It’s a British Crime Spree!

I’ve teamed up with eleven bestselling authors to offer crime readers an absolute treat – free stories!

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Originally a three part serial in My Weekly magazine THE LODGER is a gripping 9,000 word short story. All you need to do to download it for free is enter your email address. You’ll also get free membership to the CL Taylor Book Club – just in time for my next competition when I’ll be giving away THREE bottles of champagne!

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THE LODGER

When Laura’s husband Steven dies in a tragic accident she no longer feels safe in her own home. Joe, the homeless brother of a friend, offers to move in but Laura isn’t keen. When she returns home one day to find that something terrible has happened she has no choice but to invite Joe to stay…

To get this and stories by Mark Edwards, Simon Toyne, Katerina Diamond and loads of other authors just go here:

https://www.agenthunter.co.uk/crime-fiction/

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Work, events and celebrations…

A lot has happened since I last blogged. For a start I’ve finished the first draft of my young adult thriller THE TREATMENT and completed the edits. It was a good job I met my deadline for the YA book because, the next day, we jetted off to Italy to celebrate my partner’s 40th birthday on the slopes (well, the rest of the family skied and snowboarded – I’m not a fan of heights or going fast so I spent a lovely time drinking coffee and reading books in the sunshine).

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Before we left for Italy I managed to speed up to London for the Quick Reads launch of ‘Dead Simple’, the crime anthology I contributed a short story to. I spent a lovely evening with Clare Mackintosh, Harry Bingham, Mark Billingham, Dreda Say Mitchell, Antonia Hodgson and Fanny Blake.

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Earlier this month THE MISSING was given a make-over to celebrate its inclusion in World Book Night next month. Here it is in all it’s lovely, eye-catching pink glory!

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Last week I went to London to record a BookD podcast to support the publication of The Escape and to discuss marketing and PR plans for the book. Whilst I was there I was invited to join the team to have some champagne to celebrate the fact that paperback sales of The Missing had reached 100,000 copies! I was presented with a wonderful framed print and felt quite choked up when my editor Helen made a speech.

Yesterday I traveled back up to London to take part in an Author HQ panel with author Rosanna Ley and Jonathan from Writing Magazine. We discussed the creative writing process in front of a huge audience of aspiring authors and the 45 minutes flew by. It was my first visit to the London Book Fair and I was slightly overwhelmed by how huge it was. Amazing to see the team from Avon handing out samples of The Escape from their cardboard replica of the boat on the cover of the book!

I think that’s probably enough news for one blog post! There’s exactly one week to go before THE ESCAPE is published so I’ll write another blog post soon, all about that…

I’m doing lots of events in the next few months so do check my events page if you live in Brighton, Bristol, Glasgow, Oxford or Newcastle. The Glasgow event is this Sunday!

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The Lie, optioned for TV by The Forge

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Over the last couple of years hundreds of readers have told me that my books would make great films/tv shows and now I can finally share some VERY exciting news on that front.

THE LIE has been optioned by The Forge, the TV production company behind the amazing Channel 4 drama ‘National Treasure’ featuring Robbie Coltrane. I am beyond thrilled.

Fingers crossed that The Lie (or a version of it) will appear on your TV at some point in the next few years!

The Forge was set up by George Faber in 2014. Previously, George ran Company Pictures, which he co-founded in 1998 with Charlie Pattinson. During his 12 years there, the company grew into one of the UK’s largest, most successful and highly regarded UK drama indies, winning Golden Globes, EMMYs, BAFTAs and RTS Awards for its wide-ranging productions including Shameless, Skins, Elizabeth I, Generation Kill, The Shadow Line, The Devil’s Whore, The Village, Wild At Heart, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, A Room for Romeo Brass and Morvern Callar. Prior to his time at Company Pictures, George was Head of Single Drama for the BBC.

 

The text in the paragraph above is quoted from The Forge’s website: http://theforgeentertainment.co.uk

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Not long now until my next psychological thriller, THE ESCAPE, comes out. I will be giving away TEN exclusive proofs to members of my free CL Taylor Book Club. I also have some great goodies to give away – including champagne, jewellery, tote bags and signed copies of my books – when my total book sales hit the magic one million mark (not far off).  Join now if you don’t want to miss out.

