Charlie Tyler on Storytelling, Unicorns & Supervillains
Next on my author interview series, Charlie Tyler, the author of the bestselling The Cry of the Lake. Not only is Charlie a wonderful author, but she is also a dog person.
Now, if you enjoy thrillers with psychotic villains, I highly recommend this book!
I. Loved. It.
Before we learn more about her novel, let's get to know the author better.
1. What is the first story you remember telling (not necessarily writing)?
I remember being about six years old and telling everyone I had an invisible pet unicorn, which no one (apart from I) could see. I used to update everybody about its adventures from the previous night and which magical lands it had visited.
2. What was your favorite game to play as a child? If you could play it now with anyone alive, deceased, or fictional, who would be your top picks for opponents?? For teammates?
Ludo. I still absolutely love playing it and my ideal opponents would be the GBBO judges; Paul Hollywood, Pru Leith, and Noel Fielding – Matt Lucas and I could be on a team together.
3. If you were to be gifted a superpower that you had to use continuously for 8 hours every day, what would it be?
My super power would be not to need any sleep so, when everyone’s going to bed, I could flick on the 8-hour superpower button and work through the night in complete peace and quiet. I’d like to think that I would get so much more done, but I probably wouldn’t – at least I would be able to get to grips with my huge TBR pile.
4. What are your hobbies (besides reading and writing)?
I love drawing cartoons, and sometimes I do a bit of freelance artwork. It’s a lovely way to spend time catching up on podcasts and audio books, but, at the same time, still being creative and with something to show for it at the end.
5. What is your favorite sport to play? To watch? Or, what is your least favorite to play or watch?
I’ve missed watching rugby and, fingers crossed, there is going to be an Autumn Nations Cup starting this November. I may not be able to make it down to Twickenham this year, but at least I’ll be able to watch it on the tv.
6. What is your favorite author/book?
I’ve really, really enjoyed Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy. I find her prose utterly delightful, and, with each book, I was transported back to the Tudor era – she even had me hoping that Thomas Cromwell’s fate might turn out differently. She’s a truly gifted writer. Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike series comes a close second.
7. If you could have authored a book, which one and why?
Murder on the Orient Express. I wish I’d come up with the plot and the amazing twist at the end – it’s so clever. I’ve since watched the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of it with my daughters, waiting for their reaction to the ending. Agatha Christie is such a legend.
8. What movie sequel would you erase from history, and why?
Grease II – I mean, why?
9. You won the mythical lottery and are granted the use of a magical creature for one week. What creature would you pick, and why?
I’d like a unicorn so I could prove to the kids in my kindergarten that I wasn’t lying (see my answer to the first question!).
10. What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat, and why?
I’m not tempted by any sort of squidgy, translucent, jelly thing that has been fished out of the sea.
11. Cake or pie?
Cake. Specifically, a carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a little icing sugar carrot on the top.
12. Tell us about your latest book…how long it took to write, where to buy (if I buy it, how will it change my life?).
My book The Cry of the Lake will only change your life in as much as, after you’ve read it, you might try to avoid me in the street. It took me two years to write, and you can buy it on Amazon.
A six-year-old girl sneaks out of bed to capture a mermaid but instead discovers a dead body. Terrified and unable to make sense of what she sees, she locks the vision deep inside her mind.
Ten years later, Lily is introduced to the charismatic Flo, and they become best friends. But Lily is guilt-ridden – she is hiding a terrible secret which has the power to destroy both their lives.
When Flo’s father is accused of killing a schoolgirl, the horrors of Lily’s past come bubbling to the surface. Lily knows that, whatever the consequences, she has to make things right. She must go back to the events of her childhood and face what happened at the boat house all those years ago.
Can Lily and Flo discover what is hiding in the murky waters of the lake before the killer strikes again?
13. Do you have a favorite character that you created? Why or why not?
I loved writing any scene involving Grace, my supervillain. I especially enjoyed the chapters when she was a teenager and still living with her father. I wrote the scenes, detailing things happening which Grace couldn’t see, but which I hoped the reader would feel uncomfortable about witnessing. Twisted, that’s me.
Charlie lives in the UK and is very much a morning person. In fact, she likes nothing more than committing a fictional murder before her first coffee of the day. She studied Theology at Worcester College, Oxford, and now lives in a Leicestershire village with her husband, three teenagers, a golden retriever, and tortoise.
Find more about Charlie at