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Judith Baker

Twice longlisted for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize, J.A. BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

 

When she isn't writing, she enjoys reading many genres of books but especially enjoys psychological thrillers.

In December 2016 she was signed by Bloodhound Books who published her first novel, Undercurrent. Since then she has had eleven more books released.

J.A. Baker has four grown-up children, two grandchildren and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and Border Collie, Theo who is quite possibly the naughtiest dog in the world.

 

Tell us about yourself?

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A long-ago trauma and a family mystery may shed light on her troubled sleep—or pull her into the darkness once and for all . . .As a child, Grace Cooper suffered from bouts of sleepwalking. Now, after the unexpected death of her husband, she’s moved back to Woodburn Cottage, her childhood home—and the sleepwalking returns. It’s all stirring up dark memories—memories that involve the disappearance of her brother Simon, who vanished one night when he was a child, and the death of her father, who fell from an upstairs window.

With her mother in a care home with dementia and her sister living in a nearby village, Grace tries to settle in—but with the passage of time, the sleepwalking only becomes more regular and the blurred memories of the past only become more disturbing. Spurred on by these hazy dreamlike recollections, Grace becomes determined to find out what happened to Simon that fateful night. But digging up the past isn’t always a good idea, because you never know what skeletons you might unearth . . .

 

Are you working on something now?

I am currently working on a book called The Hidden which is about a woman held hostage and how the people in her life all suddenly appear to have something to hide. Like my other books, it is still a psychological suspense but has a little more action in it.

I write under the name of J.A. Baker and have had twelve books published. The Midnight Child, my recent release, is out now

 
 
Which six books will you take to the Island?
 
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A tricky question but I think I’ve actually managed to whittle it down.

 

 

Tideline by Penny Hancock

My all time favourite book and the one that inspired me to finally write a full novel and submit it to agents and publishers. Undercurrent was that novel, was accepted and published in March 2017 and I’ve never looked back since, so thanks Penny!

 
 
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Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I read this on the train to France 2 years ago and it blew me away. The writing is superb and I couldn’t quite believe it had taken me so long to get round to reading it after hearing about it for so many years.

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Although psychological thrillers are my preferred genre, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes took my breath away and also made me cry – not an easy thing to do as I’m a bit of a tough old bird I read it on holiday in Cyprus whilst baking by the pool and it has never left me.

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The Last Letter From your Lover by Jojo Moyes

It is a sensational story and she writes with such clarity and depth, I was totally captivated and transported back to that romantic time in the 1960’s when everything seemed to hold such promise.

 
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Again, another favourite of mine isn’t a psychological thriller although there is a definite twist in it – The Muse by Jessie Burton is an historical mystery that had me hooked. I read it in a day and would definitely read it again.

 
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The Shining by Stephen King scared the bejesus out of me but for posterity’s sake, I would take it with me as I read it on holiday in a big hotel that had really long corridors with light timers that used to turn off before we reached our room. Even though it stopped me sleeping, I felt compelled to read on because it was such a cleverly written book and I always live in hope that one day, I’ll reach the dizzy heights of Mr King!

Which disc will you take to the Island?

I love all different kinds of music but if I was alone on a desert island, I would need something that triggers happy memories of home and that song would be Who Knows Where the Time Goes by Fairport Convention. It’s not a particularly upbeat song but neither is it melancholic. It’s a gorgeous ballad that always fills me with a sense of calm and contentment.

 
What will be your luxury item?
Lipstick

I’m pretty sure it would have to be my lipstick. A desert island would mean hot sun and as someone who is prone to cold sores in intense heat, it would give some protection and also make me feel as if I’d at least tried to look half decent!

 
 
Which fictional character will you meet? 
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Sonia from my favourite book, Tideline. I have so many questions for her – why did she do what she did? She was such a complex character with so many surprising and often unfathomable facets to her nature that she made me both happy and furious in equal measure.

 
 

Thank you Judith

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