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text 2018-04-09 13:40
Interview with CJ Tudor, author of "The Chalk Man" + Book Club and Ask a Question

 

C.J. Tudor, author of the bestselling and widely acclaimed The Chalk Man, talks to us about her debut!



Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

 

Well, I’m 46. I live in Nottingham with my partner and little girl. I left school at sixteen and I’ve had many, many jobs over the years – from television presenter to dog-walker. But I’ve always loved making up stories. When I was very small I lived in a complete fantasy world. Then, in my teens, my English teacher, Mr Webster, really encouraged me. He once wrote on the bottom of an essay: ‘If you do not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author I will be very disappointed!’

 

The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor 

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?

 

How did you start writing?

 

I didn’t properly knuckle down to try and write a book until my mid-thirties. I was too busy having fun in my twenties! The first thing I wrote was rubbish, but at least I’d proved to myself that I could actually finish something. It still took me over ten years to get published. There were many rejections and failed projects along the way!

 

 

What are you writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?

 

Well, now I’m lucky enough to write full time I usually go and sit in a coffee shop for a few hours. I don’t stick to rigid word counts or anything like that. I write for as long as I feel like and then go for a walk or head to the gym. Something to clear my mind. Then, it’s usually time to pick up my little girl from school and chaos descends until she goes to bed! I might squeeze in another hour or two in the evening.

 

Did you love The Chalk Man? Want to ask the author a question? Hop on board! Leave your question(s) in The Chalk Man discussion group and we'll forward them to C.J. Tudor! 

LEAVE YOUR QUESTION(S) TO CJ TUDOR

 

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were, maybe a year or more ago?

 

Never give up. It isn’t too late - I’m a debut author at 46. Don’t get disheartened by rejections. We all get them. You don’t need expensive courses – the slush pile works. Don’t try to write what you think publishers want because that changes all the time. Stick to your guns and write what you love. Oh, and a good agent is everything!

 

 

Your first book is a mystery-thriller - is this your favorite genre? What do you like to read?

 

I like anything dark and twisty. Crime, thrillers. I’m partial to a bit of sci-fi. Horror is good too.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?

 

Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben. I’ve been reading Stephen King since I was twelve. When he tweeted and recommended The Chalk Man recently it was a dream come true. I’m still grinning!

 


What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about you and your first book? Is it very, very spooky?

 

It’s creepy rather the scary. The story is set in 2016 and 1986. That’s when we first meet twelve-year-old Eddie and his friends. They invent a game, drawing chalk figures on the ground to send secret messages between their gang. But the game turns sinister when the chalk men start to appear on their own and lead them to the body of a girl in the woods.

 

Thirty years later, Ed thinks the past is behind him. Then he receives a letter containing just two things – a drawing of a stick figure and a piece of chalk...

 

 

 

 

Reviews of The Chalk Man are stunning, I mean among regular readers, not just the press. What do you think makes the book so attractive and unique?

 

Blimey – I wish I knew! I think it’s different to a lot of recent psychological thrillers. There’s a dash of horror. It’s been compared to Stranger Things and IT, and 80’s nostalgia is big again right now. Not that I could have predicted that when I wrote the book back in 2015!

 

 

I heard that you have a two-book deal, is this the case? Are you now writing book number three? Are the books interlinked in any way?

 

No, they’re all stand-alone but the stories do all exist in the same universe, so readers may spot some subtle references. I haven’t ruled out linking them or returning to some of the characters in the future! Watch this space!

 

Haven't read The Chalk Man yet? Want to re-read? Great! Join The Chalk Man book club!

LET'S BUDDY READ! 

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text 2018-03-29 18:46
"The Chalk Man" Buddy Read & Ask a Question with CJ Tudor: March 29 - April 26, 2018

 

 

Readers are loving The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. Have you read it? Did you love it? Or maybe the title is sitting on your TBR plie? Or maybe you haven't heard about the book? Eee, impossible! ;)

 

Regardless of your reading experience, feel invited to join The Chalk Man Buddy Read! Let's read The Chalk Man together, and share your thoughts and opinions, find the clues and make the guesses. And find the killer, together!  

