Interview with Clare Flynn Historical Fiction Author

Clare Flynn Cover
Author Talk: Richard Lowe Interviews Clare Flynn Historical Fiction Author

 

Clare FlynnI had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Clare Flynn, a charming writing of historical fiction novels. She was born in Liverpool and now lives in England on the Sussex coast. She’s the eldest of five children and studied at English Language and Literature at Manchester Image of Clare and her brother growing up in Liverpool University. In her own words, she “spent most of her time studying sex, drugs and rock and roll at the expense of Beowulf and Chomsky.”

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Clare worked in the field of consumer marketing with large, global companies. She promoted all manner of products, from “Fairy Liquid and Flash to chocolate biscuits and tinned tuna”. Eventually, she took the plunge and became her own boss, traveling the world to help companies define their strategies and culture.

After she wrote 80,000 words of the first draft of a novel, Clare visited Australia for the second time. A thief visited her home and stole her laptop, which was bad enough. But they also took her novel and the backup copy as well. That was a huge blow, but she read that, “T E Lawrence left the manuscript of Seven Pillars of Wisdom on a train and went on to recreate all 700 pages of it”. This gave her the motivation to write the book again, and it was finished in July 2011 and published in 2014.

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Interview Transcept Clare Flynn

Richard Lowe  00:00

Hi, I’m Richard Lowe with author talk for Richard Lowe. We are with Claire Flynn. She’s a writer, and we’re going to talk to her for a little while now. Hi, Claire, how are you today?

Clare Flynn  00:17

Hi, I’m absolutely fine. Really, thank you very much for inviting me on the show. I’m really looking forward to talking with you.

Richard Lowe  00:25

Well, it was my pleasure. And I’d like to tell the audience we’re talking to Claire Flynn, who is a historical novelist. She’s writing terrific novels, on similar themes about women migrating to other countries. She’s a classic example of someone who is comfortable with marketing from her day job career, who is now applying the same skills to her writing career. And she’s very prolific. She’s also a great artist and travels a lot seeking inspiration for her novels. Thank you, Claire, welcome to the show.

Clare Flynn  00:56

Thank you.

Richard Lowe  00:57

So why don’t we start with what is your story?

Clare Flynn  00:58

Okay. Well, my background Richard was in marketing, I started off going along the conventional route through big corporates International, worked my way up to group marketing director, and then switched over to working for myself, I’d had enough of the corporate treadmill, and decided it would be much more fun doing my own thing. So I did that for about 15 years, and working mainly doing strategy consulting, but also doing work around creativity and helping organizations to revitalize their culture and become more creative and innovative. So I did that until about two years ago, when I moved away from London, and decided I’d had enough of working, doing all of this for other people. And I thought I’d pour some of the creative skills, I taught other people into my own work. And I had started, I mean, I started writing from being a child. And I’d always wanted to write a novel, I’d had several attempts while I was still in the corporate world. But I was traveling all over the world all the time working long hours. And I just didn’t have enough headspace, or I believed I didn’t. And in fact, if I have one regret now, it’s that I didn’t make the time. Because there are a lot of things that I did do that I could have made more time for writing. But anyway, I took about probably about 10 years to write my first novel, because I was fitting it in around other stuff. And so about two, three years ago, I decided enough, I’m going to be 100% dedicated to writing. So I moved out of London, I now live by the sea, I can actually see it from my kitchen windows, which is glorious. And yeah, I’m free to write all day. Well, in theory, I’m free to write all day. But a large proportion of my time is actually spent doing what I’ve always done, which is marketing,

Richard Lowe  03:13

I understand.

