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    Death by Arrangement on sale the month of July, only $6.99. All five star reviews!

    Mark your calendars. I will have another book signing at the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn, CA November 19-21st. I will be sharing a booth with author of Madam of My Heart and Madam of Silk, Gini Grossenbacher.

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    My passion for writing started with journaling in my twenties. I developed my journals into found poems. My debut Novella, Death by Arrangement, will be published early in 2021.


    I have a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Dance from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. A retired professional dancer, I have been a choreographer and teacher with a strong background in musical theater. I received the Outstanding Achievement Award in Dance from the Stockton Arts Commission and was granted the California State Legislature Certificate of Recognition.


    I enjoy traveling the world. My most memorable adventures include studying the Tango in Argentina, attending a writers workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and participating in cooking classes in Siena, Italy.

    My most recent adventure was in Ireland. My aunt, Sheila Radford, and I toured Epic, The Immigration Museum and found more information about our family. We learned how to play the game, Hurling, stayed in the Dromoland Castle, and studied Falconry. We visited a sheep shearing ranch and toured the Cliffs of Moher. We ate more potatoes then we've eaten in a couple of years.



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    When I am not working the land, I can be found reading a book! Some of my favorite authors:

    Tana French, In The Woods and The Witch Elm

    Kristin Hannah, The Nightingale

    Tara Westover, Educated

    David Yeadon, Seasons in Basilicata

    Patricia Cornwell, Scarpeta novels

    Cheryl Strayed, Wild

    J. A. Jance, Until Proven Guilty






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    Here I am reading with a friend in the garden located on the grounds of Dromoland Castle, County Clare, Ireland, 2016.












  • Growing Up Years

    San Francisco, the 1950s

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    Francis Scott Key Elementary

    San Francisco

    I was very shy, but I found that showing off on the monkey bars on the play ground brought me out a bit. I loved anything that had to do with movement. May Pole day dance was one of my favorites. We danced around the May Pole and our hair was tied with colorful ribbons.



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    "The Girls"

    Aunt Sheila, Kathleen, & Cousin Cindy

    at Playland at the Beach, San Francisco. We were Fashionistas even then! I'm in the middle of the picture and not sure if I dressed myself or mom was in a hurry. I look like one of the pit bosses in Reno.

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    Never rode the big dipper. Too scary!

    Playland Roller Coaster

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    Playland in Ocean Beach was one of my favorite places to spend time in San Francisco. We lived on 48th and Judah and could actually walk there. I remember Laughing Sal at the front window of the Fun House. She is now located on the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We would spend hours in the Fun House, play Skee Ball, eat candy apples, and scream on the Tilt-A-Whirl, Caterpillar, Octopus, and Roto Jets. The Diving Bell brings a few laughs back. We would enter the bell and they would latch the door. The bell would plunge, we thought, deep into the bottom of the ocean. The funny thing about it was that the people standing above could see the top of the tank.

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    Bumper cars. We took out our aggressions by smashing into each other.

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      The giant wooden slide, spinning barrel and revolving disc were our favorites.

  • Career Achievements

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    Professional Dancer

    1972, Kathleen with John Casserly, Director of New Dance Company, New Zealand

    This is a photo taken in the University of the Pacific dance studio. John and I were rehearsing a duet in preparation for our tour in New Zealand. New Dance Company was sponsored by the Bank of New Zealand and Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council, 1972-73. It was also the first New Zealand contemporary dance company. We started by rehearsing for six weeks at Otago University in Dunedin. We made a whopping $40 a week and six of us lived in a small house. We rehearsed for ten hours a day. New Dance Company toured the North and South islands. We also offered master classes to schools and the New Zealand Ballet Company. We enjoyed a special day when the American Embassy in Wellington picked the dancers up in a limo and had a wonderful afternoon party for us.

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    Rehearsal 1974

    When I returned home, I decided to open my own dance studio with my friend, Barbara Ubaldi. It was downtown Stockton, across from the Stockton Record, a fantastic studio. It was originally a boxing hall.

