I have an absolute treat for you today! It’s my spot on the official blog tour for C. L. Taylor’s new book, The Fear, which not only means I have a great review coming your way, but also an EXCLUSIVE author interview with Taylor herself!!!!!
When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.
Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.
But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…
The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.
Official blurb for The Fear.
When I first heard that Taylor was bringing out a new book, I couldn’t contain my excitement! So, imagine my emotions when I found out I had got myself a spot on the official blog tour of The Fear. I was over the moon! And even more so, I managed to get an exclusive author interview with Taylor herself (dreams do come true!!!).
After the interview with Taylor, I anxiously awaited my copy of The Fear. It arrived in a gorgeous little package in the post one morning, with a beautiful white rose attached to it. Well, that was that. All my plans that day went out the window. The Fear had taken over me before I had even started reading. Little did I know what I was letting myself in for…
Every time Taylor brings out a new book, in my opinion, it exceeds her last. I don’t know how she does it. My expectations weren’t just high, they were through the roof! How could Taylor possibly top her last novel, The Escape? Well, simply put – she did!
I was fascinated with the story as there are similarities with real-life cases where a teacher and pupil had decided to run away together (see Taylor’s inspiration behind her novel in her interview below!) but, the public rarely gets to find out what happened next. Taylor’s imagination clearly ran wild with the what next? scenario, and I was glued to each page as the puzzle started coming together.
The plot of The Fear is overwhelmingly dark and there’s no relief of tension. The whole storyline is suffocating, leaving you gasping with shock after every chapter. This novel is heavily reliant on the characters; Lou, Chloe, Mike, and Wendy. Their lives intertwine to create a psychological thriller exceeding all expectations.
Lou is a confusing character, which just adds to the mysterious undertones of the story. As soon as I thought I had her sussed, she goes and does something completely out of the ordinary (or is it?). Chloe was easy to sympathise with; she’s vulnerable, naive, and is the reincarnated victim Lou once was. I thought the interaction between these characters was intriguing because although they are different, they are more similar than they could have imagined. I found the character of Mike very interesting because he isn’t your classic villain. After all, he was just a teacher, not some guy that hung out in the woods stalking women, or a criminal dressed in dark clothing. But beneath the surface lies a sick and evil man lurking behind his false façade; abusing his position of power, manipulating and preying on young girls, and not caring of the consequences. That’s what makes him dangerous; he’s not just unpredictable, he doesn’t seem to fear anything…
Wendy is such an amusing character. I was constantly guessing how she fit into all this but in the end, I couldn’t work it out (until Taylor spelled it out for me) and that’s all I will say about Wendy! No spoilers!
To sum up, I would say The Fear is ‘suffocating and intense with so many dark turns you’re praying for a light at the end of the tunnel’.
Taylor, YOU HAVE DONE IT AGAIN! I knew you would!
If you are a longstanding fan of C. L. Taylor (like me) you will undoubtedly be gripped by The Fear. I honestly am in awe of her and her novels- they are unbelievable! However, if you haven’t read a book by Taylor before, I urge you to do so! Definitely start with this one, it’s her best yet in my opinion! Full of twists and turns, it is bound to keep you hooked until the very end (hence why I finished it in one sitting!).
Now it’s time for an exclusive Books Beyond The Story author interview with C. L Taylor:
Author Interview with C. L. Taylor
How is The Fear different from your other crime thrillers?
The Fear is different from my other psychological thrillers in that my main character is much more pro-active than my other characters. In my other novels something happens to my characters that is strange, scary or un-nerving and they react to it. In The Fear Louise actively decides to confront the man she ran away to France with when she was fourteen and, for a while at least, she takes control…
What inspired you to write The Fear?
I was inspired to write The Fear by the news story about the teacher Jeremy Forrest who ran away to France with his one of pupils. Back in 2012 ‘Gemma’ was fifteen and she must be twenty-one or twenty-two now. I was curious about the effect an experience like that would have on a woman as she grows older. It would undoubtedly have an effect on her relationships with other men but would she have trust issues or would she find other relationships lacking in comparison? I wondered what would happen if a woman like Gemma confronted her groomer further down the line, how she’d feel about him and what the outcome of that meeting would be.
Do you relate to the characters in The Fear differently than characters from your other stories?
I have a different relationship with all of my characters, in the same way you might have a different relationship with different friends. The main difference is that I become my characters when I write a book so their issues become my issues, their fears become my fears and their goals become my goals. Every book is different because the characters are different.
Do you feel as if your writing style has developed throughout your writing career?
Yes, I think it has. The more books I write the more I become aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Like any skill the more you practice the better you become so hopefully I’m a better writer now than I was in 2008 when I wrote my very first novel (a romantic comedy called Heaven Can Wait).
Do you prefer to plan a story or just start writing and see where it takes you?
I’ve tried various different approaches. I’ve ‘pansted’ a novel (writing by the seat of my pants) and made it up as I go along. I’ve also heavily plotted novels and written 5,000 to 13,000 outlines before I began the first draft. The Fear and the novel I’m writing now are somewhere in between – I have a rough idea of where the novel is heading before I write a word but there are enough gaps in the story that I can still surprise myself. With The Fear I didn’t know what the final twist in the story would be until I reached 85,000 words. With the book I’m writing now I have no idea how the story will end. It’s exciting to write that way. Scary too, especially with my deadline fast approaching!
Do you find it hard to write the more harrowing scenes in your stories? How, as a writer, do you overcome this?
I do, yes. As I said earlier I become my characters so when I put them through something harrowing I have to experience those same emotions myself. The best way I’ve found to approach harrowing scenes is to write them to very emotive music (I often use movie soundtracks) and write them quickly. Afterwards I tend to watch something very light-hearted on TV to lift my mood.
Did you write The Fear with your own fears in mind?
No, The Fear is the first book I’ve written where I didn’t exploit my own fears to write a book.
Do you feel as if you read more books since becoming an author? And which books are your favourite?
I actually read less now than I did when I was an unpublished author. It’s partly because my life is very different now (I was single and lived alone when I was unpublished and now I have a partner and I’m a mum and a dog owner) and partly because I develop word tiredness after a day at my desk. I used to read to unwind but these days I’d rather watch a DVD boxed set or a film in the evening. I do most of my reading at the weekend and still love losing myself in books on holiday. My favourite books are After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell, 1984 by George Orwell and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
What is the best thing about being an author?
The best thing about being an author is holding your finished book in your hands. Writing a book takes a lot longer than most people imagine – between four and six months for the first draft, then another four to eight weeks editing, another two weeks completing the line edits, the same again for the copyedits and then a final read-through of the proofs. By the time one of my books is published I’ll have read it dozens and dozens of times. I’ll also have run the gamut of emotions – from thinking it’s the best book I’ve ever written to the worst and back again. Holding the final printed copy makes it all worthwhile.
Which of your books did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I most enjoyed writing The Fear because I loved writing Wendy. She came to life as I was writing and she hugely amused me, in her own, slightly twisted way.
A HUGE thank you to C. L. Taylor for an incredible interview. I am honoured to have you on my blog! And a GIANT thank you to Sabah Khan for setting up the interview and for giving me a wonderful spot on the official The Fear blog tour!
BIG thank you to Avon Books and Sabah for my copy of The Fear!
You can check out the other stops on the blog tour below:
How to get your hands on a copy:
Use the hashtag #TheFear to join in!
CLICK HERE for the author’s website
Happy reading! Lx