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A lovely end to the year!

A quick blog post before Christmas, and my final one of the year. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had some great news.

THE MISSING was listed as one of Kobo’s best books of 2016.

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THE MISSING was also one of iTunes bestselling book of 2016.

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And it was one of Google Play’s bestselling books of 2016!

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I also found out that THE MISSING will be distributed as part of World Book Night in 2017 and my short story BIRD IN A CAGE will be featured in the Quick Reads DEAD SIMPLE crime anthology. DEAD SIMPLE also features stories by Clare Mackintosh, Harry Bingham and Mark Billingham and you can pre-order it now for just 99p (published on 2nd February).

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Some of my newer readers might not know this but, before I turned to crime, I wrote two romantic comedies under the name Cally Taylor that were published by Orion. The second book, HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, was made into a feature film by Jumpstart, an independent British film company. You can read about my experience of watching something I wrote come to life here. Or, if you fancy watching something cheery, you can now rent or buy the film from Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Playstation, XBOX or FilmFlex (Virgin). The DVD will be out next Christmas. Here’s the trailer on YouTube

And finally, earlier this week I went to Mayfair in London for my agent Madeleine Milburn’s Christmas party and what an excellent party it was!

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I’ve received the page proofs for THE ESCAPE that I need to look over and I still need to write about 40,000 words of my YA thriller THE TREATMENT before my deadline on 10th February but I’m downing tools now until 27th December. Have a wonderful Christmas and New year.

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Introducing…THE ESCAPE!

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Earlier this week I sent an exclusive email to the members of the CL Taylor Book Club giving them a sneak peek at the cover of my fourth psychological thriller and a bit of background about what inspired me to write it and how much research I had to do before I could write a word (answer: a LOT!). I am really, really proud of this novel. It’s rooted in reality (what happens to Jo could happen to any parent) and it’s a pacy, heart-in-the-mouth read. I’m really excited to hear what my readers think of it. Roll on 23rd March!

“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.

The Escape will be published on 23rd March 2017.

Pre-order on Amazon.co.uk
Pre-order on Kobo
Pre-order on IBooks
Pre-order on Google Play

 

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A new deal, a new genre and a new US publisher!

I was planning on blogging about what I’ve been up to the last couple of months – and I will – but first, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve signed a new two book deal with Avon HarperCollins. That means I’ll be writing, and they’ll be publishing, a book a year until at least 2020!

AND I have signed a two book deal to write Young Adult (YA) thrillers for HarperCollins HQ. That means I’ll have two books published in 2017 and 2018 – a psychological thriller in April and a YA thriller in September!

The YA thriller was sold by my agent Madeleine Milburn on a synopsis and a partial (3 chapters) so I need to write the rest ASAP. I get my line edits back for my adult psychological thriller on Monday and, as soon as I’ve finished them, I need to start on the YA thriller (to be delivered at the end of January). In February I’ll need to research and plot the new adult book AND do my edits for the YA book so I can start writing the first draft of the adult book in March.

It’s going to be a busy couple of years for me on such a tight writing/delivery schedule but I’m incredibly fortunate to be in this situation. I’ve had the idea for the YA thriller for several years and I’m so, so lucky that, not only do I get to write it, but it’s going to be published too. I have also signed a deal for The Missing to be published by HarperCollins in the U.S. Apparently good things come in threes and they certainly have this year!

September and October have been incredibly busy months in terms of workload and public speaking events. I’ve only got one more event next week (a visit to a prison reading group to answer questions about THE MISSING) and then that’s it for me for this year. The only events I’ll be attending in November and December will be Christmas parties and book launches!

