Today I introduce Claire Buss, a UK writer and author of the recently released book “The Rose Thief”.
My current project is the sequel to my first novel The Gaia Effect. Previously my characters over came various obstacles and won the day but now we’re heading into Empire Strikes Back territory. My antagonist, Corporation, is angry and fighting back so things look bleak for the good guys. I’m still in first draft stage and haven’t finished that yet so I’m not entirely sure how the book will end.
Plotter or pantser? How do your novels come together? Is it different for a series?
I am a pantser, I prefer to just write and see where it takes me. Often the structure comes afterwards as I go through the first draft finding plot holes. My books tend to grow organically, I don’t know how long the book will be before I start writing or even what will happen to my characters in the end. My current WIP is my first sequel so my first attempt at a series. I plan to get the rough draft finished and then read The Gaia Effect again so I can refresh my memory on character traits and the narrative style of the book.
Who is your favorite hero and why?
I don’t have a hero as such. When I am finding things tough, I say to myself – just think about all the other people who have come before you and managed to get through it all. I admire people who never give up and persevere to achieve their goals in life. It takes a lot of grit and determination sometimes to stick to your guns and get what you want out of situations.
What authors influenced your writing?
Terry Pratchett was behind the inspiration for The Rose Thief but my other books weren’t consciously written in the style of any particular author. I do read as much as possible, my favourite genres are sci-fi & fantasy but I do also push myself to read outside of those and experience as many different styles as possible. Considering my writing is not particularly flowery or descriptive, I do enjoy reading 19th century literature.
What’s the worst writing advice you have heard?
Anything that starts with ‘You must do this’ or ‘Never do that’ because really there are no rules. Sure there are certain types of books you can write that fit a certain formula that will sell but only until the publishing houses move onto the next preferred format. You should write in a style that feels natural for you. That’s not to say you should ignore all writing advice but perhaps listen with an open mind, if you did everything ‘they’ said you’d have no book at all.
If you travelled in time, when would be your choice? Would you prefer magical or technological means of travel?
I’d like to visit lots of different eras, to see whether the scientists got the dinosaurs right and whether historians nailed the cavemen or the romans. But I’d prefer a TARDIS sort of approach, powered by magic perhaps? Can I have the best of both?
How much time, effort and research do you put into worldbuilding?
For The Gaia Effect I tried to imagine how technology would’ve advanced in 200 years whilst also surviving a near mass extinction event that made much of the Earth uninhabitable. I drew a simple map of the city, trying to work out how to lay out the various buildings but for the sequel my characters travel more so I need to think about roads and landscapes as well as the size of the country they live in. For The Rose Thief I only imagined the parts I was writing about, the rest of the world still needs building which is exciting because I am planning more books in this universe.
Do any of your pets end up in a story?
I don’t have any pets currently. I used to have a tortoise, a hamster, a budgie, a black cat and fish. Although not all at the same time. And only the tortoise is still alive. But he doesn’t live with me, mostly because I have no garden and also because I am too scared to pick him up or handle him in any way, shape or form. So no – no pets immortalised in my fiction, yet.
What is the next project?
After the Gaia sequel, I plan to work on two novellas based in The Rose Thief world. I have several great ideas for new books so I’m a little bit spoilt for choice on my next book. I’m hoping to also release another short story collection to go with Tales from Suburbia and continue to submit short stories to various competitions and anthologies. Basically keep on writing.
People want to know more! Where can we buy the latest book and where are you on the internet?
All my books are available on Amazon. Here are the individual links.
Here are my social media links:
FB Group: www.facebook.com/groups/BussBookStop
In the meantime, click and have a read of Druid’s Portal