Today we have a Character Spotlight with Imogen Clark. The Thing About Clare is published by Lake Union and is out now.
–Back of the Book
A dying wish. A devastating secret. Should the truth really stay buried?
The four Bliss siblings have a loving but complicated bond, but when their mother, Dorothy, dies seemingly without a will, this relationship is put to the test. As the mourning siblings try to make sense of the situation, one of them is caught with a secret: before she died, Dorothy entrusted her favourite daughter with her will and a letter–and told her to destroy them both.
Of course, it was Anna their mother turned to for this mission. Miriam, the eldest, is far too sensible; Sebastian, the baby, too sensitive; and Clare, the middle child, has always been too rebellious to rely on, and long ago cut herself out of her siblings’ lives.
But what Anna finds in the documents could change everything. Do the other siblings not deserve to know what it is about them that their mother was so desperate to hide? And if it is revealed, will the Bliss family ever be the same again?
Bestselling author Imogen Clark writes contemporary women’s fiction about the secrets that hide at the heart of the families that she creates. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband and children (who hopefully have no such secrets to tell!)
Imogen’s first book POSTCARDS FROM A STRANGER reached the top of the Amazon Kindle Charts in both the UK and Australia. Her second book THE THING ABOUT CLARE will be released on 1st December. Book 3 is currently under wraps but will hopefully appear next summer.
Imogen initially qualified as a lawyer but after leaving her legal career behind to care for her four children, she returned to her first love – books. She went back to University, studying part-time whilst the children were at school and graduated with a BA in English Literature with First Class Honours.
Imogen’s great love is travel and she is always planning her next adventure. If you’d like to connect then please visit her website at http://www.imogenclark.com where you can also download a FREE heartwarming short story, The Bucket List, when you subscribe to her email list. Imogen can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as Imogen Clark at Home.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/imogenclark
Events – https://www.facebook.com/events/339968096566193/
–Character SpotlightMy Character Under the Microscope.
Imogen Clark talks about her new book THE THING ABOUT CLARE.
How do your characters begin your writing process? Do you have an inkling for a name or do you know how you want them to look?
I start with a name rather than how they look. I usually have a clear idea of what kind of person the character is and their role in the story before I choose a name for them. What they look like often comes quite a long way into the writing process and I sometimes have to scour photos in magazines or on the internet to help me visualise them but once I see the right face I always know it’s them.
How do you choose your names?
Choosing names is very important to me and I take it almost as seriously as when I named my children. I often look up what was popular in my timeframe for secondary characters but for the main ones I just keep trying names on them until I find one that fits. Surnames are particularly hard because they reflect geography, as well as social class and they, need to fit with where the story is set. Once I have the names though I can’t alter them. They become so real to me that it would be like changing my own name by deed poll!
Which character is your favourite to write?
In The Thing about Clare I enjoyed writing Dorothy the most I think because I could empathise with her as a mother of four children but I also really liked writing the scenes where the four siblings are all together because it was such fun watching how they all bounced off one another, both as children and then as adults.
Which character is the hardest to write?
I enjoyed writing all the characters but if I had to choose the one who was the hardest I would pick Tessa. She is so aloof with the Bliss family but Sebastian adores her so that was a tricky balance to strike.
Are any of your characters based on a real-life person?
No. Definitely not. The characters in all my books come from my imagination. I might give them a job that a friend of mine has or a similar hairstyle but that’s all. I can’t bear the idea of my friends reading my stories and thinking that they can see themselves between the pages. This is particularly so with The Thing about Clare because I also have four children and I didn’t want anyone to think that the Bliss siblings were based on them. They really aren’t. I don’t have a bad sheep and I definitely don’t have a favourite!
Lastly, if you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
The father of the Bliss family Frank might be fun to have dinner with because he’s such a raconteur but I think I’d go for StJohn because he’s so mysterious and I’d like to find out exactly what he got up to in Japan. Maybe there’s another book in there somewhere . . .
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