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My First Time...with C.J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor lives in Nottingham, England with her partner and three-year-old daughter.

Over the years she has worked as a copywriter, television presenter, voiceover and dog-walker. She is now thrilled to be able to write full-time, and doesn’t miss chasing wet dogs through muddy fields all that much.

C.J. is reading and discussing her journey to publication at The Riff Raff on Thursday 25th January – BUY TICKETS HERE.

C.J.Tudor | The Riff Raff

(Picture: Bill Waters)

Here's the blurb for The Chalk Man

'None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?'

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

A friend gave my little girl a tub of coloured chalks for her second birthday. We spent the afternoon drawing stick figures all over the driveway. Then we went inside and forgot about them.

Later that night, I opened the back door and was confronted by these weird chalk drawings everywhere. In the darkness, they looked incredibly sinister. I called out to my partner: "These chalk men look really creepy in the dark. . ."

‘Ping’ went the lightbulb in my head.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write your first book?

Well, like many debut authors, this book is not my first rodeo!! I’ve a lot of half-finished manuscripts and rejections behind me.

I wish I’d known that it would take me a while to find my voice. That the first thing I wrote wouldn’t have publishers falling over themselves to sign me. It took ten years for that to happen! Actually, it’s probably just as well I didn’t know that before I started!!

What’s your go-to procrastination method?


What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing it?

I don’t really have tantrums over writing. I enjoy it far too much. Sometimes I get stuck but then I go for a walk or go to the gym. The only tantrum I have is when I want to print off a hard copy and the printer won’t work. Which seems to happen all the time. I’ve got through three printers this year. I am Kryptonite to printers!

Best thing about writing your book?

Getting it published and being able to write full time. And the worst?

No downsides so far!

Go-to writing snacks?

I don’t snack much when I’m writing in the day. But I am partial to fizzy Haribo or giant Yorkie buttons. In the evening, wine or G&T with crisps!

The Chalk Man at The Riff Raff

Who or what inspires you to write?

Stephen King. My little girl.

The book that changed you?

I don’t think a book can change you. Sorry. Maybe it’s just because I’ve had a pretty eventful life. I read for enjoyment, pleasure, escapism. But the two books that have had the biggest influence on me are The Shining by Stephen King and Spares by Michael Marshall (Smith).

Your pump up song?

I don’t listen to music while I write as I find it distracting. But my favourite pump up songs to play in the car are 'Mr Brightside' by The Killers or 'Get Better' by Frank Turner.

If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer dead or alive, who would it be?

Well, Stephen King doesn’t drink (!) so it would have to be Michael Marshall (Smith).

One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get a book published?

Be patient. Don’t rush into sending off that first draft. Don’t try to write what you think is popular. By the time you’ve written it, it won’t be. Write what you love. Your time will come.


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