Whenever I heard the word kindred, I thought of me and Ti.
Rosie and Ti are as close as sisters – closer, in fact. While Rosie is shy and passive, Ti is tough and daring. They shouldn’t be friends, but they are.
Creeping out of their homes at night, the girls secretly wander through their coastal hometown, Flushing, exploring empty streets and sharing their frustrations about school and their different, but equally difficult, families.
But when Rosie betrays Ti, the two girls run in different directions – making deci-sions that could do irreparable damage to both of their lives. As Rosie confronts harsh truths, she must find a way back to Ti, and to herself.
Nightwanderers is an evocative and darkly funny story. Exploring the themes of all-consuming friendship, coming of age and troubled families, the novel is just as moving and memorable as the highly acclaimed Infinite Sky, C. J.
Flood’s debut novel. With echoes of Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and David Almond, C. J. Flood is a writer to watch.
2 June 2016, £7.99
Paperback ISBN 978-0-85707-805-6
I adored Rosie and Titania’s complicated relationship. Did you ever have a friendship as fierce as Rosie and Titania’s when growing up?
I’m so glad to hear that! I based the friendship on an amalgamation of different friendships I had, one in particular that was with an older girl who I hero-worshipped, but who I tended to get into trouble with as well. There’s a certain intensity to female teen friendships, I think because they are our first attempts at romance. Becoming best friends with someone for me, was like falling in love. I became obsessed with them, and would call them as soon as I got home from their house. I would send them little packages and write them notes when we were in different classes. I’d want to be near them all the time, and make declarations of my loyalty.
The downside of that level of interest in each other, of course, is that you can begin to accidentally police each other or feel policed by each other. I definitely had friendships that got a bit too intense, and that made me feel nervous or insecure, or like I was cheating.
I know we’ve spoke briefly about our shared love of nightwandering on Twitter….but could you tell everyone else about what you love(d) most about nightwandering?
There was a rebellion to it that I liked – I always wanted to do what I wasn’t supposed to as a teen – and a feeling of owning the whole world (or my little town, at least). Walking as a duo in the middle of the busiest road in Allestree was delightful, and the butterflies we got from sprinting through people’s gardens was addictive too. As an adult I think it was to do with freedom, but as a kid it was just for the thrill.
Did you ever get into any trouble while out exploring?
We nightwandered through a policeman’s garden once, and he came out to catch us. He was in his pyjamas, and he made my brother and his friend get in his car (maybe he wasn’t a policeman on reflection). My best friend and me legged it, and waited in the cornfields near my house until his car had gone. I think my dad just laughed about it, he was the most wonderfully relaxed person! Favourite quote from the book? When Joey, Rosie’s little brother, tries to tell Rosie that ‘they’ changed the phrase ‘phoenix from the ashes’ to ‘falcon from the ashes’. Joey was fun to write because I channelled my little nephew, Thomas, who makes me laugh so much whenever I see him.
Who was your favourite character to write? (Tough call)
I enjoyed writing Alisha, because she is so sure of herself and confident, without being mean at all. I think she deserves a spin off book, actually. I wish I had gravitated towards the smart, hardworking kids a bit more when I was that age; Alisha and Kiaru are the kinds of teenager I wish I had been. I also loved writing Rosie’s mum and dad who I based a tiny bit on myself and my boyfriend.
What are you currently working on? Anything that you can give us a sneaky peek at? 😉
I’m reworking my book The Wild Ones, which I couldn’t quite get right the first time round. It’s a story about sisters, survival and nature – my triple obsessions! It’s very close to my heart. I *think* I’ve found just the right way to tell it now…
I recently read and loved Tim Clare’s The Honours, which is an adventure/fantasy novel about a fierce young girl called Delphine. I’m now reading Foxlowe, which is a brilliant and haunting novel about a girl called Green who was raised in a cult. Both writers are friends of mine, so I’m biased, but both books are seriously affecting. Foxlowe is published on the same day as Nightwanderers, so keep an eye out!
About the Author
C. J. Flood was born in Derby. She studied English Literature at Falmouth College of Art, and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she won the Curtis Brown Award. Her debut novel, Infinite Sky, won the 2014 Branford Boase Award, and was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Nightwanderers is her second novel. Chelsey lives in Bristol where she lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa
University. Follow Chelsey on Twitter @CJFlood_author