On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
🍴I am so pleased to welcome C J Carver to Sunday Brunch🍴
🍴Welcome C J ! What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Avocado. I adore avocados, anywhere, anytime, but it was in Australia where I was first introduced to avocado on sourdough toast with a poached egg on top. Because this is an uber-special brunch, I’ve added a curl of smoked salmon and a drizzle of Portugese olive oil.
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
Ooooh, what a choice, I love them all! However, I think a really good strong Americano will do the trick. Lovely!
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
I’ve put a jug of flowers on the table outside in readiness – it is spring, after all. However, if it suddenly pours with rain, we can leg it into the kitchen.
🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy?
I always have music playing, especially when I’m writing - apparently background music helps productivity as well as keeping you alert.
For our brunch, however, I’m going for Pink Martini, who cross several styles: classical, latin and jazz. Nothing too headbanging our we’ll scare away the blue tits that are nesting close by. If we play Una Notte a Napoli, we can pretend we’re brunching on a palazzo in Napoli.
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
Lee Child. Not only is he terrific company but he is an extremely nice man. Oh, and he happens to write some of the best thrillers around! Lee will help oil the conversation with my other guest, Jack Reacher, who’s a bit on the taciturn side.
🍴Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?
I’m bringing a book that everyone can enjoy, no matter how old they are or where they’re from: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 30. All 100 images are spectacular, but my favourite is a stunning photograph of a Siberian tigress embracing an ancient Manchurian fir to leave secretions from her scent glands.
There are photographs of beetles and ants, sharks and goats, bears, ocelots. Every image takes the breath away.
🍴When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet!
I tend to read for research when I’m writing, but I admit I have a couple of books for relaxation by my bedside. Not that I get through more than a couple of pages before I fall asleep!
The book that I can’t wait to get stuck into is Black Sun by Owen Matthews, a Soviet Russia thriller based on a true story. It will have to wait, though, until I can read it uninterrupted so I can get maximum reading pleasure… on holiday, no doubt.
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
A first edition of White Fang by Jack London, 1907. It even has the original tissue paper over the first plate of White Fang howling “as dogs howl, when their masters lie dead.”
This book belonged to my great grandfather, and was passed through the family until it happily came to me. It was one of my favourite books when I was a kid, and thinking about it now, I’m sure it had an effect on my subconscious because when I grew up, I couldn’t wait to get to Alaska.
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
Everywhere and anywhere! The starting point for Scare Me To Death was when I experienced a particularly unnerving commercial flight with three aborted landings followed by a final, emergency landing at another airfield.
It made me think about what I’d do not so much if we crashed, but what my reaction would be if I discovered the aeroplane had been sabotaged. From there, the story began to unfold.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer?
I’m lucky to have a spare bedroom which I’ve converted into my office. It’s easier to write in winter because I’m not longing to be outside on a glorious spring or summer day. I’m very much of the mind to enjoy good weather while I can, and write like a demon when it’s chucking down.
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
With a deadline, I am never distracted. I can’t afford to be! It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, for example, I just get my head down until it’s done.
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
Imagination. Perseverance. Determination. A sense of humour. Oh, and you have to love the story you’re writing (sorry, that’s five). I had a manuscript I was really struggling with and as soon as I recognised the story wasn’t working for me, I ditched it and started another. I’m genuinely loving the book I’m writing and can’t wait to re-engage each morning.
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
Like a lot of novels, Scare Me to Death has many elements of the truth, not just from the investigative policing side of things, but stories I’ve plucked from newspapers around the world. In my experience, truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
9 April 2021
The best thing about this book for me, however, was seeing my character DC Lucy Davies reunited with her father, who she believed abandoned her when she was eight. When she learns this was a lie, she is forced to uncover the secrets he’s been holding all this time.
Naturally, they’re not ordinary secrets but deep and dangerous ones that lead her to confront a vicious murderer with only one thing on their mind: to keep on killing to stop the truth from getting revealed.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Facebook page: @CJCarverBooks
More about C J Carver
I was lucky enough to win the CWA Debut Dagger for my first novel Blood Junction, which was also shortlisted for the Barry Award. Since then, I’ve written a further fifteen novels, including Spare Me the Truth which was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award.
I began my writing career as a travel writer. I’m also an international rally driver (I drove London to Saigon and London to Cape Town) which means I can write a pretty authentic car chase! Being half a Kiwi, I used to live in Australia, but now I live just outside Bath.
Thank you for taking part in Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo.
Thank you! J It’s been great fun. Happy Sunday everyone!
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