I have the huge pleasure of welcoming Claudia Carroll to the blog today. I’ve been a fan of her books for years and as part of the blog tour for her newest release, Our Little Secret, I was able to ask her a few questions. I met Claudia at an event a few years ago (you can read all about it here) and she is just the nicest person ever!!
I am so excited to read your newest novel Our Little Secret. Can you please give a brief summary of the book?
Did you ever see the old movie, All About Eve with Bette Davis? It’s basically about a good deed that comes back to bite you. Just like the song in Wicked (my all time favourite musical) about no good deed going unpunished. The movie All About Eve, was a huge inspiration point for me, so I got to wondering – suppose you had a middle aged, older woman who, with no motive other than kindness and a genuine altruism, decides to help a younger woman, who needs a bit of a leg up in her own career. But of course there’s a twist, and pretty soon, my leading character comes to deeply regret ever having giving this young one the time of day.
You have published several successful books. Did publishing your first book change your approach to writing?
Writing is writing, I always think. The process is exactly the same, whether you’re writing a TV script, a movie, a play or a novel. But publishing my first book certainly taught me a thing or two about discipline and writing to a tight deadline!
How do you select the names of our characters?
With great difficulty! It’s astonishing how fast you run out of names. And also I don’t like to name a character after anyone I actually know – people can sometimes get offended!
If you could be a character from any of your books, who would you choose and why?
Baddies are always such fun to write. So I suppose I really enjoying writing the character of Lauren, who is basically all sweetness and light on the surface, but tough as a boot just underneath and with an ambition that’s terrifying. Someone who would walk all over you, just to advance their own career. So the moral of the story is—- be on the lookout for Lauren’s everywhere!
What does your research process for a book look like and how long does the research stage take?
It depends on the book really! For Our Little Secret, I did spend a lot of time talking to security men in shopping centres asking what happens to teenagers who shoplift, as happens in the book. I got more than a few funny looks, I can tell you.
Do you ever face writer’s block? If yes, how do you overcome this hurdle?
I find writing a good, watertight plot synopsis in advance really helps me on the bad days. It’s like having a roadmap that you can constantly keep referring back to.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t take up smoking just because all your friends are doing it. And stop worrying!
Thank you so much for visiting today, Claudia. I cannot wait to read Our Little Secret.