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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Author Q & A with Claire Seeber

The perfect wife. A fairytale family. Don’t believe your eyes…Jeanie and Matthew are a happily married couple who both have teenage children from previous relationships.
No one said it would be easy to raise a blended family under one roof but Jeanie and Matthew are strong. They will make it work.
And whilst Jeanie’s step-daughter
Scarlett rejects her, Jeanie will just have to try harder to win her over.
But Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret she thought she’d buried a long time ago. And now, it’s coming to the surface, threatening to destroy her new marriage.
Someone is playing a terrifying game on Jeanie and she must put a stop to it once and for all.

After all, a fairytale needs a happy ending…
doesn’t it?

Title:        The Stepmother
Author:    Claire Seeber
Published By: Bookouture
Date:        July 15th 2016
Link:        UK:   Amazon   US: Amazon

Welcome to the blog Claire, can you tell us..

What was the inspiration behind this novel?
I’ve been studying psychology. I’m fascinated in childhood and how it affects us as adults. And the step-parenting thing is SO complex: so many people’s different emotions coming into play. 

Did you always want to be a writer?
Not really. English was about the only subject I was good at, at school, but my dad had a go at being a writer, and that put me off! I wanted to be an actress; I’m not sure why because I wasn’t very good really. I liked hiding behind other people’s identities maybe.

What other jobs have you had?
So first out of college, I did have a go at being a actress – a bad one! Always played bimbos and prostitutes. I did lots of jobs to pay the bills like waitressing, and doing promotions: lay on the bonnets of cars and sold video recorders in a gym skirt at Earl’s Court. God that sounds terrible!! Then I got into factual TV production, worked my way up from being a temp, to being a director. 

How did it feel when your first novel was published?

It was very exciting; really felt like a proper dream coming true. I’ll never forget seeing my first book in a shop – in Borders on Oxford St. It was next to Kerry Katona’s first novel! Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing!

Have you ever had writer's block?
If so how did you overcome it? Not really to be honest. I usually have too many things I want to write, and not enough time, if anything! 

What motivates you to keep writing?
Good question! A mix: I’ll always write, I need to get things out, to work stuff out. I have written to support my kids as a single mum; to share ideas; to try to reach people.

Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
Oh, another great question. I’m sure they do, yes. I’ve been known to cry over certain scenes, and not just as I write them, but when I read them again! Not sure anyone else cries.

What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Be true to yourself: don’t try to manufacture something you don’t believe in.

Be organized (I’m not) & plan what you’re writing before you write it…at least a little bit.

Do your research once you want to try to sell it: who is the right agent/ where’s the right market.

Which authors inspire you?
So many! 

What are you reading at the moment?
I just read SJI Holliday’s Willow Walk. It was great: very creepy!

If your book was made into a film, what song would you choose for the opening credits?
That’s tricky..probably something a bit dark and moody but also funky. Jeanie listens to Janis Joplin in the book, so maybe one of her tunes, Cry Baby maybe.

Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
Oh that’s tough…how about Ruth Wilson or Jodie Whittaker playing Marlene? Or Gemma Arterton as Jeanie?

What is your next book about?
I’ve written something very different; it’s a historical thriller set between the wars and is about love, survival and spies.

And now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quickfire 'Which book round.'

Which book has made you:

Laugh out loud?
Nina Stibbe’s Man at the Helm

Cry your heart out?
Beyond the High Blue Air by Lu Spinney. It’s the most beautifully written, harrowing, heart-wrenching memoir by a mother whose eldest son Miles is brain-damaged snowboarding. I used to babysit Mile as a teenager, which made it all the more poignant for me. I was sobbing on the Intercity from Bristol.

Want to read it again?
I’ve just re-ordered Shadow of the Moon by MM Kaye which I LOVED when I was about 14. I want to see if I still like it!

Think more?
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Wish it would be made into a film?
Probably Nina Stibbe again; a feral family in the ‘70s with a flakey single mum, enjoyed that so much, relating to it!

Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, which opens with a very graphic sex scene. I was reading it in a queue into a theatre with a lot of elderly ladies around. I spluttered a bit 

Was terrified by Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie as a kid! Does that count?!

Thank you so much for joining us today Claire and good luck with the book.

Book Angels x

About the Author

Claire Seeber’s TV career has seen her move from in front of the camera to behind it, and from MTV, to  chatshows, to documentaries. Her work has taken her all over the world, but home is in London with her partner and two children. Claire writes features for a range of broadsheets, last year began studying psychology, and has had four novels published by HarperCollins. 

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