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    Bethany King & Kathleen

    Bethany and Kathleen co-founded and co-directed the New Dance Company in Stockton, CA. Kathleen taught modern and jazz dance at the University of the Pacific and was a guest teacher at the Idyllwild Summer Arts program in the San Jacinto Mountains of Riverside County, CA.

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    Musical Theater

    One of my passions was musical theatre. I performed in many productions in Stockton Civic Theatre, Delta College, and University of the Pacific.

    Civic Theater, Stockton, CA

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    Writer and Poet

    Kathleen Taylor with her friend, mentor, teacher, and editor, Gini Grossenbacher:

    A Collaboration

    After retiring from the dance world, I searched for something to keep me moving forward with passion. I've had poems published along the way and have journaled for years. A friend suggested taking a writing class. Not knowing where to begin, I searched the web for courses and found Gini Grossenbacher's Elk Grove Writers and Artists. That was in 2013. The class consists of retired CEOs, a doctor, and several teachers.


    Seven years later. I'm launching my first novella. The story started as a two-page flash fiction.


    I hope this inspires other people that are moving out of a familiar territory and into a new adventure. At first it feels like putting on an outfit that's the wrong size but, you start moving around the room and it relaxes into the curves of your body and Whala!


  • Death by Arrangement,

    my debut novella has received twenty one five star reviews on Amazon.

    A thriller/romance that takes place in San Francisco.

    Available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback.



    Death by Arrangement is now available on Ingram and Barnes and Noble

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    This is a thriller. Sarah, the protagonist, is arranging her debut singing performance in San Francisco. A killer has arrived in the City to arrange a death.




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    Billie Holiday

    Sarah longs to be a torch singer.

    Some of my favorites are Sarah Vaughan, Julie London, Edith Piaf, and Diana Krall.




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    The famous painted ladies of San Francisco where my protagonist, Sarah, lives.



    Reviews on Death by Arrangement

    Sharon Darrow

    I just finished reading the novella, Death by Arrangement, and found it delightful. The plot has lots of twists with characters that are well-drawn, distinctly different individuals. This well-written story moves at a fast pace that grabs and keeps the reader’s attention. My favorite thing, though, is the main character’s sense of humor. Her inner thoughts and comments are a marvelous counterpoint to the murder mystery progression—tart, dry, and funny!


    Carolyn Radmanovich

    I finished the novella, Death by Arrangement by Kathleen Torian Taylor, which I loved. Such a fun book to read and so cleverly put together.

    By the end of the second chapter, I panicked, wondering if Sarah was going to have a blind date with a handsome serial killer. Sarah is delightfully flawed with her severe hang-up over the breakup with her abusive boyfriend. Her reluctance to enter into a new relationship is balanced with her strong desire to make passion with her blind date. The author’s use of metaphors and similes reminds me of the famous Tom Robbins. Her use of first-person narrative takes me back to the old forties’ detective movies. The dialogue is fast, raw, and spunky. Such a joy to read this clever, well-written book.

    Author of Shape-Shifter’s Wife and The Gypsy’s Warning.

    She is finishing up the third to complete the trilogy

    Also, she written several short stories for NCPA anthologies which are also on Amazon.


    Lonon Smith

    In her debut novel Death by Arrangement, Kathleen Torian Taylor hooks us with a prissy serial killer’s creepy and methodical arrangement of his latest woman victim in a tableau. She follows with a sharp shift to San Francisco and the world of Sarah Soon. Sarah’s often sarcastic first-person narrative gives us a single-woman with a case of self-doubt and a less- than-kind view of the world after a bad love affair.

    Sarah isn’t an amateur detective following clues. She’s a potential victim, and her friend Nicole, a visual match to the killer’s targets, is even more so. It’s this twist that gives Sarah’s first-person narrative an urgency. What doesn’t she see; what does she accept without enough hard questions? Serial killers may be fodder for the news. Sarah’s focus is on her emerging success as a singer, with Jerard, the handsome stranger Nicole has introduced her to, a serious distraction.

    In this mystery romance, almost no one is who they seem to be. Jerard, for all his trappings of success, has a rather unclear past. When Sarah and her friend Tom stumble on a next victim, the killer becomes central to Sarah’s world. Any man with even slightly odd behavior is suspect.

