Q&A with indie author Claire Buss
Give us the tl;dr of your life in 50 words or less.
With cake and book she conquered!
Tell us about your latest writing project.
I am currently working on The Interspecies Poker Tournament, a second book in my humorous fantasy world. I’m at the half writing, half editing stage, knowing that I should really be getting on with it.
Is there anything you’ve already edited out of the book?
I haven’t actually got that far yet. The Interspecies Poker Tournament was originally a short story that has now morphed into at least a novella, so this time it’s been about adding a lot more rather than taking things out. I realized I had written the ending and not the beginning or the middle.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
The most difficult part is finding the time to write. Once I manage to shoehorn that in, usually I don’t have a problem with a consistent word count. I often manage to procrastinate instead of edit, though.
The Rose Thief is my humorous fantasy novel; think Pratchett meets Adams meets Anthony.
Tales from Suburbia is my first collection of humorous short stories inspired by life in the suburbs and being a mum, and Tales from the Seaside is my second collection of humorous short stories, this one inspired by life at the seaside and being a mum.
I also have a short story in Tales from the Underground called “Underground Scratching” and a short story in The Quantum Soul called “Patient Data.” I co-wrote a short story called “A Badger Christmas Carol” to go into the Sparkly Badger’s Christmas Anthology, which I co-edited and published with my fellow indie author CH Clepitt. And I have a free book of flash fiction available called The Blue Serpent & Other Tales, as well as four books of poetry: Little Book of Verse, Spring Fling, Summer Dreaming, and Spooky Little Book of Verse.
How much of yourself do you put into your plots or characters?
It wasn’t intentional but Kira Jenkins, one of the main characters from my first book, The Gaia Effect, is a lot like me in how she reacts to things and her fierce loyalty to her family and friends. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to put yourself into your books; I think it makes them more authentic.
Do you have a day job, other than being a writer?
I am a stay-at-home mum to Leo (age 5) and Anabelle (age 1), which makes finding time to write difficult sometimes, but I do my best.
Does your day job influence your writing?
I definitely use my #mumlife experiences in my short stories. Both Tales from Suburbia and Tales from the Seaside feature a great deal of tongue-in-cheek or satire. I’ve used my tiredness, exasperation, and joy from parenting to fuel my poetry as well.
Which famous author’s work would you say your writing style resembles the most?
My humorous fantasy is very Pratchett-esque and my hopeful dystopian series has been likened to Margaret Atwood, which is extremely high praise indeed.
Do you feel it’s most important to have strong characters, mind-blowing plot twists, or epic settings?
Just like baking, it’s important to have all the ingredients and mix them well! Good storytelling shines through, I think, and the more you write, the better you become.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been?
I would have loved to have been involved in the creation of the Discworld. I wouldn’t want to have taken Sir Terry’s place, but I would have loved to have been on Team Pratchett.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your next book?
Enjoyment. If they’ve been able to sit down and forget the world for a little, maybe have a giggle, and just enjoy their reading experience, then I’ve done my job.
Thanks so much, Claire!
Katherine Luck is the author of the novels The Cure for Summer Boredom and In Retrospect. Her latest book, False Memoir, combines the high stakes of a gritty psychological thriller with the guilty pleasure of a sensational true crime tell-all. You can read more of her work, including the “Dead Writers and Candy” series, at the-delve.com.