Miss Clare Austin is here today to talk about her new book, Hot Flash!
How long have you been writing?
As a child it never occurred to me that others did not have stories swimming around in their heads all the time. It was as natural as breathing for me. And although characters talked to me and through me on a frequent schedule, I rarely wrote any of my stories or ideas down. I wrote my first full length novel in October of 2006 and have been writing constantly since that date.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
My stories are very strongly character driven. I have plot ideas or situations I put my characters in and then I step back and see what they are going to do. Sometimes my characters fail to cooperate and ramble off in directions I really don’t want to go. In those cases I have to decide if the character is more compelling than the plot. This was the situation recently with a book that is the third part of a trilogy. The series follows the lives of three siblings. Save killing one of them off, I had my character, Tynan Sloane. The woman I first matched him to was not the girl for him…really no way. I took her out and promised her a novel of her own.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I love collecting titles. I see them everywhere…street signs, names on boats or planes, something that describes a main character but has a second meaning in the book. This is true of Butterfly. It is the name of a traditional fiddle tune but personifies Flannery Sloane’s free-spiritedness. Sometimes I don’t have a book for a title yet, but it doesn’t hurt to same them up. One title I particularly like is Ground Effect. This is an aviation novel I’m writing about the Women’s Air Service Pilots of WWII. Angel’s Share, the second book in my Fadό trilogy, is a distillery term used in Ireland and Scotland. I like using foreign words if they are meaningful and can be explained quickly. Fadό is an Irish word equal to the phrase “once upon a time.”
What inspired you to write your first book?
My very first novel is titled Land Of Ahhs and is not yet published. The story had been beating the inside of my cranium, trying to get out, for years. One day I found a little book called No Plot No Problem. This plan put the process so simply, I had to try. Fifty thousand words in a month…I wrote twice that and then wrote two more full length novels in quick succession just to be sure the first wasn’t a fluke.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have completed five novels. Three of them have been published and I can safely say Butterfly is my favorite. It is a romantic comedy with a little pathos to keep it real. The main character, Flannery, moves through her world at the tempo of a slip jig. I had to type very fast to keep pace with her. I love chick flicks…While You Were Sleeping, Only You, Sleepless in Seattle, Romancing the Stone…you know the kind. Butterfly is my contribution to that genre.
Have you ever cried during a movie? What movie or why not?
I’m not a very weepy woman, but I have cried at movies. One that surprised me was an Italian film, Life is Beautiful, directed by Roberto Benigni. The first part of this film is hysterically funny. It also stars Benigni and if you have seen any of his antics, you know why it made me laugh. I won’t tell you the end, but if you watch it, you will understand my tears at the end. It’s a masterpiece.
Favorite article of clothing?
My everyday clothes are likely to be riding breeches, jeans and boots, so when I get a chance to really dress up, I have this black dress with little spaghetti straps and a skirt like triangular scarves sewn together. It twirls beautifully. I wear it with red, patent leather heals and it makes me want to dance.
What does it take to get you in the mood to write? Do you have a schedule or just when inspiration strikes?
I’d like to say I only write when inspired to greatness, but that would be a lie. I consider writing a job…a career. I go to work every day no matter how I feel about it. That is the only way to get the work finished. I write in the morning when ideas are fresh in my mind and again in the afternoon or evening, but that is more likely to be editing or promo writing unless I’m on a creative “roll”.
If you could write the story to make you a millionaire...the NYT Bestseller...what would yours be?
This could very well be my upcoming series of mystery/suspense stories with the characters from Angel’s Share, Campbell and Tripp. The setting might be Boston, as in the Fadό Trilogy, or I’ll take the opportunity to incorporate other locations…Ireland, Italy, possibly the Middle East. If you have read Angel’s Share, you will certainly remember the cocky, gun toting, in your face, blonde Carolyn Campbell and her stoic, time hardened partner, Jack Tripp. The on and off romance between them will be forever a rocky road, so it won’t be the “classic” romance novel, but I can guarantee the writing will be hot, spicy and fast paced.
Thank you for interviewing me on your blog today.
I hope your readers will go to my website www.clareaustin.com or my blog www.clareaustin.wordpress.com for more information, updates and pictures of the places that have inspired my stories.
All my novels are available in paperback and digital formats and can be purchased from most online booksellers. If anyone would like an autographed copy, please go to my websites “buy” link or contact me at AuthorClare@gmail.com
Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. It isn’t insult enough she is turning fifty, and left at the side of life’s road by her philandering husband. Now she has to contend with her body’s betrayal…hot flashes!
The plain truth hits her with each thermostatic aberration—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.
Brandon Sullivan has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife. Now he is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin, loss of his farm and his life’s dream. He needs to get into the winner’s circle by spring or he’ll be just another poor, landless Irishmen downing his pints and bragging about the good ol’ days.
Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.
What will Kate and Brandon risk for a second chance at love?
Want an excerpt?
So, Katie, tell me…why riding lessons?”
“It’s Kate.” She corrected him.
“What?” He looked genuinely confused.
“Kate…my name…it’s Kate, not Katie.” She wasn’t sure why it bothered her he liked to call her that. Maybe it felt a little too personal. Jeffrey had never called her anything but Catherine.
“Ah and why not? Katie suits you well, a good name for a beautiful woman.”
Nervous laughter welled up in her. “You have that ‘charming Irishman’ thing down to a fine science don’t you? Go ahead, call me anything you want.” Obviously, the man had his own opinions. It was most likely fruitless to try and correct him. She should have resented it, but his arrogance fit him like those breeches he wore. From another man, his attitude would have felt patronizing, but coming from him it was...well…titillating.
He said nothing, just looked directly into her eyes and smiled a slow, lazy grin that made Kate shiver deep in her bones.
Want to follow the rest of Clare's Tour? Click here for the schedule. And don't forget to comment. The more you comment, the better your chances are to win prizes! What, you might ask? She will also be giving away the winner's choice of a Hot Flashes T-shirt or coffee mug to the blog host with the most comments! Let's go folks! Comment! :)