Claire wrote her first paranormal screenplay at the age of thirteen and named it after a road sign. DANGER ALIVE never made it to the big screen, but she continued to write and daydream her way through school and university, graduated with a BA (Hons) in Film Studies, and spent the next few years working in the British Film Industry.
Among other things, Claire loves waking early to write, singing loudly in the car, making snowmen and pretending to be someone else. Since leaving the BFI she’s become something of a Romantic Comedy junkie, and now lives in France with her French husband and two young sons.
1)How did you come up with the idea for The Glimpse?
The fundamental idea came to me around ten years ago. I went to a talk on the state of mental health in the US and heard about the rapidly increasing number of children being prescribed medication such as Ritalin (an addictive amphetamine-like stimulant which the US government classifies alongside cocaine and morphine) for behavioural problems.
At the time I didn’t have kids, but I found this really disturbing. As I began researching further I knew I’d discovered a subject that I had to write about. I began asking myself what would happen if mental health continued to progress in the direction it is currently headed on. What would the future look like? The Glimpse became my rather disturbing answer!
2)What was your reaction to finding out you would be published?
I think I was in mild shock at first. It’s something I’ve worked for and dreamed about for so long that when it happened I didn’t quite know what to think. My agent sent me an email saying ‘Offer Imminent!’. Subsequently, I lay awake half the night anxiously wondering whether that meant I could get excited yet, or not. The following day, when my agent rang to confirm she’d received an ‘official’ offer, it took several hours to sink in. I think I only really began to believe it and get excited once we’d accepted and finalised details!
3)Did you base any of the characters on people in your life?
I think attitudes and elements of people that are close to me both consciously and unconsciously entered the book and the characters, but I didn’t purposefully base any specific character on someone I know.
4)How did you feel when you finished the book?
That’s a pretty hard question because I finished the book so many times! Firstly, when I was preparing to send it out to agents. Then there were agent revisions, followed by editorial revisions, copy edit revisions… you get the idea. When I finished the editorial revisions I was particularly excited. My editor had asked some tough questions about things she felt weren’t ‘quite there’ yet in the manuscript. Subsequently, I made some big changes to the opening and the ending. She was thrilled with the changes, and I was too because I knew this last big step had made the book that much stronger.
5)Name three things you cannot live without.
My family, sunshine, things that make me laugh.
Thanks for the interview Anna!