Hello and welcome to Reader Corner!
Ever since my very first book was published a highlight for me has been interacting with readers. I love learning about others and giving them a place to tell us about themselves. If you're interested in joining the fun email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact link at the top of the page.
Today I welcome Claire Potterton. She's a fascinating lady with an awesome family. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself and your lovely family with us!
Elizabeth: Tell us a bit about yourself:
I usually get in to trouble for my response to ‘tell me a bit about yourself’, because I always say ‘I’m a Mum’, but it does in fact cover it quite nicely. My children have made me who I am. Their challenges have certainly defined the way I view life, and I'd like to think that they have made me a better person. Ensuring their needs are met has made me a fighter, the need for acceptance and understanding of various aspects of their lives has led to me taking to the stage and speaking out, and raising them on my own has made me stronger that I ever thought I could be!
My eldest son, Cas, has just turned 16. He came out as trans a couple of years ago, has high functioning autism and is beginning a Performing Arts course in September. He is a self taught ukulele and guitar player, writes obsessively, and loves cosplay. His courage and determination take my breath away.
Next come Ollie and Daniel, they turn 14 in the summer and are incredibly tall! Dan has autism, both have ADHD, and both have Cerebral Palsy; not that they ever allow any of those things stop them having a go at anything! Both play guitar, and are technology wizards, which comes in very handy, given that I am a total technophobe.
Phoebe is 11, and my only girl; book obsessed, just like her Mum, a total diva, destined for the stage….and starting high school in September. Aaaargh!
Then there's my baby, who sadly isn't a baby anymore, or so he likes to remind me, often! Alfie is 8, a whizz at maths, (he doesn't get it from me) and a total cuddle monster. An Alfie hug can brighten the darkest of days!
Aside from the mothering, I'm short, slightly overweight, change my hair colour on a monthly basis, bake incessantly and am hopelessly in lust with Gale Harold!
The humans in my house just outnumber our four legged friends. We have three cats, Tiger, Lottie and Harry, (15, 11 and 3), and two dogs. Fergie is an 11 year old Rough Collie bitch and Storm is a completely crackers, 4 year old Siberian Husky. They drive me crazy, ensure I have to vacuum on a daily basis, and keep me fit and active.
Elizabeth: Why were you drawn to this genre?
Claire: I have been an avid reader since I was a kid, torch under the covers and all, but my switch to MM came about as a result of stories cropping up in a few series that I was reading; Ethan, by Nicole Edwards, Lover At Last by JR Ward, and Let Love Live by Melissa Collins. I searched out more books in the genre and very quickly became hooked. Why? Various reasons. The story is often more intensely emotional; a battle to be won, triumph over hate and bigotry.
There is no lead character to make me feel inadequate, no tall, slim, sexy woman with flawless skin, pert and perky boobs etc; and let's be honest, these stories are often hot as Hades!
Reading is my escape, the off switch for my often chaotic life, and quite possibly the saviour of my mental health. The genre has also made me some rather lovely new friends!
Elizabeth: Do you prefer eBooks or paperbacks:
Claire: I generally read ebooks, but have a fairly healthy collection of ‘real’ books, old and new. I would love to have more, but short of having a couple of the kids adopted, I just don't have the space!
Elizabeth: What's your favorite TV show or movie?
Claire: I rarely watch television, it's more effective than a sleeping pill these days, although I have a couple of series on DVD that I watch from time to time. OK, one of them is a bit more than ‘from time to time’, QAF is a bit of an obsession!
Elizabeth: What music do you listen to? Rec’s welcomed!
Claire: Music is also an obsession in our house, any and all music. 80’s rock is loved by everyone, (my kids have been well educated), but my tastes also run to opera, country, 90’s disco, musicals, jazz…….you get the picture. Sadly, my singing voice is reminiscent of a cat being strangled, not that it stops me belting out my favourites; my children however, appear to have inherited their voices from there father..thank goodness!
We are a slightly bonkers, decidedly weird, and incredibly happy bunch.
I'm coming to the end of my current Work In Progress, Edge Jump. The story has gotten to the point where my two guys have decided they'll be a long term couple. Now, among other things, they're navigating the landmine of those first months of cohabitation. That first blush of romance has faded, the honeymoon is over and it's time for real life now.
They're creating a new family.
I give a ridiculous amount of thought to creating the plots for the books I write. Romance books are about, well romance, right? Two people meet--in the case of my books, two men--during the course of the story they're attracted to each other, develop feelings for each other and finally form a--hopefully--lasting bond. The characters are different, the backdrops vary, but the idea is the same: they form a family.
I'm all about family of choice. When we read a romance novel there is the excitement of the couple meeting. Will they get along? Will they connect? Will they be kept apart?
Then yes, finally our couple shares a kiss and kiss leads to more. By the end of the book what were two separate people have come together and formed a family.
A family of choice.
Each of my novels has the family in a different stage of its development.
In Jewel Cave and during most of the Sentries series the couples are established. The family was formed. Clint and Griff from Jewel Cave have two dogs, and Todd and Nick from Sentries have their horses and an extensive network of close friends who are more like extended family.
Gone Away has two men reuniting after a few years apart, so this is a family coming together again. They've grown and like many families realize the reasons for separating aren't nearly as important as why they belong together.
The family created in The Vampire Guard series is a little different. This is a larger family, two couples. These four men have complicated and layered relationships with one another. Each couple have their romantic relationship. In addition there are the relationships between each team member. It's what makes them not only a team but a family of choice.
These men will do anything for one another, no matter what personal danger they may face.
When a writer creates a romance novel they're inviting us on the inside of something very special. A new family is budding, an existing family is changing and blooming into something different, and hopefully better. The main characters face more challenges than simply getting beyond that first kiss. They're creating traditions, forging alliances and reinforcing love so it can last.
That's really the happiest ending of all.
Join the panel discussion on Genre Talk about how authors develop story ideas. There will be discount coupons offered!
Until next month! Happy Reading,
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