Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Spotlight in Six - Claire Baxter

Welcome to April's Spotlight In Six! This month we have Claire Baxter with us! Claire's current release is The Single Dad's Patchwork Family.

Welcome Claire!

Where do you find new and fresh ideas?

They pop into my head when I’m least expecting them! Actually, I think they’re already in there – it’s the only explanation for those ideas that you wake up with.

But sometimes they need a little prompting, so I have an Ideas Box filled with newspaper and magazine clippings and other items which some instinct has told me to drop in even though I have no clue why. When I go through the box some of the bits and pieces will trigger ideas for my story and I know that’s why I included them in the first place. I think the subconscious is amazing.

Writers often use photos of celebrities as “casting”. Do you do this, and who has inspired some of your characters?

No, I don’t. When I have an idea for a book, I get a clear image of each main character in my head. In fact, they never look like celebrities. They’re just…themselves.

Once, though, I had a book half-written and was browsing the internet when I came across a photo of my hero. He was the spitting image of the guy I’d pictured, right down to the clothes!

I printed the photo and pinned it up on my board but only because it was weird to think the man I’d imagined did exist in real life. He was a model, I think.

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of writing a novel? Is there a particular section that you struggle with?

I love starting a new story (does every writer say that?). It’s true that there’s nothing more exciting.

I don’t enjoy the middle. I have to struggle through it, a page or two at a time. It’s not so much that the middle sags, more that I do. But once I near the three-quarter mark, all my enthusiasm comes back again.

When you are not writing, what do you do? How do you pamper yourself?

I read. I love reading It’s always been my favourite occupation. I also love to swim and in the warmer months, if I’m not at my computer, you’ll probably find me in the pool. Once I’ve done my laps, I like to float on one of those inflatable recliners with a book (yes, reading again).

Imagine you’re stranded…where are you and who are you with?

Hmm, I was going to say “anywhere with my husband”, but then I got this vivid image of being locked in a book shop - yes, I could imagine this happening because I lose all track of time when I’m book browsing. In this fantasy, I know the staff will be back to unlock the next morning so I’m not too worried, and the best thing is, I have nothing to do but read and read and read.

Who am I with? Well, if there has to be someone else there, it needs to be someone who loves to read too so they won’t disturb me, but they also need to know how to make coffee. I know! My husband.

Finally, Claire, please tell us what’s up and coming for you in the months ahead!

The Single Dad’s Patchwork Family’ is out now (April) in the USA and UK, or on-line. Chase, the single dad of the title, has moved to a secluded location to raise his daughter and he plans a simple life. He meets a single mom, Regan, who is not looking for distractions either. They form a special bond which breaks down their isolation then leads to love and a blended family.

Later in the year – December – ‘Pregnant: Father Wanted’ will be released. This one is set in Italy and I had a really good time writing it. It’s the story of Lyssa, an Australian travel writer, and Ric, an Italian soccer player.

Thanks for having me! It’s been fun.

Claire is giving away a signed copy of The Single Dad's Patchwork Family to one lucky blog reader! Send an e-mail to hrablog@hotmail.com with the subject line of CLAIRE and we'll draw at the end of the month!


  1. I have an ideas box! It's invaluable. Worst thing I ever did was take a page out of a magazine in a hospital waiting room without asking. Just couldn't face the romance author conversation I knew I'd have to have otherwise. But that's stealing, isn't it????

  2. Well, we won't tell anyone, Natasha!

  3. Sigh, to be locked in a bookstore... to make that scenario perfect, Claire, can we add a packet of Tim Tams?

    Michelle Douglas

  4. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Waves to Claire, Natasha and Michelle!

    Floating in a swimming pool with a good book. What a great thought, though I suspect I'd tip over and ruin it if it was a paperback. I wonder if they make eReaders yet that are fully waterproof. I know mine wouldn't be....

    Natasha, I once asked if I could have the poster from the Optometrist's window. The guy in it was exactly right for my hero at the time. They gave it to me, and then I had to explain to my husband why I had this mammoth picture of an artfully beard-shadowed man in specs up on my office wall. Hee.


  5. Yes, Michelle, there's a supply of
    Tim Tams and my favourite treat, fudge. Can't have us fading away, can we?

    Jennie, I have loads of crinkly paperbacks! (I don't take borrowed or library books into the pool.)

  6. Looking forward to the December book. Enjoyed this one very much.

  7. Thanks Merri! Nice to see you here.

  8. Oooh, Tim Tams! Mmmmmm.

    I prefer reading BY the pool, because I'm always afraid I'll tip over IN the pool and try to save the book. :-)

  9. Oh, Natasha, the times I've eased some fascinating feature out of a magazine in a waiting room. You're right, it's bad. But, I fear, inevitable...

    Thanks for sharing your pleasures, Claire. Somehow I don't think floating in Ammanford swimming pool would quite fulfil the fantasy. :)

    I was in my local library yesterday and they had a lovely Mills & Boon 100th Centenary poster and they wanted to hear all about the party.

  10. HI Claire,
    Yes, a book shop. I, too, get lost in them-to the point that my husband will no longer go with me. He asks, "How can it possibly take that long to choose a book?"
    Little does he know..... :-)


  11. Hi Donna, Liz and Linda!

    Thanks for popping in.

    I have lots of practice, Donna :)

    Ammanford - if that's Wales, I'm guessing cold :( - mind you it's getting colder here now so my swimming will be put on hold for a few months.

    There are just so many to choose from - it's no wonder we get lost in there, Linda :)