Author Interview with Clare Harvey

Hello!
5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

Tea first thing (possibly chai or cinnamon – but usually just normal builder’s style, with milk and sugar), but I have to have a cup of real coffee before I start work at 9 ish in the morning, and then again after lunch to perk me up.

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

I think it would have to be Vi, in The Night Raid. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and stick two fingers up to authority, but she’s also brave, kind, and loyal, and fun. She’s the sort of woman you’d like to have as a best friend.

Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?

I write in bed. It’s the warmest place to be at this time of year (I’m certain my window cleaners think I’m the laziest woman in the street, though, because every time they clean my windows I’m lying around like Lady Muck).
Apparently I’m not alone in favouring the horizontal. Other writers who preferred to work in bed include Mark Twain, Vladimir Nabokov, William Wordsworth and Marcel Proust. Edith Sitwell is reputed not just to have written in bed, but remarked that: “All women should have a day a week in bed.”
Hmmm…

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

Memoirs, poetry, photographs, paintings, old films, and sometimes, real life (my debut, The Gunner Girl was inspired by my mother-in-law’s time on the anti-aircraft guns in WW2, for example, and the real-life Nottingham artist Dame Laura Knight is one of the main protagonists in my current book The Night Raid).
It’s always useful to do a bit of ‘optical research’ too. My second book, The English Agent, was partly set in Paris, so I spent a weekend wandering round the Paris streets, soaking up the sights and scouting for suitable locations, which was really inspirational, as well as being a wonderful experience.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I’ve just sent off the manuscript of my fourth book, The Escape, to my agent for feedback. She’ll probably suggest a couple of tweaks and then it’ll go onto my publisher later this month.
The Escape is a two-timeline story, set partly in 1945 in Germany, as the Red Army moves in and the so-called ‘iron curtain’ falls, and partly in 1989 as the Berlin Wall falls and the iron curtain rises. The 1945 timeline is a classic love story, but the 1989 timeline is more of a love-gone-wrong story (although it ends hopefully – I can’t say more without giving too much away!).
I’ve never written a two-timeline story before, so it’s a bit of a departure for me. It was also quite a challenge as it involved two lots of research (including a trip to Poland in February last year – brrr! – and a trip to Berlin in June). At the moment I’m keeping my fingers crossed that both my agent and publisher are happy and don’t ask for too many changes, especially as I’m champing at the bit to start work on book five…
The Escape is due out in hardback in July 2018, and you can find out more here: http://www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/The-Escape/Clare-Harvey/9781471161872
And discover more about me, my books and my writing life on my website: https://clareharvey.net
You can also follow me on my author Facebook page: ClareHarvey13, or on Twitter @ClareHarveyauth.

Author Interview with Anita Cassidy

Hello!

5 Questions to get to know you better…

Perhaps most important: Tea or Coffee? or a cheeky hot chocolate…

Coffee before 11am. Green tea until 5pm then a lavender tea at 9pm… I love to drink water all day and have been accused of possible OCD-ishness by having special mugs to use for the beginning and end of the day! Zippy in the morning and Wonder Woman in the evening…

Of all the characters you have created – who is your favourite?

They are all part of me so I love all of them in different ways but I think my favourite is David as he is me when I am trying my hardest to be better…

Do you have a particular place where you write? Can you share a picture?

I have a Victorian writing desk in the corner of my bedroom. I also use a wooden library chair which is probably terrible for my posture but I love it!

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

I tend to write about what I am most interested in. When I started Appetite it was what and how we eat that fascinated me the most as well as how we navigate long term relationships and desire.

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

I am currently writing the first of a pair of books. They are thematically and stylistically similar to Appetite. The first one is called Thirst. It is about what happens to a family when a late 20-something woman decides to run her relationships differently. It is also about school, families, forgiveness after an affair and our society’s relationship with drinking.

 

Author Interview with Theodore Brun

Hello!

5 Questions to Know You Better…

Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?

 

One cup of tea at crack of dawn. After that, gallons and gallons of coffee. I try to stop when I realise I’m shaking!

Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?

 

About five leap to mind – but if I had to pick one, it has to be Kai. The world of 8th century Scandinavia can get a bit serious at times so I love having Kai around to poke a bit of fun at it all and call out the ridiculous.

 

Do you have a particular place where you write –  can you show us a picture?

I work in a couple of places. On a small (but perfectly formed) desk in our flat in London – in a study currently shared with my baby daughter’s cot. When I have to get out of the house, I write and research in a hidden away nook in the London Library on St James’ Square, surrounded by the smell of old books. (Very important!)

ED – That looks just like my favourite place – Bromley House Library… mouldy books are sad but also awesome!

 

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?

 

Often, little puzzles in the plot have been solved while out running in either Battersea Park or along the River Thames. I find the combination of music and movement seems to shuffle the deck in my brain, which occasionally produces an ace. I also have a dog who needs walking, so I spend many hours outside in the twilight of dawn or dusk, letting the mind wander. Inspiration, though, has come from many sources: my background, personal experience, opera, YouTube, dreams, my degree, other novels, and of course the source material of the Norse world itself, both archaeological and literary.

 

What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?

 

I have just signed off A Sacred Storm – the sequel to A Mighty Dawn – which is published in June. Everyone who has read it says it’s even better than A Mighty Dawn so I’m excited to see it out there. In the new year, I begin work on the third book in the Wanderer Chronicles, which at the moment I’m calling A Burning Sea. All being well, that will be out in 2019.