Author Spotlight ~ Claire C. Riley

I’m sitting here – at this very moment – with the biggest smile on my face! I love doing these author spotlights because I get to connect with authors and share them with those of you who read these weekly segments. Then there are the times where I get to share someone so special to me – it makes me giddy! This is one of those times! Claire C. Riley is not only a talented writer, but she’s also a wonderful friend that I am so happy to know. Now if I could just get her to the states….Anyway! Let’s get this shindig started! ❤ ❤

Synopsis of Odium:

18486757It’s better to die by the gun than die by the dead. 

Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise. 
Now, she lives behind the walls. 

The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond. 

Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders. 

An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond. 

Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife. 

Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew. 

Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall. 

And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten.

Let’s get to know…

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T – Slutty!!! Thank you thank you thank you soooooo much for agreeing to do this! You know how much I love you and how amazingly talented I think/KNOW you are! For those who are not familiar with your awesomeness, introduce yourself and tell them all your deep darks. (Or just your shallow lights.)

C –  Well hello there Hoe-Bag! < totally an affectionate nickname, and HI everyone else.

My name is Claire C Riley and I’m a writer of dark paranormal romances and apocalyptic horror—specifically zombies, but not restricted to them. I live in the UK with my husband, three daughters and one scruffy dog!

I read pretty much any genre going, and I’m an old fashioned paperback lover. Wait, what? That sounded weirder than it was meant. I mean I love paperbacks on my shelf, still sounds weird…crap, moving along. 

T – Okay, let’s talk Odium! Holy crap! We both know I was so scared/nervous to read this book. Big gurl panties have never fit so good! Where did the idea for this story come?

C – And you were so brave for reading it! I love it when people read out of their genre and take a chance on something new. People assume horror/zombies = scary and gory, and while that’s true in some respects, there is an actual plot with great characters that shake it all up, and you miss out big time by not branching out a little.

Like I said before, I read pretty much any genre, romance, horror, erotica, ya, whatever. But I’ve always loved apocalyptic books and movies. I love anything that enables me to see how people would change and react to different situations, and what better way to show that than with the end of civilization as we know it!

The story idea came from wanting to write a horror book with realistic characters. You’ve seen it yourself, horror films where the blond chick runs into the scary looking house. Well, I try to break down the cliché and write something people can actually relate to.

T – I’m so excited to read the rest of the series, and I know that more and more people are starting to catch on to how great it is. What are some of your favorite comments about Odium?

C – Honestly, the series has been so well received by both respected horror fans and newbies to the genre, and I’ve been surprised and excited by both.

My favorite thing though is when someone I didn’t think would like it does. Like you for instance one of the wonderful girls in my Little Red’s Dead’s Street Team – Maribel, she doesn’t normally read horror/zombies, that sort of thing, but she read a review that Madeline Sheehan wrote about Odium and how much she loved it and took a chance on me. And I’m so glad she did, because she’s an awesome girl, and I’m really glad to have met her.

So my favourite thing to hear is, ‘I’ve never read this genre before, and I loved it’

T – Nina is a kick-ass heroine. She takes her fate into her own hands; she doesn’t wait for a guy to save her (although there is a sexy man there!), she learns what is necessary to survive in a zombie-run world. What do you love about Nina and how much like her are you?

C – There’s bits of me in Nina, though she’s a much more exaggerated version of me. I love that she’s feisty and won’t take any crap from anyone, but she also has NO CLUE on how to survive an apocalypse, and that is totally me. Though with all the research I’ve done, I might fare a little better now haha. She’s great fun to write because I don’t have to think about what she would say, I just go with my gut reaction. Like ‘a zombie walks into a bar’ what would YOU say, and how would you react? You’d scream and cuss up a storm while running a million miles an hour in the other direction- and so does she.

T – Limerence is another series you have going that I would love to read. I know it’s like picking your favorite child, but do you have a favorite between Limerence and Odium?

C – The two series are SO different. There’s the obvious difference – Odium is zombies and Limerence is vampires thing, but the entire style is different. Mia the lead in Limerence puts a lot more thought into what she says, whereas Nina just spews whatever comes out of her. I can’t choose, but I will say that Limerence is much harder to write, I bleed for these words, whereas Odium pours from me.

T – Since I haven’t read Limerence, what can you tell me about this book?

C – I’m currently writing the sequel now actually and hope to get it out by August/September time. So the definition of Limerence is ‘an intense infatuation with someone or something’ and that’s what happens in the book. Unfortunately for our MC Mia, the man that is infatuated with her is a 100 year old vampire and he’s not used to being told no. Mia goes through a lot of turmoil trying to resist Mr Breckt the vampire because she knows something is wrong with him and she loves her fiancé, but you can’t fight a vampire. And these vampires don’t sparkle.

