Sabina: Thank you for coming by to answer a few questions Claire! Sit down and make yourself comfortable. :-)
Claire: Why thank you – I’m delighted to be here
Sabina: So, Claire. For those who might not know you – can you tell us a little about yourself?
Claire: I am an animated teenage artiste, risk-taker, singer, actress and comedienne. I just happen to be trapped inside the body of a very private person, a sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette, author of romantic, fantasy novels for young adults. I have three gorgeous children, who are my world, a loving and supportive husband, who I adore and big black Labrador who can talk and eats EVERYTHING... I have a feeling he thinks he’s human and I’ve no intention of disillusioning him!
Sabina: I recently finished Dead Game, your first book in the Trilogy. It touches a subject that many of us don’t want to think too much about; what happens after we die? What was your inspiration for this series?
Claire: I think it is without doubt real life events that generally inspire writers to write. The more powerful the event, the more emotion there is and the more experience a writer has to call upon. I’ve been writing since I was a child, usually making up mystical stories for my own enjoyment. Dead Game, however, ignited following the tragic death of my cousin, Charles, who served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He was deployed in 2003 to Paderborn in Germany and was killed, aged 24, in a freak transport accident the day after he returned from serving a six month stint for his country in Iraq. I was heavily pregnant with my first child when we heard news that he had been killed. As you can imagine, my family and I were stricken with grief, we are extremely close knit and he was like a brother to me. Like most, I found his death very hard to accept, I felt strangely guilty for being alive. Charles not being here was just so un-comprehensible, so I went on a mission to find him.
Not long after my first child was born I found myself in the comfort of a spiritualist church, practicing mediumship and I now believe that my cousin is as much the author of Dead Game as I am. I spent seven years at the spiritualist church, researching and developing my spiritual awareness. I have a very skeptical and questioning mind, but the evidence given to me in the past seven years proved to me, that we all do move on. Dead Game’s roots went very deep, as the story is loosely based on a very real family, who lived through the heartbreak and agony of losing someone dear.
Years on and three children later, living close by to a Royal Air Force base, I have forged close friendships with families whose young men and women risk - and all too often lose - their lives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and in addition I have lost other young friends who are non-service related. How someone passes is really irrelevant, it will always be excruciating to bear. It was witnessing at first hand the heartbreak of loss that conjures a multitude of emotions, particularly in children and young adults that spurred me on to complete Dead Game. For some young minds it is not enough to say ‘He’s gone to Heaven’, they need to know why, what happens next, how long will they be gone? Dead Game is my way of answering these poignant questions in a fantastical and simple way.
Sabina: Dead Game isn’t all about death and doom, but tells us a beautiful (although a bit sad) love story. Do you believe in Soul Mates yourself?
C: Yes I do – and I do believe that at in one life or another we’ll find them.
S: Can you tell us anything about Waiting Game, the sequel to Dead Game?
Claire: It’s out now! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Waiting-Game-PBK-Claire-Kinton/dp/1909587095/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1379098642&sr=8-3&keywords=waiting+game
Waiting Game is, like you say, my sequel to the People’s Book Prize Finalist book ‘Dead Game. It follows a different main character, Sarah Walker, who is living in despair after the tragic death of her cousin Archie, finally succumbs and embarks on her long-awaited trip around the world. Landing herself in a dingy Thai soi, she runs into a forgotten rogue from her past. Terrified, Sarah flees and in doing so, finds herself in a ghostly world with warped satyrs, dual-headed snakes and a wicked witch who plots to enslave her; trying to piece together the jigsaw of her past in time is her quest, with the true meaning of friendship at stake. Waiting Game is a dangerous journey but it’s a fragile heart that travels it. Compelled to move on whether she wants to or not, Sarah’s scars run deep, but just how far will she go in an attempt to find Archie? Read it and see!
Sabina: What are you currently working on?
Claire: The final and best part of ‘The Game Trilogy’ End Game.
S: What has been your biggest achievement as an Author? (Your biggest moment?)
