Friday, December 27, 2013

Author Interview: Claire Fullerton

Claire Fullerton
author, A Portal in Time

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I was born in Wayzata, Minnesota, which is the lake area outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. When I was ten, my family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where my mother grew up. I consider myself a southerner, and was lucky enough to come of age in an incredible environment rife with old world charm and plenty of rich, cultural nuances. Memphis lays on the Mississippi River, and is a musical mecca that is literally part of the atmosphere. Couple that with the fact that southerners are colorful story tellers by nature, and you have fertile breeding ground for a writer.

Most writers are readers. What are some of the books you have on your nightstand and/or on your "must read" list?

I have a writer’s crush on the author Pat Conroy and have read every book he has published. His command of the English language floors me, and his style of lyrical writing is inspirational. Lisa Carey, who wrote a book called “The Mermaids Singing” is another favorite. I tend to gravitate towards beautiful, descriptive language as well as authors who have something to say about the dynamic in families. I leave these two authors books on my nightstand even when I’m reading something else. Currently, I am looking forward to reading Angelica Huston’s new memoir, for I love a good memoir.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Scotland and Ireland! I love everything about the United Kingdom and actually lived in Galway, Ireland at one time. My second novel takes place in Ireland. If any place on earth is magic, it’s Ireland!

What is one silly fact about you?

 I am a voracious student of ballet for absolutely no reason other than I love its graceful gestures. I can’t say I’m particularly good at center work, but I can do barre. Although I’ll never be on stage, I keep going to class as if my life depended on it!

What got you started on your writing journey?

I have always felt the need to document my life by keeping a journal. I think keeping a journal keeps a writer’s eye keen and it also develops technique whether one aims for it or not. Beyond that, and this is a true story, one bright day, a white dove landed on my roof here in Malibu, California. I called to my husband, “Come quick- this is a fleeting moment,” yet I was wrong. The dove stayed on our back patio for eleven days! During those eleven days, I considered the possibility that someone had lost a pet because the dove seemed domesticated. I walked into the local newspaper’s office to inquire, and was asked to take a picture and write a few lines. I wrote a funny story instead and sent it in with the dove’s picture. There was immediate public response, which was published in the following weeks’ edition.

Right about then, the dove flew away, so I wrote another piece to report the facts since people seemed so interested.

The editor e-mailed me and asked me to come into her office. When I arrived, she said, “I think we have room for discussion; what is it you want to write. I told her I wanted to write about the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, and the next week, my own weekly column was born! My career has morphed into magazine publications, two contest awards, repeated publication in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, and now I’m onto novel writing!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

No, I don’t write steamy romance. I’m certain I never will. I’d rather write about deep, soulful relationships—the kind that are pivotal, that seem fated, as if they were meant to be part of our journey through life. I like to write about what we learn at the hands of love. I think we primarily learn about ourselves, about our interior life, which ultimately teaches us how to constructively relate to others. Often, the process is confusing and inconvenient, but therein lays the beauty.

What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?

I am currently waiting for response on my second novel while I have begun writing my third. I continue to submit to magazines, journals and as always, the “Chicken Soup for the Soul series.” I may even dive right in to screen play writing.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

Those magic moments when someone says, “Yes, this is it; this is exactly how I feel, thank you for putting it into words.”

I believe my job as a writer is to inspire, and I take the job very seriously.

Please share about your book

My book is entitled, “A Portal in Time.” It is a little bit of a mystery, a little paranormal, partially historic, and romantic all the way through! “A Portal in Time” is written in oscillating time periods: present day, and the year 1907 respectively. The setting is the mystical, magical area of Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey Peninsula. The story develops the romances of two couples who have significant ties to the region, yet they live in different time periods. What is revealed as the story unfolds is how the couples came together as well as the life they cultivated. There is a reason I told this story in oscillating time periods, and the reader will have a wonderful time discovering that reason.

“A Portal in Time” is filled with foreshadow and innuendo, and the reader will have to stay on their toes!

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Spirited, inquisitive, intuitive, ethereal, feminine.

What are your hero and heroine of the story like?

The heroine is described as above, the hero is a Norwegian artist who is elegant, naturally refined, self-confident and all around the fascinating artist.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

It is exceedingly imaginative and begs a very good question!

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