Claire is an author whose progress I have followed for a number of years now and I am so happy for her ongoing success! She produces great books at a great pace and deserves all the four and five star reviews she receives for her gorgeous stories.
Let's start the interview. I can't wait to catch up!
1) Who is your favourite author and why?
My favorite author is… gosh, that’s hard! I have to say I have two, Karin Tabke and Shayla Black. Both inspired me early on, their stories are engaging, their characters unforgettable, and they are super-sexy stories.
2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I had a real conversation with my editor, shortly after my first book was contracted. I was no longer afraid of her. Laugh!
3) Describe your writing space?
I have two spaces I write in. One is total chaos. I can’t see the bottom of my desk at all. The other is my dining room table. It’s usually complete with some candy wrappers, a stale cup of coffee, and two or three cats lounging about, with one snuggled into my lap. My dogs are at my feet, the largest, my Newfoundland, serving as an ottoman.
4) What are you reading now?
I am not currently reading anything. However I have a passel of new Berkley HEAT books on the To-Be-Read pile, and I’m anxiously awaiting my Berkley release-date-twin, Roni Loren’s HEAT title, CRASH INTO YOU.
5) How many books have your written? Which is your favourite?
I have written twelve full length novels, and five short stories that are all in various stages of publication. These are:
All I Want For Christmas… Is Big Blue Eyes
A Christmas to Believe In
Waiting for Yes
Misunderstanding Mason - novella
A Broken Christmas – novella (October 2011)
The Curse of the Templars Series:
Immortal Hope (January 2012)
Immortal Salvation (October 2012)
Immortal Trust (July 2013)
Inherited Damnation Series (novellas):
Cursed to Kill (October 2011)
Tormented by Darkness (Fall/Winter 2011)
Destined to Die (Winter 2011)
Erotic Romantic Suspense as Tori St. Claire
Stripped (January 2012)
Lie To Me (Undetermined, 2012)
Favorites are hard to say. I find that I usually fall in love with a book when I finish it, and for a while it remains my favorite. However… A Broken Christmas is particularly dear to my heart. It’s a story about a broken soldier’s journey to love, and it was inspired by a true sustained injury to one of our men in Iraq.
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
That really is totally story-dependant or series dependant. I don’t write, typically, one book at a time and go from there. I plot in series fashion and usually going into the first book I know the players that will carry on throughout. When it comes to their stories, I have a rough idea what the background is, but they are more established than the plot in those cases.
My Black Opal series (as Tori St. Claire) is probably the exception. I don’t have an underlying sub-plot that spans the series. I have a collection of intriguing operatives and the characters usually jump out at me. Then I find myself planning their stories around what made their personalities the way they are, what’s in their past, and what would be a compelling conflict given those attributes.
7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
No. (Knocking on wood.) I tend to suffer from idea over-flow and too few hours in my day to get everything done I need to.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Not writing? Er…
Well, I went to Hawaii when I stopped writing for the first time in four years, last month. But as a rule, I have two small boys and a farm, and that takes up a lot of my time.
9) Tell us about your latest book?
My latest book is Misunderstanding Mason, an upbeat, contemporary novella, with a very sexy plot. This is a case where the plot definitely came first, as the first scene hit me out of the blue and then I had to make everything else fit.
Mason’s an introvert, more comfortable spending his days in front of his computer and creating incredible graphics for a leading gaming company. I love Mason. He reminds me of so many of the men I worked with in my early years also designing computer games. Strong. Quiet. Brilliant. And utterly devoted to the woman he loves. The kind of guy who you’d never guess could literally turn the world upside down if the things he cherished were in jeopardy.
I’ll share the cover blurb:
When Kirstin Jones agreed to work with her live-in boyfriend, Mason, on a freelance job for a wealthy client, she never thought it might destroy their relationship. But the client’s keen observations show her that she’s been little more than Mason’s shadow. Fed up with his insensitivities, she moves out. Weeks later, desperate to stand on her own, she accepts work with the same client once again. Only this time, the project requires Mason’s help. To obtain his aid, she must meet his terms. And what he wants is more than she can afford.
Mason Montgomery is baffled by Kirstin’s claims that he never had time for her. While verbalizing his emotions has never been his strong point, he’s spent five years showing his love. He needs Kirstin more than he wants to admit. When she leaves him, he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, even if it means working with the client who twisted truths and tore his life apart.
This time Mason’s not leaving room for misunderstandings.
10) What’s next for you?
Really more of the same. I’m currently at work on the next novella in Inherited Damnation. I have a handful of projects related to both the Black Opal series and The Curse of the Templars slated too. You can watch my website, or sign up for my newsletter to get the most recent updates!
Thanks for having me!
Great interview, Claire and so pleased everything is going so well for you! Also glad I'm not the only one who stumbles over the question, "What do you do when you're not writing?" When is that exactly, huh?
Over to you guys for questions and comments!