What is the inspiration behind your latest release?
All that Sparkles was inspired by a dream I had. I woke up one morning, grabbed the pen and paper that’s always by my bed and jotted down the details before I forgot. I knew the boy and girl were in a mansion’s garden, the boy wasn’t supposed to be there and the girl’s father wouldn’t approve. I also knew their meetings had to be kept secret. From these few things, All that Sparkles was born.
Tell us about your writing journey/how you got published?
I’d been writing for seven years before I got ‘The Call’. I’d been unhappy at work and was trying to figure out what to do with my life when I decided I really wanted to focus on my writing. I took a week off work and spent the time writing my first novel. By the end of that week I had a 14,000 word completed story that was nowhere near long enough to be a book (plus it was extremely badly written!). I realized I needed some help, so I joined Romance Writers of Australia (RWA), found a wonderful critique group and my writing went from strength to strength.
By 2013 I’d written two short romances (which will probably never see the light of day), four fantasy novels and a full-length contemporary romance. Then RWA announced they were having a submission panel at the national conference. Send in 3 pages and it might get read to a panel of editors and agents, who could then request the manuscript. I thought I’d give it a try, and sent my contemporary romance, What Goes on Tour. Four of the panellists requested the manuscript and a couple of months later, Joel from Momentum sent me an email saying he wanted to buy it! I think people may have heard my screams in the next state.
What is your writing routine?
I sit down at my desk about eight o’clock each morning. I open my email and try not to get sucked in. My aim is to read and respond to anything urgent and then ignore the rest until the afternoon. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t! I’ll then begin writing or editing, depending on what stage of the manuscript I’m at. Mornings are my most productive time so I like to get as much creative work done as possible straight away.
After I break for lunch I might write or edit for a bit longer depending on whether I’ve hit my targets for the day. Around three o’clock my brain decides it’s had enough and I switch to the business side of things. I might update my website, arrange some promotion, do some online training – whatever is on my weekly plan. I try to finish around five o’clock but it can stretch to six.
I do this at least five days a week and occasionally I’ll do other writing work on the weekends depending on my weekly/monthly plans.
Share a writing quote/motto about writing.
You can’t edit a blank page. This has been attributed to both Nora Roberts and Jodi Picoult, but it’s great. It reminds me that what I write in the first draft can always be fixed later so I don’t get stuck on needing each sentence to be perfect.
What is the one piece of advice about writing that has stuck with you?
Time is the best editor. I was told this by Anna Jacobs when I first started writing. She said when you finish your manuscript, put it in a drawer and come back a year later. You’ll find so many more things you can fix. Now I don’t leave my manuscripts quite that long, but I do try to write a quick dirty draft and leave it aside while I write something else and then come back to it.
What are you reading at the moment or what’s the last book you read and what did you like/not like?
I’ve just finished How To Market A Book by Joanna Penn. I chose it as part of my training schedule and it was fantastic. There was so much comprehensive information in it that my copy is now covered in different coloured tags. I’m going to have to sit down and work out an action plan about what to do next.
All the Sparkles blurb
Imogen Fontaine is living every girl's dream.
She is a fashion designer for her family's haute couture label, lives in a mansion, has a great circle of friends and is the apple of her father's eye. Everything is perfect.
Until the day that Christian, the boy at the center of her childhood heartbreak, walks back into her life.
From there her life starts to unravel, as long-kept secrets are revealed. Imogen learns that her past was built on lies and betrayal, shattering the illusion of her perfect existence. She must seek out the truth if she has any hope of forging a new path for herself and discovering true freedom.
But can she convince Christian that there is a place for him in her new life?
About Claire Boston
Claire Boston was a voracious reader as a child, devouring anything by Enid Blyton as well as series such as Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, The Baby-sitters Club and Sweet Valley High. Then one school holidays when she’d run out of books to read, her mum handed her ‘Hot Ice’ by Nora Roberts and she instantly fell in love with romance novels.
The love of reading soon turned to a love of writing and Claire struggled to keep within the 1500 word limit set by her teachers for any creative writing assignments. When she finally decided to become serious about her stories, she joined Romance Writers of Australia, found her wonderful critique group and hasn’t looked back.
When Claire’s not reading or writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.
Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.
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Author of Return to Me, Hollywood Dreams and Vintage Dreams. Short story is published in the anthology Little Raven Two by Little Raven Publishing. Pen name for Amra Pajalic.
Mae Archer's books on Goodreads
Return to Me
ratings: 13 (avg rating 3.46)
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)
Little Raven Two: An Erotic Collection
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.00)