Author Interview:Claudia Carroll

A day later than planned (no internet access...Thank you snow.) I am delighted to share an interview with one of my all time favourite authors - the lovely Claudia Carroll. Claudia released her AMAZING-SOUNDING new novel, Our Little Secret, last month and I was very excited to be able to chat to Claudia about her writing, how she comes up with her ideas and she also shares some exciting news...

Hi Claudia! A massive welcome to Bookaholic Confessions, thank you so much for taking the time to chat to me today. I’m sure EVERYONE knows exactly who you are but could you kick things off by introducing yourself?

It’s a joy to be on your blog! You know I follow you and really have to congratulate you on the fab job you do. I love seeing all your wonderful book recomendations and really do be very honoured to be here. So  huge and heartfelt thank you; your support means the world to me , it really does.
So to answer your question, just to say that I’m Claudia Carroll, I’m an author and my new paperback Our Little Secret will hit the shelves on Febrary 8th. SO exciting…!

I am massively excited for your new novel, Our Little Secret (released 8th February with Avon). Could you tell us a little bit about the novel?

Did you ever see the old movie, All About Eve with Bette Davis? It’s basically about a good deed that comes back to bite you. Just like the song in Wicked (my all time favourite musical) about no good deed going unpunished. The movie All About Eve, was a huge inspiration point for me, so I got to wondering – suppose you had a middle aged, older woman who, with no motive other than kindness and a genuine altruism, decides to help a younger woman, who needs a bit of a leg up in her own career. But of course there’s a twist, and pretty soon, my leading character comes to deeply regret ever having giving this young one the time of day.

How long did the novel take you to write?

I would spend roughly a year writing a book, the first draft being the long part, which can take me up to eight months. However before I sit down to write a line of it, I’d have the skeleton of the story all mapped out, so the building blocks are in place, so to speak. I find this really helps, and although I may meander off in slightly different plot twists and turns, once the ‘roadmap’ is there, it’s always great to keep coming back to. It takes me a long time to get to know characters, and I always have to allow for that. Then off it goes to my wonderful editor who’ll come back with notes and comments and from that will come a second draft, always a vast improvement on the first one. Then it goes to a copy editor, who’ll go through it with a fine toothcomb, sorting out any nitty-bitty references that aren’t accurate and generally ironing it all out before publication.
So I’d be fairly clear at the outset as to exactly how a book will end. Having said that though, part of the joy of writing lies in characters coming in who take your story in a direction you could never have foreseen!

Do you ever base your characters on anyone in real life or are they entirely fictional?
Fictional of course! Although I’m a terrible magpie and often you see little character traits in people and you find yourself thinking, ‘now that’s interesting.’ You see, you never know what’ll turn up in a character’s DNA, do you?

What advice would you give to any aspiring authors out there?
Persevere, persevere, persevere. And write every single day, as every day that you do is a day that your work is improving, trust me. Be brave too; remember it’s highly unlikely that a publisher is going to knock on your front door and ask if you’ve any manuscripts lying around they could publish. Nothing will happen unless you take the first step and get your work out there. An agent is your best friend though, and I’d advice anyone starting out to secure and agent first and the rest will follow. And best of luck!

What is your favourite thing about being a writer?

Writing is without doubt, the single best job in the whole entire world. Even on the days when nothing’s coming and I’m half ready to fling my computer up against a wall, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love the creative process and the idea of being my own boss, it’s the best

And finally – can you tell us a little about what you’re up to at the moment?

Very exciting news! I have a brand new book coming out in hardback later this year – it’s called SECRETS OF PRIMROSE SQUARE and I’m ridiculously happy with it – stay toooned!!!

A huge thank you to Claudia and to Sabah at Avon.

Click here to get hold of your copy of Our Little Secret.

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