Today I’m excited to welcome the charming Claire Whitmore to the blog talking about her debut novel.
Hi Claire, tell me a bit about you and your journey to publication.
My journey to publication has been a long one, not in the sense that I have been at it for years and years in a public way, but more like writing has always been the one true constant in my life since as early as I can remember. I grew up in a very small town with space to roam and woods to wander. Some of my earliest memories are of wandering amongst the trees with my little notebook and a pencil, writing poems, lyrics and short stories. In my wildest dreams only, did I ever see myself using this love of the written word and creative process as a career. The title of ‘author’ seemed a fairy tale. It wasn’t until my children were born and I struggled to find myself again after falling into that box of “just mom” that so many of us do, that I realized my true path. My inner child seemed to jump out at me and scream from the rooftops – “remember who you are!!” And so I began to write again. At first a few pages, which turned into chapters, which ended as a novel.
Tell me about your latest release.
My latest release Out Of Nowhere is also my debut novel. A story that I felt compelled to tell and a story I believe every woman can relate to. Hailey Jenkins is a woman close to my heart. She is flawed and vulnerable, beautiful but doesn’t necessarily know it. There’s an attraction to her quirkiness and a sadness to her desire to please or be the good girl for everyone. Her life is what outsiders would call picture perfect and settled. She’s hitting all the milestones society has set and she knows she should be brimming with thankfulness. She should be happy and for the most part, she fully believes she is. Until a brief twenty-minute meeting with a stranger changes everything for her. Unsettled and confused, Hailey tries to navigate a relationship and a life that doesn’t have anything inherently wrong, with the desire to fully find herself. Out Of Nowhere is a story I felt related to the “everywoman”. The situations Hailey finds herself in are ones your sister or best friend, perhaps even you could find yourself in.
What do you find more inspiring – people or places?
That’s a tricky question. For the most part, I will say that places are a huge source of inspiration to me. I’m an outdoorsy kind of girl and being alone in nature really gets those writing juices flowing. However, I have had on a rare occasion, come across a person or people that made me want to turn them into a character in my writing. I won’t ever depict a person wholeheartedly in my writing and truth be told if a character has influence from a real person, chances are that character is made up of more than one real individual. Its fun to sort of pick out the little tidbits that speak to me and create an entirely different (fictional) person.
Do you have any writing quirks?
My quirk as a writer is probably not far off the mark of most writers, but I find I have to be 100% alone in order to write. Even having someone in the house who I know won’t interrupt me, throws me completely for a loop.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I would probably be following my other passion of working with animals in one way or another. I have always loved the idea of running an animal rescue.
Where do you write?
I mostly write in my office overlooking the yard. The coffee pot is never too far away, my dogs are usually at my feet and I can watch the horses from the window.
Which author do you admire most?
There are so many but two names that jump out at me above all the rest are Charlotte Bronte and JK Rowling. Both women seemed to find unexpected success with their writing. Charlotte really added so much of herself to her writing which I believe allowed her to process her own true feelings, while JK Rowling wrote a tale of magic and exploration when she was at what would be considered the lowest point in her life. I find such strength and encouragement from these two women.
What is your greatest achievement, either professional or personal?
Personally, my children top this list. I am profoundly proud of the tiny humans they are. Professionally, having the courage to put my thoughts on paper and allow others to read it! I am a private person by nature and so the thought of opening my vault to the world had it’s moments of feeling a bit too close to home, but I’m so glad I did as I’ve received such great feedback from my readers.
And now, some silly questions just for fun…
Early morning or late night?
I’m an early morning girl. Each day I wake up early, before the rest of the house does, so I can sit with a hot cup of coffee and watch the sun come up. Come 9pm, I’m usually out like a light!
Burger or hot dog (or vegen/veggie equivalent)
Cheeseburger all the way!
Bath or shower
I like the idea of a bath, but am not really a true fan. A long hot shower that is uninterrupted by someone banging on the door is like a dream come true 🙂
Which two celebs would you invite to dinner?
hmmm, only two eh? I would love to invite Olivia Wilde and Chris Hemsworth. They were the faces that jumped out at me when I was writing Out Of Nowhere as Hailey and Jamie and it would be great to share a meal, chat about the book and cross my fingers that they would show off their acting chops and dive into Out Of Nowhere for me!
Claire Whitmore grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada where she fell in love with nature and subsequently found her happy place. A daydreamer from the get-go, Claire knew from an early age that storytelling was her calling, often wandering into the woods with a notebook and pencil to spend the day lost in whatever world her imagination would create.
Claire, who still resides in Ontario, lives with her husband and two children who share in her love of the outdoors. When not letting her imagination run away with a new story, she can be found riding the trails or spending time at the barn with her horses.
Blurb for Out of Nowhere
Hailey Jenkins life was settled, or so she thought. She was happily married, living out her life’s dream of becoming an author on her farm. But everything she thought she knew to be her truth changed the moment she heard his footsteps in the gravel.
Suddenly, faced with decisions that would alter her world forever, Hailey is forced to realize that no matter what she chooses, there is no right answer.
Living two lives, feeling like two different people and loving two different men for different reasons.
It was enough to wreck someone.
Thanks so much for joining me, Claire! You can get your copy of Out of Nowhere now: https://amzn.to/2XvVKvv