I have a fantastic treat for you tonight that you are all really going to appreciate.
My guest for the Author Interview Series is none other than the extremely talented Claire McGowan, a crime fiction and contemporary woman’s fiction author who is blazing up the charts and going from strength to strength with her projects and releases, one of which is currently being optioned for television.
She also teaches creative writing at a professional level and is a writing hero to admire and aspire to, so without further ado, let’s get this show on the road and start the interview.
Hi there Claire, thank you for speaking with us today, we can’t wait to get to get our hooks into your books and find out more about your writing techniques.
Let’s start with your Crime novels the Paula Maguire detective series. Please tell us more about your lead protagonist, the demons that she constantly faces and how she constantly gets herself mixed up time and again into the situations that her inquisitive demeanour puts her in.
Paula is someone who’s driven to find missing people, because her mother went missing when she was a child. Often this leads her into trouble, and hurts her family, but she’s unable to stop searching once she gets a hint of the truth. The books are set in a border town in Ireland, where everyone knows everyone else. Paula left at eighteen but is drawn back years later by an irresistible case, and finds she can’t leave again. Then of course there’s her complicated love life, with two love interests and a baby – but who’s the father?
You also have a debut novel that sits outside of the Paula Maguire series called “The Fall”, which uniquely focuses on three different POV’s throughout the book and is a psychological crime thriller, where the characters have to deal with a murder as they chase the truth. Tell us more about this winding tale, how you came up with the concept for the story and how you decided on your method of delivering the story to us on a rotational character basis.
It feels like many years since I wrote that one! I actually dreamed the original plot and the two women from very different backgrounds meeting in a courtroom. I then decided to add a policeman’s POV too, to motor the story along. The book looks at the aftermath of a terrible killing and forces two women together to find the truth.
You write contemporary women’s fiction as author Eva Woods and have published “The Thirty List” and “The Ex Factor”. I take it the latter has nothing to do with Simon Cowell or compelling backstories of singers that look great but can’t carry a note to save their lives! Please tell us more about these bubbly stories and what sort of fun romantic mishaps adorn their pages.
They’re both about situations you might find yourself in in modern life. The Thirty List is about starting again after divorce, realising your life’s gone astray and trying to put it back on course via a ‘bucket’ list of fun things like skydiving, learning to dance, and cookery. The Ex Factor is about four friends who decide to date each other’s exes, with chaotic results.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
Thinking up ideas is always easy for me, but editing is really tough, as I tend to just write it all and worry later.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you as both Claire and Eva?
In crime fiction – Tana French, Sabine Durrant, Erin Kelly, and other great psychological thrillers, which is my favourite genre.
In women’s fiction – the mighty Marian Keyes, Jilly Cooper, and Liane Moriarty.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Not as much as you might think. I have a basic familiarity with policing now after so many books, and I tend to write the book then check specific facts afterwards, which is much faster and easier.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I always wanted to write, ever since I could read really. I think it comes from a desire to tell stories.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
I don’t think writers’ block exists, but other types of blocks do and it’s important to figure out what’s wrong. Is it tiredness or do you need to find a stronger idea, or something else? The best way out is to write through it.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Like most writers, I read a lot and watch a lot of TV, so I can analyse it, which I’m sure is not fun for people watching with me!
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I’ve just sold another book called “How to be Happy”, which will be published next year, and I’m working on the sixth and final Paula Maguire.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers, particularly if they are thinking of writing in multiple genres?
My best tip is to try and write every day, 1,000 words if you can manage it or even 500, without editing or reading over it. Once you’re finished, then you can edit and fix it but you must get it down on paper first.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for spending time with us today and good luck with all of your fantastic projects, I’m sure your gripping crime thriller books will make compelling watching if they end up on television 🙂
Claire McGowan is the author of the Paula Maguire crime series, and also writes women’s fiction as Eva Woods. She grew up in Northern Ireland and now lives in London, where she lectures in creative writing at City University.
You can connect with Claire on the following Social Media Channels:-
Blog/Website:- ink-stains – The blog and website of writer and lecturer Claire McGowan & Eva Woods
Facebook:- Claire McGowan Author (FB)
Goodreads:- Claire McGowan (Goodreads Author) / Eva Woods (Goodreads Author)
Twitter:- @inkstainsclaire (Twitter)
You can buy Claire’s books here:-
Canada:- Buy Claire McGowan’s books in Canada
UK/Europe:- Buy Claire McGowan’s books in UK/Europe
US/Rest of the World:- Buy Claire McGowan’s books in US/Rest of the World
And if you want to buy Eva’s books then you can buy them here:-
UK/Europe:- Buy Eva Woods’ books in UK/Europe
US/Rest of the World:- Buy Eva Woods’ books in US/Rest of the World
Still want more? Well, things start off simple for the characters in Claire’s books but like all great stories, things start quickly getting complicated for our heroes and heroines and her tales are no exception. For more articles on the theme of ‘Complicated’ then check out the links below:-
