At 19 she moved to the town of Colwyn Bay in North Wales and it was from here that her adventures began with her first holiday abroad on her own at age 21. New Zealand was the destination and this is where she met her husband to be and eventually moved to in 1991.
Married with four children, sadly losing their youngest child. Claire engages her time in bringing up her children along with family history research. Starting a small hobby business in 2010 to format and print Family History Books for people. It was during the formatting of one book Claire opened a word document while waiting on receiving information to finish her latest project. Her first novel was born. Though this Regency Mystery Romance novel is yet unpublished Claire learnt a lot about the writing world.
Writing novels of many genre, her writing has now taken over her life during the week. With eight books published as e-books and six paperbacks, Claire is getting ready to publish her fifth Garrett Investigation Bureau Novel and her first young children’s book.
What inspires you to write?
I was bored, waiting for some information for a Family History Book. Opening a word document i started to write. With in a few hours I had 3 chapters of a Regency Novel. Those I sent it to wanted more, so I continued. I suppose it was these friends who first inspired me continue writing.
My Regency novel is yet to be published, the research and editing are still on going.
After this novel I did a children’s book aimed at 10+ to prove to myself I could write different genres. It has been enjoyed by all who have read it so far, including some adults.
Tell us about your writing process.
Seat of the pants – is me. I read a book called “On Writing,” by Stephen King. Wow, it has set me up to write how i need to write. A muse on my shoulder, i’m not really sure, though my fingers certainly tell the story and I have no real idea where it comes from.
I right my first draft from start to finish, sometimes I have a break if I get stuck, other times it flows freely. I edit just the normal small edits, like spelling during this part of my writing. I also research as I write. After I have finished I send the document to my beta readers for comments, changes and ideas. During this 4 – 6 week period I leave the draft well alone and will start on something new.
When all comments are in – six weeks later – I go back to my draft and do a re-write, edit – whatever really needs doing.
Next is a grammar check, book cover creation (Ceejay Designs) and then publishing on Smashwords and Createspace. Both these sites review, so any changes are then done.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Generally my fingers are in total control of my writing, though the characters do tend to take over sometimes, they love to have a laugh, generally in the middle of serious business. They do talk to me in their own way, each book – though they twist and turn – are very much individual, the characters know who they are and portray what they want and certainly where they want to go.
Sometimes they get really quiet and I have to find something else to do, not writers block as such, it is more like they are sleeping and ignoring me. The one I really would love to hug though is Yuri, for some reason I adore his character, and I can’t wait to tell his story.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up. Write your first draft and put it away so you notice the errors when you go back to it. Read “On Writing,” by Stephen King.
When it comes to formatting for print and eBook then ask around in your author groups – presuming you have joined any yet – There are plenty on Facebook. All this will help you market your books.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did try a few publishers, however after receiving no feedback I gave up. I noted wach different publisher wanted your work set out in a different way, it was a huge learning curve for me. Since then I decided I would give it a go myself. I was introduced to smashwords by a friend. What a great site and yet another learning curve. Not only are you chapters hyperlinked, but the book cover sizing is different. I got it though, so well pleased with myself.
I also put my books online via createspace. All this learning ended up with me starting my own formatting business for other Indie Authors in my local area. It was great, I finally felt things were coming together. I now enjoy publishing for others and seeing the looks on their faces when they first hold their own book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Publishing will do what it wants in the long run. When paperbacks first came out there was a lot of noise about it from the big publishing houses, just like their has been with eBooks. Personally I am more interested in the story within the book.
I do love to hold a book in my hands though.
Going back in history pre publishing houses, everyone self published, including Mark Twain. It is interesting how things have moved forward. I think books will always be around us – print books that is – It is a bit like records and cassette tapes were overtaken by Music CD’s, though now we see Records and Tapes making a come back.
Indie authors will thrive and smaller more accepting publishing businesses will help them on their way
What do you use?: Beta Readers, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Published Genres – Detective, Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Fantasy, Erotica, Mythical Children’s. Unfinished Genres – Sci-fi, young adult, fables, regency historical.
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print