    Sarah tells her story with a steady drive with a few asides for steamy romance with Jerard. If a few incidents seem too coincidental, Taylor’s eye for the details of the restaurants and galleries of foggy San Francisco are distinct. An evening at a dance studio, if somewhat long, is painfully accurate. Sarah makes for a feisty central character, one that reflects the world of Taylor’s core audience and “Death by Arrangement” has enough twists and shifts to keep the reader hooked.

    --Lonon Smith. Over several decades, Lonon Smith has been an actor, screenwriter, playwright, stage director and co-founder of an award-winning arts organization. His novel Wise Men is currently in development as a feature film. His play Getaway Service Guaranteed was produced in Sacramento by Theater One in 2015 and was nominated for an Elly award for best original script. He adapted and directed Treasure Island in early 2018 and is currently completing a second novel.


     Judy Vaughan

    Death by Arrangement opens with a chilling scene, skillfully rendered. A killer is arranging his victim as though she has a view of a California lake.

    We meet Sarah Soon, the protagonist, as she confronts her friends’ good natured efforts to set her up with the handsome Jerard Colbert, who Sarah says belongs in the magazine The Best of the Best. But wait, what if he’s the killer of the girl by the lake, and suspected of serial killings besides? The policeman Paul interrogates him at the friends’ lunch revealing a suspicious past.

    Who will mend Sarah’s broken heart, that has kept her from dating for the past year?

    Katherine Taylor Torian treats her readers to a mystery-romance in which Sarah must trust herself to embrace her talent in singing and evade a killer who may or may not be her love interest, the gorgeous Jerard,. The author’s knowledge of San Francisco brings the reader to the beauty and foibles of the city, its Painted Ladies, the luxury of Nob Hill, and even a smelly taxi. Humor is everywhere, as are dachshunds.

    As Sarah faces the killer, the tone goes to scary. She must avoid the strangling scarf!

    Curl up by the fire with this page-turner and read the racy scenes out loud.


    Judy Vaughan, Author of Strawberry Roan, Growing Up in the Shadow of Hermit’s Peak 2020

    The Unicorn Summers 2020 (8-12 Chapter book)

    Contributions to Northern California Publishers and Authors Anthologies:

    Birds of a Feather 2019

    More Birds of a Feather 2019

    Destination: The World 2020

    Dorothy Rice

    Kathleen Torian Taylor’s novella, Death by Arrangement, is a deftly-plotted and suspenseful thriller set in misty, picturesque San Francisco. From the chilling opening scene, to its shocking conclusion, Death by Arrangement kept me guessing “who done it,” while crossing my fingers that Sarah, the story’s spunky, relatable protagonist, wouldn’t become the latest victim of a serial killer working their way up the California coastline.


    The author makes good use of her knowledge of music and dance, elements that lend depth and empathy to Sarah’s character, as she works towards her dream of becoming a jazz singer. And, for this San Francisco native, Kathleen Torian Taylor’s familiarity with the city’s streets, neighborhoods and popular haunts, brought back fond memories of decades past. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, page-turner, I highly recommend Death by Arrangement.


    Dorothy Rice bio:

    Dorothy Rice is the author of Gray Is the New Black: A Memoir of Self-Acceptance (Otis Books, June 2019) and The Reluctant Artist, an art book/memoir (Shanti Arts, 2015). After raising five children and retiring from a career managing environmental protection programs, Rice earned an MFA in Creative Writing at 60 from UC Riverside's low-residency program. She now works for 916 Ink, a youth literacy nonprofit, co-directs Stories on Stage Sacramento, a literary performance series, and reads nonfiction submissions for Hippocampus Magazine. For more information, and links to many of her published stories and essays, visit dorothyriceauthor.com.









  • And Yet

    Published Works

    Four of my poems were published in the Redwood Writers 2020 Anthology of Poetry titled, And Yet:

    • Fade
    • On Return
    • This is Not Jackie Collins' Bed
    • The Exotic Erotic Guava
    And Yet is available on Amazon.
    I was awarded Honorable Mention at the Soul-Making Literary Prize, San Francisco, 1997.
    I read my poetry at the San Francisco Public Library. The title of my poem is "If you're looking for perfections, they're in the dryer."
    My poetry has also been published in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal.


