A ‘Dead Good’ summer

I can’t believe it’s been nearly two months since I last posted on here. In some ways time has flown but I seem to have fitted quite a lot into the last sixty-odd days so here’s a (probably not very quick) round up.

First off was the HarperCollins author party in the V&A. It’s always a treat and this year was no exception. Here’s me and CJ Daugherty in the garden.


At the end of July I headed north to the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival in Harrogate. The weather wasn’t quite as glorious as it normally is but this year was my favourite Harrogate ever because…I won an award! The Escape won the Dead Good Books Hidden Depths award for Most Unreliable Narrator.

With my agent Madeleine Milburn.

My books were shortlisted for Dead Good books awards in 2016 and 2015 and didn’t win and no one could have been more shocked than me when my name was read out this year. I’m surprised my gasp wasn’t heard for miles. Somehow I managed to give a speech but, by the time I had my photo taken outside my legs, were shaking and I may have had a little (happy) sob on my agent’s shoulder when she gave me a hug afterwards.

My legs were wobbling in this shot!

The Dead Good book awards are voted for  by readers and I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who voted for me. A dream came true that day and, to say thank you, I’m doing a big giveaway on my Facebook page and a separate one for members of the C.L. Taylor Book Club. More details later on in this post.

I told one of my writer friends, Marnie Riches, that if I won the champagne was on me and, as I was queuing at the bar, I turned round and spotted a familiar face. I’m not normally the sort of person to talk to a celeb but I’d had a couple of glasses of Prosecco by this point and, before I could stop myself, ‘Are you Jeremy Vine?’ popped out of my mouth. When he said that yes, he was, I gushed about how much I enjoyed his Radio 2 programme.

Me (slightly drunk) with Jeremy Vine.

We got chatting and he asked if I’d mind doing a live Facebook video for his page (you can see it here). The next day he sent me a tweet showing me that he’d bought a copy of The Escape and he even gave me a quote after he finished it, saying he hadn’t read a book as gripping since Gone Girl.  Such a nice man!

A couple of days after I got back from Harrogate I was off again – this time to London for YALC (the Young Adult Literary Convention) at Olympia. HarperCollins HQ had arranged a proof signing event for me and I turned up expecting to sign a handful of copies of The Treatment. Instead I arrived at the stall to find a queue of eighty YA readers patiently waiting for me to sign their copies. It was surreal. I’ve never signed so many books in my life and I’m sure I won’t again. It was a wonderful convention, full of excitement and enthusiasm for books and stories and several readers I spoke to were dragging suitcases full of books they’d bought or brought along for authors to sign.

After all that excitement it was time for me put my head down and finish my fifth psychological thriller for adults. We’d booked our family holiday (a week in Cornwall) for 12th August and I gave myself a deadline of 11th August so I wouldn’t have to write while we were away. Because I finished the YA novel in February and did a lot of events in March and April to promote The Escape I didn’t actually start writing the new book until May. I was about 70,000 words into the first draft by the end of July giving me 11 days to write another 20,000 odd words and finish the book. Knowing I’d have to write flat out I temporarily abandoned my family and booked myself into Retreats for You in Devon for five days.


My room at Retreats for You, Devon

I had a wonderful stay, hugely productive and, by the time I left, the word count was up to 85,000 words. I delivered the finished 91,000 word draft to my editor on 11th August with just enough time left to pack before our holiday.

My edits are due back next week so, this week, I’ll mostly be tidying my study (it’s a tip!), decluttering the house and prepping for some masterclasses I’m running later this year. On 8th September I’m delivering a crime writing masterclass at Bloody Scotland, Stirling with Sophie Hannah and Doug Johnstone. Tickets are available here. Then, on 2nd December I’ll be in Plymouth talking about establishing plot and pace for the Writers & Artists ‘How to Get Published’ conference. You can find out more here. I will also be appearing on a panel with Clare Mackintosh and Sarah Pinborough at Bloody Scotland, appearing on a panel at the Killer Women festival in October and reading in the ‘caves’ for the Bristol Festival of Literature. More details on my events page.

