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Monday, January 29, 2018

Author Interview - Claire Buss

Claire Buss is a science fiction, fantasy & contemporary writer based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 setting her writing career in motion. The Gaia Effect, a hopeful dystopian novel and winner of the 2017 Raven Award for favourite Scifi/Fantasy novel, was published in 2016. Tales from Suburbia, a collection of humorous plays, blogs and short stories was published in July 2017. The Rose Thief, a humorous fantasy inspired by Claire's love of Pratchett was published in November 2017. Claire has had two short stories published in 2017. 'Underground Scratchings' can be found in the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Tales from the Underground, published by Inklings Press. 'Patient Data' can be found in the sci-fi anthology The Quantum Soul, published by SciFi Roundtable. 

How can we find you?

Tell us about your writing - What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?
I prefer to write fantasy or sci-fi, I find it quite difficult to write in the 'real-world. It never feels genuine. Although I have written some humorous short stories and plays that are set in the real world so maybe I just need a bit more practice. My current favourite is my latest book, The Rose Thief, a humorous fantasy. It was so much fun to write, I really enjoyed meeting all the different characters and discovering their quirks. I am currently working on the sequel to my first book, The Gaia Effect, which is in very, very rough draft stage but I am looking forward to getting to grips with it soon and figuring out the structure etc. I am hoping to be able to write another collection of short stories to release in the summer called Tales from the Seaside and a couple of novellas to go with The Rose Thief later this year as well. 

What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies?
I had a baby girl in December 2017 and I have a little boy who is four and a half so I don't get much time to relax lol. I enjoy watching movies, curling up with a good book and baking. One of my hobbies is crosstitch but I think it will be a little while before I get some quality time to sit down with that. My favourite movie of all time is The Princess Bride, closely followed by the LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies. I thoroughly enjoyed Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, as well as all the other Harry Potter movies. I enjoy the Marvel, Disney & Pixar films - to be fair, we watch at least two movies a week so it's safe to say we love everything! Apart from horror, I don't like horror movies. Again, I find it tricky to fit in watching tv shows so being able to record on your tv box is a life saver. Favourites include The Great British Bake Off and Dr Who. I recently watched The Expanse on Netflix which was fantastic and I am currently watching & enjoying Killjoys. 

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?
I do like to write to music especially movie sound tracks, lately it has been Twilight, LOTR and The Hobbit. I sometimes listen to classical music as well. Amazon Prime has pre-made playlists in it's music section and they are great for having music on in the background while I try to write. I haven't got round to creating my own playlist.

"All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction." Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet?
Well, I must be the exception to the rule as I'm not particularly fond of cats! At present we do not have any pets at all. In the past I have had family cats, a hamster, a budgie and a tortoise. Oh and tropical fish. They were very soothing. No pictures I'm afraid because none of them are current pets. I do have an annual pass to my local sea life centre so I can include a photo of penguins because, you know, penguins! 

What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you'd like to share about writing?
My advice to those wanting to be writers is to try and find a local writing group. I was very fortunate that my local library ran a series of writing workshops which were fantastic for idea generation, learning how to take criticism and understand the bones of writing. I would also recommend joining Facebook groups for indie authors who write similar genre to you, they can be very supportive and full of helpful tips & advice. There are also lots of great books on writing like Stephen King's On Writing and of course writers should read voraciously.

What writers inspired you to become an author?
I have been inspired to write by all the wonderful fantasy & sci-fi writers I've read over the years like Terry Pratchett, John Scalzi, Greg Bear, Robin Hobb, Robert Jordan and Ben Aaronovitch just to name a few.

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve?
I'd have dinner with Ned and Jenni from The Rose Thief and we'd have some of Momma K's delicacies as well as plenty of Aggie's cinnamon twists. I'd avoid the beetle quiche though.

If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go?
I'd go into space, it would be so scary but it would be so amazing. Can you imagine doing a space walk? 

What color would you wear if you had only one choice?
Blue. I used to actually have a wardrobe that was mostly blue, it's my favourite colour.

Describe your dream writing spot.

My dream writing spot would be a comfy chair, hot cuppa, slice of cake and bags of inspiration to keep the writing flowing.

Sounds like we have a lot in common. Good luck with all your projects and thanks for stopping by!

Make sure you check out her books at the links above.

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