Thursday, April 4, 2013

Welcome Author Claire Contreras

Today we are welcoming author Claire Contreras to the blog for an interview. You can also find her interview in the Never Too Old for YA Books group on Goodreads.

Blake Brennan had a difficult introduction to life. She lives in a constant state of paranoia, believing that she is the reason those around her get hurt. Her feelings are tested when her past comes back to haunt her and she must choose whether she wants to continue to live in fear or let her heart love freely. 
This is part one of a series. 
Note: Book contains sexual content and explicit language
Title: There is No Light in Darkness
Publication Date: January 10, 2013

So, without further ado, let's hear what Claire has to tell us!


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Writing is something that I’ve always done as a way to get out of my own head, so I didn’t really have an “aha!” moment.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends, but TiNLiD took me around 6 months. I’m fast in the sense that I like to get things down on paper as it comes to me, but between beta reading and editing, it takes a little while longer to get the book out there.

What do you think makes a great story?
I love stories that make me think and feel. When I get completely lost in a book, I feel like I’ve found a good story.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Thankfully, I have a very flexible day job, so I can get a lot of writing done during the day. When I have “on” days, I’ll drop off my kids in daycare & spend the day writing until it’s time to pick them up.

How do you balance family and writing?
I usually end up writing during the day and at night. I sit in my 3 year old’s room every night and wait for him to go to sleep, so I start there. Sometimes I’ll stay in his room for hours (which drives my husband insane), because I’m on a roll and I can’t stop writing. I think balancing the two is probably the most difficult thing about it. It’s easy to get lost in writing and neglect everything else, so I kind of have to remind myself to separate my characters from my world.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My ideas are usually daydreams I have. I usually have at least four “wouldn’t it be crazy if---” moments during the day. Sometimes they don’t leave my mind and I just start writing & develop a story from it.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
In creating it, I guess how emotionally draining it can be. In publushing, how expensive it can get.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
2 full length novels. I’m currently working on my third. There is No Light in Darkness is definitely my favorite, which is why I decided to publish it. The one I wrote before it was fun, but I didn’t have the connection with it that I have with TiNLiD.

Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Not entirely, but they have characteristics and qualities from people I know.

Do you have a favorite place you love to write?
It used to be Starbucks, until I discovered this coffee shop named Pasion del Cielo. It depends on the character’s mood, though. Sometimes I’ll stay home and close all of my blinds and write in my room in the complete dark.

Tell us one thing we wouldn’t know already know about you.
Spanish is my first language.  

What do your family and friends think about your books?
They’re pretty excited about them. My mom has told everybody she knows to get TiNLiD, including my uncles. Clearly, she hasn’t read the book (haha).

What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Read or act like a kid with my kids. We use our imaginations a lot on my house, which I think is one of the greatest gift you can give your child (other than good manners).

Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?
Write! That’s the only way you can improve your writing. Ask for help, get honest beta readers, and write the story you want to tell not the one you think people want to hear.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
An actress.

What are your favorite books and which authors inspire you?
The Bronze Horseman series is my favorite. Anytime I read a story that sticks with me, that author inspires me. I love Paullina Simmons, Colleen Hoover, Katja Millay, Tarryn Fisher, K.A. Linde, S.C .Stephens, Jamie McGuirre, Tammara Webber and Madeline Sheehan.

For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for writing a successful book?
Haha, I wouldn’t know! I think it depends what your definition of a successful book is. I’ve read a lot of books that are amazing and are “successful”. but I don’t see them in the top 100 for weeks in a row. So again, it depends on what you think of as successful. To me, a successful book is one that makes readers think and moves them, and inspires them in some way. In order to do that, you have to be able to step outside of the box and write the story you want to tell. That’s why the authors I mentioned inspire me.

What are you working on now?

Darkness Before Dawn, which is the final book in the TiNLiD series. I’m very excited to tell this part of the story, I just hope the readers are up for the ride!

Thanks so much for stopping by to be with us today, Claire. It was really great having you here. Good luck on your next book!



Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs. 
Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading. 
She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter. 
Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones. 
She is currently working on the second novel in her series.
 







1 comment:

  1. The cover is awesome. I couldn't tell, is this a YA or NA story? Maybe I just missed that part. Thanks for introducing me to another book for my TBR pile!

    ReplyDelete

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