How can I keep up with the books you have coming out or offers you have on them from time to time?
There are a few ways, actually. You can join my Readers Club mailing list, which is the surefire way to get all of the news about my upcoming books, latest releases, Readers Club-first launch prices and other exclusive book-related goodies, including a welcome gift that you can’t get anywhere else. If you’d like to do that, you can sign up here.
You can find me on social media, too. There’s Instagram (@claireladdsauthor), my Facebook page (@claireladds author), Twitter (@claireladds) and Pinterest (@claireladdsauthor). Feel free to join me there!
Where can I get hold of your books?
If you’re a reader of e-books, then you’ve got a massive choice of stores. They are available on Apple Books, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, 24 Symbols and a whole load of other stores. You can also order them into your local library. The paperbacks are also available on Amazon, and I plan to ensure you can buy them from your favourite bricks and mortar stores soon, too.
The best way to find out where each of my individual books are available is to head to the relevant page on this website. You’ll find all the links to purchase there.
Do I need to read your books in order?
That depends. My Darker Minds books (coming soon) are all standalone stories linked by theme: ‘Dark minds are at work. Sometimes it takes a darker mind to stop them.’ You can read them in any order. My Hearts and Crimes series are also all standalones and you can read them in any order, as well as choosing long or short fiction. The series I have coming up, will be different to these. Each book can be read as an individual story, but you might want to read them in order as there are overarching story developments for the characters. Either way is fine, though.
How long are your books?
The length varies, depending on the type of book. If it’s a novel, then usually they come in at around 70,000-80,000 words (or somewhere around 230-280 pages). My short story collections are roughly 50,000 words (or around 160 pages). Novellas may vary between 30,000 and 40,000 words, depending on the story (between 100 and 130 pages). An individual short story (if I ever release one) would be anything up to 10,000 words, although it’s more likely to appear in a collection or a novella of three stories, or something of that kind. I won’t release an individual short story in print for purchase, but you may well find one as a freebie to take away if you ever come and see me at an in-person event.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
I get asked this a LOT! I’ve had ideas for stories everywhere from walking past a building to accidentally overhearing snippets of conversations to personal experiences to wishful thinking. I’ve been inspired by a photograph of cheese, a stuffed deer’s head, poison mentioned in a film, and a goldfish which had a very interesting trip home, among many others. I’m very visual, so if I see something that strikes me, especially a picture, it often develops into an idea and becomes embedded in a story. I can be very influenced by random images that pop into my head. Some become ‘sticky’ and they won’t go away. They’re like snapshots of a story and when I find myself constantly thinking about it then I know it’s an idea I need to develop further.
Do you make any in-person appearances and are you available to talk to bookclubs?
This is another ‘it depends’ answer. I’m in the UK, so I currently only do in-person appearances there. I try to get to book events whenever possible, including author signings. So if I’m at one near you, do come along and say hello! If you’re a bookclub, then it does depend on location as to whether I can make it in person. I’m very happy to talk to your bookclub – no matter where you are in the world – via Zoom, Facetime, Skype or other mutually convenient visual means, if I can’t make it in person. Please do feel free to contact me if you want to talk about this further.
Who are your favourite writers and do you have a favourite novel?
This is both an easy and a hard question! Without question, I am addicted to Agatha Christie. I own a copy of everything she ever wrote (I think!). Sad Cypress, Endless Night are my favourite two of her books.
My tastes get a little more eclectic from there. I love the Brontës, Adam Croft, Stephen King, Rachel Abbot, Ian McEwan, Jean Rhys, Jacqueline Winspear – oh, there are so many! My ultimate favourite novel is easy, though. Wuthering Heights has always taken that spot, ever since I first read it. If you think that deviates from my crime-writing exploits somewhat, then I’d argue not really. Heathcliff is a villain with one hell of a set of dark emotions, and the line is blurred between good and bad in the love of his life, Cathy. It’s a complex book with crime sitting on so many different levels. I could talk about it for hours!
Who or what inspired you to write?
My grandad has always been my biggest inspiration. He encouraged me at every turn, even helping me to write mysteries as a child, by providing me with alibis in a sealed envelope and getting me to figure out which one was the ‘truth’. I also remember him helping to draw a floor plan of a mansion so that I knew where my characters could and couldn’t get to – and who might have dunnit. My very first collection, The Reason for Everything, is dedicated to him.
What’s your writing day like?
It varies a bit, depending on what I’m doing. If it’s a writing day (by this I mean the first draft), then I’ll be writing by 9 a.m. and work until I’ve done whatever my designated chunk of writing is for that day. If it’s an editing day, I often read early in the morning, then crack on with a designated number of chapters or pages. With whatever time I have left for the day, I don my business hat and do some of the other tasks – social media, accounts, advertising and whatever else needs doing. I admit that if I’m writing, then that’s more likely to take up most of my waking hours. I am not a fast writer! In the evenings, I’ll come up with story ideas or blog posts while I’m curled up in a chair with a cuppa, watching the TV.
Do you suffer from writer’s block?
I’ve always got ideas. When I find that I’m struggling to write, it’s usually not because I’m blocked but because there’s something wrong with the story. So I go back to pen and paper and scribble in mind maps all over it until I figure out what it needs. More often than not, I’ll come up with some other things along the way – book titles or other story ideas. If they want to appear, then who am I to argue?!