This morning the postman brought me a big box full of copies of my YA novel THE TREATMENT. They’re gorgeous. Not long now until publication day – 19th October.  It’s strange, having two books published in one year but I’m really excited about this book. I put a lot of my teenaged self into the main character, Drew – particularly issues I had with authority and the feeling that I didn’t have any control of my life. Drew is a lot braver than I was though! I’ll write a blog post talking some more about what inspired THE TREATMENT as it gets closer to publication date.

Quick aside – if you haven’t read THE ESCAPE (my fourth adult psychological thriller) yet you’ve got until the end of August to get the ebook for 99p and the paperback for £2. The prices go up again on 1st September.

And now for details of my giveaways…

Over on my Facebook page I’m giving away NINETEEN prizes including three signed copies of The TREATMENT, three signed copies of Dead Simple, bookmarks, pendants and some very cool custom printed flash drives. They’re pens but also 8GB USB sticks with ‘C.L. Taylor – gripping psychological thrillers’ printed on the side. You’ve got until one minute to midnight on 3rd September to enter that giveaway.


I’ll also be running another ‘thank you’ giveaway for members of the C.L. Taylor Book Club where I’ll be giving away my CrimeFest and Harrogate goody bags, signed copies of THE TREATMENT and Dead Simple and some more pens/USB sticks. Sign up now if you don’t want to miss out. It’s free, you can unsubscribe at any time and you’ll receive my 9,000 word story THE LODGER as a thank you just for signing up.







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Cover reveal for my first young adult thriller…

I posted this on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram yesterday but, just in case anyone missed it, here it is – a proof of THE TREATMENT, my first young adult psychological thriller. Published by HarperCollins HQ on 19th October.

Pre-order from Amazon.co.uk 

Pre-order from Kobo 

Pre-order from Google Play 

Pre-Order from iBooks

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Bristol, Brighton, Books and…Bruce Dickinson

Since THE ESCAPE was published back in March I’ve done a huge number of events – literary festivals, radio interviews, workshops, literary game shows and even my first TV appearance! Here are a few highlights…


Aye Write, Glasgow: In conversation with author Michael J Malone. Michael is an excellent interviewer and he asked me questions I’d never been asked before – like whether my childhood (spent in army camps) had had an impact on the way I see the world/write.


HarperCollins, London: How to Write a Thriller, a masterclass with author Paul Finch and our editor Helen Huthwaite. We also recorded a separate video for the HarperCollins Facebook page where we shared our top tips for writing a thriller. You can watch that here.


Write By the Beach, Brighton: Giving the keynote address on Sunday morning. I shared the ups and downs of my career and encouraged the attendees to bounce back from criticism and rejection because something amazing could be just around the corner.


HarperCollins Book Buyer event, London: Before I spoke to various retailers I totally fangirled over Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson. A wonderful man and an amazing musician and I can’t wait to read his autobiography. I won all the girlfriend points when I got him to sign a CD for my partner who has been an Iron Maiden fan since he was eleven!


Newcastle Noir, Newcastle: I was so thrilled to be asked to take part in the Domestic Noir panel with Louise Beech and Michael J Malone. Newcastle Noir is a small festival but it’s so warm and friendly and I had a wonderful time. I also took the chance to walk around Newcastle and see how much it had changed since I was last there 20-odd years ago. Dr Mark Moss, who did a degree with me and is now the Head of Psychology at the University of Northumbria, showed me around the university. It has changed so much I barely recognised it.


Crimefest, Bristol: It’s right on my doorstep but this year was my first CrimeFest panel. I chatted about the role of friends and family in crime fiction with Louise Beech, Thomas Enger and Gunnar Staalesen (chaired by Lucy V Hay). I also went to karaoke with a bunch of other crime writers after dinner one night but the least said about that the better!


