I can sense your fear, hear the lie in your voice, know your weakness and will exploit it. I am a chameleon and a hunter. Have lived in eighteen countries, carry passports from three and speak twenty-two languages. I've killed more than once--not exactly what you'd expect from a child born to missionary parents in West Africa, but I've done what it takes to survive. My name is Michael Munroe and this is my journey.

The story continues with The Mask in July, 2015

“Munroe is a sensational character and Stevens is a sensational writer.”
Lee Child

 


The Informationist: Crown, 2011 Fans of Lee Child's Jack Reacher will love Vanessa Munroe--a resourceful loner who grew up overseas and has combat training, a wry sense of humor, and plenty of sex appeal. Vanessa Munroe deals in information--expensive information--working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. A Texas oil billionaire hires her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. Pulled into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the land of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that made her who she is.

What the Critics Say: The Informationist | Read an excerpt of The Informationist







 

The Innocent: Crown, 2012 Eight years ago, a man walked five-year-old Hannah out the front doors of her school and spirited her over the Mexican border, taking her into the world of a cult known as The Chosen. For eight years, followers of The Prophet have hidden the child, moving her from country to country, shielding the man who stole her. Now, those who've searched the longest know where to find her. They are childhood survivors of The Chosen, thirty-somethings born and raised inside the cult who've managed to make a life for themselves on the outside. They understand the mindset, the culture within that world, and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help, knowing that the only possibility of stealing Hannah back and getting her safely out of Argentina is to trust someone who doesn't trust them, and get Munroe on the inside.

What the Critics Say: The Innocent | Read an excerpt of The Innocent







The Doll: Crown, 2013 When a human trafficking ring kidnaps Munroe to transport a high-profile starlet, she's prepared to destroy those responsible--until she discovers that to save one life, she will condemn the person she loves most. Plunged into an underground world where women and girls are merchandise and a shadowy figure known as The Doll Maker controls her every move, Munroe must choose who lives, who dies, or find a way to outthink and outsmart a man who holds all the cards. In this high-octane thriller for fans of Lee Child, Barry Eisler, and Robert Ludlum's Bourne trilogy, Vanessa Michael Munroe will have to fight fast, smart, and furiously to overcome a dangerous nemesis and deliver her trademark brand of justice.

What the Critics Say: The Doll | Read an excerpt of The Doll







The Vessel: Crown, 2014 Some people were easy to find. Others took hunting and patience. The most difficult was a target who knew she was coming, and he knew. How could he not? When you backed a predator into a corner, when you took and destroyed all that she loved, when you made a game of ruining lives and sadism for you was sport, but then you failed to kill the predator: you’d better know she was coming back. This was an inviolable law. She wasn’t dead, and so she was coming for him. She had his face, had the name of a city. In the right hands, anything could be mined into so much more. She would find him. Kill him. Simple as that.







The Catch: Crown, 2014 Lied to, set up for failure, and working as part of an armed escort hired to protect a freighter through Somali waters, when pirates attack, Munroe abandons her betrayers, taking the captain with her. Pursued relentlessly in a country where she has no contacts or prior connections, she discovers too late that it was never the ship or the cargo that the hijackers were after. Attacked and left for dead, working with limited resources and a damaged body, Munroe will draw on what strength and strategy she has left, use the captain as her one bargaining chip to reverse roles, become the hunter, pull together her own agenda and, if she can, walk out of this one alive.







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About the Author

The Third Person Punchy Version: TAYLOR STEVENS is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Vanessa Michael Munroe series. Published in over twenty languages and optioned for film by James Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, the books are international boots-on-the-ground thrillers featuring a mercenary information hunter in a non-testosterone mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher. Stevens came to writing fiction late. Born into an apocalyptic cult and raised in communes across the globe, she was denied an education beyond 6th grade and spent her adolescence as child labor. Stevens now calls Dallas home. In addition to writing novels, she shares extensively about the mechanics of storytelling, writing, overcoming adversity, and her journey into publishing at www.taylorstevensbooks.com/connect.php – she welcomes you to join her.

The First Person Wordy Version: In an alternate universe, I spent my formative years living with parents and siblings, showing up for school and getting acquainted with HBO, Michael Jackson, neon clothes and big hair. In reality, childhood and adolescence were spent begging on city streets from Zurich to Tokyo, preparing food and washing laundry for hundreds of people, and otherwise trying to survive dreary life as a worker bee child in a communal apocalyptic cult. My innocence and scholastic education stopped completely when I was twelve-years-old.

Cut off from personal family, at times under the care of sadistic individuals and without access to books or television from the outside world, imagination became a survival mechanism. As a young teenager, I secretly entertained commune children with fantastic stories that took us through time and space, until these sins were discovered by cult leaders. Several laboriously hand-written books were confiscated and burned and I was ordered on pain of--well, a whole lot of pain--never to write fiction again.

