Orsayor: Hi Claire, Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Claire: Thank you for having me! I live in Bath, UK with my husband and two children. I used to be a journalist but I’ve always wanted to be a novelist since I was a child. I entered a competition that Marie Claire magazine were holding and was thrilled when I won with the first three chapters of The Sisters. My prize was a publishing contract with HarperCollins.
Orsayor: What inspired you to write The Sisters?
Claire: I love psychological thrillers and films like Single White Female. A long time ago I knew a set of twins – one boy and one girl – and the girl used to get jealous of the boy’s relationships as she found it hard to let go. Nothing to the extent of Beatrice, but that gave me the idea for the Beatrice and Ben storyline. The Abi storyline was inspired by the death of my brother, it made me want to write about siblings and grief. It was only as I began writing the first chapter that I realized that Abi should be a twin too!
Orsayor: Do you work with an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Claire: I like to have a rough idea of the twist, how it’s going to end (although I originally had a different ending for The Sisters) but apart from that a lot of plot twists and turns come to me as I’m writing!
Orsayor: Was there a scene in The Sisters that was hard for you to write?
Claire: There is quite a violent scene in the book that was hard to write. It was too tame to begin with! I had to ramp it up a bit.
Orsayor: Give readers an insight into one of your main characters from the book.
Claire: Abi Cavendish is 29 years old, living in Bath and mourning the death of her twin sister, Lucy. She was always the quieter sister, the needier one and without Lucy she doesn’t know who she is, or how to be. They did everything together; shared a flat, had the same group of friends. She’s constantly looking for her other half. She’s on anti-depressants and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She’s very unhappy when she first meets Beatrice. That’s why she clings to her so much. She latches onto her because she reminds her of Lucy.
Orsayor: Who designed your book cover for The Sisters?
Claire: The brilliant art team at HarperCollins. I absolutely love it. I feel very lucky that they came up with such an eye-catching cover!
Orsayor: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Claire: Ooh I love this question! My dream cast would be; Emily Blunt to play Beatrice, Zooey Deschanel to play Abi (but with blonde hair like when she was in Elf!) and Eddie Redmayne for Ben!
Orsayor: What’s one valuable piece of advice you were given that helped your career?
Claire: I think the most important advice I was given – well, I actually read it from another author, is never give up. Believe in yourself.
Orsayor: Can you tell readers about any upcoming projects?
Claire: My new psychological thriller Local Girl Missing is coming out in the UK in August. It’s about a woman called Francesca who goes back to her hometown twenty years after her best friend went missing to find out what happened to her. It’s a story about childhood friendships, jealousies, hidden secrets and poses the question, can you ever escape your past?
Orsayor: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Claire: Facebook: clairedouglasauthor – Twitter: DougieClaire