The next big thing Part 2 (CJ Skuse)

When I did my last next big thing post, one of the writers I tagged to write about her work in progress was CJ Ckuse, who’s a fellow writer of mine at Chicken House.

CJ has done a post about her fascinating WIP (It’s about dead bodies. In bits. Being used to make the perfect boyfriend. Woo!) but she doesn’t yet have a website of her very own, so I’ve offered to host it for her.

Take it away, CJ …


What is the title of your next book?

Dead Romantic


Where did the idea come from for the book?

Several places really. One was me walking to work one day and passing a graveyard and the phrase ‘teen grave robbers’ just leapt into my brain and clung on until I threw it a rope and forced it into a story. And then I started to think about these two teenagers who build the perfect boyfriend using corpses; a female take on the John Hughes movie ‘Weird Science,’ which was one of my favourite movies as a kid. The writers who got there first with the idea of corpse reanimation though were of course Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stephenson and H.P. Lovecraft. I’m merely piggy backing on their ideas and having a bloody good laugh as I do it.


What genre does your book fall under?

YA black comedy fiction for sick minds, I would say.


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The same actors who I imagined playing them initially when I started writing them really. Camille and Damian are pretty much Pandora and Cook from Skins (S3/4) (Lisa Backwell and Jack O’Connell), Damian’s best mate Louis is Josh Hutcherson and Zoe is Frances Bean Cobain.


What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Two teenage girls attempt to build the perfect boyfriend using dead body parts.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither, it’ll just be published by The Chicken House, as my previous two books were.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

All memories of that first draft have had to be electronically lasered from my spotless mind as they were too traumatic to recall, but I would hazard a guess at six months. That’s usually the amount of time it takes me to get my scribbles together and do my research which, this time around, included leaving a raw pork chop in the garage for two weeks to see what a dead body smelled like. And take it from me, it smells RANK!


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I have absolutely no idea who else writes like me. I have a sick, sick, sick sense of humour. I’m not proud of myself.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Having high expectations of guys, having high expectations of friends, wanting to know what a pork chop would smell like if I left it in the garage for two weeks.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think it’ll teach you a lot about what not to do when looking for love, when choosing your friends, or when trying to secretly transport severed limbs around the British countryside.


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