Kathryn Taylor leads a double life. By day, she is a litigation attorney for K&L Gates in Raleigh, working long hours to prepare cases for trial. At night, she writes spellbinding screenplays that win awards and scare audiences.
“I stumbled into writing screenplays because they are formatted to be a bit shorter and manageable in time between cases,” said Taylor, 40, of Cary.
Taylor’s writing efforts paid off in February when she won the $25,000 grand prize for best spiritually uplifting screenplay by a new writer at Movieguide’s Kairos Faith and Values Awards ceremony.
In addition to the award for “The Lion’s Den,” Taylor was invited to spend a weekend in Los Angeles networking with other writers and producers.
Taylor offered me the chance to read her winning screenplay. I was captivated by her style and descriptions of life in 302 A.D.
“The Lion’s Den is a sword-and-sandal story of the time when Emperor Diocletian wanted to tamp down Christianity by executing those who wouldn’t surrender scrolls and pay taxes,” said Taylor, a member of Christ the King Church in Cary.
Taylor’s latest screenplay, “Evil Gene,” a psychological thriller, is produced by Mind the Gap and is in the final editing stage.
“Evil Gene” was shot in 15 days in Los Angeles. It tells the story of what can happen if there is unauthorized DNA testing of convicted killers.
“There are grave and consequential dangers if we travel down this path,” said Taylor, who drew on the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut for the storyline.
I was among the two dozen community members invited to a test screening of “Evil Gene” at the Full Frame Theater in Durham on July 20.
The audience was made up of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. Afterward, we had the opportunity to give feedback.
One reviewer said it was the scariest movie he had ever seen. Another, referencing her 35 years in forensics, thought the behaviors of psychopaths and killers were well-written.
I liked how Taylor weaved her faith into the story with the presence of a prison chaplain who attempts to help the lead character during his crisis of faith.
Elisabeth Haviland James is working with Taylor to edit “The Evil Gene” and helped make arrangements for the test screening.
“We should be ready for the film festivals late fall or early winter,” said James, who founded Thornapple Films.
Meanwhile, Taylor isn’t done writing.
“I hope to continue to write stories that inspire others in their faith, and have been blessed to receive new and exciting opportunities to help me do just that,” she said.