  • Poetry

    by Kathleen Torian Taylor

    Exotic, Erotic, Guava

    by Kathleen Torian Taylor


    Exotic, Erotic, Guava, Kathleen Torian Taylor


    This ceremonial banquet of

    Blushed pink,



    Pear shaped



    Sink your teeth in


    Let it

    Slide through lips

    Journey down throat


    This forbidden fruit


    Philippine mythology


    Pink guava is what you should

    Share with your lover


    A frozen guava and passionfruit

    Popsicle that


    Faster than your tongue

    Can capture

    Liquid drops


    Stir, boil simmer

    Mash it raw

    And spread

    This perfumed


    Sliver thin


    A pinch of chaat masala, red chili powder

    Taste while



    But not quite

    There yet


    The evocative aroma

    Will visit you

    While tangled in satin sheets

    Rise to the clouds


    Beware though,

    The softer the guava, the sweeter



    They go so, so bad

    In about two days.

    This poem was published in the Redwood Writers 2020 poetry anthology, And Yet, on Amazon.com




  • Flash Fiction

    by Kathleen Torian Taylor

    Everette, by Kathleen Torian Taylor.


    “Everette!” Where was that boy. Fourteen years old and he no longer feels like my own. He'd dash down the hall in the morning dressed in a white t-shirt and levy’s with rolled cuffs. After school his kisses were filled with the scent and taste of chocolate chip cookies that rapidly disappeared from his Flintstone cookie jar. Now, he disguises himself in all black clothing, dark grey overcoat that was his grandfathers and smelled of moth balls. His knit cap sunk down,

    almost covering his blue eyes that matched the heavens.


    I tugged the front room curtain to the side. My eyes crisscrossed the porch. The wind was piercing like the sound of a freight train speeding through my eardrums. The sideways snow was extraordinary and terrifying at the same time. I spotted movement just beyond the crepe myrtle. "Everette."


    No, it’s someone else. I could barely see through the frost veiled glass. The strangers head was tucked down into his chest and his hands were shoved into his pockets. There was something familiar about his walk and that’s when I felt a hook grab my insides. It can’t be him.


    His boot hit the rotted wooden stair. He took his hands out and blew hot air into their cups. He wrapped on the door twice. I dropped the curtain and pressed my back against the stucco wall. I could hear the echo of his shoes move in my direction. He smeared a circle of

    moisture from the window and pressed his face against the glass distorting his features.


    I slid against the wall toward the front door double checking the lock. A shouting voice slashed through the blizzard.


    “Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing? Get away from my house!” The wind was so loud it took on the sound of a jet plane passing over.


    The cracked glass on the front door gave me a limited view, but I knew it was my son. I tried to unlock it and grabbed the knob. I was now in a wrestling match with cold metal. Every year winter would swallow the door shut. I banged on the splintered wood, but the wind erased all sounds.


    “I asked you a question.” Everette was next to the door. He had to yell the words for the man to hear.

    The stranger moved in close and the two of them were within inches of each other. Their breath blended and formed a small white cloud.


    “Everette, I’m Jack, your dad.” He shouted.


    The words I just heard felt like an ice cycle broke off, took flight and split my soul. I rattled the handle again.


    “You’re not my dad. He died when I was two.”


    “No, Everette. Not true. Where’s your mother. We need to clear this up now.”


    “You can’t speak to her.”


    “Please, it’s important. There are words that have been hidden for too long.”

    “I told you, you can’t. She died two months ago."






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    Elk Grove Writers & Artists

    My Writing Group

    The Amherst (AWA) Creative Writing Workshop Series helps writers expand their craft through developing a unique voice. In an AWA workshop, writers gain confidence in a supportive, small community of peers. Groups generate first draft writing, then choose excerpts to review in our once a month manuscript group.


    Our writers improve as they practice techniques of creative writing, applied across genre to creative non-fiction, autobiography, journals, fiction or poetry. Many work on their own writing projects during the scope of the course. The group meets once a week.