 

Join the book club by clicking the following link and then clicking Join, and start reading!

 

 

Make sure to add your reading experiences in The Chalk Man discussion group. Beware of the spoilers! 

 

And if you have any questions about the book or C.J Tudor's writing inspirations and plans, we have a great surprise! C.J. Tudor agreed to answer the questions from BookLikes readers!

 

Add your question(s) in the following discussion group and we'll forward them to C.J. Tudor! Isn't that exciting!?!

 

Go to the Ask a Question with C.J. Tudor group and post your question! 

 

Still not sure if The Chalk Man is for you? Just check those reviews! 

 

The Chalk Man - C.J. TudorThe Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor 

It began back in 1986, at the fair, on the day of the accident. That was when twelve-year-old Eddie met Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie the idea for the drawings: a way to leave secret messages for his friends and it was fun, until the chalk men led them to a body. Thirty years later, Ed believes the past is far behind him, until an envelope slips through the letterbox. It contains a stick of chalk, and a drawing of a figure. Is history going to repeat itself? Was it ever really over? Will this game only end in the same way?

 

BookLikes bloggers book reviews: 

This is pretty dazzling debut, especially given all the clunky "just OK" mysteries that litter my house, library history, recommendations and my Read piles. I'll take a mystery no matter what, but it's very nice to get a good one... read more on "So it goes." blog

 

 

What a crazy book. I loved it from start to finish... by Heather's Book Blog

 

 

"The Chalk Man" has a plot, constructed around violence, secrets, fear, transgression and revenge, that is intricate and not fully disclosed until the final chapter. Yet it is not the plot but the depth of the characterisation of Eddie as child and man that makes the book special... by Audio Book Junkie

 

 

This was an excellent book that had me guessing throughout. At one point, maybe twice, I had reason to point a finger at all the boys involved in the book. I just kept going back and forth. It was crazy!The author did a great job... reviewed by debbiekrenzer

 

 

THE CHALK MAN is a gripping exploration of the dark places within the human mind and an impressive debut. Filled with horror. Frightening, compelling, taut, creepy and chilling! A shocking spine-tingling conclusion... read more on JDCMustReadBooks 

 

 

I liked how we learn more information about the past and individual’s true colors were shining through. It’s funny how some individuals never change and how some people think they have changed but they haven’t. I enjoyed the novel.. read more on My Never Ending List

AND MORE

 

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text 2018-03-26 13:15
Interview with Diana Forbes, Author of 'Mistress Suffragette'

 

Read our interview with Diana Forbes, a historical fiction author who is passionate about old New York, ancestry, and untold stories. She is a ninth-generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her nineteenth-century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived. She is passionate about vintage clothing, antique furniture, ancestry, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime.

 

New historical fiction! 

Mistress Suffragette - Diana ForbesMistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes  

Out: March 05, 2018

A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost?

Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance.

But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.

 

Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

 

I feel like writing chose me, and not the other way around. At the age of 6, I was writing diary entries. By the time I was 8, I wrote poetry. Two years later, my school asked me to help start the school newspaper. Later, I wrote features for my college paper, restaurant reviews for a review guide, and interviews for a local newspaper in Manhattan. I always knew that I wanted to write, and for me the question was what form should it take?

 

 

How did you start writing?

 

Writing was a form of creative expression, and I was better at it than other forms of creative expression, such as painting and music. I experimented with those as well, but writing seemed to “take.”

 

 

What are your writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?

 

I am a creature of habit. I am fortunate to have an office where I do all my writing. I get into the office at 9 in the morning and write until 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. I take a break at 3:30 and work on promotional ideas for my debut novel, Mistress Suffragette. I leave around 7 p.m. during the week and try to hit the gym. On Saturdays, I have a “short writing day” – maybe two hours. On Sundays I have a long writing day—at least 8 hours, sometimes 10. It’s at this pace of writing that I feel things begin to happen for my projects. I also take two writing classes per term, so I’m reading other people’s work always. Additionally, I try to read great literature for about an hour a day before I get to my office.

 

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like the person you were before you became a published author with rave reviews?