Clare Flynn  03:17

So that’s, that’s my story then. So first, in terms of actually, my writing journey, then I began down the traditional route, I managed to get myself an agent, I think that was probably around 2012 2013. And she was so helpful with my first book, a greater world. And she helped me gave me a lot of feedback that helped me make it a better book, until she was happy enough to start punting it around. And that’s where things just didn’t work for me. I got lots of interest, or she got a lot of interest in my book. But nobody actually bought it. And it was the usual story of it doesn’t fit within our portfolio. We’ve got another author, that we’re pushing strongly in that genre, or I love it, but I can’t sell it to the marketing, that kind of thing. So in the end, I got by then I’ve wasted I felt two years. So I decided I was going to go it alone. And I’d read the loss about self publishing. And I was quite excited by the prospect of doing it. So I thought I’d have a go, nothing to lose. So with her encouragement, I did that and I was floundering around for a while. Until I guess this was now June 2014. And then sometime in that summer, I stumbled across the Alliance of independent authors. And that was such a fantastic Stick saying because immediately, I realized I wasn’t alone. And I felt as if I’d been really welcomed into a warm and growing community of people who would just do so much to help and offer advice. So, by October, I published my second book, which, incidentally, my agent had loved as she was hit. So I’d always known that that wasn’t going to find a home through her. So I started to get, I sold the book, it was very, very slow. But meanwhile, I was learning a lot more about some of the techniques and how to some of the things that I should be avoiding in terms of formatting. I also found I was so lucky, I found a great cover designer who’s also in the alliance of independent authors, Jane Dixon Smith, and she’s done all my covers ever since. And I absolutely love them. She’s done a fantastic job. So yes, I threw them I discovered a proofreader. I got my formatting done all manner of things that were really helpful. But most of all, I think it was the morale boost of talking to other people and experiencing the generosity of them so that I would have a problem with formatting. And somebody will say, hey, send it to me. And I’ll, I’ll fix it for you. So that kind of thing was was just amazing.

Richard Lowe  06:39

Very interesting talking to a book author who likes to market. That’s not No, I wouldn’t

Clare Flynn  06:44

say like, I mean, I did, like, obviously, it was my vacation. And I really liked it. I spent my life doing it. But now it’s still the thing that I probably I’d much rather be writing than doing the marketing. Because it does feel especially when you’re doing it for yourself, I think no matter who you are, it is always Oh, God, I’ve got to bang the drum or wave the flag to talk about me, me, me. And I feel very reluctant. I’m like you, I’m an introvert. But you have to just to grin and bear it. And the advantage I’ve got is I do have some knowledge and expertise in that area that I can bring to bear. And I’m also fortunate in that I actually, like social media rather too much.

Richard Lowe  07:41

Yes, that’s normal.

Clare Flynn  07:43

Yeah. So it’s, I keep saying to myself, if it wasn’t for my books, I just drop it all, like come out of social media. But I know I wasn’t because you know, I’ve got friends and family all the way to Australia, in the states and everywhere. And social media really, really does help bring all of that together. And you know, I’ve discovered new friends, I’ve discovered a whole pile of relatives in Ireland that I didn’t know I had. So I’m going to see them in a couple of months, which will be fun. So yeah, I love to hate it, shall we say?

Richard Lowe  08:22

I understand. So what is your favorite memory about writing?

Clare Flynn  08:28

Oh, I think I’d say my favorite experience that I had was with my second book, which is set in India. And I’d written it and as I say, I like my agent, we’re going to infused by it. And I thought I really need it’s fine. But I don’t think I’ve breathed enough color and life into it that the idea for us have come to me while I was actually in India on a painting holiday. And I couldn’t sleep one night and the bones of the story came to my head and I scribbled them all down. And then as soon as I got home I wrote started to write a book. But I felt that, you know, I was trying to write it with my memories of India. And yes, I had some paintings I’d done I had photographs, but I hadn’t been making notes about the actual nuts and bolts of the place. So I went decided I would go back and I was fortunate enough to be able to you know, I’m lucky that I could afford to go and do that because I know a lot of people can’t. So I decided to go to live on a tea plantation. Just as my character would have done so I found a 1920s T managers bungalow, which became then the multiple thought the home of my main character But this is the book Kurinji flowers.

Richard Lowe  10:04

Awesome.

