Name Clare C. Marshall
Age 27, at the time of writing.
Where are you from?
The Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.
A little about your self, ie your education Family life etc
I grew up in rural Nova Scotia and studied journalism and psychology at the University of King’s College. From there, I went to Humber College for their publishing programme, and met all kinds of fantastic people.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest novel, The Silver Spear, was released in September, and I’m working on a multiple projects, one of which is the third book in my science fiction series, the Sparkstone Saga.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When, since before I can remember. Why, because that’s what I’ve always been, and that’s what I knew I would become. There is no such thing for me as not being a writer, or not writing, as that would be the same as not existing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
From the time I could hold a writing instrument.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It wasn’t so much inspired as it was a necessity. My first completed manuscript will probably not live in the public eye for many, many years yet, as it’s juvenile and fuelled by hormones, and teenage frustrations. Before that, I wrote numerous short stories and plays for school, where my talent was encouraged.
Within, my first published novel, I wrote for a 3-day novel contest. It was inspired by a series of what-ifs while my sister and I piled wood in the basement.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
That is best answered by reading one of my books.
That said, a writing style evolves with time, and like feces, is representative of what you consume. My journalism training means I write with clarity. My whimsical poetic phrases are likely the combination of too much coffee, reading good books, and a lot of long walks by myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not a preacher. People are going to interpret events and ascribe meaning how they wish. But each series has a theme, yes. My science fiction series, the Sparkstone Saga, is about being away from home, and finding friendship and the best in those around us. My fantasy series, the Violet Fox Series, is about how prejudice affects a world, and triumph over adversity through perseverance.
Fiona: When you write, are your books/characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t base any one character on anyone specifically, but I may take ingredients from one person or another to make up a new person. Sometimes I borrow or adapt backstories from my own life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m waiting for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer to come in at the library in audiobook format; I’ve got it on hold. Other than that: The Martian and I’m reading the Fables graphic novels.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
So many. I am a freelance editor, interior book designer, and web manager in my day job so that keeps me fairly busy. I’ve started setting up my own web hosting, so that’s exciting. I’ve got some other writing projects that keep me busy, and of course, I’m writing the next book in the Sparkstone Saga, Hunger In Her Bones.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Everyone in my friend group, on Facebook, and in my community (in Nova Scotia and in Calgary) has been extremely supportive of my journey, for which I am grateful.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I brand myself as a publisher, though I am a writer first. Publishing is my business, though writing is and will inevitably continue to be my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’d probably procrastinate less and plan more.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m working on Hunger In Her Bones, the third in my YA science fiction series. It’s still a work in progress but it follow our super-powered protagonists as they continue to explore their powers and the consequences of stirring up trouble with aliens far technologically superior to humans.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
As in subject matter? Sure. My characters go through a lot of terrible things. Some of them not appropriate for younger readers. If I’m not challenging the reader and making them think differently about something, I’m not doing a great job.
Technique-wise, it’s challenging to set aside a lot of time (and good time, not when I’m really tired) to go over my work. So it gets done slower in little chunks, or at the last minute when I’m stressed.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I like Maggie Stiefvater. Her writing is poetic and her characters complex. I like Geroge R. R. Martin’s work in that he can build complex worlds with overlapping political intrigue.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel across Canada promoting my books. I do four to five conventions a year, though next year (2016) I hope to do six or seven. Conventions are currently my mainstay for selling physical copies, though I am pursuing various distribution options currently.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My partner designs them; I have heavy input.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing is the easy part. Worrying about whether or not it’s good is the hard part. But if you’re worrying, you’re probably not working—so I put it out of my mind and focus on my to-do list instead.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing and what was it?
Writing keeps me disciplined. It’s a muscle. The more you write, the better you get, and the more you read, the better your writing becomes.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stop talking about writing and write. If you’re making excuses about not writing, maybe writing is not a priority for you right now. Finish a story, a manuscript, a play, and then go back and edit, make changes, and start pitching. Attend local writing and publishing conventions. When meeting an editor or a publisher, don’t spend five minutes pitching them unless they specifically ask you. The stories I could tell! It’s bad manners and bad form. Carefully read submission pages on publisher websites.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: Anything very silly, and cute cats. Cry? Not being able to do it all, I suppose.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone and why ?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Running multiple businesses is my hobby, and learning about how to improve one area of my business or another is also my hobby.
Other than that, I enjoy gaming (strategy simulations and RPGs), drinking good coffee, and playing the fiddle.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Favourite TV shows: Playing House, Parks & Rec, Orphan Black
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Sushi—salmon sashimi, and/or unagi maki
Colours: Purple, white, blue
Music: East Coast Folk, Cape Breton fiddle, Instrumental soundtracks, alt rock, catchy songs I grew up with.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would never not be a writer. If I would’ve chose not to go into publishing, I’d probably be a professional musician, or a working journalist.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
http://www.faeryinkpress.com/ – here you will find my books, and anything to do with my publishing progress.
http://editinganddesign.com/ – my freelancing site, where since 2010 I’ve offered editing, interior book design, and web management to authors, artists, and small businesses.
You can find all the book images you need here: http://www.faeryinkpress.com/books
My young adult novels:
The Violet Fox – YA Fantasy Romance Adventure
The Silver Spear – YA Fantasy Romance Adventure
Within – YA Supernatural Thriller/Mystery
Stars in her Eyes – YA Science Fiction Adventure
Dreams In Her Head – *2014 Creation of Stories: Canada’s Self-Pub Award Finalist* – YA Science Fiction Adventure