    In addition to small classes, one-on-one creative writing coaching is also available.


    We also have Creative Writing Retreats in Ashland, Oregon in the fall and at Fern Cottages on the Russian River in the spring every year.


    Contact ginis.writers1@gmail.com for course schedule and fees.

  • Testimonials:

    My Writing



    Evangeline Freathy

    "Kathleen has a way of making her words sing. Whether she is writing poetry, flash fiction, or a novel, she choreographs her words to deliver just the right punch. Her gutsy characters keep us on our toes, never certain where they will lead us next. Kathleen's wry sense of humor is woven seamlessly throughout, and each scene leaves us wanting more. It's a symphony you won't want to miss."


    Liz Abess

    "Kathleen possesses an inherent and extraordinary creative talent that delights readers in both her poetry and fictional stories. Her mastery of emotional and sensory detail elevate her fiction to a level on par with today's established best sellers, with words that instantly capture and hold readers in the grip of her scenes, craving to know more. "

    Lisa Dornback

    "Reading Kathleen's work, whether it is poetry, flash fiction or her unique talent for the noir mysteries, is a joy. Her unique voice and fresh, unexpected imagery both engage and sometimes startle readers with their ability to evoke powerful emotions. Kathleen can take mundane and everyday events and paint

    them with a fresh perspective that creates a view not otherwise seen. Kathleen's poetry invites us to look into her soul, but reading her work can also cause us to see ourselves and our ordinary lives through this new, creative lens."

    Judy Beil Vaughan

    "Kathleen is well-versed and well-plotted. A member of the Elk Grove Writers & Artists group. The short fiction she shares is edgy and witty. Kathleen has been my friend for years. She's the author of some of my favorite poems, many of which have been lauded and anthologized. She is moving toward publication of her new novella, Death by Arrangement, sure to chill and entertain. I'm excited.

    Pam Marino

    Kathleen is one of my favorite poets and writers. She is so warm and personal in her one-of-a-kind style that I so enjoy. I find her poetry and short stories unique in their variety. She can be warm, descriptive, edgy, dark, evocative, and very often wonderfully humorous.


    I love her poetry and am amazed by her ability to touch the reader on so many levels. With a few words, she says so much and on a vast variety of subjects. Some are sad or poignant; others are silly, light and witty, many heartwarming. Others are just downright funny. Such a variety! She has the ability to easily, seemingly effortlessly, cause the reader to feel and relate easily and deeply.


    When reading her short stories and flash fiction one can never predict what's coming. Her twists and turns and wonderful endings can be thought-provoking, shocking, even very funny, and quite often all three. They move quickly and always thoroughly engage me. Need I say, "Page-turning"?

    I anxiously await her new novella. And always more poetry.

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    Speaking Engagements

    Kathleen has performed her poetry and flash fiction at various speaking engagements with the Elk Grove Writers and Artists:

    • 2018   -  Luna Cafe, Sacramento, CA 
    • 2019   -  Dreaming Dog Brewery, Elk Grove, CA 
    • 2020  -  Savvy Coffee House, Elk Grove, CA
    • 2020  -  Redwood Branch of CA Writers Club Salon Zoom
    • 2020  -  Redwood Branch of CA Writers Circle Zoom
    • 2020  -  Elk Grove Writers and Artists mic night
    • 2020  -  Elk Grove Writers and Artists Halloween Bash                    mic night 
    • 2021  -  Book launch for Death by Arrangement. Feb. 13th
    •       by Authors Large and Small.
    • 2021  -  Book launch for Death by Arrangement. Feb. 27th   
    •       by  Gini Grossenbacher JGKS press.
    • May/2021 Interviewed by the Galt Herald Newspaper
    • May/2021 Live interview on channel 31, Good Day Sacramento 
    • First Book signing on Saturday, May 22nd at the Coffee and Bakery shop in 239 Fourth St., Galt, CA from 10:00-12:00.
    • Most recently, Kathleen read her poetry at the Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club Salon online event, "A Summer Celebration of Poetry".



  • Writing a Novella

  • Contact Kathleen

    I'd love to hear from you!