Today is old friends day, which means a new book to put on our TBR list. TJ was here this past November, which you can see here, and is back to tell us about his newest book. So without further ado, Mr. TJ Cooke!!! Welcome back!
TJCooke, otherwise known as Tim, was formerly a legal executive and adviser to the BBC’s Eastenders. Since then he has dovetailed his career between advertising copywriting, freelance journalism, screenwriting and novels.
Tim has written numerous television and radio commercials for a variety of well known companies. He has written many hours of broadcast drama, notching up writing credits for some of UK’s most popular series, including London’s Burning, The Bill and Bad Girls.
His debut novel ‘Kiss and Tell’ is available via Amazon Kindle. Tim currently lives in Devon.
Connect with TJ at these sites:
Q&A with TJ Cooke
TJ: I would imagine that most writers draw on their own experiences to a greater or lesser degree. Having been through many ups and downs, been fortunate enough to travel to interesting places and taken on a variety of roles in differing professions it would be foolish not to use these experiences. It gives you the confidence to write with authenticity.
TJ: That’s an interesting one. With ‘Kiss and Tell’ I had two definite story arcs, one concerning Jill Shadow’s journey, from a poor background to a successful lawyer, and the other regarding the drugs story, or stories, which feature in the book. Both started from the beginning and I wasn’t sure at first how they would merge or even end. With ‘Defending Elton’ my latest release, I started with a ‘what if’ concept and allowed the story to develop organically. Neither had a ‘set-in-stone’ conclusion from the outset, but fortunately they came along quite naturally as the characters drove the plots forward.
TJ: I’m definitely a morning person. I find I’m more alert then. In an ideal world I’d start writing around 7 or 8 am and see how long I can go for. Of course life tends to get in the way sometimes! More often than not I break in the middle of the day and if possible have a later afternoon or early evening session. There are also times when I just can’t sleep and every now and again have no choice but to write down the things that are whirling around in my mind… often if I’m in the middle of a first draft and have an idea that can’t wait!
TJ: It seems like it’s a full time job at the moment. I would like it to be one anyway, but a lot depends on how things go with these first two novels. I also enjoy my advertising work. I write and create radio commercials and would like to keep doing so. It’s a great release for a mad creative mind!
TJ: Many and varied. I admire John Grisham, Val Macdermid, Sophie Hannah, Mark Billingham and a host of others. Grisham perhaps not so much for his actual writing but his skill at finding a winning formula. Val and Sophie I like because I find they can paint intriguing pictures and conjure up atmospheres. I also like Mark Haddon, I’m a big fan of his ‘Curious Incident’ novel.
TJ: Right now I’m so caught up in my books that I don’t have much time to read. However, I look forward to a little space sometime and am on the lookout for something. I saw something the other day about a new book called ‘Poppet’ by Mo Hayder and might give that a go.
TJ: I am in the planning stage for my next novel. It’s a further adventure for Jill Shadow. In fact I’ve got three further stories for her mapped out. I will be doing a story breakdown first, then will get busy writing.
TJ: Too many choices! Beautifully cooked French food, Italian, a spicy Thai or India curry… or if I’m snacking at home its cheese on toast with Worcestershire sauce.
TJ: If alcoholic it would be a nice red wine or a crisp medium cider. Non alcoholic then blueberry and pomegranate juice.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When London lawyer Jim Harwood is introduced to the beautiful and enigmatic Sarena he is instantly smitten. However, with his jealous work colleague Loren on their tail, their dalliance comes to a sudden and catastrophic end.
Though Sarena’s demise was accidental, Jim knows that to a jury it will look like a classic ‘love triangle’ murder. He reckons he has no option but to distance both Loren and himself from the crime scene, and does so by providing the police with both an alternative scenario and a far more likely suspect…
…Enter the hapless Elton Spears, an unhinged and gullible ‘care in the community’ patient. Jim knows that Elton is potentially dangerous, and that he has committed previous crimes which might suggest he’s the likely assailant. He seems the perfect patsy. Indeed, Jim seems to have all bases covered… not only does he use all his criminal law experience to frame Elton, but he represents him too, thereby having control and conduct of his case…
Jim’s strategy to escape from culpability seems as risky as it is reprehensible, and when things start to go wrong at Elton’s murder trial he not only regrets his actions but seeks a path to redemption. He may have cleverly outwitted the authorities, and skilfully manipulated the system, but as Sarena’s death comes back to haunt him he discovers that playing with truth is a very dangerous game…
Described as a ‘devilishly clever and inventive tale’ and a ‘tense and edgy thriller’Defending Elton is full of neat twists and turns, which keep you guessing how things will turn out, right to the unexpected end.
Paperback: 276 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 15, 2013)
THANKS TO AUTHOR, TJ COOKE,
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