I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Claire Seeber’s new novel, The Stepmother, with a quick chat about power naps, being witty with a Pringle, and writing psychological thrillers. Over to Claire…
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I’m a proper Londoner 🙂 Having said that, my dad is actually Austrian, from the middle of the Alps, & now lives near the sea in Sussex. I love the sea. I have mixed feelings about mountains – majestic but there’s no way out!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An actress. I had a go too, when I left university but I gave it up when I got asked to be ‘witty with a Pringle crisp’ in an audition. It was soul-destroying!
List three words to describe yourself.
Silly. Loyal. Over-thinker (is that 2 words?!)
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Cate Blanchett? Because she’s an awesome actress, got amazing bone structure that I covet, and she’s quite tall, like me!
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Favourite?! Chocolate!!! But most sensible? Nuts & seeds! I try not to eat a huge lunch because otherwise I have to have what I like to call a ‘power nap’!
If you had a super power, what would it be?
My kids asked me that the other day. To fly I reckon. Then I wouldn’t have to get on a sweaty plane again!
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I wrote for the broadsheets in my late 20s, features about things like sibling rivalry and pushy parents. I started trying to write a book when I was being a TV director but it didn’t come out right as I never had enough time. When I had my first son in 2004, I went to an evening class, to see if I could actually finish a whole book. I did – it was LULLABY, my first novel! When I’m not writing, I’m shouting at my kids 🙂 I’m also training to be a counselor and occasionally, doing the odd TV job.
Where did the inspiration for The Stepmother come from?
Partly from my own experiences as a stepchild (several times over). And from now having step-kids and looking at my own boys having had a stepmother. The emotions can be so intense…and not always ‘correct’! And then also from the fairy tale Snow White – a typical ‘evil stepmother’ story – but why are they ALWAYS meant to be bad in folklore? I wanted to dissect that a bit.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I’m not really into blood and gore; into torture. I don’t like really nasty murders etc; it’s not my thing. I don’t want to write about paedophilia either, although I’m always interested in the psychology behind events. I’ve never written about a serial killer – I don’t actually think there are that many out there, and that steers me away from finding it fascinating. I think they’re mainly just psychopaths!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to get the balance right over why Jeanie keeps her secrets for so long, I think, without annoying the readership.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel?
I would love to…if I’d written it! Still trying to work out which thriller next…
What can we expect from you in the future?
Having said that, I’ve been writing something very different; historical and longer, still a thriller, about love and spying between the wars. But it’s so long I can’t even decide which bit to give you here… 🙂
Acclaim for The Stepmother:
“Fast-paced, dark, intense, and suspenseful… This is definitely not your usual fairy tale… if you love page-turning thrillers you can’t go wrong with this one.” What’s Better than Books?
” I found my heart in my mouth as The Stepmother reaches its terrifying and heart stopping conclusion” The Book Review Cafe ” It was so good I have been hiding in the toilet at work reading this on my phone as I needed to find out what happened!!” Consumer Reviewer
” The two POVs together slowly reveal the whole disastrous picture and while you think you got it there’s some new revelation turning things upside down.” Reading Experience