She never wore a watch…

She never wore a watch. This is the first sentence in my romantic comedy, Butterfly. The heroine of Butterfly is Flannery Sloane and that short sentence tells volumes about her attitude toward life.

I have been asked numerous questions about my novels, about writing, how I manage my time, where I get my ideas. The one question I have no trouble answering in one word is… “Are you Flannery Sloane?”

My response is a definite “No!” Sure, I have red hair, green eyes, I’m almost all Irish and can play the fiddle, but the resemblance ends there. Flannery never wears a watch…I’m neurotically punctual. She is twenty-three…I’m much older. And, to my chagrin, Flannery Sloane is a better fiddler than I could ever dream to be. On the other hand, I would love to be her friend. She is a bohemian free spirit. In a purely Irish expression…she can tell a man to go to hell and make him look forward to the trip.

To me, the joy of writing is all about make-believe. As a novelist I can invent, create and fantasize. Putting myself in the story would rip the fun right out of it for me. Flannery was great to hang out with while I wrote her story. She made the story easy to write and it was hard to say “The End.”

It has been gratifying to me that readers have had the same response. They want to know what happens to Flannery and Cade after the end of Butterfly. They ask if Flann will appear in the other books of the Fadό Trilogy. The characters seem to take on a living, breathing reality with a past and a future.

Here’s a bit of a spoiler for those of you who loved Butterfly and want more Flannery, Cade, Jamie and the rest of the Sloanes. Yes, they will be back. That is one of the best parts of writing a series. I can prolong the “good-byes.”
Butterfly is available in paperback and digital formats from most online booksellers.


Cover of Butterfly by Clare Austin

Buy a signed copy of Butterfly

Advertisements

The long and winding path….

The rocky path. Skellig Michael, Kerry, Ireland

The long and winding path to publishing my first novel moved at a very rapid pace for me…if I don’t count the decades when my stories waited, in my imagination, for me to sit down and put them to paper. (In my case “paper” is always virtual…I have never written more than notes and ideas on actual paper).
Four years ago I decided I really could write a novel. I bought myself a laptop, sat down, put the foot rest up on the recliner in my bedroom and started to write. I wrote for a month and came out with a book…from beginning to end about four hundred pages. It really did have a plot, a beginning, middle and an incredibly cheesy end.
Then I panicked. Was this my only story? So, I wrote three more that year. Butterfly was number four. The difference with Butterfly was that I wrote for a specific market…romance. I played by the rules. I had a definite goal—to be published. Still, Butterfly is unique, my voice, my style, my imagination. Notice I said I wrote to a goal, not a formula. If anyone tries to tell you they have a formula and if you just follow the simple rules and fill in the blanks you will have a novel…thank them but don’t write a check for their workshop. If writing were that easy everyone would be published. If your story doesn’t beg to be told, hammer on the insides of your cranium until you let it out, haunt you until you are talking to your characters out loud in public (well, this might not happen to all of us…I might just be a little crazy.) then, it won’t keep your reader up at night either.
One of the questions I am often asked by unpublished writers is something like…isn’t it a terrible feeling to have an editor tell you to change, cut or delete a scene in your book…your baby? My simple answer is “no.”
I’ll tell you why. The business of publishing is just that…a business. You may be the next James Joyce, but an agent or editor doesn’t care unless he or she can sell your work and make a profit. That, dreamers out there, is the bottom line. This fact does not have to stop you from being a great writer, a creative writer.
If you really want to be published: write the best you can, finish what you start, know your market and write to that market and, most important, do it because it is your heart’s desire.
My books are available from my website http://www.clareaustin.com Go to the “Books” page for the buy link.

Exposing myself.

On the cliffs at Spanish Point, County Clare, Ireland

This blogging thing is terrifying for a neurotically private person like myself. http://lainamolaski.com/2010/09/20/amazing-author-clare-austin/

A writer’s intimate details!

Virtual Book Tour

Please stop by September 20 to http://lainamolaski.com/ LIana’s Blog, Being Fabulous is a Skill. Learn all the intimate details of a writer’s life!!
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/search?q=Hot+Flash

Britches full of stitches

No…not torn jeans. I learned two new fiddle tunes today…Bill Sullivan’s Polka and Britches full of stitches. I love fiddlin’!