Monday, 5 February 2018

The Rose Thief: A #Fantasy Novel by Claire Buss

Claire Buss is a science fiction, fantasy & contemporary writer based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 setting her writing career in motion.

The Gaia Effect, a hopeful dystopian novel and winner of the 2017 Raven Award for favourite Scifi/Fantasy novel, was published in 2016.

Tales from Suburbia, a collection of humorous plays, blogs and short stories was published in July 2017.

The Rose Thief, a humorous fantasy inspired by Claire's love of Pratchett was published in November 2017.

Claire has had two short stories published in 2017. 'Underground Scratchings' can be found in the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Tales from the Underground, published by Inklings Press. 'Patient Data' can be found in the sci-fi anthology The Quantum Soul, published by SciFi Roundtable.

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About the Book

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor's roses. But that's not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It's up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn't exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I've always wanted to be a writer but never had the confidence to actually commit to writing a book. Then I saw a local writing competition and for some reason I thought, let's have a go at that and submitted an opening chapter without realising that those shortlisted would have to submit the rest of the novel. After getting shortlisted I had three months to write the rest of the book - definitely a baptism of fire! The book, The Gaia Effect, went on to place second in the competition and was published in December 2016. That gave me the confidence to keep writing and I went on to self-publish two additional books in 2017 - Tales from Suburbia and The Rose Thief - as well as two short stories in sci-fi & fantasy anthologies Tales from the Underground and The Quantum Soul.

Do you have a "day job"?

My 'day job' is a stay at home mum to my little boy, four and a half, and my brand new daughter. At the moment finding the time to write is proving to be somewhat of a challenge but I hope to find some kind of work balance soon.

What genres do you write?

I write fantasy, sci-fi and humour. I expect I may well try some other genres in the future as well.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?

I had to research how to blow a building up using remotely triggered C4 and then what the building looked like as it collapsed. I was so nervous doing the internet searches but it was worth it because I think that scene in The Gaia Effect is really strong.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

I continually re-read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I have now added to my re-readable bookshelf the Peter Grant novels by Ben Aaronovitch. I do enjoy re-reading books. I have also re-read the Eragon & Harry Potter books.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?

My Goodreads TBR list is over 4000 strong. It's not my fault. There are too many exciting looking books out there! The last ten books I added were:

  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  • If I Wake by Nikki Moyes
  • The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman
  • At The Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon
  • Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
  • Twelve Days by Steven Barnes
  • The Moon and The Other by John Kessel
  • Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
  • Into The Fire by Kim Vandel
  • Book Launch Blueprint by Tim Grahl

About how many books do you read in a year?

Last year I read 100 and I was pretty chuffed with that. This year I have set my target at 52 because of the new human.

Do you prefer ebooks, print or both?

I prefer print books although ebooks take up less space and are excellent for when you're travelling. I sometimes find it trickier to get into an ebook because I can't easily see how long the chapters are etc but there is something very satisfying about pressing the next page button.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

I am a complete pantser. Outlining or planning, to me, would be the ultimate procrastination exercise. I am much better off just diving straight into the writing process. I usually aim for 1000 words at one sitting and I never read back what I wrote the day before, I just carry on and deal with all the plot holes after the first draft has been completed.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the sequel to my debut novel The Gaia Effect. I managed to knock out 50k words during NaNoWriMo but now I am itching to get back to it and continue working on the story. It is a very, very rough draft and I will need to go back and re-read The Gaia Effect to ensure I have remembered my characters personality and quirks. It's quite scary writing a sequel because you want to be able to do the first book justice and make the sequel just as exciting. There have been lots of questions from readers as well so it would be great to be able to answer some of those. It may develop into a trilogy, I just don't know yet because I haven't finished the current storyline.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

I'd like to say thank you so much for taking a chance on my books. It's amazing that people I don't know have been drawn to read my novels and when someone leaves a review I am always so excited to see what they thought and what they took away from the book. I love that different people get different things out of the same story. I'd also like to say - keep leaving reviews! It really is the best thing you can do for any author.


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