 

First, believe in your project. Know that it will improve the more drafts you do. So, if it seems to be taking a long time to write it, that’s perfectly normal. Second, never try to “time the market.” There is no way to predict what will be the next big thing in fiction. A lot of people say, “write what you know.” That’s great advice, but I also feel it’s a good idea to “write what you love.” It’s easier to sit in the chair and write when the topic is something that’s really close to your heart.

 

 

Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?

 

I love the classics.  Right now, I’m reading The Great Gatsby for the fifth time. I love the poetic voice of the novel. Emma and Pride and Prejudice, I return to over and over. With Austen, I appreciate the ironic distance and her world view. I have read Gone with the Wind at least four times, and I am lured into the sweeping saga each time. The Catcher in the Rye feels as fresh today as the first time I read it. I think I’ve re-read it six times. All that said, I also read novels that are written today, and there are some classics that I’ve read only once. I also read newspapers, short stories, and flash fiction.

 

 

What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about you and your first book?

 

I am so grateful to my readers. Thank you for spending time with my story! I really wanted to write a book I would love to read. For me, that’s a novel that whisks me away into its world.

 

 

Are you writing and when can we expect to read your second book? Will it be linked in any way to the first?

 

Thank you so much for asking. I am polishing the sequel to my novel. After that, I will be writing the third book in the trilogy. I have also written ¾ of another novel that takes place during the current time period.

 

Diana Forbes is an historical fiction author who is passionate about old New York, ancestry, and untold stories.

She is a ninth-generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her nineteenth-century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived. She is passionate about vintage clothing, antique furniture, ancestry, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime.

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text 2018-03-19 19:47
An Interview with Deborah LeBlanc + Two Paranormal Giveaways

 

Interview with Deborah Leblanc, author of over a dozen books with elements of mystery and horror, paranormal suspense, and paranormal romance.

 

What’s her advice for beginner writers? Read our interview and find out!



Tell us a few words about yourself - whatever you want to share about your personal and professional life, but also why you decided to become a writer.

Well, I'm an author, a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, a licensed private investigator, worked in funeral service for 12 years, have been a paranormal investigator for almost thirty years and started a non-profit called Literacy Inc., to help fight the growing illiteracy rate in America's teens. I'm also the house 'clairsendium' for the upcoming television show, Through the Veil, which should be airing the fourth quarter of this year on Destination America. I served four years as the president of the Horror Writers Association, 2 years as the Southwest President of the Mystery Writers of America and eight years as President of the Writers' Guild of Acadiana.

As to why I decided to become a writer, I have to admit that it wasn't something I aspired to as a kid. Although books were my saving grace growing up, I never thought about becoming a writer. It wasn't until I was in my late thirties that I woke up one morning, brushed my teeth, and while staring in the mirror simply said...."I think I'll write a book." And write it I did. I was too naive at the time to know that most authors don't sell their first book, much less get an agent. By some stroke of luck, however, a month after writing the book, I had a New York agent who sold my novel within weeks to a New York publisher.

 



How did you start writing?


I simply sat down at my computer and started telling a story that had been ruminating in my head for some time. I had never written a novel before, so to understand pacing and cliff hangers and point of view changes, I took four books from different authors I admired and literally typed half of each book until I got the 'feel' of how their language flowed. Doing that helped me get a better handle on how to tell my story.

 


What are your writing habits? How often do you write, and how long at one time?

My writing habits are a bit obsessive. Once I get a story in my head, I'm anxious to see it written on paper. I write every day, and, depending on my life responsibilities, write anywhere from 2 to 18 hours a day.



What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer - so, to someone like you the person you were before you became a published author?

Have a great story to tell, then plop your backside down in a chair, fingers to your computer keyboard and start writing. Don't give up and don't keep going over the same chapter forty-five times before moving on. Just get the story told, then you can clean it up once you rewrite. So the advice is basically: Read, read, read---write, write, write...and NEVER give up!

 

 


Who are your favorite authors and have they inspired you in any way?

