Today is my stop to host Different Genes by Claire Baldry Blog Tour and I am delighted to welcome Claire to take part in my Q&A Interview.
Good morning. Welcome to Chelle’s Book Reviews. Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I spent most of my childhood in Hertfordshire and Essex, but moved to East Sussex when I was in my twenties. My mother was a primary school teacher, and I followed in her footsteps, qualifying as a teacher after leaving university. I’ve always loved books, and was promoted to Advisory Teacher for English shortly after moving to East Sussex. Twenty years as a primary headteacher followed, before I once again took up advisory work in schools and part-time work as a tutor for Brighton University. I finally retired from education about five years ago. I still live in East Sussex in Bexhill on Sea with my husband, Chris. My daughter and her family also live in Bexhill.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer and how did you go about it?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but was too busy being a mother and a teacher to consider a full-time career as a writer. I used to write professional articles about primary education, and occasional poems for family celebrations, but my attempts at writing novels were never completed until I retired. Once I reached my late sixties I self-published several booklets of amusing poetry, and this gave me the confidence to write my debut novel ‘Different Genes’.
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
If there was a genre ‘Chicklit For Older Readers’, then I suppose that is how I would describe my novel. It’s an easy read romantic novel combined with a bit of a mystery. The two main characters are in their early sixties.
What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
I wrote most of the first draft of my novel during National Novel Writing Month in November 2016, and then spent the next six months editing and rewriting. My husband has had Type 1 Diabetes for most of his life, and although he is in reasonable health, he needs to rest a lot. When he sleeps, I write.
I think most of my characters have a bit of me in them or someone I know, but it’s only when I look back on what I have written, that I realise this. No character is based on one person. They are all a mixture.
Have you written about a personal experience in your novels?
I met my second husband on the internet, when I was in my late forties, so that part of my book is definitely based on some personal experience. I also do a lot of voluntary entertaining in Care Homes, which helped me to write about Louise’s elderly cousin, Ruby. Most of the towns and villages I use as a setting are familiar to me, though I often change names of buildings and roads.
What research do you do?
The answer to this question is ‘Whatever is needed’. That might mean a quick internet search, or it might involve travelling to research an area or theme in person.
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I admit I am a bit of a control freak. I don’t think I could easily co-write with anyone. I do however have a brilliant photographer friend who takes the photographs for my poetry booklets.
What’s your favourite book?
Undoubtedly ‘Pride and Prejudice’. I love the humour, and it is so cleverly structured.
What’s your favorite food?
Any sort of seafood
What’s your favorite film?
I think ‘Empire of the Sun’, though ‘You’ve Got Mail’ comes a very close second.
What’s your favorite song?
‘Fields of Gold’ sung by Eva Cassidy
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
There is more information and links to my writing on my website www.clairebaldry.co.uk
You can also find my books on Amazon