Clare Flynn  10:05

And so I was, I spent two weeks I got there and serendipitously, this place I was staying in, had just had a million dollar transformation to become a wonderful guest house. But I was the only guest. Two weeks. So I had the place plus 10 stuff entirely to myself, plus a couple of gardeners who were out there, trimming the lawns and keeping everything looking beautiful. So it was a very happy memory, because all I was doing was riding, walking, painting, sketching, taking notes, taking photographs, and just, I’d go out in Landrover for to explore different places, but being the only person in the hotel, what then in the evenings, I would read books, or watch old movies, because they had the most amazing collection of old videos of great old Hollywood movies of the 1940s. So it was a very, very happy time. And I think I got such a lot out of that, because I did a lot of free writing, just writing down what I saw what I heard, smells, sights, tastes, listening to birds, flowers, all of that kind of thing. And then I was able to feed that back into the fabric of the book.

Richard Lowe  11:38

I find it I find it interesting how writers, when they go on vacation, they go on vacation, and they hole up in the hotel or sit on the beach and right. Most people, you know, they’re out drinking or something.

Clare Flynn  11:48

Oh, no, I do that. But actually, this this particular two weeks, it was in up in the tea country in Kerala. And Kerala is a dry state. So there was I didn’t even have so much as beer. I was just living on cups of tea and lots of water.

Richard Lowe  12:08

I understand. So tell me, why did you choose your genre?

Clare Flynn  12:13

By accident, really, I didn’t say oh, I want to be a historical novelist. I just knew I wanted to be a novelist. And the first book I started to write was back in, I think it was about 1990 When I was still in working for big American multinational, and that was a thriller. And it was set in Istanbul, where I’ve been many times on business trips. But I abandoned it after about four chapters. And unfortunately, I don’t have it anymore, because it’s on a floppy disk. So it was long ago corrupted. So this time I, I’ve been to Australia, and I’ve got family over there, my brother lives there. And I thought I would really like to write a book about Australia, and I wanted it to be set in the Blue Mountains. So I thought, right, well, I’ll just start writing. And it came out as being historical, because I didn’t have any idea of the plot. When I began, I didn’t have any idea of the characters I just started writing. And they just happened to be why I thought they were going to be Victorian at first, but they ended up 1920. And then having done that first book, I just decided I loved it. I love it for probably two primary reasons. First of all, I think the fact that it’s historical gives a distance. And I kind of like that, that distance, the fact that separates me in a way as an author, but I can still travel in time if you like. And the second reason is that I actually really enjoy doing the research. And again, it means that it’s quite a balanced life between doing the marketing doing the, the writing, and doing all the the doing all the research in between, which involves a lot of reading primarily. So yeah, and I it’s strange because I did study history at school, but not at university. And even though I did it to a level which is the English equivalent, the graduation from high school level. So it was one of my specializations, but I hated it. I absolutely hated it because I had really lousy teachers, and the syllabus was very heavy and very turgid. Whereas an Now I just absolutely love everything about it. And 20th century history now,

Richard Lowe  15:08

I understand too much they focus on dates and just facts about history instead of focusing on the stories, and that’s one reason why I like historical fiction is you focus on stories. Yeah, people.

Clare Flynn  15:21

Exactly. It’s all about people. And I felt that, you know, the history I learned was, I did English, American and European history. So it was all, you know, kings and queens, dates of battles. And then, you know, in the case of American history, all the different, you know, the various things leading up to slavery, and the sections and all of that. So, lots of, again, battles and treaties and arguments and civil war, and, but none of it all are at all related to the kind of progression of the politics and nothing about the human side of it. And the social side of it.

Richard Lowe  16:06

Indeed, did. So it sounds like there’s, there’s a you’re a Panster, there’s, there’s always an argument do you do right by seat of the pants, if you write by plotting, I’m a pastor,

