Tuesday 31 May 2016

Secret Serendipity Seven with CJ Flood

To celebrate the publication of Nightwanders, I'm pleased to welcome the author, C.J. Flood onto the blog to tell us seven secrets about herself and her book. 
Okay, here are some secrets about me and my new book, Nightwanderers. Some are pretty embarrassing, so enjoy…

1)Nightwanderers was inspired by a situation from my life, in which a friend was expelled from school after a teacher said she had threatened to stab her (my friend promises that she didn’t). We began a petition to get our friend back into school, which was quashed by our Head of Year. It all ended well though as my friend went on to be very successful as a gymnast and contortionist, and is now one of the top poledancers in the UK! I don’t know what became of the teacher… 

2)Ti stepping in a metal dog bowl during a nightwander in the book is also from real life. My friend and I accidentally did this, disturbing the man of the house who claimed to be a policeman (though was in pyjamas at the time) and drove my brother and his friend home in his car. My friend and I escaped. We were very good at escaping (I still am). 

3) Rosie’s dad is a little bit based on my boyfriend who used to be a chef and rather likes Pulp. 

4) There used to be a whole subplot where Rosie, Kiaru and Alisha took over the stage during Grease and did a silly dance to show their disdain for the daft popularity hierarchies of Fairfields. It featured jazz hands and also a move called The Lobster, which I will show you for a large fee. 

5) Fairfields is based on Woodlands Community School, which I attended. I wish I could say I was like Kiaru and Alisha but I was more like Rosie and Ti, with a dash of Ophelia. 

6) The story Ti recounts of her expulsion is based on my own experience as I was asked to leave Sixth Form, and advised that College might be a better fit. My biggest crimes were not wearing the correct uniform (polyester suit with strangling neckerchief like a mini Apprentice-wannabe) and preferring to be at home with a chicken and mushroom Pot Noodle. My teacher was right, and I much preferred Art College, where I played with paint, clay and metal, and they barely kept a register. In spite of my rebellious years, I made it to university where I began to work hard and discovered the Bront├ęs, and grew *a little bit* better at accepting authority. 

7) Embarrassing secret alert! I wish my first kiss had been as romantic as Rosie’s and Kiaru’s. Mine took place in front of a small audience in the netball courts at the back of youth club. Afterwards I discovered that the boy had done it for a bet, and even more wonderful than that – I had bitten him. You’re welcome!

Thank you C.J. for sharing some secrets with us! I love the last one. 
Nightwanderers is published by Simon & Scholastic in June 2016

It all started with a poo in a flowerbed. 
Rosie and Titania are as close as sisters - closer, in fact. While Rosie is shy, red-faced and passive, Ti is big, tough and daring. They shouldn't be friends, but they are. 
Creeping out at night, the girls love to secretly wander through their coastal town, exploring empty streets and sharing their frustrations about school and their different, but equally difficult, families. 
But when Rosie betrays Ti, the two girls run in different directions - making decisions that could do irreparable damage to both of their lives. As Rosie confronts harsh truths, she must find a way back to Ti, and to herself. 
Whenever I heard the word kindred I thought of me and Ti.

To find out more about C.J. Flood:

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