In my last post I mentioned giving the keynote speech at the York Festival of Writing (run by The Writers’ Workshop). I had an audience of several hundred unpublished authors and I was incredibly nervous. Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to most authors (me included) and I was terrified that I’d have a panic attack live on stage or completely dry up. Luckily neither of those things happened and, with my agent sitting beside me and a Powerpoint I’d prepared on screens behind me, the words flowed as I talked about the ups and downs of my publishing career. I very nearly choked up as I talked about how the death of a school friend when we were both 33 spurred me to to write my first novel but I got through it. After the speech I was stopped by so many aspiring authors, wanting to tell me how funny and truthful and inspiring my talk was.  I was incredibly touched by their reaction. The Festival of Writing in York is an amazing opportunity for unpublished authors to connect with agents, editor, book doctors and authors. I only wish it had been around when I was starting out!

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This month I appeared on Laura Rawling’s show on BBC Radio Bristol to talk about the writing masterclass I gave yesterday (in association with Novel Nights for the Bristol Festival of Literature) on how to write a novel readers won’t want to put down. You can listen to the interview here (I’m on from 1 hour 45 mins and 30 seconds). I was also videoed giving my five top tips for writing a novel. You can watch them here.

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After I’d appeared on the radio I took a taxi to Emerson Green library when I talked to a lovely audience about my books and my career to date. I finally got home at 10pm.

This week it’s been the Frankfurt Book Fair and, whilst I didn’t attend, my editor at Avon sent me these photos of my books on the HarperCollins UK stand and my photo next to David Walliams’ photo. Amazing!

I’ve seen the cover for next adult psychological thriller book and I LOVE it! I’ll be giving a sneak peek to all the members of my FREE CL Taylor Book Club as soon as my publisher gives me the thumbs up. Sign up now if you’d like to see it too. You’ll also receive a free short story for joining.

Posted in agent, Avon HarperCollins, Book deal, editor, HarperCollins HQ, Writing tips, YA Thriller | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The best ‘how to write…’ books

My regular blog posts are normally summaries of writing events I’ve attended and book news. As I spent most of August either on holiday or working on my edits this post is going to be a little different. When this post goes up I’ll be on stage at the Festival of Writing in York delivering a key note speech to 350 aspiring writers. I’ll be talking about my career so far and how, in my experience, criticism, rejection and set backs have lead to the most amazing opportunities and developments, and how aspiring writers need to learn to put self-doubt and fear to one side and ‘bounce back’ and grow as a writer in order to succeed in the publishing industry.

One of the other things I’ll be talking about is how you never stop learning as a writer. You learn by reading the bestsellers, by analysing the most popular books in your genre and by studying the craft of writing. ‘How to write’ books aren’t for everyone. I know a lot of authors who’ve never so much as opened one but I’ve found them incredibly useful – for short stories and for novels.

Here’s a list of my most recommended ‘how to’ books. These are all book that I have bought and used, or continue to use. Many of these I used when I started my career. The books I use most frequently at the moment are starred.

Short Stories

Creating Short Fiction

How to Write and Sell Short Stories (Secrets to Success)

Writing novels

Plot and Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot that Grips Readers from Start to Finish (Write Great Fiction)

How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-By-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling

Writing the Breakout Novel: Winning Advice from a Top Agent and His Best-selling Client

Characters & Viewpoint (Elements of Writing Fiction )

Writing the Romantic Comedy

Editing

The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know *

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition

Revision and Self-Editing: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Finished Novel (Write Great Fiction)

Screenwriting (I use these to help structure and strengthen my novels rather than for actual screenwriting)

Screenwriting Tricks for Authors (and Screenwriters!): STEALING HOLLYWOOD: Story structure secrets for writing your BEST book: Volume 3 *

Save the Cat!: The Only Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

The Story Book: A Writer’s Guide to Story Development, Principles, Problem-solving and Marketing

Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (Methuen Film)

Agents and the publishing process

From Pitch to Publication: Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Novel Published

Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2016

General books on writing

Monkeys with Typewriters: How to Write Fiction and Unlock the Secret Power of Stories

Into The Woods: How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them *

Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

Solutions for Writers: Practical Craft Techniques for Fiction and Non-fiction

I’ll be teaching a three hour workshop on how to write gripping novel at the Bristol Festival of Literature on October 22nd. Time and location to be announced.

If you want to know more about my workshops, speaking events or when I’ve got a new book out do please join the CL Taylor Book Club. I only send out a few mailings a year so your inbox won’t be clogged up.

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