To celebrate the release of the second book in the Night School series, Night School Legacy, C.J. Daugherty has written a guest post and you can also take part in the Night School challenge below.
In the last year, Allie’s survived three arrests, two breakups and one family breakdown. The only bright point has been her new life at Cimmeria Academy. It’s the one place she’s felt she belongs. And the fact that it’s brought the dreamy Carter West into her life hasn’t hurt…But far from being a safe haven, the cloistered walls of Cimmeria are proving more dangerous than Allie could’ve imagined. The students, and faculty, are under threat and Allie’s family – from her mysterious grandma to her runaway brother – are at the centre of the storm. Allie is going to have to choose between protecting her family and trusting her friends. But secrets have a way of ripping even the strongest relationships apart…
Guest Post: Before I was an author by CJ Daugherty
You know those authors you sometimes hear about who write their first book when they’re still at school and never have another job in their lives? Well, that’s not me. And I’m glad it’s not.
In fact, I never even thought seriously about writing fiction until a few years ago, and I wouldn’t give up that summer at the oil company filing maps, or the Christmas break spent working at a honey-baked ham store, or the months spent as a hostess in the Cajun restaurant in New Orleans.
I met people I would never have met otherwise; had experiences that shaped me.
The best job I ever had, though, was my first professional newspaper job.
I studied journalism at university in the US, and was hired over the phone by a newspaper in Georgia a few weeks before I graduated. I’d never been to Georgia in my life but I liked the voice on the line.
Loyall Solomon, the editor, had a soothing southern accent and a wonderfully trustworthy name. He had an elegant DIPLOMATIC approach. In that call, he explained I’d be covering crime. The pay was terrible. The hours were antisocial. The work would be hard – even dangerous. But he thought I’d like it anyway.
Imagining myself as one of Charlie’s Angels, running around the deep south chasing criminals with Loyall as my Charlie, I said yes.
Within weeks, I was in the antebellum river town of Savannah, with its tall, graceful old houses, a bridge so high I still have nightmares about it, and a serious crime problem. And Loyall was right – I loved it.
The antenna of a police scanner constantly stuck up out of my handbag, listening in on police radio frequencies – even when I wasn’t working I didn’t want to miss anything big.
I felt grown up and brave but the paper installed a two-way radio in my car connecting me to the news desk so they could keep an eye on me – I was only twenty-one and had a tendency to forget I could die as I dashed from one bloody crime scene to another in my battered old car.
It was like living inside a thriller. Every day was an adrenalin rush. Every day was dangerous.
I worked the evening shift – 4pm to midnight – and by the end of the first year I was so fast that at times I arrived at crime scenes before the crime tape went up. Because if you did that, you might get taped inside, and if you got taped inside you’d get more information than the television crews outside.
Then everyone would buy you drinks later at the bar.
Throughout it all my mentor was a craggy, talented photographer named Bob Morris – he taught me more than any journalism professor ever had. That bit about the crime tape? That was Bob.
I’d hold other newspaper jobs after that, and also work as an editor, then a travel writer, then for the British government – all before sitting down to write my first novel.
Do you have what it takes to face the Night School challenge?
To celebrate the publication of CJ Daugherty’s new book Legacy, she is offering fans of Night School the chance to join Allie and her friends in becoming members of the secret student group Night School. In order to prove you’ve got what it takes to join the highly competitive Night School you will have to distinguish the 14 skills every Night School member should have which will be hidden across the 14 blogs taking part in the tour.
Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will become a Night School member for life and will receive the Night School membership charter and Night School members’ badge as proof of membership, but, because intelligence and speed are two of the most important Night School skills, we will be rewarding those of you who are able to collect and enter the 14 skills in the fastest time. The first ten entrants to correctly enter the 14 skills will win an exclusive members only goodie bag, including: personalised copies of both Legacy and Night School as well as a Night School members material badge which can be sewn onto a book bag or school blazer and a place on an exclusive Google Hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty herself!
Night School Challenge Rules:
Visit 14 book blogs between 3rd – 10th January
- Locate and collect 14 Night School Skill words
- Return to the Night School Members page to enter your collected skills by 13th January
- The entry form will be live from January 10th and will close at mid night on January 13th
- If you successfully complete the challenge you will become a Night School member for life – when this happens you will receive a membership charter and Night School members badge to download
- The first ten people to receive Night School membership will be rewarded for their speed with an exclusive Night School goodie bag and a place on a Google hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty!
For more information, visit the members page on CJ Daugherty’s website here