Monday, June 21, 2010

Spotlight Author with Clare Austin

Good evening. Still spending all of my free time unpacking, organizing and cleaning. Thankfully, I get to take a break and spend some time with my guest, romantic suspense author, Clare Austin.

So Clare, tell us about your latest release, ANGEL'S SHARE.

ANGEL'S SHARE is a contemporary romantic suspense and the second book in the Fad Trilogy. It is set in Boston. The first book in the series introduces the Sloane family from Dublin, Ireland and features Flannery, the youngest sister and fiddle player in the family band. In ANGEL'S SHARE the heroine is the sister, Kerry. We find out this wise older sister has a painful secret from her past in Ireland. She has buried the truth successfully in her new life in Boston until the man from her past shows up at O'Fallon's Pub where Kerry sings.

Aidan Kennedy is a man who grew up in the war torn streets of Northern Ireland during the worst of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants. he is focused, dangerous and deeply in love with Kerry Sloane.

This is a novel about love, conflict, and the power of family ties. It is my first suspense and was a daunting project for me. I like to write romantic comedy. But, I've gotten good reviews and many readers have asked for more suspense and mystery in future projects.

What are you working on now?

I am about half way through the third and last book in the Fad. The working title is Selkie's Song. I've taken the story back to the west coast of Ireland in this one.

Tynan Sloane, brother to Flannery and Kerry, is called to Ireland to settle family business. he doesn't expect to be confronted by the mysterious and feisty Murren O'Malley, artist and political activist.

I read in your bio on your website that you wrote your first book, 400 pages none the less in a month! Tell me how you did that and have you done it again since?

I did the four hundred pager as a NaNoRiMo project a few years back. I'd never written a full length novel and I figured if i could get a 50k done, I'd have at least proven I could write something. My characters wouldn't stop t 50k. I wrote night and day, thought about little else and typed until I had such bad eye and neck strain my face went numb.

When I finished this tale, loaded with everything I thought I had to tell, I feared I hadn't anther story, so I wrote a second book. This one was slightly more focused and took maybe three months to complete. I liked it. It was romantic and fun to write. Again I feared that was it for my story telling.

By now you are getting the idea that I am a rather driven person. Everything I do is to the extreme. When confronted with a challenge, I rarely back down. This probably explains why I had a houseful of sons, competed in a totally intense horse sport, play the violin... well, you get the idea. I wrote a third book, HOT FLASH, available in July 2010.

Some writers say that they have a story that has to be told, other's say that the characters come to them and demand that their story be told... how does it work for you?

Both ways. BUTTERFLY was almost all character driven. Flannery Sloane would not shut up, she woke me in the middle of the night, rattled around in my brain while I worked, made e laugh out loud while I drove my car and rode my horse. She was so much fun to hang around with. It has been interesting to me that readers feel the same way about her. They write and ask me if she's going to have a baby, what her next music project will be, will she stay in Boston? Some of the answers I know--others she hasn't told even me yet.

ANGEL'S SHARE was a little different. I already had my ensemble, the Sloane family. Kerry was a known quantity. I had to create a plot to challenge her. I had always wanted to write a story that touched on the conflict in Northern Ireland, The Troubles. I used this theme as a background for my hero in ANGEL'S SHARE. Kerry and Aidan remind me of an Italian expression "vento nel vento." It means something link wind coming from different directions, joining and causing a cyclone. When these characters find quiet in the eye of the storm, it is a rare and tender time.

How long did it take before you got "THE CALL"?

I had been writing seriously for about two years when I finished BUTTERFLY. It sold quickly-- less than six months after starting to submit it. I don't want to give the impression that it was easy. I got my share of rejection letters in that short time. I had also been submitting HOT FLASH but nothing much was happening with it. I thought that since it is about an older woman, baby boomer readers would go for it and that would be the selling point for publishers. they didn't see it my way. I set it aside and concentrated on the Fad series. When my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, bought my trilogy they asked if I had anything else. HOT FLASH fit right into their "Last Rose of Summer" imprint.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I just love telling stories. It probably has much to do with my fantasy life. As far back as I can remember... maybe when I was four years old... I told stories in my head, had make believe friends, created complex scenarios of lives I wished to experience. It's not like my "real" life has been dull by any sense of the imagination either. It's always exciting in reality. Fantasy is like taking a vacation in my head. I can go anywhere, be anyone, experience life as a hero, villain, young or old.

Now tell us a little bit about Clare Austin. Who are you? what do you do when you're not writing hunky heroes and romantic love stories?

The real Clare Austin might be described as a neurotically private person. That may be why I have such a vivid fantasy life.

I have spent many years in and around the world of horses, competing in the sport of Three Day Eventing. This is the background in my book HOT FLASH. I am never a character in my own book. Bits of me, sure, but no, I'm not Flannery, as many people have asked. She does things that would scare me to death.

I love aviation and have had the privilege of flying the PT-17 trainer... a bigplane with an amazing history.

When I'm not writing, I am probably riding horses, swimming, hiking or hanging out with my "hero". I travel quiet a bit, go to Ireland every summer and have spent much time in Italy because I have family there.

I knit... socks mostly, play the violin and the Celtic harp. I think of my daily life as 'research'... listening to people as they tell their stories (Ireland is a great place for this).

Do you have any tricks of the trade that you are willing to share with us?

Write with your heart and then be willing to let it go. Your stories are like children. Raise them the best you can and let them go out into the world. I love my boys, but I didn't weep over my empty nest when they took off on their own. I rejoiced!

I have often been asked how I feel about criticism of my writing or when an editor says something must change or be deleted. My answer is simple... If you are writing your books to sell you must realize it is a business. No publisher, editor or agent is not going to buy, produce or endorse your book unless they can make money on it... it has to sell. you can write like the next Dan Brown, but you'll never get into print if you do not understand this is a business. It's as simple as that.

Some of what I write, I think is brilliant... I'm a wordsmith in my own mind. That's fine, but if a publisher doesn't buy it, a reader doesn't read it, recommend it, pass it on... I'm not an author!

Thank you Clare, for dropping by Micole Writes Romance and sharing your story with us. You can find Clare's books at go to the books page and there is a link to get an autographed copy of any of her available books. She takes Pay Pal for purchases and shipping.

Her books are also available as electronic books, Kindle, Nook, and E-Book anywhere e-books are sold as well as from her website.

You can also purchase them from

She loves to hear from her readers,. Her email is

Thanks again for spending your precious time with us here at Micole Writes Romance!