Arnold author’s debut could be one of 2018’s biggest hits.
C. J. Tudor grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’ The road to fulfilling such a prophecy has seen Tudor work as a trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, and voiceover artist, as well as TV presenter (for Channel 4’s Moviewatch) interviewing many A-List actors. It now seems that she’s about to become that best-selling author with the release of her debut novel The Chalk Man.
Michael Joseph won the psychological thriller in a nine-way publisher auction, the book being the fastest-selling debut in the Madeleine Milburn Agency’s history. Tudor says it’s about "the darker side of childhood, the repercussions as an adult, and the idea that no one is ever entirely innocent".
One for Stephen King fans, the author was inspired to write the story after her own child drew a series of chalk figures on her driveway, and later that night opened the door to find chalk men everywhere, creating an eerie atmosphere.
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he's put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank--until one of them turns up dead. That's when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Andrew Scott (Moriarty from the BBC’s Sherlock) narrates as Eddie for the audiobook.
Much of the novel was written in Nottingham’s Waterstones and it’s here that the book's launch takes place on Thursday 11th January at 7pm. Details.