Dead Romantic Blog Tour: Interview with C.J. Skuse

CJ Skuse is the author of Rockaholic, Pretty Bad Things and now Dead Romantic. I’m so lucky to have an interview with her today as part of the Dead Romantic blog tour which I am honoured to be on.
Welcome to Queen of Contemporary, CJ! 

1. Dead Romantic is a modern retelling of Frankenstein. What made you want to write about a different version of the Mary Shelley novel?

I was actually trying to get away from the Mary Shelley novel as much as possible which is largely the reason why it ends the way it does. I didn’t want it to be just another Frankenstein tale where a guy comes to life and causes mayhem and his creator really regrets it. I tried to bring in the influences of other writers who had experimented with the idea of corpse reanimation, like H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Louis Stephenson. I was also greatly influenced by the 1980s film Weird Science in which two teenage boys built their perfect woman using their computer. I always wanted to see a female version of this story and to test whether or not a subject as abhorrent as grave-robbing could be made comical.

2. Camille and Zoe are two very different characters. Do you see yourself in either one of them?

I see myself in Camille quite a bit as I’ve picked up her rather annoying catchphrases and her inability to concentrate on anything if there’s food around. She is also very childlike and friendless (until she meets Zoe), as I was when I was her age. I wish I was as intelligent and confident as Zoe. I love how she truly isn’t affected by peer pressure; she does her own thing. I wished I had been more like her at 17.

3. All three of your novels deal with different subjects. How did your writing process vary with each?

The first book PRETTY BAD THINGS was written as part of my MA in Writing for Young People so it took just over a year and I had a lot of advice from the other students on the course which helped to shape it. With ROCKOHOLIC, it was drafted in about three months and then went through a proper editorial process and the whole thing took about 18 months in all, and with DEAD ROMANTIC it went through two complete rewrites before I finally realised what it was meant to be so it took slightly longer. With each book, the planning part (i.e. the fun bit where I devise characters, map journeys and go on location to possible settings) has dwindled considerably due to time constraints.

4. Aside from the actual writing, what is your favourite thing about being an author?

Getting that one review or fan message which confirms to me why I wrote that book. There was one review I had for Rockoholic which was from a woman who had a truly awful day and she said she picked up the book and read it on an arduous train journey home and couldn’t stop laughing and it totally brightened her mood. When you send your little book out into the world and it touches someone’s life in a positive way, that’s when I love being an author.

5. What were your favourite books as a child?

I really liked reading the Beatrix Potter books as I was given the box set one Christmas. I also loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, particularly The Witches. I read this one weekend when I was staying at a hotel in Torquay with my parents and there happened to be a Women’s Institute conference going on at the same time. I was absolutely convinced it was really the witches, planning their strategy to wipe out all the children in the land. I vividly remember a gang of women walking past me and I had to check their shoes to see if their feet had toes.

6. If you could be any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?

I’m going to say Katniss Everdeen because she has awesome survival skills and I would really like to know what it’s like to a) fire and arrow and actually have it hit something; b) what it’s like to have both Peeta and Gale lust after you and c) what that lamb stew tastes like.

Quick Fire Questions:

Louis or Damian? Louis, all the way.
Dogs or hamsters? Dogs, all the way
Dr. Frankenstein or Zoe? Zoe Lutwyche, all the way and all the way back (soz Mary Shelley. You’re totes awesies and all that but Zoe’s my girl)

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  • Reply
    Zoe Crook
    10 February, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Brilliant interview, Lucy! I remember you bringing this book up on Twitter… one of the characters is called Zoe – yay! That always makes the story ten times for interesting when it involves your name 😉
    I love The Witches story! 😀 And I agree that being Katniss Everdeen would be amazing. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica@Booked Up!
    10 February, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    An awesome interview, Lucy! I also loved the Beatrix Potter books as a child, I have a massive collection somewhere in the attic. 😀 I would really enjoy being Katniss for a day, it would be wonderful to have both Gale and Peeta chasing after you! Although I’m not sure I actually want to know what the lamb stew tastes like… ;P

    Thanks for sharing this with us! I really enjoyed reading your interview. 🙂

  • Reply
    chloe Jane skuse
    17 November, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    My name is cj skuse I live in burnham on sea where this photo was took

  • Reply
    chloe Jane skuse
    17 November, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    My name is cj skuse I live in burnham on sea where this photo was took

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