12 Things I Learned Writing NO EXIT

My writing “power hours” are apparently 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Thank God for coffee.

Book titles are hard. Originally this one was NO REST, which, although poetic and loaded with narrative meaning, didn’t quite convey the intensity/genre of the novel. My mom came up with the title NO REST, which made changing it extra hard!

Nail guns can penetrate soft targets, such as human flesh, at distances up to around 10 feet. Thanks, YouTube.

Shutting your fingers inside a door hurts. Not sure why I felt the need to test this at home, but the findings are hard to argue with.

According to Google, there’s a lot of crime at rest stops. After hours + high vehicle traffic + low police presence = a fun setting for a thriller.

NO EXIT has an alternative ending. Maybe I’ll do a blog piece on the ending I’d originally planned… this resolution was darker and twistier, but ultimately felt like too much additional “ending” bolted onto the story’s climax.

Hold onto your favorite ideas – you never know when they’ll come in handy. There’s a certain plot twist to NO EXIT that I’d been literally waiting to use for years. I’d always wanted a chance to fit it into a story, and I finally got to.

The very first word of a novel probably shouldn’t be “F***.” I have my editor to thank for that insight.

Suspense is about uncertainty. With this novel, I used many of the techniques that worked with Eyeshot, but hopefully with more finesse. The story is more complex, and develops through more reveals and reversals. The setups are better drawn, I think, and the payoffs are richer.

Heroes should make mistakes. Throughout the chaotic night, Darby screws up almost as much as she succeeds. But I hope the protagonist’s realistic stumbles – and the ways she digs in and overcomes them – make her eventual victories all the more badass.

Heroes are only as good as their challenges. Every win should be hard-fought. Every loss should hurt. And ultimately, as in real life, no one is immune to the cruel whims of bad luck.

On that note, heroes don’t always survive to the last page. I hope you enjoy…

NO EXIT releases on Kindle and paperback July 1. Thank you all for your readership and support!



14 thoughts on “12 Things I Learned Writing NO EXIT

    • Now, let’s make this a movie!!! Don’t you agree the twists and turns would outstanding on the big screen? A very handsome and intense sociopath is always interesting! A flawed protagonist that underestimates her worth and her beauty is also highly attractive. This book SCREAMS , ” make me a movie!” A “fatal attraction” of sorts!

  1. Taylor, I just finished reading No Exit and I think this is the best book I have ever read! You are a terrific writer!! Please write more like this one. I am a Fan!
    Sterling Smith

  2. I love your books! No Exit was the best yet. Can’t wait for another. You really understand pacing and suspense. —Jen Todd

    • Jen, I couldn’t agree more! You hit the nail right on the head and it was not even from a nail gun! 🙂 Taylor, you need to write another one just like No Exit. I loved it and my favorite read ever.
      Sterling Smith

  3. Well Done .First of your books I’ve read. The reviews say it’s your best. Hope I’m not going to be disAppointed in the next one!

  4. No Exit was the first of your books I have read, and you have a new fan for life!!

    I stayed up until 4:38 this morning to finish it, because there is no pause where you can just say “Hey, I think I’ll break here.” I have accomplished nothing today, but it was so worth it!!

  5. I have read all three of your books. Please, please, please tell me that you have written more and I just can’t find them. I have recommended you to numerous people and want to read more.

  6. Excellent book! I read it in 1 day! My book club is now reading it. Is there any chance there are discussion questions available?
    I’ve read all 3 of your books, you are a great writer. Can’t wait for your next one!

    Cheryl Anderson

  7. Wow, I have just finished No Exit in one day, could not put it down it was that good. I also read Eyeshot in one day, and was just as taken with it. Please keep on writing!

  8. I’ve never felt compelled enough to write a comment after reading a book until now (No Exit). Wow! I read between 2-5 books a month so I’m always happy to find an author I enjoy. I will most certainly read your other 2 books and anticipate more to come. I have a new favorite thriller author and will absolutely recommend you to my reader friends. Thank you Taylor Adams!

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