Claire Sheldon’s debut novel, Perfect Lie, is released on Choc Lit TODAY, and to help celebrate the launch of her book, here is a Q and A with Claire.
Congratulations on the release of your new novel, Claire! Can you give us a flavour please about the plot of Perfect Lie?
It’s about housewife Jen, who has built up what she thinks is the perfect life. She has everything; the hubby, the adorable kids but then starts to receive things through the post, such as a bunch of flowers and a card, with no idea who is sending these and why.
Meanwhile, a body turns up in the town of Long Eaton and DI Chris Jackson and his team are called to investigate, but they can’t ID her and no one knows who she is. When they eventually get a hit of who she is, Jen has to decide between promises she once made and her family
How long did it take you to write?
I guess four to five years. It’s been a long slog and I am looking forward to finally getting Perfect Lie over the line on the 16th June.
What’s your favourite part of the book?
Other than when I typed custardy suite instead of custody suite, there is a line in there when the DI says “What the actual fuck!” I think that is my best bit.
When did you start out writing?
I wrote a lot of teenage angst stuff when I was younger, so if anyone wants some YA, it’s in my bottom drawer somewhere. But seriously, it was when I had to cut my hours at work due to my health and I suddenly found myself with free time and no idea how to fill it. I joined a creative writing class and, along with inspiration from some great authors whose books I was reading, I made a start and the rest, as they say, is history.
What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
The best bit for me was when the cover reveal happened and then Choc Lit were having their festival. I pretty much spent the day at the computer trying to keep up with it all.
The worst I have to say is the emotional rollercoaster of it all, from submission to publication, far too many up and downs for my liking.
How do you get inspiration for your characters?
A lot of daydreaming. Jen was at the height of her career and she did the one thing she never expected – she fell in love with James.
DI Chris Jackson is kind of me. He was brought up with all the police dramas I was, so as soon as he was old enough he joined the police and worked his way up the ranks because that at the time was all he ever wanted.
And James, he lives the corporate lifestyle, and has everything in his life mapped out in front of him, until it goes wrong. James is the extreme other end of some of the guys have worked with over the years.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned throughout the writing/publishing process?
I don’t have patience at the best of times, so I’ve had to try to have more. Now I’m a published author, I’ve seen that it’s all worked out in the end, even though there might have been tears along the way.
What are your top three reads of all time?
This is so hard! I’m going to go with C L Taylor – The Lie; Mark Edwards – Because She Loves Me; and Rebecca Bradley – Shallow Waters.
These three authors have been a great inspiration to me, and these were the first books I read by each author.
What are you reading at the moment?
I have just finished Moscow Whisper by Mike Jenkins. I have no idea what I am going to read next – I’ll probably stare at my bookshelves and then maybe pick one or possibly go with The Beast by Matt Wesolowski.
What’s next for you?
I have one book which is with the publisher and I am currently attempting to write my third, slowly but surely…
If Perfect Lie sounds like your perfect read, you can grab your copy on your preferred platform now:
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3dj40WZ
Barnes Nobble: https://bit.ly/3gAeT8V