Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Writing Buddy Wednesday: Claire Baxter

Today, I have the wonderfully sweet and adorable, Claire Baxter. I've known Claire for years via SARA. She also writes the most lovely romances.

So without further ado, here's the interview....

Welcome to the Taverna, Claire!

Your latest release is an Indie-Publishing novella called, ‘More Than Just One Night.’ What made you go the Indie-Published route?
It’s not an either/or choice for me, but the words ‘eggs’ and ‘baskets’ come to mind. Having attended seminars by romance authors who have made a success of self-publishing while also publishing traditionally, I wanted to try my hand at a series of romantic novellas. It sounded like fun to have control over all aspects of publishing an e-book, and it’s good to have some independence and choice.

‘More Than Just One Night’ is the first in a series of three stories about sisters whose stories I have wanted to tell for quite a while. I had thought of using all three in a multiple viewpoint novel, but with the popularity of novellas as e-books, it seemed like a good move to publish them as stand-alone stories with all three Selwood sisters appearing in each book.

You have a collection of short stories called Action Man Meets Miss Adventure & other romantic short stories. Can you tell us about this and how you came to write short stories? What attracts you to the short form?

I love writing short stories. I feel free to experiment more in a short story than in a novel, and I’ll try out different genres. Many of my short stories are romantic such as those in the collection you mentioned, but I also write stories without romance. They usually contain humour, or are twist-in-the-tale or simply feel-good stories. I sold the first short story I ever wrote to the Woman’s Weekly magazine in the UK which gave me a false sense of the magazine market! It’s not so easy to sell a story. It took time and effort before I sold my second story to a different magazine, and since then I’ve managed to maintain a fairly steady strike rate, selling stories to commercial women’s magazines in three countries. ‘Action Man Meets Miss Adventure’ is a collection of five stories that have been published in magazines, so this is a second outing for them. I plan to release another collection of romantic stories before too long, followed by a collection of humorous tales.

What was your road to publication like and is there anything you would rather do differently?

The only thing I would do differently if I could travel back in time, is start writing seriously much earlier. I feel as if my first 20 years at work were wasted. Imagine how many stories I could have written in that time!

My road to publication started in 2003 when I left work with the intention of attempting to write a book – just to see whether I could do it. I knew immediately that I would be a writer for the rest of my life, and I wanted to be published. My first completed manuscript had a central love story, so I thought I might be a romance writer and researched the market, joining Romance Writers of Australia along the way. I wrote three romances and a mystery, then pitched my fourth romance at the August 2005 RWA conference to a Harlequin Mills and Boon editor who requested the partial. When I returned home from the conference I learned that I’d won a US contest and had received a request for the full manuscript from the same editor. So I sent it off to London and in February 2006 received The Call.

After publishing five sweet category romances with HMB, I decided that I needed a change, and went on to have fun writing romantic comedy, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and lots of short stories.

What or who inspired you to write?

As a child I adored Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ series and devoured all twelve books. Around that time I had to write a story at primary school and I wrote an adventure in the same vein as ‘Swallows and Amazons’. I was hooked, and the teacher let me continue after the lesson was over. It ended up 30 pages long and I received a gold star for each page! I told everyone I was going to be a writer when I grew up, but it was about 40 years before I made good on that promise. *grin*

What do you love about being a writer?

Beginning. Whether it’s a short story, a novella or a novel, I really enjoy the excitement of sitting down to start a new story.

What are you working on now? And what’s in the near future for Claire Baxter?

I’m working on the second Selwood sisters novella,More Than Just Pretend’, and the third is also in progress – ‘More Than Just Good Friends’. I’d like to have them both published in the first half of 2013. Then in July, I have a romantic comedy titled ‘Anybody But Him’ coming out from Random Romance, the digital-first imprint of Random House Australia.

What would be your ultimate research trip? ;))

Ooh. I’d love to take off around Australia with no time limit, not visiting the capital cities, but touring the rural areas, stopping off in country towns to really get a feel for them. And then I’d probably have to write a rural romance to justify the trip J.

Thanks for joining me, Claire.

Thanks for having me, Eleni! It’s always lovely to be here in the Taverna.


Check out the blurb below for More Than Just One Night...

Cora, the oldest of the Selwood sisters, has been keeping the family business going since her husband died six years ago. She doesn't need the distraction of secretly seeing a man who is too young for her, nor the gossip that will result if their relationship is discovered.

But what was supposed to be a one-night stand turns into so much more, and uptight, meticulous, conservative Cora finds herself unable to resist Alex, the laidback lawyer. Can he dismantle the barricades she's built around her heart and help her see that she's only living half a life?

Visit Claire at her website, Facebook, and Goodreads.


Emmeline Lock said...

What a great post, Claire & Eleni! I love a beginning, too.

I had to dash out and buy MTJON, just because I love a novella, and I agree that Claire is adorable. ;) And what a lovely cover...

Of course, I couldn't pass up anything with Miss Adventure in the title, either. It's like you're playing my song!

E xx

Claire Baxter said...

Aww, thanks Emmeline. Thanks for dropping by and saying such nice things. :)


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