1. Random Acts of Snark – Complicated
2. A little help please – NeatSuites
3. shame – To the little Southern girl on the beach
4. It’s Complicated…. not – snowqueensvt
5. Madeline Scribes – Not who he seemed to be
6. Our Random View – Complicated
7. Travel Much? – Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)
8. I Will Fight Site – It all starts here …..
9. MC’s Whispers – Crash landing
10. Ruling the World With the Command To Love: Part 1 – Lance Price Blog 2016
11. You Wouldn’t Believe It if I Told You… – byindiablue
12. Wandering Prolific – Simplicated
13. A Texan’s View of Upstate New York – First Date
14. Theresa Barker – Lab Notes – Black seat and silver gas tank
15. eladybug52 – My “Black Sheep” Great Grandfather
16. Avoidance ( A Poem) – stephentotheplate
17. artifiswords – COMPLICATED
18. the scribbling writer – One last Peak at “Collide”
19. Hues and shimmers – zorazebic
20. Dialy Prompts August 2016 – My Garden Biodiversity
21. Stages of Truth – Complicated
22. Neat Complication – Ms Skyfall
23. From Indonesia with love – Fair Use Media
24. Not so complicated – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
25. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – COMPLICATED
26. Le Drake Noir – Prompt response
27. I need to get something off my chest…
28. The Ingredients – Explore with Mafaza
29. Sharing Mortgage Risk – MyBlog
30. April’s Perspective – Not at all Complicated
31. Complicated – Nomadic Adventurer
32. It’s Complicated… – MissusDoubleYew
33. The Amma and her Maid! It’s Complicated! – The Constantly Puzzled Mind
34. Tanglements – StrangeLander2015
35. please stop – know my heart
36. Mainline_Matter – Complicated Tattoo
37. Ruminations – Complicated
38. FORM Holdings Corp. (FH.O) for Monday 8/15/2016 – vet67to82
39. So Complicated – Sprawly
40. insomnia. – lemonadeletter
41. Laurel Grove loves… – I left my heart in San Francisco, darn!
42. It’s Complicated..! – CrossGear
43. Narutomath96 – A complicated problem
44. Cousins of Complication – rupalislale
45. lifeafterbefore – But it’s just a party…
46. Copper Cranes – Paramore’s Canary
47. CRAVE – Word Prompt – Complicated
48. It’s [Not] Complicated… – Eagle’s Wing Ministries
49. HIS, HERS, MINE, OURS = COMPLICATED – R.J. Carlisle – Author
50. Truth or Dare ? – miraclegirlblog
51. tuckedintoacorner – out of reach (400)
52. Travelicious Life – Time To Be A Unicorn
53. Complicated? Yes? No? – Dare To Be
54. theempathyqueen – A Love Letter to my Adult Child
55. Purposive Writer – The Story of Juan
56. Dear Diary – We’re All Somebody Else’s Story
57. Toni Robinson #2- It’s Complicated. – writealineblog
58. Explicit Writers – Complicated?
59. Dwelling On The Unnecessary – atrangizindagieksafar
60. Eden of Knowledge – Complications in Friendship
61. Eden of Knowledge – Be NICE – Life is complicated enough
62. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: Not complicated, just painful
