C.J. Tudor (Caroline J. Tudor)

C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing The Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz.



On Sale: January 9, 2018 / 9780385690072 / $24.95

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In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown and thinks he’s put his past behind him, but then he gets a letter in the mail containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank–until one of them turns up dead. That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

Expertly alternating between flashbacks and the present day, The Chalk Man is the very best kind of suspense novel, one where every character is wonderfully fleshed out and compelling, where every mystery has a satisfying payoff, and where the twists will shock even the savviest reader.

  • Incredibly promising debut:  This C.J. Tudor’s first novel, but she writes with all the assured characterization and tight plotting of a veteran writer like Gillian Flynn or Tana French.
  • The Next Great Psychological Suspense:  From Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins to Ruth Ware and Fiona Barton, there is a large audience eager to read dark, well-crafted thrillers that explore their characters’ damaged psyches while offering up intriguing mysteries and shocking twists.
  • Twists You’ll Never See Coming: The Chalk Man sets up one intriguing mystery after another, and then, delivers satisfying conclusions to all of them that manage to be simultaneously totally shocking and completely grounded in the clues laid along the way.
  • Sold In 25 Territories: The Chalk Man sold in major deals all over the world!


For all reviews or media requests, Contact: Nick Seliwoniuk (nseliwoniuk@penguinrandomhouse.com)

Tudor, C.J. | Chalk Man, The | Signed First Edition Book
Author Signed Hardcover Book. January 2018 NY: Crown First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover.
VJ Books Price $36.99
Pre-Order Price $31.99 –> Learn more about Pre-Ordered signed books


“A band of preteens in a quaint English village in the late 1980s confront true evil and grapple with the lifelong consequences in this gripping debut mystery/thriller… Readers who relish dark, twisty thrillers will be kept guessing. Taut plotting, smooth writing, and a compelling premise will satisfy fans of Jo Nesbo, Camilla Lackberg, and Tana French.”
Library Journal

“An absorbing debut with a well-crafted mystery and a solid dose of Stand by Me creepiness.”

“C.J. Tudor bursts onto the scene with a page-turning thriller that draws simple but terrifying lines about evil and the haunting nature of childhood. Flip open the first page and you’ll curl up all night.”
Julia Heaberlin
Sunday Times bestselling author of Black-Eyed Susans

“The grip the past has on the present reveals itself in ever more sinister and macabre ways in this utterly original and relentlessly compelling psychological thriller. The Chalk Man kept me guessing all the way to the end.”
Fiona Neill
author of The Betrayals

“Absolutely brilliant. I was enthralled from start to finish. I was expecting a creepy horror story that I’d have to read with all the lights on but this book is so much more than that – it’s witty, insightful, clever, thoughtful, mysterious, gripping, nostalgic and utterly compelling. Publishers often talk about ‘an exciting new voice in fiction’ and I genuinely think CJ Tudor is going to be huge. This book has bestseller written all over it and if it doesn’t go to number one I will eat my crime writing hat.”
C.L. Taylor
bestselling author of The Escape

“The Chalk Man is an unpredictable and engaging thriller: sinister, tragic, and with a beautifully rendered sense of time and place. That final page still haunts me”
Helen Callaghan
bestselling author of Dear Amy

“I absolutely loved The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor! It’s a dark, mesmerising thriller with an ending that left me with goosebumps!”
Nuala Elwood
author of My Sister’s Bones

“In The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor brilliantly weaves past and present into a haunting, vividly imagined tale. Much more than a murder mystery, it is a sharp, terrifying exploration of the bonds and limitations of childhood friendships and of secrets that refuse to remain buried. I fell in love with the guiding voice of this novel, the thoughtful and solitary Eddie. Prepare to be surprised again and again, even until the final page.”
Michelle Richmond
author of The Marriage Pact



“What an amazing debut! Such an ingenious, original idea. I was engrossed from the very first page. I loved how the 1986 and present day storylines weaved so skilfully together to create that unforgettable and unexpected ending. Compelling, taut and so very, very chilling. This book will haunt you!”
Claire Douglas
Sunday Times bestselling author of Last Seen Alive

“CJ Tudor has written an utterly original novel—a thriller in which the suspense comes not simply from what happens, but from that dark place within the human mind from which all the greatest mysteries and terrors emerge. This one will hold you in its grip to the last page.”
Joyce Maynard
New York Times bestselling author of Under the Influence and To Die For

“It’s been a while since I’ve read such an impressive debut. The pace was perfectly judged, with a lovely feel of Stand By Me about the 1986 scenes and beguiling nostalgia in the contemporary narrative, all mixed in with a creeping sense of unease that starts with the Prologue and grows throughout the book. The characters were superbly drawn – not too much physical description but wonderful interplay between the five young friends and their adult selves. And then that ending…. Generally speaking I’ve either enjoyed something and want to recommend it to all my friends, or haven’t and don’t much want to talk about it. The Chalk Man definitely falls into the former category, and it deserves to be a huge success. It feels so fresh…. I’ll be telling everyone else to read it when it comes out in January.”
James Oswald

“The Chalk Man is coming and there’s nothing you can do to stop him. Tense, skilful storytelling and plenty of horror.”
Ali Land
Sunday Times bestselling author of Good Me, Bad Me



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