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C.L Taylor’s Writers Tips

C.L. TaylorAuthor of ‘The Escape, C.L. Taylor shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

Don’t spend too much time writing and rewriting your first few chapters, keep writing until you reach the end. You may find that you have started the book in the wrong place and you need to cut your first few chapters.

C.L. Taylor

C.L. TaylorC.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She studied for a degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria,Newcastle and has worked as a sales administrator, web developer, instructional designer and as the manager of a distance learning team at a London university. She now writes full time.

CL Taylor’s first psychological thriller ‘The Accident; was one of the top ten bestselling debut novels of 2014 according to The Bookseller. Her second and third novels, ‘The Lie’ and ‘The Missing’, were Sunday Times Bestsellers and #1 Amazon Kindle chart bestsellers. Her fourth psychological thriller, ‘The Escape’, will be published on 23 March 2017. She is currently writing her first young adult thriller, ’The Treatment’, which will be published in September 2017.

  1. To the readers of the blog, that may not be familiar with you or your writing, can tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    My mum recently cleared out her attic and found a huge pile of books I’d written and illustrated as a child. When I was eight I sent one of them, ‘The Flower Friends and The Evil Weed’, to Ladybird publishers. They rejected it but they did send me a very nice letter with lots of useful advice like ‘Ask an adult to type it up for you’ and ‘Keep the illustrations on separate pages’. I tried again when I was eleven and was rejected again.

    I was thirty-five when my first book was published – A supernatural romantic comedy called ‘Heaven Can Wait’ (Orion). My second book, ‘Home for Christmas’, was published two years later (writing as Cally Taylor). Whilst on maternity leave with my son in 2012 I had an idea for a psychological thriller. That book, ‘The Accident’, was published in 2014. Since then I have written a psychological thriller a year – ‘The Lie’, ‘The Missing’, ‘The Escape’ – all published by Avon HarperCollins.

  2. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
    A lot of my books are based on my fears – fear that an abusive ex will return, fear that friends could turn against me, fear that something could happen to my son. Other ideas are based on news reports I read and documentaries I watch or are just plucked out of thin air.
  3. The Escape

  4. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    I do have my own book club! OK, it’s an electronic book club where I review books that I think will be the next big thing ( but if I could ask questions of any author I’d love to chat to Margaret Atwood and Maggie O’Farrell.
  5. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    ‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ – ‘1984’, George Orwell. So much intrigue in one sentence!
  6. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    Holding the finished book in my hand. Coming a close second is brainstorming the idea initially. I love the adrenaline rush when an idea or scene that works pops into my brain.
  7. What do you think makes a good crime book?
    A strong mystery, perfect pace, intriguing characters and a killer ending.
  8. From books and films, who has been your favourite bad guy?
    ‘Dexter’! I love him.
  9. Out of all the books that you have written, which one is your favourite?
    I am most proud of ‘The Escape’. The more books I write the more I learn about what works, what doesn’t and where my strengths and weaknesses lie as a writer. Whenever I finish writing a book I am always a little disappointed that it doesn’t perfectly reflect the initial idea in my head. The Escape is the one book that comes closest to my initial idea.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    The Harry Potter series (is that cheating?), the complete works of Shakespeare, and ‘War and Peace’ (there’s no way I’m going to find the time to read it otherwise).
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Don’t spend too much time writing and rewriting your first few chapters, keep writing until you reach the end. You may find that you have started the book in the wrong place and you need to cut your first few chapters.

    All writers reach points in their books when they become convinced that it’s awful and they should write something else instead. Typically these points are at 20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 words. Keep writing through your doubts. You can fix anything that isn’t working in the rewrite.

  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Diet coke!
  13. And finally Cally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    This year I’ve also written a YA thriller – ‘The Treatment’ – which will be published by HarperCollins HQ on 19th October. I can’t say too much about it yet but if you loved my novel ‘The Lie’ this book should be right up your street!

Follow on Twitter C.L. Taylor for updates

C.L Taylor Reveals New Book – The Escape

The EscapeC.L Taylor is back with a cracking new book called ‘The Escape’.

The story of ‘The Escape’ is –

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

For fans of this thrilling author, ‘The Escape’ will be available to buy from 23rd March 2017.

C.L. Taylor Reveals New Book – The Missing

The MissingC.L. Taylor has revealed the cover and name of her third psychological thriller called ‘The Missing’.

The story of ‘The Missing’ is –

Someone knows what happened to Billy …When fourteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing from his Bristol home in the middle of the night, there isn’t a single member of his family that doesn’t feel that they are to blame. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one other that it isn’t until a year later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface. Claire Wilkinson, Billy’s mother, begins to suffer from terrifying fugues, vanishing from her home and coming to in strange hotel rooms and on unfamiliar streets. In her handbag are items she’s never seen before. The first time it happens, her doctor writes it off as an unusual reaction to stress. But when she wakes from a blackout with blood on her hands, no one can explain how it got there, least of all Claire. A mother’s bond with her child is unbreakable, but what if she has something terrible to hide …?

I loved C.L.’s previous book called ‘The Lie’ which was very dark and gripping and ‘The Missing’ sounds just as good.

You can pre-order The Missing from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 21st April 2016.

The Lie By C.L. Taylor

The Lie‘The Lie’ is the latest book by C.L. Taylor.

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist. Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves.

Cally Taylor is an author I heard about last year when her first book, ‘The Accident’ was released and she received a lot of praise. So when I was sent a copy of ‘The Lie’, I was eager to see what type of author she was.

‘The Lie’ is a cleverly written story that spans over many years and is completely seen through the narrative of Jane, who is infact really called Emma and begins right at the point when Jane receives her first letter from someone claiming to know that her real name isn’t Jane.

The story then flicks back between the past and present when Emma and her then three best friends travel to Nepal and end up on the top of mountain embroiled in a cult where they all become enemies and the trust between the friendship is gone. Emma’s oldest friend is Daisy, but she has a new friend now called Leanne and the pair of them prefer to bully and tease Emma, leaving her out of activities. I found the scenes with the three girls uncomfortable as they are grown women, straight out of university but they resort to play school bully tactics, whispering rumours and generally making Emma feel uncomfortable. Thankfully Emma has another friend called Al, who is the reason they are all on this holiday, after her recent breakup. She is caught in the middle and doesn’t like to take sides, but she believes Emma when she begins to doubt the ethics of the group. With being the outsider of the girls, Emma is seen as a challenge by the leader of the cult Issac and this annoys Daisy as she wants Isaac’s attention. The longer Emma spends being the outsider and discovering things along the way, the more she realises that they have to get out of this place for their own safety and this is how tragically only two of the four of girls return to England.

As the story is written in the past and present, it gives an great insight into the friendship and as to why Emma has changed her name. Both tenses are equally gripping and I found this book a compelling read. In the present tense, Emma now Jane, thought she was finally free from her past, having moved on with a good job and a new love but her past has caught up with her and it seems that old ghosts don’t want her to be happy. As the lead character, Emma comes across as quite weak, as she puts up with her alleged friends behaviour and ridicule, but as time passes over the year, we see her become stronger, even though she is still paranoid after how their trip turned out.

Cleverly written and where everyone is a suspect, ‘The Lie’ is a suspenseful and gruesome story that draws into the deep, dark world of cults, jealousy and shows no matter how hard you try to hide, your past always catches up with you.

You can buy The Lie from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.