Hello Folks, I recently realised that it's been a while since I had a flurry of interview. So that is one of the things I will be focusing on for a while. I love doing interviews, it's fab getting to know the authors and their writerly journeys. Today I have an amazing interview with author Claire McGowan, so make a brew, get comfy and enjoy.
Hello Claire, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my blog. I am always seeing your books in the Waterstones where I work. So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?
I grew up in Northern Ireland, in a small village with not much to do and no bookshop anywhere near – I was always desperate for books as a kid and at some point started trying to write my own. I write crime fiction and also women’s fiction as Eva Woods. I’m working on the Paula Maguire crime series, set in a border town in Ireland, which is on its fifth book.
You write in more than one genre, how did that come about?
I’ve always had lots of ideas and never really intended to write crime – I thought my first book was women’s fiction, even though it had a murder in it! I love the crime genre but would also like to try my hand at other things and am lucky my agent is very supportive of that. It’s usually about the story I want to tell rather than the genre for me.
Where do you find your writerly inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere – I’ve always had lots of ideas, and it could be sparked by a day out, a misheard comment, a news item, something I come across in a book. Really anything.
What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?
It’s rare to have a typical day as I always have lots of other things to do, including teaching and publicity stuff. When I’m working on a new book I try to do one or two thousand words a day, even if it’s quick and messy and has to be fitted in around everything else. I try to switch off the critical part of my brain and just keep going, even when I think its rubbish.
Can you tell me about your journey to publication with both genres? How did that all happen?
With my first book, I entered a competition for unpublished novels and came second, which got me an agent. Before that I had been trying to get an agent for a different book which was attracting some interest but not quite getting me there. So I always think writing another book is a good option. With the women’s fiction I just had to persuade my agent it was a good idea!
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing – if your first attempt doesn’t get anywhere, write another book, as it’s often the idea that matters. Try to write a certain amount every day without editing or reading back over it, until you have a first draft. It’s impossible to fix a book that doesn’t exist. And get to know the industry by going to events and conferences, and getting on Twitter!
What do your family and loved ones think of your success?
I think my parents are a bit surprised but pleased that I manage to make it work as a career! From the outside it can seem unstable, but you can make it work if you’re fast, diligent, and savvy.
So what’s next for you, how is the writing going right now?
It’s going really well and I hope to have some exciting news soon about a new women’s fiction book. I’m also about to start work on what will probably be the last Paula Maguire book, so I have to pull it all together and wrap the story up.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Claire, I really appreciate it.
Buy Claire's Books here: