“The Haunting of Cambria,” the spooky debut novel of local author Richard Taylor, incorporates real locations in Cambria such as Moonstone Beach and the Sow’s Ear, to tell the story of a haunted bed and breakfast.
Published in June, the novel is a nod to Taylor’s obvious passion for the town.
It tells the story of Theo Parker, a writer who marries a beautiful woman and moves to Cambria with her to open a bed and breakfast. Tragedy strikes Theo almost immediately, though, and the book covers not only his path to recovery, but also the strange happenings in the bed and breakfast. Some supernatural force is at work in the building, and Theo plans to sort it out.
To promote the book, Taylor has been doing book signings, most recently visiting Chelsea’s Bookshop in Paso Robles.
His wife and publicist, Jackie Ward, said that it was a fun signing to do.
“It was a nice little bookshop, and the books they had were already sold out so we brought some more,” Ward said.
The signing provided Ward and Taylor with the opportunity to meet the fans of the book.
“It was a very low-key signing,” Ward said, describing the atmosphere and size of the event.
Ward and Taylor moved to the Central Coast in 2002. Before that, the area was a favorite vacation spot of theirs for nearly 20 years.
“I came to Cambria and it was enchanting and mesmerizing,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he made the choice to set the book in Cambria for no particular reason other than that the place is so appealing to him.
“I can’t say specifically what inspired me to write the book; it was just Cambria in general,” Taylor said. “I really tried to capture the charm of Cambria.”
He began the book soon after moving to Cambria, and finished it in about a year.
Before moving to the area, Taylor lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles. There, he worked for Warner Brothers for 25 years, in a noncreative position as an executive. During that time, he wrote and sold screenplays. Taylor said he has always found writing screenplays to be unsatisfying, though.
“A screenplay is a blueprint for something else, and when you’re done you hand it off to someone else to work with,” Taylor said. “A book is great because you get to create your own world.”
When the studio where he worked was sold in 2000, Taylor decided to take up writing full-time. He still wrote a few screenplays, but spent the majority of his time on his passion for novels.
Taylor said that “The Haunting of Cambria” is meant to be the first book in a series, and he is negotiating the publication of the succeeding books at the moment.
In the meantime, Taylor is writing a few screenplays on the side, and has just finished another horror book, “They Feast,” which is about vampires. Taylor described it as a vampire tale for the new age.