Author’s chats with Claire Douglas

Thank you to Claire for agreeing to feature on the Grey Traveller’s Grey Book Worm strand –  Author’s chats. I enjoyed reading her book The Sisters and look forward to catching her new book which will be out in the summer….can’t wait!

Like me Claire was an Enid Blyton fan as a child and says I was obsessed with the St Clare’s and Malory Towers books and before that I loved The Faraway Tree and The Island of Adventure series. I think she had such a great imagination. I’ve introduced my daughter to the St Clare’s and Malory Towers books too and she loves them as well. Even though they were written over sixty years ago they are still relatable. (I loved The Faraway Tree too!)

“What authors inspire you today and why?”

So many authors in all different genres. I love crime authors like Clare Mackintosh, Gilly Macmillan and Jenny Blackhurst because their books are so well written but also have such clever plotting. Likewise with Patricia Highsmith. I’ve been a long standing fan of Maggie O’Farrell – After You’d Gone is one of my all time favourite books. I’ve read and loved all of Lisa Jewell’s books as I think her stories are brilliant and I love her characterisation. There are so many!

I am always intrigued whether other writers are disciplined and asked – “Do you have a set timetable when you are writing and do you normally write in the same place, e.g. an office or in a shed?” and like many mums Claire juggles work with family life and the school run.

I always write at the kitchen table (it’s near the kettle and the food!) and I usually write between 9am and 3pm when the children are at school. I aim to write about 2,000 words a day and if I haven’t managed that during the day I’ll try and catch up in the evening.

“What are you working on at the moment?”

I’m working on my third psychological suspense which hopefully will be out in the summer. It’s about a house swap that goes sinisterly wrong! Must admit even as a keen traveller I haven’t tried a house swap as I’ve always been a bit scared to try!….and would shy away from all that cleaning that you have to do before your swappers arrive!

And lastly – “Any tips for wannabe writers?”

To read as much as you can, especially in the genre you would like to write in. It’s amazing what you can learn about structure and pacing by reading books by other authors. Also I’ve found a few books on writing helpful like On Writing by Stephen King. I’m also reading Plotting and Writing Suspense Fiction by Patricia Highsmith at the moment which is great.

Thank you Claire.

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