Thank you so much C.J for being a guest on my blog, it is a huge honour!
I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And what was your first job?
I’ve always loved writing but thought that ‘being an author wasn’t a very realistic job for a girl from Nottingham. So, I thought that maybe I could be a reporter or work in advertising. Things that involved writing or being creative but paid a regular salary! However, I ended up leaving school at 16 (because I had a crap time at senior school) and working as a filing clerk for about a year, which I hated.
I’ve read and loved all your books so far, but which are you most proud of?
I would like to say my most recent book, The Drift because it’s a real departure and I really pushed myself. But also, The Chalk Man, because that was the one that got me published. The start of everything. And the one that Mr King tweeted about, so it will always have a special place in my dark heart!
As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?
Well, I’m so old that kids’ TV was only on for about two hours at teatime, and I could only watch certain adult TV programmes, so I used to read a lot: Enid Blyton (I loved Mallory Towers) and then I moved on to ghost stories and Agatha Christie. My favourite TV programmes were Scooby-Doo, Marmalade Atkins and later, I LOVED The A-Team and Tales of the Unexpected!!
Were nearly in May, which book has been your favourite so far in 2022? And is there one you are particularly looking forward to?
I haven’t read very much lately and I’m really out of the loop on new releases. Also, I’m kind of done with traditional psych thrillers, and always on the lookout for something a bit different. The book I most enjoyed recently is a book called ‘Sign Here’ by Claudia Luxe (out in October). It’s about a deal-broker in hell who just has to sign up one more member of the same family for a big bonus. But of course, things don’t go to plan. It’s part mystery, part fantasy and full of some wonderfully dark humour. It reminded me very much of early Michael Marshall Smith. Thoroughly recommended and it was so nice to read something original!!
Who do you most admire?
In writing – Stephen King, Harlan Coben, Michael Marshall Smith. Outside of writing – I love Tim Minchin for the words and music (and the Pope song). Very clever man. Right now, I admire people fighting against this vile, corrupt government and speaking up for those in desperate need, like Jack Monroe. Total hero.
Can you share a shelfie with us? (A photo of your bookshelf)
If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?
Crumbs! Tough one. Maybe the shooting of JFK, just to confirm whodunnit. Or the dinosaurs. I’d like to know what really wiped them out. Plus, if I could take some photos to annoy creationists that would be good!
What is something you are passionate about aside from writing?
I don’t know about passionate, but I do get very angry about the state of the UK right now. It was only six years ago that I was working as a dog walker, earning £10 an hour. I lived for a decade in the red, with no savings, no money for emergencies or unexpected bills. It’s horrible. And that is nothing compared to the very poorest in society. It angers me that there is such disparity between the rich and poor. I got a break when I got published. I’m comfortable now – and I try to do my bit to pay it back. But not many people get that break. We need a massive change to redress the balance.
If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?
Stephen King – because he’s my writing hero. Bill Hicks – because I would love his take on the world right now. Tim Minchin – he can provide music. Mary Shelley – because she was a cool goth chick who was ahead of her time.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
What are you currently working on?
Book 6, which will be out in 2024! But I can’t say too much about it yet because I haven’t even shared it with my editor. All I can say is that it is a small-town murder mystery, set in Alaska. With bite. ; )
C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.
She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.
While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.
She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’
The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark’
You can pre-order A Sliver Of Darkness & The Drift HERE