C: I’m hoping my biggest moment is yet to come but if I had to choose out of what’s occurred so far on my publishing journey, above the two awards Dead Game has been shortlisted for, I would say my biggest moment was being headhunted by my current publisher. Having someone beside you, who is as passionate as you are about your story; has read every word of your work a couple of times and really gets it and on top of that is willing to fight for it and get it out there; that’s really special. Ghostly Publishing (http://www.ghostlypublishing.co.uk/) has done just that. Although they are really very much a new publisher in the vast industry, they are very focused on what they want, have a great ethos and have a clear vision of where their authors should be and how to get them there.
The reviews and letters I’ve received are also very endearing and great personal triumphs, particularly the review that was posted by the Guardian newspaper. It tops everything when you know that your hard work and fervour has touched someone enough for them to put into words themselves what exactly they thought.
S: Have there been any “bad” moments?
There have been a fair few twists and turns – but I do tend not to dwell on them. I just know that was the route I had to follow, learning every step of the way. The publishing world is not an easy one to break into, particularly with such great competition out there and so many amazing unread voices, fighting to be heard. At the end of the day, the publishing business is ‘a business’, the idea being, to sell books to make money. If celebrity sells then that’s what book shops will stock. Sorry, I digress, no – no bad moments, just lots of learning curves.
S: Where do you write your books? Is there anything you absolutely NEED to have when you write?
I write at home, mostly in the afternoons, once I’ve finished my morning teaching assistant job and in the evenings when my three children are in bed. It’s a very time-consuming and solitary hobby. I like to have my black Labrador, Jake at my feet, a coffee and lots of emotion to inspire me, so sometimes I play music in the background or have a specific movie or television program on. So long as it provokes the emotion I’m looking for, background noise can be a great inspiration to me.
S: Do you have a nudge of wisdom (advise) for aspiring authors out there?
C: Write because you love to write and when you’re inspired to write and no other reason. Don’t worry about not having celebrity status or how on earth will it sell, that is a totally different journey and has to be put down to pot luck, shrewdness and perseverance.
S: What kind of books do you read yourself?
C: Anything and everything, with the exception of ‘biographies’
C: Coffee in the morning, it’s a bit of a specialty of mine – better known as Claire’s froffee coffee, two scoops of coffee-mate a dash of milk and a scoop and a half of instant coffee. Tea comes in the afternoon. Peppermint tea if I’m feeling the need to be healthy.
S: Read book first, or watch movie first?
C: Oh, without a doubt read the book first, that’s where the real story is; that’s where the true soul of the plot is and the true intention of the author. Only once you read it and always depending on how that book made you feel, possibly read the films reviews and make a judgment – do you want to change how the book made you feel and run the risk of potentially changing everything about it? Or were the reviews five star and worth the gamble?
S: Favorite Author?
C: I don’t have one – there’s too many out there!
S: Favorite color?
C: Hmmm… probably a fairy or a Star – something with wings anyway, but not an animal.
Thank you so much for coming by Claire, it was a pleasure talking to you!
C: You’re very welcome – thank you for having me and please feel free to connect with me on Twitter, @Claire_Kinton or on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ClaireEKinton?ref=hl, I love chatting to my readers - or for more information and release dates visit my website http://www.clairekinton.com/
With guardian angels, a cursed centaur and mythical saints, Lance Corporal Archie Fletcher battles his way through Transit, discovering an underwater world of ancient secrets and brawling with wild lions, enraged charioteers and venomous plants. With the Moon’s trickery endangering his sanity and a three headed dragon that never sleeps blocking his path, Dead Game is no easy feat. The fantasy will whisk you away to a parallel world confirming the knowing deep within us all that the adventure of life must go on.
The awesome new sequel to the People's Book Prize Shortlisted "Dead Game." Living in despair after the tragic death of her cousin Archie, Sarah Walker finally succumbs and embarks on her long-awaited trip around the world. Landing herself in a dingy Thai soi, she runs into a forgotten rogue from her past. Terrified, Sarah flees and in doing so, finds herself in a ghostly world with warped satyrs, dual-headed snakes, and a wicked witch who plots to enslave her; trying to piece together the jigsaw of her past in time; the true meaning of friendship is at stake. Waiting Game is a dangerous journey but it is a fragile heart that travels it. Compelled to move on whether she wants to or not, Sarah's scars run deep, but just how far will she go in an attempt to find Archie?