My first novel, Waiting for the Winds to Change, is due to be published in February 2022.
Families…they do the very worst to each other in the name of love.
Emeline is too old to still be living at home with her dad. Especially when home is both sanctuary and prison. But she’s a loyal, somewhat-square people-pleaser, who cannot acknowledge the toxic dance they’re performing. So, she stays.
Her dad, Theo, is an upstanding man. Well-respected in the community. Successful. But at home, he’s also a domineering bully. With secrets.
And then there’s that rather large and traumatic void that her mother left when she walked out fifteen years before, never to be heard from again. That’s when the disturbing visions started.
Emeline finds herself forced to face the quirks of her family relationships, that go well beyond her own experience. As her world starts caving in, she’s left wondering if the winds will ever change.
Even if they do, can she shed her goodie image, to start a new life?
WIPs – What are you working on now?
I am currently working on my second Novel, Wishes Lost in the Wishing Well.
It is a story about a young neurodivergent woman, Bella, who can’t hold down a job and has few friends. Desperate for work, she responds to an ad put in the local paper to be a carer for Hester, a lonely old woman, rattling around in her overlarge house.
The pair of them become unlikely friends.
As they become closer, Hester shares secrets from her life that are both heartbreaking and shocking, as she struggled to deal with the strictures of society from the 1930s onwards.
Two women. Two eras. Both besieged by the taboos of their time.
Why do you write?
I write simply because I love it. I get lost in my stories, I love discovering my characters and seeing their stories play out in my mind. It is completely addictive. It’s also why I started editing, because then I also get the happiness of playing around in someone else’s world too!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere and anywhere. Waiting for the Winds to Change was inspired by the play A Dolls House; I was fascinated by what would happen to a family if the mother left, such a taboo subject. My current WIP looks at neurodivergence – I recently found out I have ADHD – and sexuality – after reading several posts on instagram from people who were really struggling with coming out and the issues with doing so, even today. I found myself wondering what that could possibly have been like in the past.
Any writing related tips you would like to share?
I have so many! But I’ll limit it to my top three:
Try to write as often as you can, and don’t worry about the word count. Putting pressure on yourself to write a certain number of words each time can be difficult to maintain. There’s always things in life that get in the way.
Try to find the right time of day for you to write. It might be early morning, late at night, right before bed, lunchtime. Whenever it is, figure it out and make that your precious half an hour or hour when it is just you and your book.
All progress is progress, even if you didn’t write that day, you can still look up some facts on the internet, or play a scenario through your head, or draw a picture of your protagonist. All progress counts, no matter how small you think it is.
Any advice for new writers?
Do apply structure to your writing. There’s nothing wrong with being a ‘seat of your pants’ writer (a pantser in writers parlance), many of us are, but it will help you to jot down the plot beats of your story first. This has two benefits: 1) it makes sure your book is enticing and interesting and follows and known structure that lifts the action to a climax and then delivers a satisfying ending and 2) it helps you avoid the dreaded ‘writers-block’; you’ll always have something to turn to to remind you were you are going.
You do need an editor! They are worth their weight in gold in seeing your book in a way it is very hard to do as a writer. Not only do they do all that grammatical stuff, they will also help you achieve the vision that might be easy to see in your mind, but isn’t always so hard to get down onto paper.
My writing coach told me: writing is a marathon – and boy, was she right. Rushing the process only leads to burn out and a not as good as it could be manuscript. And it will show. Incidentally – get a writing coach – especially if they happen to be an editor too!
Anything else you would like to share about your writing or writing process?
My favourite tools are: plot beats, the writing wall and character development exercises. These are the very basics for getting a satisfying book that feels rich, flows well, is paced right and has memorable characters.
Tell us about any hobbies?
I read a lot, teach contemporary dance twice a week, love nature and being outdoors and play a little bit of tennis.
I have four pets; two cats called Milo and Patch, a ratty called Piper, who used to be one of three, but sadly her sisters died in July. She’s made friends with the cats though, so she has a bit of company. We also have a funny little dwarf hamster named Chester. He looks a bit like an angry buddha.
Favourite music genre and/or artist?
Indie – favourite artist is Radiohead
Favourite TV series?
Breaking bad, Friends, Suits
I love scallops – but only in restaurants.
Other than that I couldn’t live without soup or vegetables.
And my husband makes the most incredible crispy chilli beef. I could eat that every day.
Autumn – I love how the leaves turn red and the days get shorter. Windy days and rainy days and crisp walking days. By the end of summer, I am always longing for the change to Autumn.
What genre/s do you like to read?
Fantasy, Women’s fiction, mystery, murder mysteries and medieval murder mystery (Cadfeal and the Shardlake series being my absolute favourites)
What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
I always have more than one book on the go, usually a non-fiction and a fiction. At the moment, I am reading Finding Your Autistic Superpowers by Christine Lion and Falling Shadows by Joan Lightning, I edited a couple of chapters for her and have fallen in love with her fantasy world, so I’m now working my way through her series. She’s a fabulous indie author.
My last read was The Apprentice Storyteller by Astrid Johnsson – another incredible fantasy story telling. I also just finished Breathe Again by Devin Sloane – an incredible story about a woman who finds out she has Borderline Personality Disorder, beautifully researched.
Any book recommendations?
All of the above!
Do you have a favourite author?
Terry Pratchett and CJ Sansome
Anything else you would like to share about your personal life or interests?
I’m in my 40s and recently discovered two things about myself. After being drawn to writing books for most of my life, and finding I always got mired in the sticky middle part, finding a writing group, a writing coach and the tools of the trade have changed my relationship with writing. It’s been a revelation and I highly recommend finding a coach if you are a new writer.
The second thing was that I have a superpower – I am asperger and ADHD. These two things allow me to have super concentration skills and to be constantly curious about the world. They’re both very helpful in the world of writing books!
How can others connect with you?
My author website is www.byclairebeesley.co.uk
My editor and writer coaching website is www.nurtureyournovel.co.uk
You can find me on Instagram under @clairebeesleycreate and @nuture_your_novel
You can ask to join my authors only Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/630488727930110/