Interview with Claire Doyle

What is your writing process?
When I'm in creative writing mode, it's up out of bed and straight to the computer with a coffee. I don't get dressed first. I carry on until I'm hungry for breakfast, stop for 20 minutes, then carry on. This usually takes me to anywhere between 11.30 am and 12.30 pm. My writing well is dry by then. Time for lunch! And time to get outdoors.

If I'm not in creative writing mode, I often take up Julia Cameron's morning pages for weeks and months on end before reading around the subjects that are interesting me and making notes and asking myself story questions that need answering. With luck, the story solutions pop into my head over time and I can jot them down. Also, phrases and words start to occur around the subject. Once my mind is focussed, it is extraordinary how the process evolves.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes! Mother Road. Apparently you shouldn't publish a first novel but I felt it was something I needed to do since it took me five years on and off. I wanted to shift my energy onto The Artists' Club and get over the huge publishing hurdle and deal with the consequences. It all boiled down to one thing - confidence.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a fictionalised tale around a winter period I spent in Budapest in 1998 courtesy of funds from the EC - to study music. I came for a little holiday in late 2015 to do research and fell in love with place again so I returned full-time with the bones of an idea and it evolved from there.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Walking, taking photographs, reading. Taking nervous steps into Hungarian, nay Transylvanian, folk dancing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I was a big fan of Twinkle when I was a little girl!
How do you approach cover design?
I'm sure it shows but I studied print production with graphic design at the London College of Printing a million moons ago and I enjoyed making the covers with Canva.com. I wanted to take my books to publishing level and get versed with online marketing before I approach and spend on a professional graphic designer. I am glad I have taken this approach. It will give me the tools I need to understand the whole process in due course.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ask The Dust and Dreams Of Bunker Hill, both by John Fante. The Post Office, Factotum and Hollywood by Charles Bukowski.

Why? In a word - VOICE. Also humour, humanity and emotion.
What do you read for pleasure?
John Fante. Bukowski except I've read them all now! The Guardian online Comments section!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a laptop.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'll tell you in a year.
Describe your desk
I don't have one, I have a laptop on my lap and I sit on the sofa.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Glasgow, Scotland. It gave me a sense of humour.
When did you first start writing?
Following a coast to coast road trip in the United States August 2010.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I heard a woman author in Sussex saying it took her twelve years to get published and I realised I didn't want to wait that long.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Ask me in a year.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting it finished!!!!! Seriously, when the process is working well, I feel I am happier and centred inside. When it's not going so well ...
What do your fans mean to you?
Ask me in a year!
What are you working on next?
I'm thinking on a flaneur book as I spend so much time walking around town here in Budapest.
Who are your favorite authors?
Fante. Bukowski. Raymond Chandler. Natalie Goldberg for her brilliant Writing Down The Bones and other books, as well as Julia Cameron. These two women were brilliant at getting my creativity back and channelling it into the written word. I especially like Walking In This World as I am a keen walker. I think it's far better than The Artist's Way.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Newspaper articles. Google. One thing leading to another on Amazon. Books I've read already but would like to re-read.
What's your favourite author's story?
I love Rex Pickett and his story of writing Sideways and his struggles to be successful. I admire his emotional honesty and his unapologetic ambition to be an artist. There are a lot of his interviews and question and answer sessions on youtube.
What was your biggest help in writing your first novel?
I received a free critique of a first draft from published author Amanda Smyth through The Arvon Foundation/The Literary Consultancy in the UK. I was on a low income so was eligible to apply and lucked out. She wrote a nine page critique - it was fantastically helpful. I also attended Robert McKee's Story seminar which was astonishing.
Published 2017-01-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Naked Sommelier
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 57,580. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Wine
Biodynamic. Naked. Organic. Laura McLove goes back to school. Spiritual school. She lures Leon - a hot, young, French natural wine expert - with the law of attraction and together they go on the road - Leon in pursuit of wine, Laura in pursuit of him. A "Natural Wine" Noir, For Lovers of the movie 'Sideways', and writers Bukowski And Fante.