I have so many favorite authors it's difficult to name them all. I enjoy Jodi Picoult, James Lee Burke, Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb, Sandra Brown, Steven King, and Dean Koontz to name but a few. All of the ones I've named have special qualities that I appreciate as a reader. Characterization, the simple art of storytelling, intertwining romance elements, and laughter.

 


What would you like to say to your readers? What do they need to know about your books?

That I appreciate every reader who takes the time to read one of my books. Out of all the books available to them, having them choose one of mine to add to their library is truly an honor. Many of my books include paranormal suspense and paranormal romance.

 


Why do you write such scary stuff? Do you like being scared yourself, or does little scare you anymore?

With my background, very little scares me anymore. I enjoy writing suspense, the unknown. To me, it gets people thinking that the tough situations in their present lives may not be so bad after all.

 


Do you only read books in the same genre as yours, or do you also enjoy very different stories - like happy romance?

Oh, I read all genres, romance, horror, paranormal, autobiographies, biographies, true crime, etc. As long as the story is well told, I'm a happy camper. :)

 

Deborah Leblanc's books on BookLikes:

The Wolven (Harlequin Nocturne, #101) - Deborah LeblancWater Witch - Deborah LeblancA House Divided - Deborah LeblancMorbid Curiosity - Deborah LeblancThe Keepers: Christmas in Salem: Do You Fear What I Fear?The Fright Before ChristmasUnholy NightStalking in a Winter Wonderland - Heather Graham, Deborah Leblanc, Kathleen Pickering, Beth CiottaGrave Intent - Deborah LeblancGhost Box - Deborah LeblancWhite Hot - Deborah LeblancBottom Feeder - Deborah Leblanc
and more

 

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text 2018-03-06 13:28
Interview with author M.K. Scott + "Requiem for A Rescue Dog Queen" Giveaway

 

M.K. Scott, the authors of Requiem for A Rescue Dog Queen published last November, agreed to grant BookLikes a short interview. You can also enter our giveaway and win five copies of this latest title! Their newest book, the eighth installment in The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries series, will be released in late March. 

Mystery Giveaway

Mar. 06 - Mar. 20, 2018

Request your copy->

 

 

Tell us about yourself.

 

K. Scott is the team name for Morgan K Wyatt and Scott Stamm, a husband and wife author team. Scott is a software engineer while Morgan is a semi-retired special education teacher.

 

What was your first book?

 

The first M. K. Scott was Murder Mansion.

 

Describe your first break.

 

First literary break was an open submission call for a cougar romance.

 

What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

 

I read several genres including non-fiction. Scott prefers sci-fi. As Morgan, I write romance, suspense, YA and non-fiction. Together, we write cozy mysteries.

 

What makes a protagonist interesting?

 

Being normal with interesting quirks as opposed to being a perfect character works for me.

 

 

What is the best thing about being a writer?

 

Writing. :) Then, research.

 

What is the worst thing?

 

Editing :(

 

Pantser or plotter?

 

I have the general concept before I start writing, but seldom outline.

 

What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.

 

Under the M.K. Scott name, we’re releasing The Skeleton Wore Diamonds in March 2018. Bark Twice for Danger comes out in April 2018. The new series The Way Over the Hill Gang comes out in July.

 

Cat or dog person?

 

Dog. (Like cats, but husband is allergic to them.)

 

Favorite food?

 

Seafood

 

Favorite book?

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith  

 

Favorite movie?

 

Shirley Valentine

 

Favorite vacation destination (you just have to want to go there)

 

The beach.

 

Check out  M.K. Scott's books on BookLikes.

Click the cover and +Shelf to add it to your bookshelf.

Murder Mansion - M.K. ScottDrop Dead Handsome - M.K. ScottThe Painted Lady Inn Mysteries: Caribbean Catastrophe (Volume 6) - M.K. ScottChristmas Calamity - M.K. ScottWeddings Can Be Murder - M.K. ScottThe Painted Lady Inn Mysteries: Death Pledges a Sorority: A Cozy Mystery with Recipes - M.K. ScottRequiem for a Rescue Dog Queen (The Talking Dog Detective Agency) (Volume 2) - M.K. ScottA Bark in the Dark - M.K. ScottKiller Review - M.K. Scott

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