I’m Craig but I publish under the pen name C. M. Taylor because there’s another writer called Craig Taylor who stole my name and foisted these pompous initials on me.
I grew up in England and have lived in India and Spain and Belgium, but am back in England now. I’ve got two daughters and recently they got so mad that they’d missed our wedding (they weren’t born – it wasn’t a snub) that they dressed up as bridesmaids and made us climb into our wedding outfits – I was podgy; my wife was hot – then got a neighbour round to pretend to marry us again. True story.
What else? There’s these books I’ve written, and some TV stuff I’m working on which is all dastardly and hush hush. I’m interested in the future of narrative art and I teach writing at retreats and workshops and festivals, and I teach on a publishing degree, and I edit a lot of other people’s novels, which I love.
When I have spare time – what even is that, something to do with your 20s? – I take my kids on canoe trips down the Thames, or watch poor-quality football with my Dad, or go trail running with friends.
These friends, by the way, call me Tegs. Some of them. Others call me Darth Taylor, but I’m clamping down on that.
If you’re somehow inclined to know more, there’s my Wikipedia page.
And here’s where I work down the bottom of my garden in Eynsham, a village about six miles North West of Oxford. To answer your questions, yes my desk is always that tidy, and yes, I know that the middle shelf is slightly wonky.
Interviews and articles
- The Nightbuilder, a short story I wrote for the Inventive podcast
- A piece I wrote for The Social London on Sobriety and the Solace of Music
- A piece for Retreat West about learning how to write and about teaching people how to write
In June 2019 I wrote a short series of articles for my colleagues at Jericho Writers on various aspects of writing
• The first deals with villainy and antagonism in narrative art, addressing such questions as: What is a villain? Why do villains matter to fiction? Does every story need a villain? How to create a memorable villain.
• Another entitled How To Create a Great Inciting Incident deals with getting your story going, with before and after, and addresses questions such as: What is an inciting incident? How soon should an inciting incident take place in my novel?
• A third blog considers how to write a great scene addressing questions such as: What is the unique purpose of the scene? Is the scene thematically congruent? How does the scene turn? Are you clear on your point of view?
• Finally, I compiled a list of some of my favourite instructive aphorisms about writing, ranging across more than 2,000 years of the craft. Within these quotes you will find agreement on what constitutes good writerly practice, but you will also find a decent slice of disagreement.
- British Library Keystroke Project, 2018
- How To Wallpaper A Dungeon: Writing Platform article, 2018
- British Library Keylogging data, 2018
- ‘Planning a Novel’ for Jericho Writers, 2018
- Staying On launch interview, 2018
- Interview with Woven Tale Press, 2017
- Interview with Retreat West on the transformational arc, 2016
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