Andrew Taylor

Crime and Historical Novelist

The Story So Far

I grew up in the Fen country of East Anglia. I went to university at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and University College London. You can find glimpses of these early days here. When I was a useful member of society, I worked as a boatbuilder, wages clerk, teacher, librarian, labourer and freelance publisher's editor. Since 1981, I have been a full-time writer and, since 1982, I have lived in the Forest of Dean on the borders of England and Wales.

I write mainly crime novels and historical novels. You can find out more about them here. My wife works with me on the books when she’s not doing something much more interesting as the artist and photographer Caroline Silverwood Taylor.

From  2004 to 2006, I edited The Author, the quarterly journal of the Society of Authors, and I continue to write The Author's regular 'Grub Street' column. I was the Spectator's crime fiction reviewer for ten years and now contribute reviews to The Times, the Spectator and elsewhere.  I have served on the Management Committee of the Society of Authors and on the committee of the Crime Writers Association. I initiated what became the CWA’s Debut Dagger scheme, and administered it for its first two years. I have helped to judge a number of literary prizes for the Crime Writers Association, the Historical Writers Association and others.

I also do events for festivals, bookshops and libraries in the UK and abroad. I sometimes teach writing courses for the Arvon Foundation, Moniack Mhor (Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre) and Cheltenham Festival of Literature, etc.

Because of RSI, I sometimes dictate, which involves me prowling up and down my workroom and talking to myself in strange voices. In fine weather, I sit under an apple tree and talk to myself in the fresh air instead. On the other hand, sometimes I use a notebook, and sometimes a computer. One of the few things I know for certain about writing is that there is no one way to write a novel.

I was brought up to believe that boasting is vulgar, which it is. But legitimate commercial self-advertisement is of course completely different - and indeed something of a moral imperative if one is to survive in the harsh climate of twenty-first-century literature. Click Awards and Reviews for - well, awards and reviews and so on.

I’m particularly delighted to have been awarded the CWA Diamond Dagger for excellence in crime writing, and to be the unique (if immodest) triple winner of the CWA Historical Dagger.

Most of my typescripts, proofs and other working materials are held in the Special Collections of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center of Boston University.