This week is half term for my ten year old son and I’ve spent the week taking him to the cinema (we saw Uncharted, very silly but entertaining), leaping around in an ungainly fashion on a dance machine in a vintage games arcade (thank God there’s no video footage of THAT!) and listening to him argue with his mates via Xbox.
Other than a radio interview on BBC Radio Bristol earlier in the week I’ve done NOTHING writing wise, and the promo for the paperback launch Her Last Holiday is pretty much done now.
Her Last Holiday was my eighth crime novel, The Guilty Couple is my ninth (more on that in a bit…) so now it’s time to start thinking about book ten. I approached my agent and editor with four ideas (two part-formed, one more well formed and one I was quite excited by). The consensus was that I should go for the one I was most excited by. So that was a relief.
Last week I went on a three night solo writing retreat in a converted barn owned by crime author Rachel Edwards. It was the most luxurious retreat I have been on with two meals a day cooked by Rachel and brought to my barn, a home-baked cake (blueberry and pecan – delicious), homemade bread, butter, orange juice, Diet Coke (which I’d requested), wine, face masks, a dressing gown, a log fire and a really comfy bed.
I went for a walk, I knitted, I read, I did some art and I cracked out my favourite ‘how to write a novel’ books (I re-read them every time I start plotting a novel to prod my imagination and get the ideas flowing) and started brainstorming book ten in my notebook.
I still have a LOT of work to do, plotting it, and that’s my plan for March. I’ll be tidying my office, wiping my whiteboard and digging out the index cards. Plotting a book is my favourite part of writing. Anything is possible at this stage and I’ll convince myself, yet again, that my plot is fully rounded – only to discover as I start to write the draft that there are massive great holes that will take me days of thinking to fill.
Talking of which, there was a LOT of pausing to think when I wrote the first draft of The Guilty Couple. It was probably my most complex plot in terms of tying together the various strands of the story, the motivations of the characters and the timelines of certain events. Oh but the JOY when I did find a way to make it work. There are certain reveals in this book that I’m very proud of and various mysteries that I am pretty sure will keep readers guessing until the end.
Now for the scary part when I find out if I’m right about that because advanced reader copies (otherwise known as ‘proofs’) are out in the world! They’ve gone out to authors, newspaper and magazine reviewers, book bloggers and Instagram book reviewers. My publisher, Avon HarperCollins, have created a stunning ARC with red foil on the cover and personalised bands. Take a look:
Several authors have already received ebook advanced copies and they’ve said the nicest things:
‘Wow. Clever, taut, pacy and addictive with twist after unpredictable twist. I couldn’t stop turning the pages desperate to know the outcome. And what an ending! My favourite C L Taylor book yet!’ – Sunday Times bestselling author Claire Douglas
‘I loved The Guilty Couple so much I was up until 2am finishing it. Twisty, compelling with some real stand out characters, tense and fast-paced and thoroughly unputdownable.’ – multimillion-copy bestselling author Angela Marsons
‘A brilliantly written, fast-paced and very clever thriller – I couldn’t put it down!’ – bestselling author Susi Holliday
‘Unpredictable and achingly compulsive, The Guilty Couple is fresh and thrilling . Nobody but C.L. Taylor could weave a story that is so dark and deft, all you can do is keep reading. A simply outstanding page-turner from an elite thriller writer.’ – Rob Parker
‘Cancel your appointments, kick off your shoes and get comfortable. There’s a new C.L. Taylor book in town – and it’s a corker.’ – Cass Green
In a few days I’ll be sharing the link to pre-order signed, personalised hardbacks from Max Minerva’s and I’ll also be revealing the COVER of the hardback of The Guilty Couple.
It’s my favourite of my covers so far. I actually gasped when I opened the email from my editor.
The Guilty Couple is published on 23rd June 2022 in the UK and Ireland and 28th June 2022 in the rest of the world. Here’s the back cover blurb:
Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was convicted of plotting to murder her husband.
Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals. Repair her relationship with her teenage daughter. Clear her name.
And bring down her husband – the man who framed her.
Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her? Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…
That’s it for now. Hope you like the sound of The Guilty Couple. More very soon!
You can pre-order The Guilty Couple now: