Author Interview: Claire McGowan

07:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

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With my first book, I entered a competition for unpublished novels and came second, which got me an agent.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.

Thank you! 

Buy Claire's Books here:

Claire McGowan

Eva Woods

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Book Review: Wildflower Bay | Rachael Lucas

21:00 Daniel Riding 0 Comments

This is a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while, as a fan of Rachael’s previous books I was expecting great things for this new book and I wasn’t disappointed. As always Rachael’s books are so full of warmth and heart and a fabulously entertaining look at Island life. Our main character is Isla and she has everything she wants in life, or does she? She’s the head stylist at a top salon in Edinburgh. But while she’s been doing that she seems to have forgotten to have a life, and when everything goes south she realises that she has missed out on so much.

Isla then gets roped into heading off to Auchenmor to help out in her Aunt’s salon, which Isla isn’t too happy about but sees it as an opportunity to get her life back together and work out her options. She really isn’t happy about going to such a remote island which is silly, because she clearly isn’t aware of how charming this island is and that it just so happens to be home to one very yummy and charming Finn. When we meet Finn he has a reputation as a man who has more than a few notches on his bedpost, but it takes his best friends having a baby together to realise that maybe it’s time for him to take life a bit more serious and settle down. Isla likes Finn a lot even though she doesn’t realise it right away and she is wary about him due to his reputation. But it is Isla’s friendship with Finn’s mum Ruth that maybe sways her a little more. Their dynamic is so lovely and sweet and I couldn’t help but smile whenever I read something with both of these lovely ladies in.

As always Rachael’s writing is wonderful and it is so easy to fall into her stories, and these are the kind of books I love and they go amazingly well with tea and lots of cake. Her books are cosy, charming and thoroughly entertaining. She really has a gift for telling these kind of stories and I always look forward to her next publication day. 

This is a wonderful story and I highly recommend picking it up if you haven’t already.

I gave this a wonderfully charming 10/10.

Buy it Here:

Escape into this delicious story of friendship, new beginnings and romance by bestselling author Rachael Lucas.
Isla's got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she's been so single-minded in her career that she's forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by - until disaster strikes. 

Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.

A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla . . .
Praise for Rachael Lucas

Wonderful escapism with a gloriously romantic setting.’ Katie Fforde                                                              

‘The perfect summer read, brimming with fun, flowers and beautifully drawn characters. I adored it!’ Cathy Bramley                                                                                                                                 

‘It's a gorgeous story - funny, touching and hugely warm-hearted. I actually cheered at the end!’ Miranda Dickinson

‘A wonderfully feel-good read.’ Julia Williams

‘Filled to the brim with warmth and charm.’ Rowan Coleman

Rachael juggles working as an author, coach and freelance writer with the aid of quite a lot of tea. She and her partner (also a writer) live by the seaside in the North West of England with their six children.

She is the author of Wildflower Bay, Coming Up Roses and Sealed With a Kiss.

For more about Rachael, visit her website at, say hello to her on Twitter @karamina, or find her on Facebook at