Clare Flynn  16:16

I would say now, I’m a Clancer. Okay, I do a bit of both. I, you know, as I said, that first book took me 10 years, and I got into all kinds of messes. And I think since then I’ve got much more organized. And the book I’m about to write, is, I have done quite a long outline. But I haven’t quite finished the outline I’ve left, it’s taken me through probably two thirds of the book, but I’ve left some of it open. And it’s funny, because I was I was at a conference this weekend. And there was, I forgotten his name as the speaker, who was talking about how he, he and his partner, business partner writing partner, decided to set out to write a Kindle bestseller, and they achieved it. And he was, and they have a podcast, oh, I can’t remember the name. Terrible. I’ll see if I can find it while we’re talking. And he was saying that he, as part of the development of all of this, they ran out, they had a podcast. And by the end of this whole process leading up to write on his best seller, they had written a 50,000 word out. And they hadn’t written a single word of the book. And they had been a run of it on the show. And he said to them, and I’ve actually read it down the book that the podcast is called the best seller experience. And his quote was, there is no fucking outline, just write 50,000 words for an outline is kind of somewhat excessive. So I don’t go anywhere near that I just do. Basically the nuts and bolts of how the timeline will progress more than anything, because in, in my experience, the thing that I’ve found can be most problematic is timelines and dates. In that, you know, you can have somebody who say, becomes pregnant, and then you’ve got to make sure that you give her sufficient time to just state the baby wants to get into all manner of problems. So yes, ages and dates. And so now I try to at least have some kind of mapping out of that in advance.

Richard Lowe  18:51

Yeah, I create an outline for my books. And then usually by the time I get to the end, it’s completely different.

Clare Flynn  18:59

Yes, well, that’s it I was listening to creative writing tutor who was asked the question, she was talking about the importance of outlining. And the question was, what happens if you suddenly as you’re writing want to go in a different direction? And she said, Don’t do it, stick with the outline, finish it, and then go back and write the other book. And I so disagree with that. Because I think writing is a real dynamic process. And if you want, if you get pulled in another direction, there’s usually a very good reason for it. And quite often, it’s the characters who, you know, they often have a mind of their own. And, you know, I think you I just hate the idea of it being a rigid process so that it completely entrapped you, although I think having a structure is good.

Richard Lowe  19:54

Yeah, I usually sit down and just plot out the outline and in a few minutes, and then I often write the end first real wrote real loosely, and then work forward. And then by the time to the end, it’s changed, but at least I know where I’m going. Yes.

Clare Flynn  20:10

That does help. Yes, it’s I think you need to just look at it as a roadmap.

Richard Lowe  20:15

So you’re out, you’re in the alliance of independent authors. What tips do you have to those two authors in that group or other groups that would help them in their writing careers?

Clare Flynn  20:28

Well, I would say that the fundamental thing is particularly starting out, to really, really focus on the craft, and the writing. There’s a lot of talk now about in order to succeed, you have to have a book a month and keep churning mountain churning mountain, it’s a numbers game. And that’s all very well, as long as it’s, you’re able to churn out a quality product. And I know I certainly couldn’t churn out a book that anybody would want to read in a month. Having said that, my first book took me 10 years, the second one took me 10 months, and I am getting much faster i, if somebody said, You need to have this book, ready to roll within two to three months, 90,000 words, I could do it. But I have worked long and hard. And I’ve already produced eight books to get to the point where I can do that. So I would say start by really trying to write the best book you possibly can, and then move on to develop. Think about the marketing, once you’ve got a product that is worth marketing, because with the one of the fundamental things about marketing is it all begins the product? And I think people too often forget that.

Richard Lowe  21:54

Understood. Speaking of writing, what tips do you have for writers to fight writer’s block?

Clare Flynn  21:59

I don’t believe in writer’s block good. I think if you know not to say I don’t suffer from it, I just refuse to call it that. But I do have periods where I just think I can’t do it. I can’t sit down and write it. I don’t know what to say. I know what I’ve got to write, but I just don’t know where to even begin. And the only way to get around that is to just put your butt in a chair, stare at the screen or hold the pen in your hand and do not move until you’ve got something down. Even if it’s only a sentence. Once you’ve got that sentence, just keep going. And I can do that and think, oh my God, I am writing such utter drivel. But nine times out of 10. When I come back and read it, it isn’t actually utter drivel. So it’s just forcing yourself through punching through that resistance because the resistance is all in here.

Richard Lowe  23:00

What I found, what I found is the common cause of writer’s block or several causes is trying to edit While You Write.

