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Author Interview: C J Harter

Author Interview: C J Harter

Today I am pleased to welcome C J Harter/strong> on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some brilliant answers!


What is your favourite thing about writing books?
The escapism. I can lose myself for hours in a world of my making. My trouble is I tend to create situations where characters are going through pretty dark experiences so my head is not always a happy place to be.

Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
In this new novel Fitful Head: A Ghost Story I think my favourite characters are the teenage children, Ben and Melissa. They face their mother’s emotional disintegration and, at times, downright weird behaviour with strength and independence. I wish I’d been like Melissa when I was fifteen. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
At home, hot water in a trendy latte vacuum cup. Or if I’m in a coffee shop, hot milk in the biggest cup they have.

Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
I get unreasonably cross if my long-suffering husband dares to knock on my office door to offer drinks or food. I need complete silence to write and find it hard to pick up the thread if I’m interrupted. I’d hate to be married to a writer.

How do you research your books?
I start writing and research as I go when I discover gaps in my knowledge. It was great fun researching exorcism for the new book. In a second-hand bookshop, I discovered a manual for Church Of England “Deliverance Counsellors”. I don’t think it’s intended for public consumption, and it’s fascinating.
For my next novel, a psychological suspense involving dark deeds at sea, I’ve been immersing myself in lots of sea-faring memoirs and stories about the work of the RNLI. I love any TV programmes about the RNLI and the fishing industry, and I can find my way about a virtual fishing trawler now.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both. I like to have a broad idea of where the story’s going, and I definitely need a concrete end point in sight. But how I get there: that’s the exciting bit.

If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
I love this question! So many to choose from. I read mainly novels set in this world but I enjoy fantasy too. I’ve just read Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage and I admire the not-quite-our world he creates. I want to live there so I can have a daemon. I love the idea of a constant faithful companion and best friend who understands you completely, and whose life is so threaded with yours that you can’t survive without them. Mine would be a little dog, I hope.

If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
That’s easy. Anne Shirley of the Anne Of Green Gables novels by LM Montgomery. She was my role model, growing up, and still is, really. She’s funny, melodramatic, kind, impulsive, smart and brave. What’s not to love?

About the Book

Imagine you lose your mind… and something’s waiting to take its place.
Isobel Hickey’s husband, Richard, was intense, exciting and crazy, and she wants him back. The problem is she can’t have him: he died two years ago in circumstances too painful to remember. Now, she must keep going on for teenage children, Ben and Melissa, and her dog, Brodie. But how can she when nothing makes sense anymore? When she’s haunted by ghostly footprints in the snow, and a sinister stranger who knows too much about her?
When a mute old woman speaks from her death-bed, she plunges Isobel into terrifying danger, a nightmare chain of frightening events where Richard’s secrets lurk and threaten Isobel’s sanity. Now she has to fight to save her children from an insidious evil she doesn’t understand. She must uncover who, or what, is haunting her. But is she strong enough or will she succumb to its malevolent desire?

About the Author

CJ Harter has dissected human bodies in Sheffield, shushed library-users in Wigan, shared poetry in Liverpool, organised bedbaths in Salford. Now she helps folk connect with their creativity through writing. First novel, psychological suspense Rowan’s Well, won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award, was shortlisted in the Words With Jam First Page 2017 Competition and is garnering fabulous 5 star reviews. New release Fitful Head: A Ghost Story recently won second prize in Liverpool Writing On The Wall Festival’s Pulp Idol contest and came eleventh out of 3,112 international entries to the UK-NWC competition. CJ has a degree in Literature and Philosophy, is mother to two adults, wife to one and slave to two tiny dogs.

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Would you want to be friends with Anne?

3 thoughts on “Author Interview: C J Harter

  1. Fitful Head sounds intriguing. Good interview, I can sympathise with the knock on the office door – more likely in our house the shout up the stairs when my long sufffering one has kindly cooked dinner and I’m filled with irrational irritation!

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