Friday, 29 March 2013

Interview: Claire E Smith

 You can find Claire on Twitter @SmithEClaire and on her site (here).

Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Claire: Well, people usually associate me with coffee and/or Starbucks. I'm a huge addict ever since I was a Barista during college. And now that I work in the coffee industry during my day job, I have a higher appreciation for how much work goes into making a single cup of coffee.

My other addiction is writing. I get a little crabby when I can't write, and I've been writing for ten years. This book, the Duke's Trumpet, is my debut novel which I'm very proud of. It's written by a sci-fi fan, for a sci-fi fan and a lot of fun and a little bit of silliness.

Finally, my other love is for my spoiled kitty Ms. Pip J She's actually on my lap right now, purring away!

Me: What research did you have to do for your time travel novel, Time and Heart: The Duke's Trumpet?
Claire: I had to do quite a lot of research, actually. I researched a lot on what Young Adults readers are looking for. I watched a lot of BookTube videos (YouTube book reviews) and took notes on what they do and don't like, and incorporate it into my story.

I also did a lot of research on Jazz, Duke Ellington, and in history in general. Because there's a parallel world of the year 4218, I wanted to do a brief overview of history to try and base future history on our past. That was a bit too daunting, so couldn't get into that as much as I'd like to have but the overview helped a lot on how the world might look in the year 4218, that's 2,205 years from now!

The second book takes place in the Golden Age of Piracy, did more research on this because I wanted my pirates based off of real-life pirates. This was a lot of fun, however, real-life pirates are so much more fascinating than Hollywood pirates! The next book is going to be super fun for readers, even more adventurous than book one!

Me: What inspired you to write your debut novel?
Claire: After my friends and I were poking fun of British names, I looked up some British surnames and found the name Barkley. I thought Sebastian sounded nice with Barkley, and somehow I just knew he was a time traveler. Then I thought, 'so what if there's no one to be there with him?' and that's how Mimi was born. The rest is history.

Me: What is TDT about?
Claire: Above all else it's a story of finding confidence and how important self-confidence is, and what one can accomplish if acquired. Mimi Mockel learns the hard way the importance of self-confidence, when she is forced to become the Prodigy to save the world of 4218 from the terrible King Noctria. There's alchemy, Steampunk, romance and adventure.

Me: What do you hope to achieve with your writing?
Claire: Mostly am hoping people like my stories and provide them with an entertaining read that has some lessons too. My ultimate goal is to be a full-time writer because I am happiest when writing and I have a TON of stories I'd like to finish!

Me: What does your writing space look like? Is there music, coffee, food?
Claire: Usually about twenty notebooks (each character has their own notebook) lying on my couch where I write, can of soda or mug of coffee (cream and sugar) and Watermelon Sour Patch Kids (my muse's favorite!). Sugar is the best for my muse. I'm much more creative with sugar.

Me: Any advice for fellow writers?
Claire: Just keep writing! If you're stuck on a scene, start another story. Usually the muse gets inspired while working on something else. Don't let writers block be an excuse, just take a break from one project and work on another. Write a little bit each day even if it's only a page. And carry a notebook in your purse / pocket. If a line gets in your head, even if not related to your current WIP, write it down and save it for a future project. Above all else, don't doubt your writing. Not everyone's going to like it, so write what you like even if you think it sounds uncool - you can always change it later!

Quick-fire questions:

Me: Dinner or Dessert?
Claire: I like to eat dinner first.
Me: Summer or winter?
Claire: Summer, wishing I could move to California or someplace with no snow!!
Me: Coffee or tea?
Claire: Coffee, coffee, coffee! But I like tea at night sometimes.
Me: Vampire or Werewolf?
Claire: Vampires. Well, modern vampires. Well, the sexy vampires!

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