August 25, 2010

Spotlight On... Clare Austin

Visiting the keyboard today is author Clare Austin. Welcome, Clare, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you for inviting me to your blog today.

A little about myself? That is always the most difficult part of an interview for me. Perhaps common to writers, I live most comfortably in my world of fiction and fantasy. The everyday Clare is a quiet, introverted woman who is uncomfortable in crowds and shy by nature. I love horses and ride daily. In fact, my day is pretty routine…I write, answer emails, swim some mornings and then go out to see my three horses. In the afternoon I play my violin and practice the Celtic harp and then write again in the evening and read or watch a film. My drug of choice is dark chocolate. Clare Austin is my middle name…really.


Tell us about ANGEL’S SHARE and where we can find it.

Angel’s Share is the second book in my Fadό Trilogy. In the Irish language the word fadό means something like “once upon a time.” In my trilogy Fadό is the name of a traditional Irish music group consisting of the three Sloane siblings. The stories are contemporary and the first two are set in Boston.

The first story, Butterfly, is about Flannery, the youngest and the fiddle player. Butterfly is a romantic comedy for want of a better description. I had not intended the story to extend past Butterfly, but, honestly, I enjoyed the characters so much, I just couldn’t say “the end.”

Angel’s Share turned out to be suspense. I say “turned out” because that is simply where the characters took the story. Kerry, Flannery’s older sister from Butterfly, is the heroine in Angel’s Share. The hero, Aidan Kennedy, is a haunted and complex man from Kerry’s past.

Angel’s Share is available from Amazon as a paperback or Kindle and from http://www.thewildrosepress.com/ in paper or e-format. The e-book is widely available from websites in many countries…even India. If anyone would like a signed copy, you can contact me at authorclare@gmail.com or buy using PayPal from my website http://www.clareaustin.com/.

Read an EXCERPT


Where do you get your ideas?

My stories are almost 100% character driven. By that I mean, I have a character in my head who will not let me have a moments peace until I tell his/her story. I’m a people watcher and a listener. I love my summers in Ireland because the Irish love to talk and all I have to do is sip my pint and listen. I have a work in progress called Rosy Again. The title, and the main character, came straight from a man working on his boat in a little town on Dublin Bay. The boat was named the Rόis Aris. In Irish it means Rosy Again. He told me the story of where his boat got her name and a young woman named Rosy Connelly began to beg me to tell her tale of adventure. That’s how it works.


Do you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go?

Definitely! I loved hanging around with Flannery, Cade, and Jamie from Butterfly and some of the other characters were really fun as well. I found the hero in Angel’s Share, Aidan Kennedy, wonderfully sexy and compelling. I admit I did spend some quality time with him! I rarely, if ever, pick actors who I think look like they could play my characters, but in the case of Aidan…I can’t get the visual of Hugh Jackman out of my mind. Also, Angel’s Share has a couple of secondary characters, Campbell and Tripp. Campbell is a gum popping, hard talking, in your face, female FBI agent, who definitely gets her own series of crime stories sometime in the future. Tripp is a great foil for Campbell and the on and off romance between them is always going to be a bumpy ride.


What are you passionate about?

Obviously I’m passionate about telling stories. I’m also an avid horsewoman having competed in Three Day Eventing with my mare for several years. You have to be passionate about a sport like that or the danger and expense just isn’t worthwhile.

I was feeling overextended a while back and tried to think what I might give up to lighten my life. Horses? No way! Writing? Not a chance. Playing my violin? When pigs fly. Traveling, reading, studying Irish language? Well, I don’t think so. Knitting? Swimming? Gardening? Forget it.

So, I gave up cooking and house cleaning. Now I feel much better.


Who are your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

I just finished Playing Dead, a wonderful book by Rory McCormac who writes veterinary mysteries set in Connemara, Ireland. I can only find his books in one bookstore in Dublin, so when I’m there I always buy another.

Now I am reading Pole to Pole by Michael Palin, An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, and The Woman on the Bus by Pauline McLynn.

I love historical novels about Ireland by Frank Delany and contemporary mystery by Erin Harte. I’m a big Maeve Binchy fan. I recently read Tara Road again and when I need a good dose of character study I re-read Evening Class.


What’s next for you?

My book Hot Flash, a contemporary women’s fiction/romance, released in July. I’m excited about this one partly because it has a horse theme as well as being about an older heroine. This novel definitely breaks some rules when it comes to typical romance stories…I love it!

I’m also in the process of finishing the last book in the Fadό Trilogy, Selkie’s Song. This story will mostly take place in North Co.Clare, Ireland but will bring the whole Sloane family back together at O’Fallon’s Pub in Boston at the end.


Where can we find you on the web?

My website is the best place to read excerpts from my current releases as well as order autographed copies of my books. http://www.clareaustin.com/

I have just started a blog of my own at http://www.clareaustin.wordpress.com/ Please stop by and say “hello.”

And if anyone can tell me how to Tweet, I’d have a Twitter page as well.

You will find links to MySpace and FaceBook on my website.


Is there anything you would like to ask our readers?

I’m totally serious about the Tweet advice! How many of you actually follow authors on sites such as Twitter? And, who out there prefers e-books to paperbacks? How can I best reach readers like you?

I love to communicate with readers. If you have any questions or comments about my stories please feel free to contact me at authorclare@gmail.com

Thank you for stopping by Sarah’s blog today.

Clare


Thank you for visiting with us today, Clare.

5 comments:

Elie said...

She sounds like a great author. Thanks for the post.

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Clare,

I love horses too. Grooming was my stress releaser, now it's my dogs, especially the long walks through the woods and fields. I keep trying to give up cooking and cleaning, but my husband gets mad. He still thinks I should be June Cleaver. Good luck with your sales.

Sarah Grimm said...

Elie- Thanks for stoping by!

As far as giving up cleaning and cooking...I wish I could. I can't stand clutter/mess around me for very long so even when I try, I wind up cleaning eventually. LOL

Mary Ricksen said...

The cooking has to go I'm sick of it. The cleaning left awhile ago.
My DH is a better cleaner than me, but he rarely does it.
I have had a lifelong love affair with the horse. If only I could have had one of my own. For me it's my dog now.

Maire Clare said...

Thank you, Sarah, for having me on your blog. And, thank you to all the people who stopped by.
Clare