Clare Flynn  23:09

Yes, yes, that’s true. It isn’t that so much with me because I quite like editing as like, nice. I am a bit anal about editing. And I certainly, when I’m in the swing of things I tend to start in when I start a new day, I will tend to read what I’ve read in the previous day to push me into it so that I can get right back in the zone. And yes, I do correct as I go. But you’re right. If you just get so much to the point that you’re agonizing over every word in every sentence. It’s it does cause paralysis. You just have to plow through that and get the words on the page. And then go worry about the editing.

Richard Lowe  23:58

Coach told me you writing and editing takes two different parts of your brain basically. Yeah, that’s true. You’re writing first with some mild editing as you go. And I use dictation I use voice dictation. And then you then you edit and you use different parts of your brain, your mind.

Clare Flynn  24:13

Yeah, I think that’s true. But I also do see editing as a creative process in itself. There is that there is the the analytical side, which will be doing things like checking the grammar and things like word repetition, and all that sort of stuff. But it’s also to me, it’s creative, in the sense of is there a better way that I could be saying this? Is there a better word that I could use them this one? Oh, that sounds like a cliche. I need to really ate my brain to find something that isn’t a cliche, that kind of thing. And to me, that’s a creative process. And therefore if you believe left brain, right brain, that’s very much a right brain exercise.

Richard Lowe  24:57

Well, not necessarily by the left brain, right brain brain Same thing, but different areas of your mind, so to speak, is a different focus editing is more of, you know, it is creative. It’s very creative. And I’ve often changed the entire chapter in while I’m editing. But anyway, what methods of promotion do you recommend for writers?

Clare Flynn  25:20

I think different things work for different people. So I would say try lots of things. Don’t attempt to try them all at once, have a go. If it’s working, keep doing it. If it isn’t, move on to something else. I think there’s, I would say there are two types of promotions. There are those that are very much focused around selling the book immediately. So advertising, advertising and price reduction, the classic examples of that. And then there are those that are more about building saliency and awareness for you as an author and of your books. And I think you need to do both of those. So building your awareness and your profile as an author means that you do need to do social media, even though there are lots of instances where you can’t prove that it’s ever sold. I think I have actually sold a lot of books through social media, but I can’t quantify that in a way that I can with with with other routes. But it has helped me to network with other authors, which has led to invitations to do things like talk to wonderful people like you. Which will hopefully get me exposure to other people who might just say, Well, that sounds interesting, I’ll have a look at books. So as it gets you to be more known so that you can turn up at an event and people will start to say, Oh, yes, I’ve heard of you. And that has increasingly begun to happen to me. Whereas at the beginning, I just thought, Oh, I’ll ever get to know who I am. So, yes, so I think everything has its place. And I think that’s true. Also blogging, people say, Oh, well, blogging is a waste of time. And I don’t do it nearly as much as I probably should do. Simply because it is it is quite an onerous process. And it does distract from the writing. But I do try to keep doing it occasionally. And if somebody invites me to do a piece on their blog, I always say yes, because that’s extending my reach into into other places. And I find that most people who do that are generous, I would always share what if I appear on the blog, I’ll always share that as widely as I can, through social media. And most of the hosts who have you on do the same things for you. So you’re getting out to reach different people. So I do I don’t think I’ve ever ever written turned down a request to guest on somebody else’s blog or whatever.

Richard Lowe  28:20

I’m gonna keep that in mind.

Clare Flynn  28:23

Oh, no. No, I just did a piece just this week, which I didn’t really have time to, but you make the time to do it. Because I think it’s it’s important.

Richard Lowe  28:38

If you had to recommend one promotional method, just one that all writers who are starting out should do, what would you do?

Clare Flynn  28:44

Oh, gosh, keep trying to get a book a book, bub. Because if once you do that’s transformative. I think that’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve only had one. But that it really caused a step change. And it took me, I think it took me 15 attempts to get there. But I’m now probably almost got into trying for another one. And they keep saying no, but you just have to keep plugging away, because it’s highly competitive. But it’s also very expensive. But I found I earned the money back on the same day.

