Dead bodies. Libraries. Poetry. Bedbaths.
You don’t usually get them all in the same place or at the same time.
Except in this interview.
Good people of the Internet, writing out of Manchester in the UK – CJ Harter.
Name one book:
1 – everyone should read
Gosh, is there such a thing? If pressed, I choose His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. It’s got something for everyone: love, passion, betrayal, adventure, quest, weird gadgets, religion, atheism, witches, talking polar bears and angels.
2 – you would take with you if you were going to be marooned on Mars
Remembrance Of Things Past/In Search Of Lost Time by Proust. Never read it. I’d be hoping it’s as good as they say it is. If it isn’t, what a time to find out!
3 – you took a chance on and were pleasantly surprised by
Most recently, The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances. I usually avoid thrillers that have subtitles like ‘The most gripping psychological thriller since the last most gripping psychological thriller’. And I write psychological thrillers!
4 – you’ve written that is your favourite
So far, my only published novel is Rowan’s Well, a psychological suspense. I’m very fond of it, especially as it’s just won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award and been shortlisted in the Words With Jam First Page Competition.
5 – that has influenced you most as a person
Anne Of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. As a child, Anne Shirley was my hero and role-model. She faced the world bravely, with love and humour, and had a rich imagination. I confess, she’s still my hero.
6 – that has influenced you most as a professional
If you mean books about how to write, then Stephen King’s On Writing is a must-read. I also love Steering The Craft: A 21st-Century Guide To Sailing The Sea Of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin
7 – of yours that prospective readers should start with if they want to get to know your work and where they can get it.
Rowan’s Well is out there and waiting for you.
Some friends you’re better off without.
‘A sophisticated, compelling thriller’ ‘I couldn’t put it down’ ‘Gripping to the last page’ ‘Extraordinary and uncompromising’ ‘Compelling family drama that wouldn’t be out of place as a BBC drama’ ‘Had me in its thrilling spell’ ‘Highly recommend!’ – Amazon reviews
I’m about to publish Fitful Head, a modern ghost story. Imagine you lose your mind, and something’s waiting to take its place. Widow Isobel Hickey thinks she’s being haunted by her husband, but she’s wrong.
Even before publication, Fitful Head has been runner-up in the prestigious Writing On The Wall Pulp Idol contest and shortlisted in the huge UK-NWC competition where it was placed 11th from 3,112 entries.
Keep an eye on my website for details of release date and pre-order. I’ll soon be publishing a taster short story The Haydock Haunting. Read it if you dare.
You can find CJ at: www.cjharterbooks.co.uk
I’ve dissected human bodies in Sheffield, shushed library-users in Wigan, shared poetry in Liverpool, organised bedbaths in Salford. Now I live in Manchester,UK, and help folk connect with their creativity through writing. I have a degree in Literature and Philosophy, I’m mother to two adults, wife to one and slave to two tiny dogs.