Today, my guest is Claire Chilton, author of The Demon Diaries. Welcome, Claire!
We’ll start with a twofer question: When did you start reading, and how did it feed into your deciding to become a writer?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read books. My grandfather was bookbinder, so I was surrounded by old books and presses when I was growing up. There’s a lot of literary history in my family, so books were a big part of my childhood. My mother taught me to read when I was two. However, I loved all the arts as a child. I wanted to grow up draw pictures for Walt Disney or to be a dancer or maybe a singer. I never considered writing until I was about sixteen. Then my interest became my passion, and I wrote my first short story. It was published when I was eighteen, and I haven’t looked back since really. I’ve been writing for about twenty years now. I think the stories were always there, waiting to be told, but it took me the first sixteen years of my life to decide how to tell them. I’m a big believer in the theory that stories are locked inside us until we put them out into the world.
What are your favorite genres and authors?
I love supernatural and fantasy worlds because anything is possible. I also love comedy because life is serious enough. Entertainment should be an escape from reality. If a story can take me into another world on an exciting adventure, then it wins my vote. There are so many authors I love for so many different reasons. I’m a big fan and Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Voltaire, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, James Herbert, Christopher Pike, Neil Gaiman, Oscar Wilde, George R Martin, JK Rowling, and Derek Landy … the list is endless. I love them all for the adventures, the comedy and the escapism into realms of fantasy.
Give us a few lines from a scene you’re particularly pleased with:
I really like the scene where Dora and Kieron first meet because their characters are so different. The dialogue between them always makes me smile.
“Wha—” She didn’t finish as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her. His hard body pressed against her, and his warm hands roamed up her back. She almost melted into his wicked kisses—almost.
Dora pushed him away. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Becoming your willing slave.” He winked at her and rested his hands on her hips.
Her heart did a little backflip. “Fine. Clean my room,” she replied.
Does music play a part in your creative process?
Yes, music plays a huge part in my writing process. I don’t always listen to it, but when I’m writing a highly emotional scene, I find that music will invoke the right emotion in me. In Hustle, I listened to Three Doors Down’s, Not My Time, to invoke Ellie’s emotions of being unprepared for the dangerous life she was embarking on. In Hacker, I was listening to Nickleback’s Animals when I was writing the sexy scenes. Music tells a story too, so I think that it is a great way to access the right emotion when you’re writing scenes.
Favorite writing fuel?
My writing fuel is coffee. It’s not very original, but I write my chapters first thing on a morning, so I use it to wake me up and get me started every morning.
What’s your favorite kind of character to write?
Kickass heroines are my favorite kind. I can’t write heroines who are helpless. I’ll write a variety of heroes, but my heroines always have a bit of kickass in them. I admire strong women, so I always write strong women.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Claire. Best of luck to you in the future.
Thank you for the wonderful interview. It’s been a real honor to be here.