T – I know that you are busy, doing the wife and mom thing. As if that isn’t enough, what else are you working on right now (besides this interview, because I know you will say that! LOL!)?

C – I did want to say that haha.

Well, I’m working on the sequel to Limerence, Odium Origins part two, Odium III, and a new apocalyptic series I’ve been playing around with also. That along with some anthology contributions, getting Odium II ready to send to my narrator so she can get started on the second Audiobook, and well yeah, I’m really busy! But I love it. 

T – I’m fortunate to have you and some others in my corner when writing; support is an amazing thing in this industry. What do you feel is the easiest and hardest part of writing?

C – Nothing is easy about it. As a writer you fight for everything.

You fight to get the words out on the page, to get your book ready- cover, editing, formatting, posters, swag, teasers, to promote it with blogs and readers, to plead and beg for someone to leave you a one line review, to not get disheartened or give up when it gets hard. Because it does get hard.

So nothing is easy. But that’s okay, because if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

T – What is your favorite thing about the Indie Writing Community?

C – There are SO many unbelievably good things about it. Mainly the fans, readers, bloggers, other authors that you meet. They—you make it worth all the torment.

T – Who is your biggest inspiration personally and professionally?

C – Personally, my children. That sounds cheesy and corny, but it’s true. When I’m getting stressed out and upset with it all, they say things and don’t even realize how much it moves me. Just the other day I walked in on them all talking, and my eldest (9) was telling our middle girl (7) that she had just finished reading another book. She said soon her bookshelf was going to be as big as mummy’s, and when she grew up she would be a famous poet (she wants to be a poet) and was going to have a big house with a huge library, but she’d keep a bookshelf just for my books. How can I not be inspired by that.

Professionally? All of you writers out there. Cheesy? Yes, but it’s true. You work damn hard, and you inspire me with your determination and cheerleading that you do for one another.

T- Have you ever reached a point where you want to throw in the writing towel? If so, how do you get out of that funk?

C – Yes, oh hell yes I get this.

I try to remember how far I’ve come, and if I were to give it all up now, in five-ten years time I will be so sad that I let it all slip through my fingers.

So I stick my headphones on, pump up some music and write a good scene.

Even if I skip to the middle part of a book. I’ll write a sex scene, or a sad scene, or a fighting scene, something that really gets me feeling something for the story and the characters. Because sometimes you get so stuck on all the little boring parts to a story that you forget the fun, and the reason you started.

T – Five years down the road, what is your goal for your writing? Publishing deal? Agent? Movies?

C – Yes, all of that ha ha ha. I absolutely love being Indie published—total truth, but it would be cool to have an agent and get a publishing deal at some point also. I’d like to combine the two and be both traditionally and indie published at some point. And movie? Hell-to-the-yes! hahah

Lightning Round!!! Are you ready?!? Twitter-sized answers as fast as you can 😉

T – Tats or Piercing
C – BOTH!

T – Dirty or Durty
C – Durty
T – AGREED!

T – Would you rather be turned into a zombie or a sparkly vampire
C – Shit, none of them. Okay if I had to pick I guess sparkly vampire because I wouldn’t want to be a rotting corpse!

T – Favorite American saying
C – Ya’ll!
T – LMFAO!!!! I love YOUR version!

T – If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go
C – You know I just stared at this question for like twenty minutes. I was like Canada, New Zealand, Hawaii, America, Greenland. I just can’t decide.
T – Wrong! The correct answer is “Texas.” We were looking for Texas, Claire 😉

T – Sexiest Man Alive
C – Tom Hardy

T – Favorite Naughty Word
C – Fuck
T – You can do better than that!!! LOL!

T – Favorite Zombie Movie
C – Night of the Living Dead.

T – The world is ending you can only save one person. Who is it
C – Tom Hardy! Hahaha, oh, and my kids blah blah, but yeah, TOM HARDY! Haha

T – In the movie of your life, who would play you?
C – Ooooh, either Isle Fisher, or Emma Stone.

T – Favorite cuss word
C – FUCK!

T – Kiss/Kill/Marry – “CHRIS” edition (Pines, Hemsworth, Evans) –

Kill = Chris Evans.
Kiss = Chris Pines.
Marry = Chris Hemsworth.

T – Favorite Author
C – I don’t have a favourite, seriously. I read too many different genres and authors to pick a favourite. So I abstain ma’ lady!

T – Final question: if you could say anything to your readers, what would you say? 

C – Thank you so much. For reading, for recommending, for leaving reviews, for taking the time to look me up and follow me, for giving a shit what I have to say. For everything. You are my rock stars.

T – I love you so much!! You are the best and I’m so glad to call you my Slutty Slutterson Friend!!

C – Right back at you, doll, you’re my little Hoe-Bag hahahaah, and I love you. xxxx

Follow/Stalk/Chase Claire all over the place and watch her zombie dash! Kidding! But keep up with her, our girl Claire is awesome!!

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