Tuesday 12 February 2013

Dead Romantic Blog Tour

I am ecstatic today to welcome one of my favourite UK authors to the blog and that is C.J. Skuse.  C.J. has written some of my favourite UK books - Rockaholic (review here) and Pretty Bad Things (review here) and her latest book is entitled Dead Romantic.  Just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't heard about the book yet, here's the synopsis:

Camille wants to find the perfect boy, with an athlete's body and a poet's brain. But when she's mocked at a college party, she kows there isn't a boy alive who'll ever measure up. Enter Zoe, her brilliant but strange best friend, who takes biology homework to a whole new level. She can create Camille's dream boy, Frankenstein-stylee. But can she make him love her?

As part of the blog tour, I was given the opportunity to grill C.J. (not literally of course, no one likes a chargrilled C.J.!) about the book amongst other things and here's her answers...

Describe Dead Romantic in three words...

Weird Science 4Girls

CHEAT! Okay, so which character in the book do you think is most like you?

Probably Camille. She is naive, loves dogs, always fancies the wrong guy and is just looking for a reason not to be on a diet.

Sounds like every girl I know *sigh* so who is YOUR perfect guy? If you could make him, what qualities would he have?

Outwardly, I think he’d be an artist of some kind, maybe a graphic artist, with a male gymnast’s body, dark hair and eyes. I made up an acronym some years ago for what kind of guy I’m looking for – Funny, Intelligent, Creative, Tender, Intuitive, Open-minded, Noble, Alluring, Loner. So, in a word, my perfect guy is fictional.

I see what you did there ;) Let's get to the nitty gritty, when I first heard about the book I immediately thought of the 80's movie Weird Science, have you seen it and be honest, did it inspire you?

Hella big yes. It’s probably my third favourite movie of the 80s. Dead Romantic was always meant to be a female version of Weird Science but using real dead boys instead of a computer generated girl. And not only did Weird Science inspire me, but I also drew on, of course, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which I believe was the first popular literary telling of corpse reanimation. There’s also an H.P. Lovecraft short story called ‘Herbert West: Reanimator’ which I reference in the book and a short story called ‘The Bodysnatcher’ that were big inspirations. My character Louis is named after the author of The Bodysnatcher, Robert Louis Stephenson. Yeah, the ideas presented in Dead Romantic are far from original; I’ve just tried to give them a fresh spin for modern teens.

If Dead Romantic ever got made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main parts?

Well, I can tell you who I imagined as the characters when I was writing the book. Zoe started off as being an Amanda Palmer-kind of girl, then I saw a picture of Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, and I said out loud ‘Oh my god, that’s Zoe.’ Camille was based a little on Pandora from Series 3 and 4 of Skins, in as much as she sometimes comes across as a bit ditzy and fluffy but is actually a very good friend and has a great capacity for love. I think the actress who plays her is called Lisa Backwell. Louis was a blank page for ages and ages, until I saw Josh Hutcherson in the movie Detention and I though, yeah, he is very close to the Louis that’s in my head, and Damian is a movable feast really. Some days he is Jack O’Connell (aka Cook from Skins), other days he is Jay from the Inbetweeners, other days Shiloh Fernandez. A mixture of the three of them, that’s Damian.

Josh Hutcherson? I'M SHOCKED (not).  So, speaking of movies, give us a list of MUST SEE eighties movies...

Okay, these are by no means the best movies made in the 80s but they are all my personal favourites.

The Goonies – When I was eight years old, I WAS Mikey Walsh. Without the asthma.

Heathers – I used to have fantasies about a sexy, black-haired guy like J.D roaring up to my school on his motorbike and rescuing me from the people I hated. I was, like, ten years old so looking back I’m quite glad no one did

Ghostbusters – There is a giant marshmallow man in it. And Bill Murray. Best. Things, Ever.

The Outsiders – first movie that ever made me cry. My character Paisley in Pretty Bad Things reminds me of Dallas Winston (played by Matt Dillon) in many ways.

St Elmo’s Fire – The Brat Pack at their second best, after The Outsiders.

Adventures in Babysitting – Girl babysits kids. Girl takes kids into the city. Car gets a puncture. They get chased by crime lords. One of kids gets stabbed. Another hooks up with a prostitute. Another ends up on the edge of a skyscraper. Larks aplenty.

Mannequin – Andrew McCarthy falls in love with the mannequin he made and she comes to life. What’s not to like?

Aliens – Michael Biehn in army fatigues. Enough said.

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure – Was a bit obsessed with this when I was a kid. I used to dress like Bill and Ted. I also used all my pocket money one week to buy the entire range of Kettle Chips because there’s a scene where Bill’s eating them.

The Breakfast Club – the definite 80s movie. Kids vs Teacher. Love it.

The ‘Burbs – small-minded neighbours think a family of serial killers have moved in to their cul-de-sac. Just as if.

Die Hard – a bus load of international mega evil terrorists with machines guns and bombs outwitted by one man in a vest and no shoes. Sublime.

Grease 2 - *holds hands up* I like it, especially the bowling song ‘We’re Gonna Score Tonight.’ They don’t write ‘em like that anymore. Also, Rex Manning’s in it as a hawt nerd.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – The best Indiana Jones movie by far because Data from The Goonies is in it. Eat that, snakes and Nazis.

Overboard – bitchy rich woman falls off her yacht and gets amnesia, gets picked up by poor carpenter she verbally abused who then procedes to make her life a misery. Russell and Hawn at their finest.

Police Academy – I was in love with Mahoney during my pre-pubescence and at school I used to pretend Hightower and Tackleberry were my bodyguards. But I had no idea what the woman was doing in the box until I was about 15.

Pretty in Pink – It shoulda been Ducky. Despite the shoes.

The Princess Bride – perfection in movie form.

Romancing the Stone – In my head, I am Joan Wilder about 98% of the time.

Stand By Me – I named my dog after a character in this movie. THAT’S how much I love it.

The Terminator – Michael Biehn once again annihilating ovaries with his steely stare and hot bulgy arms. And he wears some cool high tops in this movie too. Can’t remember much about the plot though.

I have to say, I've seen EVERY SINGLE ONE of those movies and I love them all.  Yes, even Grease 2 *hangs head in shame*.  So, now that Dead Romantic has been published, tell us what you're working on next?

Erm, not sure at this moment in time. I have several ideas on the boil. It’s just a question of which piece of my soul I next want to send out into the world. I’m very much like Voldemort in that respect.

Thank you C.J. for being on the blog today and entertaining the masses with your answers.  Dead Romantic was published on 4th February, 2013.  I'm going to bug C.J. till the day I day about getting her own website but in the meantime, you can find her lurking on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Awesome movie choices, I pretty much agree with all of them. My favorite song in Grease 2 was Reproduction because I always laughed.

    Congrats CJ

  2. What a fun interview! Love CJ and can't wait to read Dead Romantic!

    1. It was definitely fun to conduct, CJ is one of my faves :)