Nottinghamshire author Clare Brown has never been on a writing course but has already had her first novel published and has been commissioned to write a second. She tells us about the secret to her success.
Her first novel, The Creation Myths, focuses on fertility and the control of it.
"My first book is about babies. It traces the conception, gestation, birth and a little bit of the aftermath of seven babies that are born to a total of six mothers and four fathers."
"I had a miscarriage which completely threw me. I had a couple of days off work and tried to philosophise a bit and get my feelings in order."
"I was preoccupied with the idea that lots of people who want babies can't have them and lots of people who don't want them suddenly find out that they are having them... and however much science has advanced we can't quite completely control that."
"I thought of various scenarios and realised I'd like to write about them."
Contemporary romantic fiction
|"I was very secretive. I didn't even admit to my husband that I was writing a book until I was 38,000 words in."|
"Lots of characters threw themselves at me, the whole high jinx of it all became much more complicated and it ended up being quite a comic novel rather than the gloomy study it had started out as."
Clare kept the fact that she was writing her first novel a secret for a long time.
"I was very secretive. I didn't even admit to my husband that I was writing a book until I was 38,000 words in. I used to just type away and my husband would say 'what are you doing?".
Clare says her lucky break came through having a friend in the business.
"It's who you know, not what you know. I worked in the literary world at the time and knew lots of publishers and writers. One person I knew at the time said they would leave it on a publisher's desk with a post it note saying it was from someone she knew, whose opinion she respected. If I'd sent it in cold it would probably still be lying there now."
Seeing it in the shops
Since publication, to her embarrassment, her friends have been having fun trying to boost sales of The Creation Myths.
"Clare Brown comes just before Dan Brown. My friends, without my knowledge, were taking my book off the shelf and putting it over the Da Vinci Code so that anybody going for the bestseller would have to go through my book first. They would then send pictures to my phone showing me what they'd done, from bookshops all over the country."
The Nottinghamshire author is perversely proud of the fact that The Creation Myths can't get a book deal in America as publishers say it is too amoral. However, some TV companies have shown interest.
"It's got far too many characters for Hollywood, it would end up being a love triangle."
"I've already managed to complete the second novel. I was commissioned to write the second novel which meant I really had to force myself to sit down and write, whereas the first one I wrote on spec."
"I'm just relieved my publisher doesn't expect me to write the same type of novel every time."
To find out more about the second novel...