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Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Spotlight: Clare Austin

My romantic comedy, Butterfly, has been available for a couple of months now. The excitement in my life hasn’t settled yet and probably never will.

Butterfly is the first book in the Fadó Trilogy. Fadó loosely translates from the Irish as “once upon a time.” In my stories it is the name of the music group started by three siblings in contemporary Boston. The second book in this series, Angel’s Share, is being released March 13, 2010. The third story Selkie’s Song is my current project. The heroine in Butterfly is the youngest of the family group, Flannery, a fiddle player. She is twenty-three, fresh out of Dublin and joining her brother and sister in Boston somewhat against her will.

With the release of my first novel I confirmed a preference that I long suspected would present me with a challenge. I love writing novels…but I do not like writing about myself. There lurks the “blog dilemma.”

I am going to make this series of little essays easy on myself. I’ll let my readers dictate the subject matter. What I will do is choose a different question each day this week. The questions are ones readers have asked most frequently about my book, Butterfly, my writing journey and myself.

Today, I’d like to offer a bit of background about myself. As we are all unique, so are the stories we craft. Plots are limited. Someone told me there are actually only seven. But, millions of stories are told using those basic plots, each one as distinctive as the writer from whose imagination it sprang forth.

Though I’d always been a reader…one of those girls who read Nancy Drew after lights out, with a flashlight, under the covers...it took me a good long time to discover “romance” in a book.

There is not a time in my memory when I wasn’t reading something. I read most all genres: mystery, suspense with or without a romantic element, women’s fiction, and whatever one thinks of as literary fiction. Adventure stories have been high on my list of favorites since I read Kon Tiki in fourth grade. I find both historic fiction and non-fiction riveting. I love good narrative non-fiction like The Perfect Storm and, once I discovered the humor of Bill Bryson, I had to read everything he wrote.

I read my first “modern” romance novel in the summer of 1983. It was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I read it on vacation and when I got home I read everything by Ms. Woodiwiss I could get my hands on. I moved on to Johanna Lindsey and the occasional Bertrice Small. What grand fun!

Romance reading for me was an escape…from college curriculum, career, and raising our sons; everyday responsibilities that I took on with joy…most of the time. The thought that I might be able to write a novel tickled the back of my mind at times, but it was not until four years ago that I put my imagination to work. I wrote three full length novels in 2005.

The idea for Butterfly came together from several directions for me. The serendipity was amazing.

Through Colorado Romance Writers, a local RWA group, I met “The Writing Babes.” This is a smart, funny and lovely group of women—some published, some not yet. It was suggested that I show up for my first critique with some writing. I had nothing I really wanted to share. So, I wrote a couple of chapters of a new story. The “exercise” in critique technique became Butterfly.

As a story, it had all the elements that made for a quick and fun project. The main characters were easy to write, the dialog quick and spontaneous and the musical theme pulled romance right out of me and onto the page.

Tomorrow, right here at LASR, I will try to answer the question “Where do ideas come from?”

If you have questions or comments I would love to hear from you. My fan email address is authorclare@gmail.com and my web site is www.clareaustin.com. Please stop by and leave a comment in my guest book.

Butterfly is available in paperback, e-book formats and Kindle. Buy it at www.thewildrosepress.com , Amazon.com and BN.com as well as other online booksellers.

1 comment:

booklover0226 said...

Kathleen Woodiwiss...wow, that name is a blast from the past!

I used to read her works, too, and they were great.

Thanks,
Tracey D