Author Q&A with Claire Stibbe
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About Claire Stibbe
Claire Stibbe is the winner of the 2021 Page Turner Award for Fiction and a prolific novelist. Today, she writes dark, domestic suspense novels that draw on her experiences as a survivor of domestic abuse. Her aim is not just to tell gripping stories but to inspire other survivors to find freedom and independence.
Claire worked as an Executive Assistant for twenty years in both London and the Far East. She now devotes herself full-time to writing. Her novels owe much to her years as a member of the Albuquerque Police Citizen’s Academy where her main focus was the impact of violence towards women and their families.
Claire now lives in Utah with her family. She is addicted to reading and sharing her love of crime fiction.
On to Our Interview!
Q: Tell us who you are and what inspires you to write.
A. I write police procedurals and psychological thrillers, so it’s the suspense I love. I’m inspired by the “what ifs” in everyday situations, including the dialogue we hear in public places. A small incident can burgeon into a page-turner for me, so it’s essential to be armed with a notebook at all times!
Q: How did you get to this place in your life? Share your story!
A. I started writing stories when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I was made redundant from my last job that I found a newly launched online community for writers set up by HarperCollins to source new talent. Authonomy was an open slush pile where authors submitted stories for discussion, reviews and ranking by other members. The top five that reached the editor’s desk were sometimes selected for publication. I don’t think I’ve looked back since!
Q: What are you most passionate about?
A. I’m really passionate about helping and educating women to make healthy partner choices. It’s tough out there, and so many lack self-confidence. Listening allows me the privilege to encourage them to change the course of their lives. It’s baby steps, but every one counts.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process, routine, and/or rituals around your writing?
A. I like to get up very early in the morning, grab a coffee and answer email. Then I close my study door and read over the last chapter before continuing with the next. My work week mirrors a typical business week—Monday through Friday, 5.00 am to 5.00 pm—but on Saturdays I finish around 2.00. Sundays, I’m off!
Q: What are a few challenges you faced in creating, marketing, or publishing your creative work? And your solutions to them.
A. It was the balancing of the police procedural elements with the crime fiction elements. Joining the Albuquerque Citizen’s Police Academy for a nine week intensive course taught me all the different aspects of police work and volunteering created the spark for the Detective Temeke crime series.
Q: What do you wish you had known before you started writing fiction?
A. I wish I’d known about the Curtis Brown classes for novel writers, which take you through the process of planning a novel, to writing the chapters and finally editing and pitching your novel to agents. This gives writers the tools they need to write for the market.
Q: What’s next for you in your creative work?
A. I’ve been writing psychological thrillers over the last two years and have just completed two books. Working titles: No Good Lie and No One Like Her. I’m querying agents and hoping to find a good publisher home.
Q: Is there anything else you wished I’d asked? Please share!
A. What books have inspired me throughout my life.
Since my father was a friend of C.S. Lewis, I would have to say The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Tolkien and A.A. Milne and more currently Gillian Flynn, Dean Koontz, Ted Dekker, George R.R. Martin, Tosca Lee, Ruth Ware and Frank Peretti.
The 9th Hour by Claire Stibbe
Albuquerque’s finest detective and New Mexico/Arizona Book Award winning series.
Everyone has secrets. Some more deadly than others.
When the ninth girl falls into the clutches of a serial killer, Detective Temeke faces a race against time to save her life. The Duke City Police Department in Albuquerque, New Mexico is no stranger to gruesome murders, but this new serial killer on their block keeps the body parts of his eight young victims as trophies and has a worrying obsession with the number 9.
The suspect is incarcerated in the state’s high security penitentiary but Unit Commander Hackett is faced with a dilemma when another teenage girl goes missing. Detective Temeke and his new partner, Malin Santiago, are sent to solve a baffling crime in the dense forests of New Mexico’s Cimarron State Park. But time is running out. Can they unravel the mysteries of Norse legends and thwart the 9th Hour killer before he takes his next victim?
Connect with Claire Stibbe