The nomadic culture of the cult became an adolescent's journey across four continents and nearly two dozen countries culminating in four years living in East and West-Central Africa--this the primary setting for THE INFORMATIONIST.

I was in my twenties when I broke free, and leaving everything I knew brought with the fear, a fresh beginning. Refusing to go to my grave with regrets, "what ifs," or tears over the lost years, I set out to take back what was taken from me. Through trial and error and observing the masters I taught myself the craft, and gradually the gift of storytelling returned. Learning basics that many take for granted has been a journey to be sure, but on the flip side, if I ever need to make breakfast for 150 people, I've already got that covered.

Interviews

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On Writing, Getting Published, and Things Word Related:

I used to blog. In another lifetime when it felt like I had a lot of time to say nothing important at all. So when this site went live, I considered starting another blog so that once more I could have a place to put at random intervals whatever grand thoughts might pop into my head. But then I realized that blogging was a very bad idea. If I blog, I won't write books, and writing books pays the bills. However, like many writers, I'm a far better procrastinator than I am word-crafter, which means, even if I don't blog, I still find lots of ways to not write books. That's what you have here: me not writing books.

(For those who are interested in lengthier detail about how I got published, this is a Podcast with a lot on both THE INFORMATIONIST and on the writing/ publication process. Many thanks to Paula Berinstein and The Chipper Writer.)

NOTE: If you've followed any of the above links you might notice that a lot of this stuff is really old. I do still write extensively about publishing--as well as more personal non-publishing stuff--but I prefer the more intimate setting of email as opposed to posts that may or may not die ignominious deaths in the graveyard of the internet. Besides, I'm not a techie person and it's a real pain-in-the-butt to update this website. See that link in the upper right hand corner that says connect with me? You might have to scroll up. I'll wait. So, yeah, if you click on that button/link thingie and then fill out the webform, it'll get you to the place where I send all the most interesting stuff on an almost weekly basis. :)

Research, and Links to Interesting Things:

Research is another way I have of not writing books. I try to keep it to a minimum, but sometimes it just can't be helped. Here are links to things I've written about, although sometimes I found these long after they were needed.

LANGUAGE

For some people, the fact that Michael Munroe speaks 22 languages strains all level of credulity. For this, I refer you to what it means to be a hyperpolyglot, as well the life and history of Emil Krebs, who, although not the only hyperpolyglot in history, is to me, the most fascinating (at least that I have read of so far).

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Stuff I Get Asked Pretty Often

How do you make an author happy? I don't actually get asked this, but since it's the one question I wish I was asked, I put it here at the top of the page.

Jan, 2012: A little update on the FAQ that never was. Or at least hasn't been yet. I have a gazillion questions, but haven't had the time to put things together. In the meantime, I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Brecksville Library, part of the Cuyahoga County Library System in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a wonderful event, and the Q&A (which included questions from both the interviewer and the audience) was filmed.



The video is about forty-five minutes long. If I've done this correctly, the clip should load in a separate window. It starts with a brief intro/advertisement from the library, and eventually parses into the session. [This is a backup link that will take you directly to the Cuyahoga Library page.] Again, it takes a little bit for the actual Q&A to load, so please be patient.



Here also, are a handful of Q&As from when The Innocent released. Over time, I hope to track down some of the many that were done when The Informationist launched, but for now, this a start.

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Upcoming Author Events

DALLAS:

** 7:00pm Tuesday, July 15th: Barnes & Noble
Stonebriar Center Mall Frisco, TX 75034

** 2:00pm Saturday, July 26th: Lewisville Public Library
1197 W. Main Street, Lewisville, TX. 75067

HOUSTON

** 6:30pm, Thursday, July 17th: Murder by the Book
2342 Bissonnet St. Houston, TX 77005

LOS ANGELES/ LONG BEACH:

** Smart Summer Reads Program
3:00-5:00, Sunday, July 20th: Mysterious Galaxy

2810 Artesia Blvd. Redondo Beach, CA. 90278

** Bouchercon 2014
Thursday-Saturday, November 13th – 15th

MIDLAND, Texas:

** Books in the Basin Festival
Events will be located in and around the Ector County Library: 321 W 5th St, Odessa, TX 79761.

2:00pm Friday, October 10th: Midland College LRC - Talk and Q&A
3600 N Garfield St, Midland, TX 79705

3:00pm Friday, October 10th: B&N signing area - Signing

1:00pm, Saturday, October 11th: Odessa College - Thriller Panel with Deborah Crombie & John DeMers
201 W University Blvd, Odessa, TX 79764

2:00pm, Saturday, October 11th: B&N signing area - Signing

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