Blackwells, Oxford: My first literary panel show! Recorded in front of a live audience, Sarah Churchwell, Danny King, Rob Duncan and I had to provide the first and last lines to various books and try and bluff our fellow contestants. I came fourth in the first round (the shame!) but won the second round (let’s just say I do a very convincing impersonation of David Icke!)

The podcast of our game will be available on the Ex Libris website at some point (it will be dated 30th May 2017)


Made in Bristol TV, Bristol: Bristol has its own TV channel and I was thrilled to be invited onto ‘The Crunch’ to talk about my books. I have never been more nervous IN MY LIFE and it was a bit of a weird one as my interview was interrupted by live news reports about anti Theresa May demonstrations in Brislington but I survived it! You can watch a snippet on my interview on my Facebook page.

Looking back I probably did too much (I feel like I’ve barely spent a weekend at home over the last few months) and I’ve spent the last six weeks suffering with a chest infection. After two courses of antibiotics and a course of oral steroids I finally feeling halfway human again and a break from back-to-back events means I’m also making good progress with the newest novel – 21,000 words into the first draft and a deadline of 12th August.

I’ll be taking the second half of August off then, in September, I’ll be jetting up to Stirling to teach a ‘how to write a thriller’ masterclass on Friday 8th September and on 9th I’m on a panel with Clare Mackintosh and Sarah Pinborough.

In October I’ll be appearing at the Bristol Festival of Literature and the Killer Women festival in London (details TBA). Then, at some point, I need to start thinking about writing my second YA thriller.


Talking of which the first one, THE TREATMENT, has been edited, copy edited and proofed and I’ve seen the stunning jacket. We’ll be revealing it to the world at the YALC conference in Olympia at the end of July where I’ll be signing proofs and chatting to bloggers and readers. It’ll be published by HarperCollins HQ on 19th October and is available to pre-order now!

On 7th November my US publisher will be publishing The Missing. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? You can pre-order it here. 


My last bit of news is that THE ESCAPE has been shortlisted for two Dead Good Books awards – Most Unreliable Narrator and Most Recommended Read.

If you have enjoyed THE ESCAPE please vote. It shouldn’t take more than a minute and I’d be incredibly grateful!

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The Escape is a Sunday Times bestseller

On Tuesday afternoon my editor called me to discuss my idea for my new book and let me know the sales figures for The Escape. When she told me that 9,047 copies had been sold in five days and The Escape was a number 4 Sunday Times paperback bestseller I squealed down the phone (apologies, Helen). In fact, I was so excited that Helen said we’d save the new book conversation for the next day so I had time to let the news sink in!

I am SO hugely grateful to team Avon for all their hard work, the book bloggers, newspaper/magazine reviewers and authors who’ve read it and helped spread the word and all the amazing readers who’ve bought a copy. I know how incredibly lucky I am to be in this position.

Update! On Tuesday 4th April my editor rang to tell me that The ESCAPE had sold over 10,700 copies in a week and was #2 in the Sunday Times paperback bestseller chart!


If you haven’t read The Escape yet take a look at the book bloggers reviews (above) and the reviews from the press:

‘Grabs you by the metaphorical throat right from the start and doesn’t let up until the end.’
Heat magazine

‘A headlong psychological thriller …the tension is well sustained.’

‘A gripping, disturbing read.’

‘This twisty-turny read is CL Taylor’s best yet.’
THE SUN Fabulous magazine

After all that excitement I still need to carry on plotting the next book (my deadline is 1st September and time is ticking). Some books arrive in my head almost fully formed. Not this one though. It’s a tricksy little sod. I have the basic premise in place, the bare bones of a plot and no ending. It’ll come… I hope.

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It’s a British Crime Spree!

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


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!

the lodger small


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:


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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).


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.


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!


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


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


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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