In this month’s newsletter (catch up HERE if you missed it) I interviewed Tess James-Mackey about her gripping debut, Someone Is Watching You – a YA thriller set in an abandoned prison, where Nia is goaded by her friends to put herself into increasingly dangerous situations until she finally encounters a danger she really hadn’t expected… This story is so intense and unique, I couldn’t resist finding out more about its creator.

Enter the 5 Random Questions!

Question 1: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I get a lot of joy from food, especially trying weird and wonderful creations in fancy restaurants. Whatever I eat, I need a lot of flavour – my favourite cheese is called, “Stinking Bishop,” and has to live in the garage.

Question 2: What is your ‘happy place’?

I’ve recently got back into horse riding and although I’m not so into the high-adrenaline moments anymore, I find a couple of hours mooching about on the yard and picking up poo is the perfect way to calm my thoughts, especially if they’re fixated on a plot hole!

Question 3: Which book by another author do you wish you had written?

I loved House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland – the creeping horror mixed with this kind of magnetic enchantment created this great rotten fairy tale vibe – it’s stayed with me ever since.

Question 4: Best fight song?

I listen to VERY LOUD house and techno whenever I’m walking anywhere to remind myself I’m alive – a defibrillator straight to the brain first thing in the morning after the school run. I sometimes imagine myself fending off street-fighting assassins to the rhythm of the bass. Though in reality I’m probably just giving myself tinnitus.  

Question 5: Something that makes you irrationally angry?


Thank you, Tess!

About Tess James-Mackey

After growing up in rural Shropshire, Tess set out to explore the world and find her place in it. She quickly rushed straight back to Shrewsbury when she realised she’d been where she belonged from the start. She now lives in a quiet suburb with a noisy partner and daughter, two extremely noisy cats, and a less noisy tortoise.

She spent years mucking out and getting trampled on by horses, before finally deciding she might prefer a less precarious office job. Between analysing insurance risk, she writes teens into terrifying situations inspired by her lived experiences.

When she’s not allowing her mind to wander to dark and twisty places, she pursues more wholesome activities, like growing mediocre vegetables in her garden, camping with her daughter, and even riding the odd horse.

You can follow Tess on Instagram and Twitter.

If you missed my interview with Tess about Someone Is Watching You, you can read it here. Also remember to sign up for my newsletter which goes out on the first Friday of every month – next month’s will be out 3rd March, and will feature an interview with J. P. Rose, author of the chilling YA horror novel The Haunting of Tyrese Walker.

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