Meet the Author

Theodore Taylor

Portrait of Theodore Taylor

Growing up during the Depression, Theodore Taylor learned to rely on himself at an early age. Even before he turned ten years old, he was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to help the family income by delivering newspapers. He also roamed the area around his home in Statesville, North Carolina, and later Portsmouth, Virginia. Many of the characters in his books are similarly good at getting along on their own. "I like that kind of kid," Taylor says. "I think kids like that kind too, and if it helps them aim toward self-reliance, then I've done a good job."

Taylor's books come, in one way or another, out of his own experience. In fact, Taylor says that he doesn't have a very good imagination. He thinks of himself as "basically a reporter, finding it easier to work from real-life models." Such models have led him to write a wide variety of nonfiction books, including biographies and history accounts, as well as fiction. He also writes for both children and adults. "The change of pace is important and rejuvenating for me," he says.

Theodore Taylor, now a resident of Laguna Beach, California, still works hard at his writing. "I'm an early riser," he says. "I'm up at 5:30. My wife and I take a walk on the beach and breakfast follows, usually at a little local coffee shop. I'm home at about 8:15, start work at 8:30, and except for a half-hour lunch break, I work till around 4:30, sometimes 5:00. I do that seven days a week, all year, except during football season — then it's five days."

Photography Credit


Other Books Written by Theodore Taylor

  • The Cay
  • Air Raid — Pearl Harbor! The Story of December 7, 1941
    (illustrated by W. T. Mars)
  • The Children's War
  • Teetoncey
    (illustrated by Richard Cuffari)
  • Teetoncey and Ben O'Neal
    (illustrated by Richard Cuffari)
  • The Trouble with Tuck
  • The Battle of Midway Island
    (illustrated by Andrew Glass)
  • Sweet Friday Island
  • The Hostage
    (illustrated by Darrell Sweet)
  • Tuck Triumphant
  • Timothy of the Cay