We’re celebrating! Our wonderfully bestselling author C.L. Taylor has not only sold over 300,000 copies of her haunting, unputdownable psychological thriller THE LIE, but the book has just sold in its 10th country, with many more to come no doubt! The perfect opportunity to quiz our author on her summer plans:
What’s your daily routine when you are writing?
I tend to procrastinate for hours in the morning and then, when I’m bored of TV, social media, admin and housework (actually the latter rarely happens), I check the time and think, “Uh oh, only five/four/three hours until I have to pick my son up from nursery” and then I write like the wind. I try to write between 1,500 and 2,500 words a day. I’d love to get the words written first thing so I could spend the rest of the day reading and relaxing without guilt but I’ll never be a morning writer I fear.
If you weren’t writing, what other job would you dream to have?
There were only two jobs I wanted as a child – to be an author or an actress. When I was a teenager I took my LAMDA qualifications in acting and the speaking of verse and prose and even won a cup for my acting in the Cheltenham festival but my acting teacher told me I’d find it difficult to find work as an actress as, at a smidge under six foot tall, I’d struggle to be cast. I assumed she knew what she was talking about and gave up that dream although I continued to act at university, in productions for the drama society. One day I’m going to write a novel or a screenplay featuring a really tall female character. Not so I can play her, but so another six foot actress who didn’t listen to her drama teacher can!
Favourite book as a child?
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.
Favourite food/snack while writing?
There’s nothing quite like chocolate to get you through some tricky edits but I’m watching my weight so these days it’s mostly diet coke and chewing gum for me.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, what’s your favourite piece to listen to?
For The Lie, my psychological thriller about a group of female friends turning on each other during a holiday from hell, I listened to the soundtrack of ‘In Time’. The composer is Craig Armstrong, my all time favourite composer. Although he wrote the score for a sci fi film there’s a very real sense that time is running out and the urgency in the soundtrack really suited the mood of The Lie. I’m currently writing my third psychological thriller, The Missing, and this time I’m listening to a lot of Max Richter which is dark and brooding. This novel is about grief but also about paranoia and his music helps create the perfect atmosphere for the story.
Most unglamorous part of being a writer?
Answering the door to the postman in my pyjamas with no make up on.
Do you have any secret talents (other than writing)?
I used to be a pretty good kickboxer but I found out I was pregnant with my son the week before my orange belt grading. Once I’ve lost the baby weight I’d love to take it up again (he’s nearly four so I’m not holding my breath…).
What is your favourite spot to read in?
I love reading under an umbrella on the beach or beside a hotel pool somewhere warm with a lovely breeze but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that (see mention of small child in answer to question 9!)
What has been your most touching review or message from a fan so far?
It was the email from a reader who had read The Accident – a psychological thriller about a woman who escapes from an abusive relationship and fears her abuser may have reappeared twenty years later. The reader told me that she’d been in an abusive relationship too and I’d perfectly captured the way an abuser slowly and insidiously destroys the confidence of his victim. She told me that she hoped that other women, who didn’t realise they were being emotionally abused, would read The Accident, see the way James treated Susan and have a lightbulb moment and leave their relationship. Having been in an emotionally abusive relationship myself I really, really hope that happens too.
Favourite holiday destination? Are you a beach bunny or a city explorer?
Back in my early twenties I went to Cyprus with a friend and read a book a day for seven days. Absolutely bliss!
Summer tipple of choice?
What book are you reading right now/planning to read over the summer?
I’m currently reading THE HUNT by T.J. Lebbon which is about a man who goes for a run and returns home to find that his wife and children have been snatched. It’s a compulsive read.
Most importantly, favourite ice cream flavour?
For a hot summer’s day it has to be an Italian lemon icecream. So refreshing.