Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
I met C.L. Stewart in a group chat on IG. I had seen her beautiful covers for her Soul series and knew I wanted to read her work. When her latest book, The Intimidation Game, came out, I signed up for an ARC and fell in love with her characters. I knew I wanted to know what inspired her to write such a powerful romance novel. And she's Scottish (like my ancestors) so I knew I needed the scoop ;-)
Here's what she had to say:
Me: Hi C.L., tell me a little about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
C.L: My name is Claire and I live in Lanark, Scotland. I live with my husband, 3 children and a springer spaniel who is wired to the moon. I always loved to write when I was young and when I was in 1st year at high school I wrote a short story that my English teacher said was excellent. So good in fact that it was read out to the whole class. It was about a carrier pigeon during the First World War. I wrote it from the perspective of the pigeon and the praise I got for it cemented my love of writing. More short stories followed and I got better as the years went on and so in 2011 I started writing Shattered Soul and here I am today with 4 books under my belt.
Me: Wow, that’s amazing! Congrats, girlie! So, what inspired you to write The Intimidation Game?
C.L: The character of Nikki is briefly introduced in Heart and Soul. Her sister is the main character’s best friend. She has a very strong character and I wanted to make Nikki her total opposite. As is common in families, there are never really two siblings who are identical in all their characteristics. Nikki is not as strong-willed as her sister and this is partly the reason she ended up in such an abusive relationship. The domestic abuse side of the story came about through watching various documentaries on TV and the fact that it has been mentioned quite a lot in the news in the UK recently because of changes in our laws. It is not something I have written from personal experience but having done a lot of research on it, I feel it is still thought of as hushed subject, something people don’t feel comfortable talking about.
Me: I love the awareness that you brought to this topic. And you’re right--no two siblings are the same. Now, how many books will be in the Game series?
C.L: At the moment, I have three books proposed for the series...however this could change.
Me: LOL! I understand whole-heartedly. Which character in the series is your favorite? Why?
C.L: At the moment, I love Damo. He’s funny and so sweet to Nikki. He makes Nikki his friend and never asks for anything in return. I like to make my secondary characters great lines and stories of their own.
Me: Agreed and Damo was one of my faves too! Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters? Nikki? Dan?
C.L: I don’t base my characters on real people, however there are a lot of little things in the stories that are based on personal experiences. And no, I’m not spilling which ones they are. Ha Ha.
Me: LMBO. Understood ;-) So, what are you working on now?
C.L: Right now I am writing book 2 in the game series, War Games, an enemies to lovers romance, and I’m plotting the third too. Book 3 doesn't have a title yet, but it is a second chance romance.
Me: Nice, I love me some enemies to lovers! Tell us a little about your writing process?
C.L: Oh dear, this is a messy subject. I work a very physically demanding job (I run my own plumbing business) and I have three children, so my writing happens as and whenever I get any spare time. You wouldn’t believe how often I have to stop working to write notes on things that pop into my head during the working day.
Me: Oh, I would too. ;-) I work full-time too. It’s tough but I commend you! Now, what drew you to the suspenseful romance genre?
C.L: I love suspense stories and I love romance, so it was a natural decision to meld them together. I like a story where you can’t guess what the outcome is going to be. You know those ones that give you shivers when all the plot points finally come together. I try as much as I can to keep the element of suspense for as long as possible.
Me: I love those too! Who are your favorite authors/books?
C.L: Well I read a lot of romance but then it is the best genre. I honestly can’t say I have a favourite author or book but I will say that in the last two years I have taken to reading mostly indie books and I swear some of them are better than traditionally published books. I love to support indies as much as I can.
I will tell you that my favourite author of all time is Roald Dahl. Obviously he didn’t write in the genre I now read and write in but his stories are what got me hooked on reading. His short stories are amazing and full of suspense and intrigue (probably why I like them so much).
Me: That’s awesome and I agree, indies are totally worth it ;-) Now, what do you personally love about writing?
C.L: Oh that’s easy. Getting lost in my own imagination. I love conjuring up scenarios for my characters and sometimes I even see them as real people. It’s a bit of escapism from a hectic life and I love nothing more than shutting the world out for a few hours and coming up with exciting new storylines.
Me: LOL, I understand. What are you looking forward to in 2020?
C.L: I am looking forward to writing more books. I’m making a promise to myself that I’ll get my writing schedule more structured for next year. It’s far too chaotic right now and isn’t as productive as it could be. I also have a few other ventures in the pipeline for next year too. Let’s just say, I’ve decided to broaden my horizons and try to make a lifestyle change that will benefit my family as well as allowing me to write more.
Thanks for having me Shanna and I look forward to seeing what you have planned for this year too. xx
Me: That’s great, Claire. I wish you all the best this year and look forward to reading more of your work. Thanks so much!
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Where swoony cowboys await to take your breath away :-D