Taylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award. His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state.
Q. Your latest, Hairpin Bridge, is a psychological thriller about a twin’s death and possible cover-up. What inspired the story?
Taylor: I’ve always thought a twin solving the other’s murder would be a fascinating storyline. And as Lena’s fight for the truth and Cambry’s final hours race to their own deadly conclusions, I wanted the two sisters’ experiences to entwine into a single intense thread. I’m fascinated by narrative momentum in thrillers, and this was my opportunity to explore that with very deliberate crosscutting. This is also my first novel to date with a nonlinear plot and even a (possibly) unreliable narrator – some very fun storytelling tools to work with.
Q. Your 2018 thriller, No Exit, is available in 30+ languages and potential for screen adaptation. Is there any news on that?
Taylor: Yes! A film adaptation of No Exit is currently in development at 20th Century Studios with Damien Power (Killing Ground) directing and the Oscar-nominated Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit, Logan, Minority Report) producing. It’s a dream-team for me, and I’m incredibly excited to watch it come together.
Q. Elsewhere, you’ve expressed admiration for Stephen Hunter, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and other top-tier thriller writers. What makes a great thriller in your opinion?
Taylor: I think a great thriller is a killer premise executed to its fullest potential. I love a good high-concept hook, and I always get excited when I read a blurb and think “Wow, I need to read this.” And sometimes I think, “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!” Beyond an ingenious hook, it’s a matter of delivering on every promise the premise suggests, and then some. I’m a big believer that storytelling should always ultimately give the reader what they want, but never how they expect it. That’s where the unique voice and sensibilities of the storyteller come in. For example, if Stephen King and Stephen Hunter each started with an identical story premise, they would probably end up writing very different novels.
Q. What are you reading now?
Taylor: I’m reading Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay, and the dread is absolutely tangible. What an impressive book!
Q. What’s next?
Taylor: I’m hard at work on my next thriller. This one is about a young woman who writes a scathing online review of a book – but little does she know, the author is a volatile psychopath who comes after her. It’s sort of a home invasion story with a twist, or maybe a reverse-Misery, and I’m having a ton of fun with it. It definitely takes a certain personality type to be an author, and I’ve always believed that could make for an absolutely bone-chilling villain.
Taylor Adams's Latest
Three months ago, Lena Nguyen’s estranged twin sister, Cambry, drove to a remote bridge sixty miles outside of Missoula, Montana, and jumped two hundred feet to her death. At least, that is the official police version.
But Lena isn’t buying it.
Now she’s come to that very bridge, driving her dead twin’s car and armed with a cassette recorder, determined to find out what really happened by interviewing the highway patrolman who allegedly discovered her sister’s body.
Corporal Raymond Raycevic has agreed to meet Lena at the scene. He is sympathetic, forthright, and professional. But his story doesn’t seem to add up. For one thing, he stopped Cambry for speeding a full hour before she supposedly leapt to her death. Then there are the sixteen attempted 911 calls from her cell phone, made in what was unfortunately a dead zone.
But perhaps most troubling of all, the state trooper is referred to by name in Cambry’s final enigmatic text to her sister: Please Forgive Me. I couldn’t live with it. Hopefully you can, Officer Raycevic.
Lena will do anything to uncover the truth. But as her twin’s final hours come into focus, Lena’s search turns into a harrowing, tooth-and-nail fight for her own survival—one that will test everything she thought she knew about her sister and herself.
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