63. Lemurian Light Oracle – Complicated Process
64. MY ENDURING BONES – Splish Splash Bloonk
65. The Hit – Short Story – Confessions of a Meter Reader
66. It’s complicated – youngfreehippy
67. A Life Less Complicated – A lot from Lydia
68. Procrastination Queen – therealqueenofstuff
69. Indira’s Blog – Complicated- The Daily Post
70. Complicated – Mac’s World
71. Complicated Tasting Menu Commentary – Shelby’s Starlit Crossing
72. Daily Prompt · Complicated – whatamberthinks
73. inspiration in progress – Complicated
74. Greater Than Gravity – Complicated
75. Moving Made Easy? – Live. Clean. Repeat.
76. sighs and pretenses (20160814) – Words and Feathers
77. Annette’s place – Daily prompt/complicated/8/14/2016
78. Meet Me in Nevada – Complicated Feelings
79. It’s Complicated – novahswrites
80. Derelict Heart – How Complicated Do You Want It?
81. Daily Post Prompt: Don’t Complicate Your View, A Poem – Sumyanna Writes
82. Tales from the Basement – Left vs. Right: Why Does it Have to Be so Complicated?
83. How Complicated Is It? – CecesTravelingStars
84. Protect My Space – Jennifer G
85. Our Artsy Fartsy Family – DIY Pedestal Globe Candle Holder/Terrarium/Fish Bowl
86. Fountain ~ Too Complicated, Never Again! – My First 10,000 Photos
87. Complicated Writers Block: My tips – Karuchan
88. Whey To Go! – Dangerspouse
89. Finding Hope Ness – Welcome to the family, Buddy
90. Complications of an Author’s Genre Specialism – KimKnight_Author
91. Vivid Dreamer – Complexity
92. My Racing Motto – Sneakers on Pavement
93. Complicated, what isn’t these days? – persuasion2015
94. The Diligent Dilettante – Compulcation
95. Autism in Our Nest – “I Can’t Wear That!” Autism Sensory Issues
96. Tiffany Higgins, writer – Parenting hack
97. Complicated – THE DAILY GOOD MORNING SUN BD
98. Survival Guide to Living with Meat Eaters – London Vegan Bunny
99. Jackie’s World Travel – The Cotswolds
100. Planning a Childrens Party – On a Budget – A mile in my shoes
101. The complicated tilt – seequoyah
102. Sexaholics Anonymous–revamped – Caillen James –Author
103. manvsloneliness – Day 43: The Man and the Double-Dipped Cherry; ‘Complicated’
104. Alpha Butler Charlie – SAHM struggle
105. The Daily Prompt: Complicated – Xan’s Rants
106. It’s Complicated – Postcard from a Pigeon
107. Christine’s Collection – I Want It ALL, Feather-Brain!
108. Complicated – Sushant Srivastava
109. kStan(ly) kSays – those “c” words
110. Belinda O – Fools Need Not Apply
111. Prompt: Complicated+MTS: His Last Days – LMTP Journey
112. Experimental Improvements – Some exercises before breakfast really can be… COMPLICATED
113. Willow’s Corner – Yesterday
114. Think About It – Simply Magnificent
115. Complicated – Emotional Spaces
116. Complicated? It’s quite more than that – ruinedpages
117. A World Full of Magic And Light – Odyssey In Atlantis
118. anodetograce – Complicated
119. Jibber Jabber with Sue – To Flush or Not To Flush
120. Giggles & Tales – The Daily Prompt – Complicated!
121. kindergartenknowledge.com – A Complicated Cake Recipe.
122. One Line Sunday- The Olympics 2016 – In my world
123. Complicated – november child
124. 83 Unsung Heroes – Making Simple Things Complicated
125. Complicated, it is!! – The Daily Walk
126. To Kiss a Byzantine – by emily
127. Wanderlust – A new chapter – Complicated
128. Lakeland Musings by Irwin – Life can be complicated!
129. Just some words – rakhioverhere
130. websaladbar – Today’s Prompt: Complicated
131. Complicated – Single Mom In Dallas
132. Anton’s Ideas – ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS TWO. DOES IT? YOU SURE?
133. Fluffy Pool – Daddy
134. I can see clearer now – Geek Ergo Sum
135. Complicity of night – Little Clouds
136. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – The Call of the Indian Maiden that Hung in My Grandmother’s Guest Room – Jacki Kellum Memoir – Calico Cotton
