Author of the Week: Claire Fullterton

Our Author of the Week is Claire Fullerton, author of Dancing to an Irish Reel. Welcome, Claire! Can you please tell us a little about yourself?

I consider myself a Southerner, having grown up in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a source of identification for me, and although I now live in Southern California, I am never far from my roots. I have a particular affinity with Ireland and once lived on its western coast for an entire year. Suffice it to say I am a Southerner, an Irish-American, a lover of animals and long walks in the woods, but what defines me the most is my love of language and words.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing by keeping a journal from the time I was about eighteen. I felt an inexplicable need to document my life: its daily events and the people who impacted me. It was like keeping a running monologue that kept me current with my emotional life. I look back now and realize that I was following an inner prompting that taught me how to write and how to articulate in a clear and concise manner.

What is your chosen genre?

Contemporary fiction because my aim is to write about how I view and experience the every day events that shape a life. I like the idea of human nature being common, as in something that links us all together. Contemporary fiction helps us to see ourselves as we read someone's story.

Can you please tell us about your most recent release?

I'd love to! "Dancing to an Irish Reel" is contemporary fiction set on the western coast of Ireland. A single American female named Hailey Crossan leaves the Los Angeles record business and takes a trip to the west of Ireland, where she is unexpectedly offered a job that is too good to turn down, so she stays. She is quickly befriended by a group of Irish locals who help her navigate the nuances of rural Ireland, and when she meets a regionally famous Irish musician who is enamored of her but afraid to come closer, it is Hailey's friends that help he decipher the confusion. "Dancing to an Irish Reel" is about discovering a new land, and also about the uncertainty of new love.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?

I think repeatedly fine-tuning the manuscript after the completion of the first draft is the real work. To me, it is like tightening a puzzle because one has to pay attention to cadence and flow, as well as to continuity. One has to know the entire book word for word as if it were an 800 word essay. Keeping the overview in mind at all times is the trick.

Are there certain themes or lessons you tend to explore in your books?

I like the idea of how much people hide from others as they go about their lives. People like to appear more together than they actually are and always like to save face. I like the idea of how people say one thing when they mean another. I think it is the emotional life of a character that has the real story!

What is your primary goal as an author?

To continue to grow. To aim towards saying things better, more cohesively, more poignantly. It is an effort towards presenting the best book possible in the hopes that it will engage, perhaps enlighten, and always to entertain.

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Which authors and/or books have inspired you as a writer?

Everything Pat Conroy has written, and I am also an admirer of Donna Tartt. Both are masters of language, which I believe writers have to be.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have just completed my 3rd novel.

What advice would you like to share with new or aspiring authors?

My best advice is to remind all writers that writing is a continuous growth process with no "there" to get to! This is the good news! We can all be well into our eighties and still evolving as a writer, which is not something you can say about many occupations. But the pursuit is a process and a build; a marathon, not a sprint, as I have heard it said. It is my opinion that writers don't seek to be a writer, they simply get in touch with the fact that they are!

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Author Bio: Claire Fullerton is the author of “Dancing to an Irish Reel” (Contemporary fiction) and “A Portal in Time,” (Paranormal mystery), both from Vinspire Publishing.  She is a 4 time, award winning essayist, a contributor to magazines (including “Celtic Life International” and “Southern Writers Magazine”) a former newspaper columnist, and a 5 time contributor to the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. Claire hails from Memphis, Tennessee and now lives in Malibu, California, with her husband and two German shepherds. She has recently completed her third novel, which is a Southern family saga set in Memphis.

Connect with the Author:
Direct Links to Purchase  "Dancing to an Irish Reel"
Direct Links to Purchase ​"A Portal in Time"
  • Amazon Books and Kindle EBooks:  Link
  • Barnes and Noble Books and Nook EBooks:  Link
  • ​Google Play:  Link
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