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Interviews

My Path to Publication: Know Me Now by CJ Carver

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C.J. Carver © 7 December 2017.
Posted in the Magazine ( · Crime · Interviews ).

People assume that since I’m a published author with ten books under my belt and translated into over sixteen languages, that I must have wanted to be a writer from a young age.

As it happens, I had a moment when I was ten, on holiday in Scotland, when I announced to my parents that I was going upstairs to write a book.  Neither looked up from their Agatha Christies, but I remember my father saying, ‘That sounds like a good idea.’  I started my “book” but after the first page realised I didn’t have much of a story and how difficult it was going to be!  I gave up.  When I toddled downstairs after about an hour, Mum and Dad never mentioned it, which meant I didn’t have to get defensive over it!

Aside from writing the odd diary, I didn’t pick up the proverbial pen for another 20 years and this was only because I followed my dream: to drive from London to Saigon.  On my return from the 14,500-mile journey, I was asked to write an article for Car Magazine, so I trotted to my local Waterstones and bought a book How to Write and Sell Travel Articles.  It was probably the worst article I ever wrote, but it was published and, amazingly, I got paid.

This in turn led me to becoming a travel writer, and eventually I thought I’d go for broke and write a book.  I’m very glad now that I didn’t realise how tough it was going to be to get published or I might never have started.

I could have wallpapered my living room with rejection notices, but happily I was cheered along by the odd handwritten note from an assistant or, in those days, a secretary, who said how much they’d enjoyed my writing.  Without them, I may well have given up! However, I kept plugging away, and after re-writing my thriller Blood Junction for the umpteenth time, I was dithering whether to enter the CWA Debut Dagger or not, when my best friend from Hong Kong rang me.

It cost £10 to enter back then, and when I told my friend I didn’t think I’d enter because (a) I’d rather spend the money elsewhere and (b) I had no chance, she said she’d pay for it.  It’s only thanks to Sarah that I entered.  The next day, I threw the paperwork in the bin, knowing I wouldn’t even get near being short-listed, so you can imagine my shock when I opened a letter from the CWA months later, telling me I’d won.

I rang my friend Sarah straight away, and we shrieked down the phone at one another.  It’s one of my best memories.  I was on cloud nine for weeks.

With the Dagger under my belt, an agent and a publisher, I was finally on my way.

(c) CJ Carver

Author photograph (c) Steve Ayres

About Know Me Now:

A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 officer, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried . . .

‘A top notch thriller writer.’ SIMON KERNICK

‘Perfect for fans of Lee Child and Mason Cross.’ GUARDIAN

‘CJ Carver is one of the best thriller writers working today.’ TOM HARPER

Order your copy online here.


C.J. Carver's first novel Blood Junction won the CWA Debut Dagger and was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best mystery books of the year. Half-English, half New Zealand, C.J. has been a travel writer and long-distance rally driver, driving London to Saigon and London to Cape Town. Her novels have been published in the UK and the USA and translated into several languages.
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