Sunday, 9 August 2015

Debut Spotlight: Claire Douglas

This Thursday is a busy day in the book world as it's a bumper day of new books being published, especially debut novels, so it's my pleasure today to start off the week with a spotlight feature on Claire Douglas whose book The Sisters is one of the debut novels being published.

Claire Douglas has worked as a journalist for fifteen years writing features for women's magazines and national newspapers, but she's dreamed of being a novelist since the age of seven.

She finally got her wish after winning the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award, with her first novel, THE SISTERS. She lives in Bath with her husband and two children.

Twitter: @Dougieclaire 

One lied. One died.

When one sister dies, the other must go to desperate lengths to survive

After a tragic accident, still haunted by her twin sister’s death, Abi is making a fresh start in Bath. But when she meets siblings Bea and Ben, she is quickly drawn into their privileged and unsettling circle.

When one sister lies, she must protect her secret at all costs

As Abi tries to keep up with the demands of her fickle friends, strange things start to happen – precious letters go missing and threatening messages are left in her room. Is this the work of the beautiful and capricious Bea? Or is Abi willing to go to any lengths to get attention?

When the truth outs, will either sister survive?

Can you tell us a little bit about your debut novel The Sisters?
It's a psychological thriller and centres around Abi, who is reeling from the recent death of her identical twin sister, Lucy. When Abi meets the fun, artistic Beatrice, she's drawn to her because of her resemblance to Lucy. Soon Bea invites Abi to move into the rambling Georgian town house that she shares with her twin brother, Ben, and their arty friends. But Bea has an agenda of her own. And when Abi begins a relationship with Ben things in the house take a sinister turn. Is the possessive Bea trying to cause trouble or is it all in Abi's fragile mind?

What three words would you use to describe Abi?
Lonely, obsessive and paranoid.

If The Sisters was to be optioned for a film, who would you like to play the roles of Abi, Ben and Bea?
Ooh I love this question! When I was writing Beatrice I had Emily Blunt in my head (I think she's brilliant!), I'd love Zooey Deschanel to play Abi but with blonde hair like in Elf and Eddie Redmayne as Ben.

What can we expect from you next?
I'm writing another psychological thriller, it's about friendships and how the past can come back to haunt you. I love claustrophobic settings and this time I've swapped the oppressive Georgian townhouse for a small seaside town.

Do you think your experience as a journalist helped with the writing/editing process?
As a journalist I was used to writing every day and keeping to deadlines so I think this has definitely helped me to be more disciplined. When I was writing a feature or news piece every word counted, there was no room for waffle, so I've tried to remember that when writing fiction, although it doesn't always work!

What essentials do you need to have to hand when you're sitting down to write?
I have to make myself a cup of tea and to keep a snack nearby. Writing, for some reason, always makes me really hungry!

Did you treat yourself to something special to celebrate the news that you had been offered a publishing deal from Harper Collins?
I don't think I did – I'll have to make up for that by buying myself something on publication day instead!

Have you anything exciting planned for publication day?
I won't have a launch party until September as a lot of my friends will be on holiday on the 13th. So I've booked a table to go for lunch with my husband and two children instead. 

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