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Author C.J. Daugherty

On 17 September, Years 9 and 10 were treated to an inspirational visit from author C.J. Daugherty (C.J.) who spoke about her beginnings as a reporter, her excitement at being part of real life ‘Spy Games’ – full blown scenarios in which real members of the Government, military, secret agents, journalists and many more, were thrown into fictitious (but potentially real) life threatening situations as part of their training – and of course her work as an author.

Alexander Bertioli, a Year 10 pupil, provides his account of C.J.’s visit below.

C.J. Daugherty is a former crime reporter and investigative journalist; and the author of the internationally bestselling Night School series. Shockingly, she saw her first murder victim at the age of 22 when she was a crime reporter.

Her stories have been described as compelling, exciting and inspirational. The series Night School was partly inspired by the time she spent working with the Government as a reporter, but she said that the main inspiration was taken from a picture she saw in a newspaper of an Oxford University Secret Society which showed many high profile people, including David Cameron and Boris Johnson. She imagined that perhaps leaders were picked at a young age and it was not a coincidence that a lot of them were in this  Secret Society.

C.J. also talked about her new book The Secret Fire, written because she wanted to tell a story about the supernatural and magic, but did not like vampires and thought that witches had been done. C.J. and Carina Rozenfeld started thinking about different types of magic and they decided that they would use alchemy.

They thought of times when alchemy was used and what it was used for. The decided that it would be good to set it in the present day because everyone has forgotten magic and most people dismiss it as superstition. So they decided to put a 15th Century demon into 21st Century England!

Overall the visit was amazing and I cannot wait to read The Secret Fire.

Alexander Bertioli - Year 10