Cally Taylor – Q&A

Cally Taylor
Cally Taylor
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and womens magazines. Cally works in Higher Education and has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

With the paperback Her Last Holiday just out in January of 2022 and a new book due in July (The Guilty Couple, the 11th as C.L. Taylor) there are so many good thrillers for you to choose from.

Here is Cally talking a bit about her books and her process.

Contact details for C.L. Taylor are:
Twitter: @callytaylor
Insta: @CLTaylorAuthor
FB: @CallyTaylorAuthor
YouTube: CLTaylorAuthor

Do you have a writing playlist? If so do you want to share it?

I write to film soundtracks, but only ones that don’t have any lyrics. My favourites are ‘In Time’, ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Rambo Last Blood’. I write crime novels and I like the soundtrack I listen to to match the tension of my scene.

What kind of reactions have you had to your books?

I’ve written eight psychological thrillers so far and I’ve had the most wonderful reactions. My favourite is when a reader tells me they read one of my books in one sitting, or they read it late into the night, way past their bedtime.

What’s the favourite reaction you’ve had to your books?

A reader told me that he hadn’t been into reading until he read one of my books but it inspired him to read more, across lots of genres, then he give up his job as a bus driver and retrained to be an English teacher.

What can you tell us about your next book?

Her Last Holiday
Her Last Holiday
My current book is Her Last Holiday which is a missing sister mystery about a woman called Fran who signs up to attend a wellness retreat to try and find out what happened to her sister Jenna who disappeared on a similar retreat two years earlier.

The current thread (Fran’s point of view) is set in Wales and the past thread (Jenna’s point of view) is set in Gozo, an island off the coast of Malta. There are several people on Fran’s retreat who were also on Jenna’s and one of them is determined that she doesn’t discover the truth…

Do you take notice of online reviews?

For my sins, I do. I tend to look at the first tranche after a book is published to see what the reaction is like but I don’t obsessively check the reviews for my older books.

Would you ever consider writing outside your current genre?

I’ve already written romantic comedies, psychological thrillers and young adult thrillers but I wouldn’t discount other genres!

What did you do before (or still do) you became a writer?

I was the manager of a university distance learning team.

Which author(s) inspire you?

Maggie O’Farrell, Margaret Atwood, Lisa Jewell.

Which genres do you read yourself?

All sorts, but primarily crime as I’m sent lots of proofs.

What is your biggest motivator?

Writing a better book than the last one.

What will always distract you?

Social media.

How much (if any) say do you have in your book covers?

I didn’t have much of a say when I first started out but these days I’ll often get shown four to six different designs and asked for my thoughts. For Her Last Holiday I was shown four variations of a very similar design and asked which one I liked best. For The Guilty Couple I was shown one design and loved it on sight!

Where you a big reader as a child?

I was a voracious reader, an ‘under the duvet with a torch’ type child.

What were your favourite childhood books?

Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway series. The Garden Gang by Jayne Fisher. The Willard Price adventure series.

Do you have a favourite bookshop? If so, which?

I love all bookshops because they have books in them! I love Waterstones for the huge variety of books, I love Max Minerva’s my local Bristol indie and I love a second hand bookshop for all the vintage treasures you can find.

What books can you not resist buying?

Books about psychology and neuroscience.

Do you have any rituals when writing?

When I start a new book I have to make sure that my study is tidy and my desk and my whiteboard are clear.

How many books are in your own physical TBR pile?

Too many to count!

What is your current or latest read?

I’ve just finished a proof of ‘The Last Party’, Clare Mackintosh’s new police-procedural series which I hugely enjoyed and have just picked up a proof of ‘I Know What I Saw’ by Imran Mahmood and am two chapters in. I am also listening to the audiobook of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell.

Any books that you’re looking forward to in the next 12 months?

I’m looking forward to Lisa Jewell’s sequel to The Family Upstairs (The Family Remains) and I’m dying to dive into my proof copy of Rachel Again by Marian Keyes.

Any plans or projects in the near future you can tell us about?

My next book is published on 23rd June 2022 in hardback, ebook and audio. It’s called The Guilty Couple and it’s about a woman called Olivia who was framed by her husband. When she’s released from prison five years later Olivia teams up with her thief cellmate to clear her name and get revenge but it isn’t her freedom that’s at stake now, it’s her life.

I’m currently mulling over an idea for my tenth psychological thriller and will start plotting it next month.

Any events in the near future?

I’ll be appearing at Crime Fest in Bristol in May and Harrogate Crime Festival in July. Hopefully I’ll be doing a book tour for the launch of The Guilty Couple at the end of June. Details will be posted on my website when they’re confirmed.

And finally, what inspired you to write the genre you do?

I did my degree in psychology and I find the human mind fascinating: the way childhood shapes us into the adults we become, and the reasons some people become narcissists, sociopaths and criminals, and the survival mechanisms victims of crime employ.

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