you involved in?
South side Education Coalition. My passion is the young African boys who don't have male presence.
If you could speak directly to youth today what would you say?The only way you can succeed in life is to act as if it is impossible to fail.
Write About Or Link To This Post On Your Blog - Easy Links :
Link Directly To This Post :
Link To The Homepage :