The Lie by C.L. Taylor was an overnight success, selling almost half a million copies in 2015. Here the book’s author talks about her transition from romantic comedies towards something darker, and introduces her gripping new book The Missing.

My publishing career began in 2009 when my debut, a supernatural romantic comedy called Heaven Can Wait, was published by Orion. I was thirty-five and I had just ended a four year relationship. My reality was microwave meals for one and internet dating malaise but my novels were filled with cute meets and happily ever afters. I no longer believed in soulmates but I still loved the idea that the man I ended up spending my life with might be someone I fell against on the tube or the owner of a dog that ran up to me in the park. I lived out my romantic fantasies in my fiction and my readers did too.

My writing career took a new turn in 2012. I was living in Bristol with my partner (who I’d met through eHarmony, no cute meet there) and we’d had a child. My son woke me every two hours to feed and the only way to stay sane was to throw myself into my writing. But it wasn’t a romantic comedy that I plotted late at night and scribbled down during my son’s day time naps, it was a psychological thriller.

“I’ve become more fearful since becoming a mother but, rather than let it control me, I channel it into my books…”

The idea was fuelled by the fear that an emotionally abusive ex from my past might somehow reappear in my life and destroy my new found happiness. That idea became The Accident, my debut with Avon HarperCollins. I’ve become more fearful since becoming a mother but, rather than let it control me, I channel it into my books. The Lie was about the secret resentments in close friendships  and The Missing is about the fear that your child could go missing.

It’s important to me to be authentic so I don’t hold back when I write. If I feel afraid, claustrophobic and tense then my readers will too.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. C.L. Taylor was voted as one of the Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors of 2014 in The Bookseller.