CL Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She studied her degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle and has worked in many jobs including as a sales administrator, web developer, instructional designer and as the manager of a distance learning team at a London university. She now writes full time and today tells us what we can expect when dating a crime writer.

Cally Taylor

Cally Taylor

We imagine the worst in any situation. Date in a lovely restaurant? When someone drops their knife on the floor and reaches down for it we're thinking, 'are they slipping a 'help me!' note under the table leg?' Romantic boat trip? We're wondering how easy it would be to push someone over the side.

That distant far away look in our eyes during dinner? We're not thinking how much we love you, we're working out how our main character can successfully hide the dead body.

We have THE DODGIEST SEARCH TERMS known to man in our Internet Browsing history.  Don't look. Just don't. 

When we write we channel the character we're writing about so, if you interrupt us and we give you a murderous look, don't take it personally, we're probably locked in the mind of a violent killer.

We also absorb the mood of whatever we're writing. When I wrote The Escape my main character was on the run. I spent four months feeling really, really tense. I imagine that was a lot of fun for my partner.

We will interrupt your sleep. All the best ideas come to us just as we are about to drop off. If you are lucky your date will scribble silently in the dark. If you're not, prepare yourself for all the lights to go on at midnight and your partner to madly scrabble around in search of a pen and a piece of paper.

A lot of crime writers write to music. We'll find an album that matches the mood of the novel we're writing and we'll play it over and over again. We won't realise it has played seven times on a loop, but you will!

The closer we get to our deadline the more we will block out the real world. That means the washing up will pile up, we'll go several days without washing our hair (dry shampoo is a writer's best friend) and we'll mostly live in scruffy jogging bottoms or pyjamas. On the upside on the day we start a new book we'd rather clean the house from top to bottom than open our laptop.

You may hope that the writer in your life will include you in one of their novels. If you are lucky they will dedicate the book to you. If you are unlucky they will put all your negative traits under a microscope and then then attribute them to an oderous person called Brian or Belinda. Don't believe that bit in the front that says it's coincidental. That weird person is definitely based on you.

We suffer from unpredictable mood swings and you won't be able to keep up. Some days our book will be the best thing we've ever written. Other days it will be the worst. Telling us 'you felt like that about your last book' won't help because we will be convinced that, this time, we have written a truly terrible book. Make sure you highlight the month before publication day. Your crime writer date will be a nervous wreck so go easy on him/her. Actually, go easy on them all the time. They'll love you for it. And they might not kill you off. 

'Look after your daughter's things, and your daughter' THE ESCAPE Published on 23 March 2017.