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Claire Skuse

Writer for young adults, Novelist
University of Exeter

C.J. Skuse is a bestselling author of young adult and adult crime novels. Her ideas are inspired by her deep belief in the sacredness of the early years, the importance of strong characterization in creative writing and a fascination for true crime. Her debut Pretty Bad Things (The Chicken House, 2010) grew from the fusing together of two short stories inspired by Grimms’ ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and Quentin Tarantino movies. C. J.’s other novels have won the Dumfries and Burgh Book award in the UK and the prestigious Prix Littéraire des Étudiants de L’universite Jean Monnet in France. She has also been longlisted for the Branford Boase and shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year, Coventry Inspiration and BookTrust Best Book awards. A fascination for the psychology of the killer’s mind inspired her adult crime novel Sweetpea which spawned sequels In Bloom (2018) and Dead Head (2021) and sold her first film rights. She has a keen interest in understanding what prompts a person to kill many times over and maintains that in order to paint the clearest picture of any event, hearing the antagonist’s viewpoint is vital. C. J. has First Class degrees in creative writing and writing for children and as well as experience working in print journalism, she has worked in both a children’s care setting and the children’s publishing industry. Since 2011, she has been a lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, assisting with the educational needs of students on undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes.

Claire Skuse
Image credit: Penny Skuse


University of Exeter 2021/22
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