My Writing Life – Edie Claire
When did you first discover a love of writing?
I started my first novel in the 5th grade. It was a romance about a high school girl, never mind that I knew nothing about high school and had never had a boyfriend. I just enjoyed dreaming!
What’s your favourite book?
Barbara Michaels’ ghostly romantic suspense novels, which blend suspense, romance, humor, and gothic spookiness. As a child, I adored anything by Dr. Seuss, the Little House books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the original 101 Dalmatians.
Where do you get your story ideas?
The simple but boring answer is “from my head!” All my life I’ve had characters and stories bouncing around in my brain. When I was bored, I would make up a new tale, or maybe narrate what was happening to me as if it were a story. I also enjoyed making things up, then advertising them. I would act out commercials for my products and once wrote an entire brochure for a product line of pipes with holes in them!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Don’t take negative reviews personally, and don’t look to a commercial editor or publisher for affirmation of your worth as an author. What matters is writing what you want to write and then figuring out how to reach readers who will enjoy it as much as you do.
Where do you usually write?
For years I wrote at my desktop computer in my family room. Then I got a laptop, and now I put my feet up and write in a recliner. Thank goodness for laptops!
Do you believe in Writer’s Block?
Every writer has times when ideas flow freely and times when they don’t. Believing that your brain can lock up creatively long-term can become a self-fulfilling prophecy… so no, I refuse to believe it! Patience will conquer all.
If there was one writer (alive or deceased) that you would love to meet, who would it be?
Laura Ingalls Wilder. But I’d like to meet her when she was still young and living in South Dakota. It would be so much fun to see what her life was really like!
What’s your favourite literary genre? Any guilty pleasures?
They’re all pleasures, and I feel guilty about none of them! My favorite reads are meaty historicals with plenty of period detail, believable characters, and a satisfying romance or two. But genre doesn’t matter to me so much as good storytelling that includes interesting relationships between the characters.
What made you decide to self-publish?
When my mystery series went out of print, I got the rights reverted back to me, but I had no idea what to do with them until 2010, when I went to a Novelists Inc. writer’s conference and learned about digital self-publishing. The idea of selling direct to readers as well as having control over my own cover art and marketing intrigued me greatly. I decided to give it a whirl, and it went so well I started writing new books again!
(Sidenote- KWL loves Novelists Inc. and thinks it’s a great resource for authors. To read more about when we were there see here!)
Are there any self-publishing tricks of the trade you’d like to share? What rules of craft or promotion do you live by?
Never let anything get between you and your readers. Don’t chase fads or try to guess what the next big thing is – just write what you’re passionate about, listen to the feedback you’re getting, and give your happy readers more of what they like the most!
Can you tell us about your newest title?
I have a new book coming out June 23rd, the 9th Leigh Koslow mystery: Never Steal a Cockatiel. However, my favorite of my recent books is Alaskan Dawn, which came out in January 2015. I’m especially excited about it because it is the first in a new interconnected series of romances I’m going to call “Pacific Horizons.” All will take place in Alaska or Hawaii, or other ocean locales related to the whale migration. (I just came up with that series name, by the way. You are the first to know!) I am working now on the second in the series, which is called Leaving Lanai, and which I am hoping to release this fall. I’m calling the books romances, but they have a bit more depth than usual on the heroine’s side, so I’m also labeling them “romantic women’s fiction” where appropriate. Regardless of what I call them, readers can always be assured that I will deliver a happy ending!
Do you foresee a day when you’ll stop writing?
Nope. Even if it’s incomprehensible dreck that never sees the light of day, I’ll still be spinning stories in my head. For me, it’s just part of being alive.
Edie Claire is the author of the Leigh Koslow “Never” series of cozy mysteries (originally published by Penguin Putnam, Inc.), as well as classic romantic and sometimes ghostly suspense (originally published by Warner Books), comedic stage plays (Samuel French/Baker’s Plays), women’s fiction, humor, and YA romantic novels.
You can find Edie: