The blog tour train is here. Today, Claudia Carroll joins me to talk about her process when writing a new book. Her latest novel, Our Little Secret was released by Avon on 8th February.
Over to you, Claudia.
Before starting any new book, I’d write out a pitch for it first, just a page or so, nice and short. Then I send it to my agent and editor and see what they think. If I get the thumbs up from them, one of my little tips is to write it out as a short story first, nothing that’ll ever see the light of day, it’s just an exercise for me really, to see if the story idea has legs. Sometimes, I’ll start the short story and the fizz will run out of it, in which case I know that it’s back to the drawing board for me. But if the short story leaves me feeling there’s so much more I want to write, but don’t have room for, then I know I’m onto something.
When it comes to plot, I’m a planner and I think every author is, really. I always think that starting off a novel without a plan is like getting into a car without knowing where you’re going…you’ll just end up driving round in circles.
Once my editor, agent and I have agreed on a pitch, then I do a skeleton outline of any new story before I’d even sit down to write a line. It makes life so much easier later on, on the days when I find I’m a bit stuck. It takes me quite a long time to get to really know my characters, so I’d begin by writing out a rough biography for everyone of them, to try to make them as three dimensional as possible, it helps me hugely.
A reader will quickly lose interest if they just don’t like the hero or heroine. You really have to try to layer them carefully so that they really jump off the page. Remember at the start of a new book, you’re asking a reader to go on a 400 page journey with your characters, and particularly your leading lady, so it’s vital to get character right early on.by
I’m excited to be welcoming Claudia Carroll (best-selling author and all round lovely lady,) back to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for her new book, All She Ever Wished For which was released by Avon on 6th October.
Marriage. It’s a dream come true. Isn’t it?
One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…
All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…
Thanks to Claudia and the lovely people at Avon, I have an extract from All She Ever Wished For to share with you. Enjoy!
‘The main thing is not to panic,’ says Bernard, my hubby-to-be, when I call to fill him in on what’s just happened, my imminent heart attack, etc.
‘Try not to panic?’ I say, doing the exact polar opposite. ‘Bernard, I’ve just been summoned for jury service, bloody jury service and you’re telling me not to panic?’
I consult the now half-scrunched letter in my hand for about the thousandth time today. ‘Here it is in cold, hard print. I’ve got to be at the Criminal Courts of Justice at 9 a.m. this coming Monday morning. So forgive me for panicking when this lands on me less than a month and counting before D-Day! Do you realise how much there’s still left to do?’
It’s a rhetorical question; of course Bernard hasn’t the first clue what’s left to do. After all, he’s a forty-three-year-old heterosexual male. What the hell does he know about weddingy floral centrepieces or alternate menu choices for coeliac lacto-ovo vegetarians?
‘Now I strongly suggest you stay calm dearest,’ Bernard says patiently. ‘All this panic is getting you nowhere.
A nice cup of tea, that’ll soon set you to rights.’
Bernard, it has to be said, thinks that there’s no drama in this life that can’t be instantly righted with a cup of Clipper gold blend.
‘The thing you have to understand,’ I sigh, regrouping and trying my best to keep cool, ‘is that with a wedding like this, there’s a whole clatter of stuff that you can only leave till these last, precious few weeks. So there’s no way in hell I can handle something as huge as jury service right now. Besides, I’ve got my family and pals all roped into helping me out before the big day, how could I possibly just skive off to court and leave them to do all the heavy lifting for me?’by