Today’s author interview is with American fantasy author Claudia Klein. Enjoy!
- Hi Claudia tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write?
Hi! I’m a military wife and a stay at home mom to my 3 year old daughter. We’re expecting a baby boy in June and we currently live in Colorado. I’ve lived in 13 states so far, 2 of them twice! I’ve always written stories and I was inspired to get published young when I read a biography on Louisa May Alcott who published her first book when she was 17. Obviously, 17 came and went for me and I was still overwhelmed by how in the world to get published. Thankfully I joined a writing group in my early 20s right after college and there were some Indie authors in the group who told me the ins and outs of Indie publishing. It seemed easier than traditional publishing, so that’s the route I took.
- What appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
I love that you can imagine almost anything happening and it can happen in a fantasy world. I also love that it’s in the medieval time period. I love history and I especially love that time period.
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
So I’m currently in the final stages of getting my sequel to my debut novel, The Heir, published. The sequel, The Crown, will hopefully make its appearance sometime this late spring. Definitely before baby comes in June, that’s my goal. So it’s the sequel, and in The Heir the world was basically thrown into chaos and The Crown picks up where that book left off where the main characters have to put the world back to rights.
The biggest challenge I faced was getting that first draft written. I think it took me 2 years to write the first draft, which is a ridiculous amount of time. I went through months of just not being motivated to open up the document on my computer. And then of course, I had a 2 year old who every time I opened my computer would try and type too, which doesn’t work. So definitely working with a toddler around and getting motivation to write the sequel is what I struggled with the most. I’m glad it’s almost time to publish it.
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
I would say there’s kind of two sides to myself that you see in my books. There’s the adventurous tom-boy self who would climb Pikes Peak at 40 weeks pregnant or go to a gun range to try and outshoot her soldier husband. Then there’s the gentle, quiet self who likes to stay home and spin yarn. You definitely see these 2 characters of myself in Kat and Lucy, the heroines of my books.
But it’s almost fun to write evil characters too, like wimpy King Eric and the mysterious Creature.
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
Write that first draft as fast as possible. 4-6 months at the most. Like I said, I wrote the first draft of The Crown in 2 years and there were so many inconsistencies and repeated scenes. It was hard to edit and make it into a cohesive book.
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
Gosh, I wish I gave myself deadlines! That’d really help! But my biggest trick is I just force myself to open up the document every day for at least half an hour. Once I open up my book to write it, the words flow easily. It’s just the motivating myself to do it that’s the hard part. And I don’t know why because I love the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when I’m putting new words on a page.
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
Panster. All the way. I typically have an idea for a story in my head, a beginning scene and usually and ending scene. The rest comes as I write. I have in recent years started writing out the plotline on paper as I develop it in my head. Just so I have it all written down so I don’t forget anything important that’s supposed to happen. That comes in really handy for when I start a story idea then set it aside for a few months and come back to it.
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
I’m hoping to get my Endorlothorien trilogy published next. I have all 3 books started and 1 finished. It’s a fantasy world of Elves. It’ll be under a different name because of course my world name is real Tolkien Elvish and that’s copyrighted! Little did I know when I invented the name soon after reading LOTR for the first time…
I’m also wanting to try my hand at Dystopian. That’s the genre I read the most so I definitely want to dabble in it.
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
Definitely the ones where good triumphs over evil. In my book good always has to win. Evil can’t become good. And good always chooses not to become evil.
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Oh my gosh! Such a hard question! I can officially say I’ve read Harry Potter as of last year. (I know, late to the party). I would have said LOTR hands down in 2019. But I think I have to say Harry Potter after having read them.
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