Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Her Name Was Rose Blog Tour

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Her Name Was Rose blog tour! Today I'm interviewing the author Claire Allan on writing, life swaps and what she's working on next...

Q1.) Hi Claire, welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little bit about Her Name Was Rose and what sparked the idea behind it? 
Hello! Thanks for having me here. Her Name Was Rose is the story of two women, and is told from the perspective of Emily D’Arcy, a woman who lives a fairly uninspiring life while she battles the demons of her past, which included an abusive relationship. The book opens as Emily watches Rose Grahame, a woman who seemingly has it all, die in an horrific hit and run accident outside a busy shopping centre. Emily becomes obsessed with the notion that she, who had little to live for, should have died instead and begins to stalk Rose’s social media. Slowly she wheedles her way into the life Rose left behind – but all is not what it seems and Rose’s life may not have been as perfect as Emily believed it to be.

Q2.) Her Name Was Rose is a new direction in genre for you, what made you decide to write a thriller?
It all came around fairly accidentally but it was a happy accident. I wanted to write something darker than my previous novels – more as a challenge to myself than anything else. It wasn’t my original intention to write a thriller but as the first draft of the book developed I was encouraged to go all out and release my dark side. I don’t think I believed I would ever be capable of writing a thriller, so it was a challenge and one which surprised me. I loved writing it. It was exhilarating.

Q3.) In Her Name Was Rose the main character Emily slips into Rose's old life. If you could live as someone else for a day who would you choose? 
Writing Rose’s story has shown me that not everyone’s life is as perfect as it may seem on the outside so I think I’d always be cautious choosing someone to live as for a day! That said, I’d say living as Luisana Lupilato, aka Mrs Michael Buble, would be quite lovely for a day.

Q4.) What does your typical writing day look like?
My writing day starts after I’ve left the children to school and walked our puppy, Izzy, who is always much nicer to be around when she has been able to burn off some energy first thing. I like to be writing by about 10.30, which gives me a solid four hours until I have to leave for the school pick up.

Until two years ago I also worked as a journalist and most of my writing was done in the evenings and that’s a habit I’ve not really kicked yet. Once the homeworks/ dinner/ housework is out of the way I tend to write a little more from about 8pm onwards.

My schedule changes depending on what stage of a book I’m at. If I’m approaching deadline or in the final quarter of the book I can spend hours and hours lost in writing. But along with drafting a book I also have to factor in time for edits, answering emails from readers and my publishers, reading proofs, keeping up with social media and planning for creative writing sessions or panel talks.

Some days I also feel the need to factor in binge watching Four in a Bed or Couples Come Dine With Me too.

Q5.) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? 
Every published writer is someone who was exactly where you are right now. And they all wondered if they would ever do it too. And they all wondered, and probably still wonder, if their books are good enough. Be brave. Write the book. Allow yourself the time to follow your dream. Take advice but remember it’s ultimately your book and no one else can tell your story just the way you can.

Q6.) What’s been your best moment as an author so far?
I’ve had a number of really incredible moments over the years but if I’m being completely honest it was probably attending the Irish Book Awards last year as part of team Harper Collins. It was my first time at the awards, and I was sitting beside one of my very best writing pals Fionnuala Kearney and we just grinned at each other that we were in a room with Ireland’s best writers and we were there legitimately as writers in our right. That and visiting Harper Collins HQ and hearing the Avon team speak so enthusiastically about Her Name Was Rose were my two “pinch me” moments.

Q7.) Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on next? 
I’m working on my second thriller, ‘Apple of My Eye’ which is due to be published in January 2019. It’s a story of a mother’s obsession with protecting her bond with her daughter, and the lengths she will go to stop someone from hurting her. It was my most challenging write to date – and I loved it.

Q8.) And lastly, what three words best describe Her Name Was Rose
Gripping, honest and relevant!

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour! 

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