Today, Kelly Clayton stops by to partake in my Inspired feature.
I was born in Scotland but have lived for most of my life in the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey. A tiny 9 miles by 5 miles, the island is home to 100,000 people. With sandy beaches, rocky inlets, pretty villages, rolling fields and a buzzing main town Jersey provides plenty of inspiration. I live with my husband and our three cats in a house by the sea. Yes, three cats – however one of them just decided to move in with us and wouldn’t go away so that’s not really my fault! (His previous human carer signed him over to me – honest.)
Can you tell us about someone who inspired your writing in some way? What it means to you now and if you could say anything to them what would it be?
Absolutely. I have written for years, a thought here and a scribble there. I think I always loved the idea of writing for a living. As a teenager I wanted to be a journalist – or an archaeologist or an actress. However, life intervened and I ended up working in the finance industry as a professional trustee. Which I love – but I was looking for a creative outlet as well. I started doing writing courses and jotting down story ideas and odd scenes here and there. The study drawers were overflowing with filled notebooks and scraps of paper.
In the new year of 2012 I had a massive clear out of the those study drawers. Out came all the writing and loose notes I’d gathered over the years and I thought “Get serious about this once and for all – otherwise you’ll never do it”. So, I did. I sorted through the story ideas and realised I had rough outlines for eight novels and had already written between 20,000 to 50,000 words on three of them. One of them became Blood In The Sand, my debut.
A very dear friend was very ill and in the UK for a while; happily, she has is now back home and is doing great. I promised to finish one of my stories for her. She has always loved a murder mystery and chose what became Blood In The Sand. I had written about 20,000 words of the story at that point. I bought two old-fashioned Dictaphones and a load of tapes. I would dictate what I had written each week, and send the tape to Claire. She’d listen to it as she lay in hospital. I set the story in Jersey so I could mention places she knew about, and bring a little bit of home to her in hospital. Knowing that I had to send a tape every week also meant I had to know where the story was going! For the first time ever I planned the story, noting the main plot points. I finally finished a book, and Claire spurred me to do so. I called my detective after her. DCI Jack Le Claire.
Claire says she can’t believe I wrote a book for her. I tell her that I am forever grateful that she unleashed the writer within me.
What words of advice would you offer anyone starting their writing career?
Read a lot, write a lot. Just get those words out of your head and onto the screen or paper. The more you do it, the better you’ll get.
What does being a writer mean to you?
I love that an idea, a place, characters and situations that I think up in my head reach a wider audience, and readers enter my worlds as well.
Finally, do you have a favourite bookish quote?
“Write with the door closed; edit with the door open.”Stephen King
Do you know who you’re talking to online?
Marianne Sinclair has it all. She’s a self-made woman in a man’s world, wealthy, well-connected and smart, so she is infuriated when she falls victim to an online scam.
˃˃˃ Who can you trust?
Determined never to let it happen again, Marianne enrols in a cybersecurity class and meets other women in the same position. Sue is on the wrong side of fifty, alone and ruined. Anita has been betrayed in the worst way possible, and Emily’s longed-for new life has been destroyed before it even has a chance to begin.
A devastating tragedy draws them together, as they try to make sense of what has happened.
But the hackers aren’t finished yet, and Marianne’s darkest secret is on the verge of being discovered.
˃˃˃ When they’ve taken everything, even your self-respect, do you fall down or fight back?
From London to Bulgaria to Monte Carlo, the women hunt their foes, but the unexpected appearance of someone from Marianne’s past threatens to ruin all they are trying to achieve. They’re out of their depth in a dark underworld, and knowing who to trust becomes an impossible feat.
As her secret fears become reality, Marianne will have to decide how far she is willing to go, and what she’s ready to risk, not only to stop the threatened cyber-attack but to save her life and the lives of those she’s come to love.
Thank you to Kelly Clayton for stopping by today and taken part in my feature.
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