C L Taylor

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C.L.Taylor

CL (Cally) Taylor struggles to answer the question, 'Where are you from?' because she was born in Worcester then spent her childhood ping-ponging from the UK to Germany and back as her father's regiment moved from one army base to another. She's currently from Bristol, because that's where she lives.

She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

She credits Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected for her fascination with the dark side of human nature, dystopian classics for helping her to survive school and Simone de Beauvoir and Oscar Wilde for getting her locked in Père Lachaise cemetery in her 20s.


A night owl and an introvert, she likes nothing more than staying up until 4am watching TV when the world is quiet and her family is asleep. She doesn't like early starts, noisy people, coach journeys or structural edits. Her favourite part of writing a book is the bit where she's thinking, rather than writing.


Interviewed 17 December 2022

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

A mixture of luck, hard work, exhaustion, failure and success.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

South Bristol, the sunset, fairy lights, knitting, flowers, books, my dog, my cold feet and an empty ready salted crisp packet.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Spaghetti bolognese with underdone spaghetti.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

Mark Edwards, Susi Holliday, Ed James, Katerina Diamond, Mark Billingham, Luca Veste, Craig Robertson. Crime authors are the best people to go drinking with.

Six things you can't live without ...

My asthma inhaler, my son, my partner, wine, coffee, ready salted crisps.

Five favourite words ...

This book doesn’t need editing. (I have never heard those five words but I live in hope).

Four places you'd run away to ...

The Scottish Highlands (if I’d committed a crime), Paris (for culture), Mauritius (for sunshine), a cottage by the sea in Devon (to get a bit of peace and quiet).

Three books you've bought recently ...

Windswept and Interesting by Billy Connolly Sorrow and Bliss – Meg Mason We Begin at the End – Chris Whitaker

Two things that make you rant ...

Publishing’s obsession with debuts, and my builder who took up our kitchen tiles eight months ago and still hasn’t been back to lay the new ones...

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

If you think you’re fat now wait until you hit 48! Seriously though – you need to work on your self-esteem. You’re too hard on yourself.