Author CL Taylor resides in Bristol with her partner and son. She studied for a degree in Psychology at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle and has worked in many roles; 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 has kindly shared a few more things about herself with us today.
The most terrifying experience of my life was white-water rafting in Nepal. The dinghy overturned in the rapids and we were tipped into the water. Being heavier than my fellow rafters I dropped deeper into the river than everyone else and they stamped on my helmet as I tried to surface, not knowing I was still in the water below them. The lack of oxygen made me hallucinate and I saw a strange, ethereal figure under the water. You couldn't pay me to white-water raft again.
When I was very young I decided I wanted to become an author and wrote story after story after story, writing them out by hand, illustrating them and stapling them together. My mum kept them all in the attic and recently gave me a bundle of over 20 of my 'books'. When I was eight I sent one of them, 'The Flower Friends and the Evil Weed' to Penguin Publishers and received my very first rejection. I've got that too.
When I was eleven I became fascinated by hypnotism, took several books on the subject out of the library and attempted to hypnotise my friends (with their consent!). It never worked.
I am scared of heights. The one, and only, time I went skiing aged 35 I cried when I had to get into a cable car alone. I waited until someone else came along, explained how scared I was and asked if I could get in the cable car with him. He talked to me all the way down, distracting me from the, quite frankly, terrifying view through the windows.
I was a week away from taking my orange belt in kickboxing when I fell pregnant with my son. I still convince myself that, if I just lost a bit of weight and joined a new class, I could still become a ninja.
I have watched every single series of Big Brother (the version with members of the public and the celebrity specials). I know most people think that's a shameful admission but I love watching the transition from 'we're all friends' to bitching, back-stabbing and clique forming. It's a fascinating insight into what happens when you throw a group of people with different goals and weaknesses into a crucible type situation. I tried to do something similar with my psychological thriller THE LIE.
I have had the same recurring dream my whole life, about a box of bones in the attic of my house. No matter how fast I run, or where I travel to, it always catches up with me. It's such a powerful dream I always wake up convinced that I have murdered someone and it's only a matter of time until the police catch me. I recently used the dream as the basis of a short story.
I'm an introvert and was very shy as a child. My mum said I'd grow out of the shyness and she was right (about that at least) but I still crave time alone and I get stressed if I'm around other people for too long.
I'm not religious and don't believe in an afterlife but I do believe in ghosts. I've seen someone running up stairs when there was no one else in the house. I've woken up in the night to see a pulsing white light on a bedroom wall and felt a malevolence in the room, telling me to get out (I did). And my sister and I both, separately, confided to our mum that we sensed someone watching us when we were alone in one of the rooms of our gran's house.
When I was in my twenties I went to on a meditation retreat with a friend. We were woken at 5am, were required to meditate half a dozen times, were fed meagre rations, weren't allowed to talk for the majority of the day but were encouraged to open up about past traumas in intense seminars that lasted until the early hours of the morning. If we tried to sit in the garden a read a member of staff would join us and try and convince us to attend more seminars after the retreat ended. We were so convinced we were being groomed to join a cult that we escaped early. The experienced partly inspired my psychological thriller, THE LIE.