Thursday, July 17, 2014

Interview with Claire Baxter, author of Down Among the Dead Men - Win Prizes!

Down among the dead
Title: Down Among the Dead Men
Author: Claire Baxter
Publisher: Entangled Ignite
Pages: 210
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Ebook

When Caitlyn ventures into the rough, tough world of the South Australian opal fields on a mission to find her estranged father she instead discovers a half-sister she knew nothing about and learns that her father is missing and suspected of a crime.

Dale is a former city lawyer-turned-lapidary hiding out in Minagoona after death threats endanger him and his daughter. When Caitlyn approaches him for help finding her father, he’s reluctant, but attracted by her determination to right the wrongs dealt to her family. His sense of justice is very much like hers, but when his daughter’s life was threatened by men who wanted him to break the law for them, he fled to protect the child he loves.

Still the more Dale gets to know Caitlyn, the more he realizes he can’t let her go up against organized crime on her own—which is exactly what she proposes when she sets out to clear her father’s name. No matter what, he’ll do his damnedest to keep her safe—even if it means exposing himself and his daughter to the men who want to kill them…

For More Information

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Raising two hero-material sons to adulthood.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I grew up in England and moved to Australia with my husband when our sons were very young. I don’t know whether my upbringing has influenced my writing, but I’ve always gravitated towards people who make me laugh and a little humour usually manages to creep into my writing, so maybe their influence has rubbed off.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing seriously in 2003 after leaving work as a corporate communications manager. I’d been writing as part of my job for a long time, but always non-fiction, of course, about exciting subjects such as sewage treatment plants. I was very ready to try something light-hearted, with a happy ending.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was a voracious reader as a child. I devoured Swallows and Amazons and all books by Arthur Ransome, and I told my family that I would be a writer when I grew up, but I took a different career path.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I submitted two of my early romance manuscripts to a Romance Writers of America chapter contest and they took out first and third place. The winning manuscript was requested in full by the final judge and this was great for my confidence. The same manuscript went on to be my first published book.
What inspires you to write and why?
The characters in my head pester me to sit down and write their stories!
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
My latest release is my first romantic suspense. I have also written romantic comedy and sweet contemporary romance. I enjoy all three.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book was inspired by a news story that I heard on the radio about a hostile takeover attempt of a family-owned winery in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, by a multinational beverage company. I began to think about the effect on family members and the local community of such a takeover. My story explored the relationship between a young woman who’d just inherited her family’s winery and the French acquisitions manager of a global business intent on acquiring the winery.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
I began by writing for Harlequin Romance and was influenced by the Australian authors who were already writing for that line such as Barbara Hannay, Ally Blake, Nicola Marsh and others.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
I always struggle with the middle of a book. I’ve accepted now that it is part of my process to slow down and take it a paragraph at a time until I’ve passed the middle section. It has nothing to do with the amount of plotting I do – I’ve tried more and less, but always it is the same.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I learned a lot about opal mining in South Australia. I’d always been interested in the region and knew that, because of the extreme summer temperatures, many people made their homes underground, dug out of the rock, but it was fascinating to learn that some of the houses in Coober Pedy are so large that they have underground swimming pools! Mining for opals is different from other types of gem mining because it is undertaken by individuals rather than businesses. There are no big mining companies in the industry.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Yes, I consider myself a career writer.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
Every writer has a unique voice, and even though I write in a slightly different style for each of the sub-genres, romantic suspense, romantic comedy and sweet contemporary romance, I’ve been told that my voice is still distinctively mine.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I always meet a deadline. I haven’t missed one yet.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I procrastinate until I put myself under pressure to meet my deadlines!
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu

I love this quote because it is applicable to so many things that we find difficult, large or small – writing a book, losing weight, breaking a habit, starting a business – all of them can seem daunting, but the only way to accomplish any of them is to focus on that first step and not worry about the rest of the journey.

Claire Baxter writes contemporary romantic fiction of all lengths. Her short stories have been published in commercial women's magazines around the world, while her novels have been translated into 20 languages and have finalled in the Romance Writers of Australia's Romantic Book of the Year Award, the Booksellers' Best Awards, the RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards and the Cataromance Reviewers' Choice Awards. Before following her passion to write full-time, Claire was an award-winning corporate communications manager. Earlier, she worked as a translator and a PA. Claire grew up in Warwickshire, England, but for more than 20 years has called Australia home. She considers herself lucky to live near one of Adelaide's beautiful metropolitan beaches where she loves to walk and think up stories.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense novel, Down Among the Dead Men. For More Information

Don’t miss out on great books from Entangled Publishing – Check out their Steals and Deals! 

Claire is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an Ecopy of Flirting with Danger!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 2 winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins July 14 and ends on July 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, July 28 .
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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