Caerphilly Observer Feature - 16 February 2017

A local author is celebrating the recent release of her latest novel, described as a “transatlantic psychological thriller”.

Caerphilly author, Gaynor Torrance, published her second novel Step Up or Die on Sunday February 5 – three years since her debut novel was released.

The novel tells the story of an American woman and her 12-year-old son, who find themselves caught up in political intrigue, espionage and murder.

After her father is killed, Meghan Dawson realises that both she and her son are in danger too.

Terrified and unable to know who to trust they are forced to flee New York, pursued by a killer who knows Meghan better than she knows herself.

Despite recent political unrest and controversy in America, Gaynor didn’t rely too heavily on current affairs as inspiration for the storyline.

She said: “You certainly take some ideas from what’s going on, but it’s based more on what I’ve been reading about.

“For example, in this book, I watched a [BBC] Horizon documentary on the dark web, which features in the story, and an episode of Elementary [a present-day Sherlock Holmes television drama].

“There’s elements of several themes throughout the book. You tend to gather loads of ideas and put them together.”

Originally from Rhymney, Gaynor spent several years working in the public sector for the Welsh Assembly, but it was while volunteering at an adult residential home as a schoolchild that she became interested in psychological and psychiatric conditions, leading her to study psychology at Swansea University.

She self-publishes her titles, adding: “I’ve been interested in books since childhood. I’ve been surrounded by them since I was little, and always been keen on writing.

“My first novel, Revenge, is a murder mystery set in Cardiff, and was published in 2014. That was a fantastic feeling.

“It can take ages, writing. Sometimes I can do ten re-writes before I’m happy with it. You just have to change little bits at a time.”

Gaynor, who also develops property and offers private piano tutorage, isn’t planning on taking a break just yet though, with several other books lined up for the near future, including a “smaller scale” psychological thriller provisionally scheduled for the end of the year.

A follow-up to her debut tale, Revenge, is also in the pipeline for next year, returning to main character Detective Inspector Jemima Huxley.

For more information on the author, her work, and where to buy copies, visit

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