Richard Lowe  29:28

I got I got one BookBub and I earn back about 10 times what I made. Exactly, exactly think I sold 10,000 copies of my book in two days. Yeah.

Clare Flynn  29:38

Wonderful. So that would be my number one slot. But then if you can’t get a book, bub, I would say doing a price reduction and using other there are lots of other vehicles to use in reading news today. Bargain Booksy there’s a number of them And if you can build up several of those, and obviously them much, much cheaper than book, Bob, although not nearly as cost effective. But I, when I launched my third book, lessons from a patchwork quilt, I couldn’t get a book club. And I don’t know whether I just struck lucky and the combination of promotional vehicles I use, but I sold, you know, bearing in mind that at that time I was selling probably, maybe 30 books a month, like a book a day. And then with that promotion, I sold 800 books, wow, in a four day period, which was amazing. And that was without, without, you know, with a turndown is like in the basement. So I haven’t managed to get a relative, okay, I’ve got lots more books, and their level of sales is much higher now. But I think I must have just struck particularly lucky at that time, all the things conspired together. But yeah, so with a combination, you can get some some definite, decent numbers from doing that. So, yes, cutting, reducing the price to get trial. And hopefully, I mean, I don’t tend to write series I have one will come about to launch the trilogy from it, probably except for it in September. But otherwise, all my books are standalone, which kind of goes against the received wisdom, the marketplace and the gurus all say, you need to write series. But I think I suppose my books are quite thematically linked. But I think I have managed to create a style that readers recognize. So people do go and seek out all my books. And if I look on Amazon, they also bought on most of my books, they also bought feature, least four of my other books on the first page. So there is very good, very good sell through.

Richard Lowe  32:23

Good, good. Yeah, I found the solution for promotion that I use is just to be out there to always my face out there. Yes. And not to be saying buy my book, but to be saying, here’s who I am, here’s how I can help you here’s how can i What can I do for you? And be more of a member of a community that when a salesperson?

Clare Flynn  32:45

Absolutely, I think that’s, that’s dead, right? I also try to, wherever possible, go out of my way to help other authors. And I’m in a critique group where we all help each other with the craft side, you know, we each sort of submit once a week and, you know, tear each other’s work to pieces constructively. But in that IO, they always sort of say, oh, Claire, can you tell us how we how do we do this? How do we do that? And I always try to help other people who’ve kind of contacted me and said, How do you how do you do it, and I always try to reach out and help them. I even had a day at my house and invited five other authors so that we could all share ideas. We spent the day critiquing each other’s covers going through each other’s websites. We did an exercise where I broke us all into pairs, and we helped improve each other’s blurbs, etc. That kind of thing, I think can be very, very useful. And you can do it remotely. If you haven’t got anybody close by physically can use Zoom, or Skype or whatever. To reach out to people.

Richard Lowe  34:07

It’s still amazing to me that we’re doing an interview and you’re all the way in the UK and I’m in the United States, different time zones are like eight hours apart. And we’re talking as if we were next door to each other.

Clare Flynn  34:17

Exactly, exactly. I feel as if we are in the same room.

Richard Lowe  34:21

Pretty much. What do you like about being an author? What’s your favorite thing?

Clare Flynn  34:27

I think what I like most is being able to control my own destiny. design my own days, you know, I can get up and decide, right? I’m going to spend the entire day in my pajamas just writing or I can decide to go out on a Reki or go to research something specifically. I can do basically what I want and the other thing all my life, I used to want to find a way to make money while you sleep. And that’s what you can do when you’re an author. Maybe not as much money. I would like, you know, it’s all moving in the right direction. And, yeah, that’s lovely to go go to bed, and then wake up in the morning and see how how many books you saw.

Richard Lowe  35:24

It is interesting, isn’t

Clare Flynn  35:25

it? It’s great. Yes. Yes,

Richard Lowe  35:29

yes. Pretty much bringing this interview to a close. Do you have any injury? Any remarks to finish?