137. Thanks Dearie – Dreamer’s Paradise
138. beautifulbarbadosblog – Coconut Craftmanship
139. Rediscovering Life – To be proud of or Not-to-be proud of…?
140. Complicated – Kael’s Tales
141. Shell Games – Why’d You Have to Go and Make Things So Complicated?
142. Complicated? – Inner Whispers
143. ATG Successful Living – My Complicated Journey Into Forex Trading…
144. Zombie Flamingos – Saturday night feast
145. Saint P. Blogging – Complicated is the Prompt for the Day
146. Complicated Risk – Lori’s Life and Other Stuff
147. Journey – It’s NOT Complicated!
148. Lisa’s Journal Blog – Ballet is Complicated
149. prompt: complicated – Sincerely, a Heartbreaker
150. Flowers and Breezes – Complicated
151. The Complicated Nature of Funerals – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
152. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Complicated by Nature
153. A Pensive Writer – I Told You
154. Obsessive Nature of Les Mis – Meg’s Magical Musings
155. Musings of a Random Mind – Love Isn’t Forever
156. New World Short Story: Carousel – DarkfictionComa
157. In the Spirit of Independence – Get Lost
158. Complicated is the Prompt for the Day – Saint P. Blogging
159. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Complicated
160. MyPolkaConcession – Climbing from rock-bottom
161. Light Motifs – Catnap
162. wordsareallihavesite – Complicated
163. Brittany Brice – Complicated
164. Musings and My Two Cents – Only One Way to Heaven
165. Complicated relationships – does time cure or curse it further? – A Writer’s Notebook.
166. Complications – elbowsandtongue
167. The Lazy Wanderer – There’s Still Hope
168. Complicated – Covert Novelist
169. Self love; Live free! – elbowsandtongue
170. I, a speck. – speaking up for myself
171. It’s not complicated… – It Is Still Real
172. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 YNN – Stalled car complicates driver’s day
173. Insach – Complicated
174. Michael J. Fite – How Do You Find Simplicity In Your Complicated Life?
175. A question – Awordseeker
176. vertical combustion – a crusade for existence
177. Writer Sanctuary – How Overthinking a Project Can Prevent Your Success
178. Bittersweet Sensations – nothing stays here
179. Eye Crosser #1, determining the beginning and end of economic cycles – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
180. The Paradox – CANEST
181. The Daily Post-Complicated – juantetcts
182. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – It’s Complicated
183. “It’s Complicated.” – firelight
184. Be Wary of Books & People Who Say that You Can Write a Book in 30 Days – Jacki Kellum
185. SERENDIPITY – HOW COME THINGS GET SO COMPLICATED?
186. The Peace That Love Brings – whippetwisdom.com
187. It’s complicated. – rakhioverhere
188. Who are you? – Dreamer on a Cloud
189. Le Happyone – Why being smart was terrible for me
190. Complicated – Mrs Reckless Writes
191. Just A Simple Country Girl – Complicated
192. burntbreakfast – Day 16-27:My Complicated Muse
193. B_ up to date – Complicated dragonfly
194. Life – Ayoka
195. Once Upon Your Prime – Must You Be Sneaky to Become a Successful Blogger? It’s Complicated!
196. Enough IS Enough – Where’s the Windmill?
197. La Tour Abolie – Oh, easy for Leonardo!
198. A quarter of a Dream #1 – PLEXIUS
199. Children – indisputably inconclusive
200. Complicated – The Footloose Translator
201. Complicated, twisted knots. – Your deevibes
202. Devil Doll Musings – Talking To Myself
203. Daily Post [Complicated] – H DIARY
204. Writcrit – A Troubled Soul
205. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The complicated sleeping life of a feline
206. Complicated – The Bloglodek
207. eclations – Sunday Scriptures 01: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
208. simply.cindy – Book Update!
209. It’s not complicated – kaurpuneetblog
210. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – Be Wary of Books & People Who Suggest That You Can Write A Book in 30 Days
211. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Complicated – a matter of how you look at it
212. Original-Dante – Awareness For My Pocket Dimension.
213. 642 square feet (or apartment therapy) – Random Storyteller
214. The Barkley Marathons-my recent obsession – Ayoka
215. What’s my damage – writemebad
216. Unconditional love and abuse – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
217. thelonerose – Things that are complicated
218. Rainy Days & Starry Nights – Online Relationship
219. How to Be Single – just a little magic
220. Littoral flame – Ayoka
221. The Green Dog Chronicles. My Life in Navia – A Letter In Blue Minor
222. Jottings and Writings – Complicated
223. Behind The Chair Over There – Justus Books
224. Don’t make me look like I’m complicated-Life – Akanksha
225. Write Here: Write Now – Complicated: Reading Metafiction
226. Made Plain, Complicated Transformation – bookyglover
227. Devil Doll Musings – How Soon Is Now
228. We Do Complicated – wanderlustandcoffeelover
229. the pieces of you – Love it Now
230. Views from the Edge – Author Madness
231. Zezee with Books – Weekend Reads #55: Complicated
232. Food Fight: 6 Tips for a Quick and Easy Meal – The DADgum Blog
233. When Life’s Complicated – Desertedroad
234. Glorious! voice coaching – It’s complicated!
235. Complicated – regina
236. COMPLICATED – My QuotesVilla
237. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: complicated
238. Complicated – …Illusive…Road…
239. Complicated – indisputably inconclusive
240. They call them Guns – mySestina
241. Uncomplicated Life – Pete Gardner Psalms
242. Olympic Is Not A waste of money after all – Why This? Why That?
243. A Vibrant Palette – Complications
244. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – Eye Candy: Open For Business
245. Truth-and-Love#3 – LIVING AND LEARNING
246. Me Before You – Sithu’s
247. It’s not you, it’s me – yasminmay
248. Joes-Fotowelten – Hafenanleger
249. Designer Sophisticate – Easy like Sunday morning.
250. Hot White Snow – An Editorial Calendar for Writers
251. Passion through Poetry – Complicated
252. Frank Prem – the time
253. Lantern Words – We Make It Complicated