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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Author Interview: Clare Revell

The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Clare Revell who currently has two Christmas books out with White Rose Publishing. Her latest, Season of Miracles was released in November, 2010.

I asked her to tell us a little bit about it.

A Killer lurks in Headley Cross…

…And Holly Carmichael is the only woman to survive his attack. Now she lives in fear, searching for normalcy and trying to put her life back together. When she meets Kyle Stevens, he turns her world upside-down. He’s as exasperating as he is appealing. How can Holly make sense of her awakening feelings when she’s so unsure of Kyle? His voice is familiar, he’s left-handed, and he wears the serial killer’s cologne. Who is he…really? As Holly struggles to restore her damaged faith, she must find the strength to trust once again—in Kyle and in God.

Kyle Stevens isn’t ready to live again. Racked by guilt, he’s afraid to feel. His sole focus is finding the Headley Cross serial killer—his girlfriend's murderer. That is, until he meets Holly Carmichael. He’s drawn to Holly, vows to protect her where he failed to protect his former love. But Holly makes him feel again, emotions quickly morphing into something much more dangerous to his hardened heart.

When the serial killer returns to finish what he started, only a miracle can save them…but then, it's the Season for Miracles.

She told me that she's been writing since she first learned how to write.

"My first stories were re-writes of Little Red Riding Hood. My teachers probably got sick of them as that’s all I ever wrote," she said.

When she was eleven, she began writing her own episodes of her favourite shows: Blake's Seven and Dr. Who. When she got older, she wrote online fan-fic for Stargate SG1.

"That’s still all over the net someplace under the name of Tels or TelsiaCharis," she admitted. "Then I put my own charries in those stories then thought why not just stick to my own original stuff. So I did."

Her first book was actually inspired by an English project at school when she was 14.

"We were given chapter titles for the first five chapters and a brief idea of what to put and left to it. It’s currently around 150k long now as I rewrote it a few years ago," she told me. "Called ‘The Price You Pay,’ it revolves around a group of kids who run away and get shipwrecked. Eventually they get rescued by the Air Force having had many adventures on the way."

She's currently working on another romantic suspense called "Dawn." At the time of the interview, she was digging them out from an avalanche.

"I don't know where the avalanche came from," she said. "It just appeared."

The titles for her works come from a phrase in the story, but for the working title it's normally the heroine's name.

"The title is as hard to come up with as the blurb. Honestly, a 50k novel in a month is far easier than naming the darn thing," she told me.

She actually always writes her first draft by hand.

"Then I wonder why as I have to type it up," she said with a laugh. "But then I remind myself that by typing it up I've done two drafts before my CP even sees it."

In her writing, it has surprised her how much the characters like taking over and writing the story themselves.

"They ignore any plan I might have had—the avalanche being case in point. That was not meant to happen," she explained. "Nor was the fact that the heroine is no longer talking to the hero because he lied to her. That would be because he didn't tell me at the start of the story that he wasn't a plain Mr. He's a Lord. If he didn't tell me, then how's the heroine meant to know?"

I asked her to tell us about her writing space.

"My desk is in the main living room. Which is a pain. The TV is always on - usually the Disney channel if the kids are around. It's surrounded by pictures—my desk that is not the TV. I have the phone there too, hundreds of bits of paper, stuffed animals and various beady creatures hanging off the lamp. Really isn’t very tidy but as the note on the kitchen door says—it may look a mess, but you don’t understand my system."

Clare has written seven stories, her favourite being one called "Piece of Sky."

"That one lives on my hard drive," she said. "Maybe one day it’ll see the light of day."

On a personal note, Clare admitted that she hates how she looks in pictures, to the extent that normally she poses with a bear she bought in Vegas in 2005.

"I go someplace and Johnny Bear goes too. He’s had his pic taken in loads of places now – usually in front of my face or instead of me."

"What's a saying you use a lot?" I wondered.

"'For Crying Out Loud.' Yes it’s a Stargate-ism. Another one would be the one I always give the kids when they go out. ‘Straight there, straight back and don’t talk to any strangers.” They now quote that back at me."

Her favourite animal? She loves hedgehogs and wolves.

"I have a stuffed wolf that sits on the couch behind me," she said. "Sometimes he perches on the back of my computer chair."

Clare was born in England to English parents, but her maternal grandparents were Welsh and her paternal great-grandfather was Irish.

"That probably accounts for my sense of humor," she said.

She also admitted to crying during movies all the time.

"Doesn't matter what sort of film it is either. I cry during Lassie movies... oops, did I just say that out loud? The end of Armageddon gets me every time as well."

I asked her one thing scientists should invent, and her answer was unique—since she's married to one.

"A way for them to finish on time!" She laughed. "Hubby keeps telling me, 'Science is not an exact subject and doesn't go from 9-5, Monday to Friday.' Yeah, I kind of noticed that when we were dating, never mind after almost 18 years of marriage."

Clare considers herself definitely a morning person. She has to be with her day job; she works in a breakfast club at a school—up to twenty 4-11 year olds at 7:45 AM. But her day starts a lot earlier than that. She gets up at 3 AM so she can get some writing in before "Mum stuff" and the day job. She does admit that by 9 PM she's wasted and has to be in bed.

"Do you like thunderstorms?" I wondered.

"That depends who I’m with. On my own, I’m a basket case. With kids we give the lightning marks out of ten for artistic impression and technical merit. As well as work out how far away the storm is. However, since the last one-- when it jumped five miles, landed over head and blew out the power-- no one much likes them."

Finally, I asked Clare, " What did you want to be when you grew up?"

"When I grow up, as I keep telling the kids, I want to be a chair leg. To which I get told I’m already grown up and it's too late! I wanted to be a published writer. And now I am," she said with a smile.
You can keep up with Clare on her blog,

1 comment:

Donna B said...

Great interview, Clare. I love your stories. Season of Miracles is one of my favorites!