Clare Flynn  35:36

No, I think I would say Oh, the other thing that I guess I should mention is I’m now I’ve just become what we call hybrid, in that having published seven novels and a collection of short stories myself, I’ve now signed a contract for another book. So the next book I write will be under contract for a publisher. And I’ve done that less, because I didn’t set out to do it, they approached me and I have to doing a lot of research and decided to get it made sense. And I’m doing it, basically, to see what I can learn from it. And to see if they can do what they can do that they can do better than I can do. And I’ve not committed to do any more than that. Well, I have committed for one book to be read that I’ve already got out there for them to repackage that relaunch it. And then the book I’m writing will be a sequel to that. So I think that will be a very interesting piece of learning. Even though, you know, I’ve I go to writers conferences where, you know, they have agents and publishers available for you to pitch to, I’ve never done a single pitch and you know, and I didn’t actually, you know, with this, they, as I say they approached me and then I said Okay, how about if if we did this? And they said Yep, great. So I haven’t even given them an outline or a synopsis.

Richard Lowe  37:09

Well, congratulations. Now, what books have you written? Maybe you could show us each of your books.

Clare Flynn  37:16

Okay, well, first one is the greater world which is set in Australia in 1920. Then, I think the Indian one I mentioned, and it’s got a strange title Kurinji flowers because the Kurinji flower only once every 12 years. And strangely enough, this is the year and this is the month they are the whole of if you go to Kerala up into the mountains there will be covered in beautiful purple flowers. And people travel all over from all over India just to see it. And they won’t get another chance now until 2030. Next one, let us for a patchwork quilt is this is my only 19th century book. And it’s set partly in the industrial north of England in a place called Middlesbrough, which was the cradle of the iron industry, and partly in St. Louis in Missouri. So it’s two sides of the Atlantic, that one and that’s called Letters from a patchwork quilt. Then the green ribbons, which is an English country village, and it’s about a governess who an orphaned governess who is forced to seek work in a country house in a little village. Then I chalky See, which was the book that I never planned to write. And it’s actually mostly set here in Eastbourne. And when I moved here, I had no plans at all to write a book set here. As you will have gathered, I’d like to choose more exotic locations. But as soon as I got here, I discovered all kinds of things about what went on in the town during the war. And I lived here in my teams and knew nothing about it. Nobody ever mentioned it. So I started to dig and discover that, you know, half the Canadian Army was based here at one point. So that was the roots for a story. So that’s World War Two. And then having less than that I got besieged with messages and people say, oh, we need to know what happens after the war. So I wrote the alien corn, which is set in Canada, in 1946 to 4748. And that’s all about the experiences of a war bride and carries forward characters from the previous book. I am just It’s my third book in the trilogy, the frozen river is at the editors at the moment. But meanwhile, my most recent published book is the game keepers wife, which is in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, and it’s set on a country estate in England. And it’s a classic across the class divide between the rich to the country estate and the widow of his gamekeeper. And that’s a book that happened because I was staying in again, Keeper’s cottage, and I started to think, oh, I went to feel might have lived here. And lying in bed. The story came into my head and I got I got to write this.

Richard Lowe  40:52

You’re very eclectic writer. You’ve got all different eras. That’s, that’s very interesting. I like your covers. Your cover artist is very good.

Clare Flynn  41:00

Jane Dixon Smith, she’s a genius.

Richard Lowe  41:04

Now how can we find you?

Clare Flynn  41:06

You can find me on my website, which is www dot Claire Flynn. And that’s clear without an ICLA Ori, fly double n.co.uk. You will also find me on Amazon if you got an Amazon page under Claire Flynn, which is of course my own name. I don’t have a pen name. And you’ll find me on Facebook, also Claire Flynn. I’m also on Instagram, and Twitter, where I’ve got a shortened version of My name. I’m Claire Fleiss and CLA Ori, f l y. And, yeah, that’s all of those places.

Richard Lowe  41:50

Thank you for coming. I’ve been talking with Claire Flynn. This is author talk with Richard Lowe, and please subscribe to the video down below. And thank you and we’ll have another video out soon. Thank you very much.

Richard Lowe

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