I’m so honored and excited to present an author interview with one of the most wonderful authors and most sparkly badgers I’ve ever met. Please welcome Claire Buss, it was such a delight having her stop in for a bit to answer some questions. She is a wonderful lady!
I see that you have four books available on Amazon. Which one was your favorite to write and why?
My favorite book to write so far has been The Rose Thief, I enjoyed the initial rough draft story creation and the editing process. I’m excited to write more stories in this world as well. I manage to release my books into the world quite well, I’m more inclined to think – right that one’s done, what’s next.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
They say you write what you know, whether you mean to or not and I think that’s true. As a writer you just can’t help putting bits of yourself and other people in your life into your characters. More often than not it will be strangers who can spark the most inspiration as you tend to only see a tiny, tiny part of their personality – we are left to fill in the rest ourselves.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
I’m afraid I am a pantser rather than a plotter. I don’t outline before I start, I prefer to just sit down and write. When I’m in writing mode I’ll aim for a minimum of 1000 words a day and then the next day I just sit down and carry on. I don’t go back over what I’ve just written until the very end. That’s because when I start writing the idea has been bubbling in my head for a while previously and it’s really about the characters being ready to talk to me, telling me what has to happen next. I actually love not knowing what’s going on. Once I’ve written the rough draft, I find I have huge plot holes but that’s when, for me, the hard graft begins – figuring out the plot and how we get from A to B. It seems to work for me so I’ll carry on with this method until it doesn’t and then I’ll try something else.
What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
I’ve become more confident in myself. I’ve rediscovered a passion and can now spend my time doing something I love as well as something I can actually do. I used to think I didn’t have a talent then I started blogging casually and friends would tell me how much they loved my writing. It wasn’t until I entered a local book writing competition that I really pushed myself and discovered that actually I could write a coherent story. I’ve learnt that I will never please everyone, and that’s alright, and as long as I am happy with the final result then that’s what matters.
Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?
I’m a stay-at-home mum and housewife, my little boy is 4 and a half, just started Reception school and my second baby is due on 26th November so really for me, anytime is the best time to write! It used to be once little man had gone to bed for an hour, then it changed to the first hour of the morning through the summer. Now, with him at school I can write during the day but goodness knows what I’ll do when the new baby gets here. The key is not to get discouraged if you don’t manage to write because then that will hang over to the next day and the next. Every single word is a win.
What are you working on right now?
At the time of this interview I am getting my new book. The Rose Thief ready for release on 10th November. I hope to take part in NaNoWriMo this year and plan to work on the sequel to my debut novel, The Gaia Effect. I’ve also started a Wattpad account sharing flash fiction and poetry – this is to encourage me to keep writing something new every week.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was little, I wanted to be Lois Lane – it looked like the dream job to me so I eagerly went to my local paper for work experience at the tender age of 15. Needless to say being a local reporter isn’t quite as glamorous as being Miss Lane so I drifted into secretarial and administrative work for a few years before qualifying as a chartered marketer and then an adult ICT tutor. All these roles involve words and people which is a bit like being a writer!
What was the first story you remember writing?
One of my earliest writing memories is writing a story about Santa Claws and being incredibly proud of presenting it to my mum and step-dad. I couldn’t understand why they were laughing so much. It wasn’t meant to be a funny story.
Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?
I have a folder with scraps of paper scrawled with ideas on them. I keep all the ideas I have – some will become flash fiction, some short stories, some may develop into full blown novels. And of course some will never, ever see the light of day unless I enter a worst idea ever competition.
How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
At the moment I have an idea for a fairy-tale retelling, a top secret multi-book series, a techno-western, some short stories from the world of The Rose Thief, the sequel to The Gaia Effect, another Tales from collection and I plan to enter as many short story competitions as I find myself inspired to do.
What are your current writing goals and how do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?
This time last year I wasn’t an author, I had no books available to buy and absolutely no indie author social media presence. By the end of this year I will have three books out, short stories in two anthologies and a stable author platform via my website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and other social media sites. Obviously with a new baby due to arrive, everything will have to be a bit more fluid but the plan is to release the sequel to The Gaia Effect next year as well as Tales from the Seaside, another humorous look at life around me – this time on the local coast. Anything else will be a bonus. Every day I do a little social marketing, I have a daily checklist which I sometimes manage to complete fully but again I don’t panic if I don’t manage everything, every day. The key is to be consistent so that’s what I try to do. I think the hardest thing for indie authors to accept is that they have to do all their own marketing and it’s not just release day promos – it’s every day and you can’t just go hard sell, sell, sell. You have to share some of your personality, hopes & fears, support other writers and share tips. Respond to everyone, interact and encourage others. You won’t become a bestseller with your first book, it’s going to take time but you will get there.
Where can people learn more about your books?
You can find out more about my books and all my social media links at my website – CBVisions. Sign up for my newsletter to never miss an update and experience.
Thanks so much to Claire, for joining us today! It was great getting to know her better. I wish her all the success in the world!! 😀
Angelique S. Anderson