I'm sure there must be loads of debut authors with books coming out in the next few months but I haven't had the chance recently to browse publishers websites or Amazon for ideas for my debut spotlight features. So I'm thankful that one such author contacted me direct so I'll hand you over to Claire Smith to tell us a little bit about herself and what inspired her to start writing...
I was born in Sale, South Manchester, England in October 1968. I still live in Sale and am now married with two teenaged boys an ancient cat called Meg and a beautiful big black dog called Danny.
Since childhood I have always loved to read and soon graduated from The Famous Five, through Swallows and Amazons to the likes of Jacqueline Suzanne, Harold Robbins and Jackie Collins in my teens. In my twenties I discovered such fantastic writers as Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsyth, Clive Cussler, Wilbur Smith and Robert Ludlum to name but a few. However, it was not one of these greats who inspired me to write. It was a series of dreadful books by several someone’s I can't remember which prompted me to make real the notion "I could do better than this..."
So "No More Butterflies", my first novel, began. It took several years to write, with children, home life, husband and job all getting in the way at some point or other but eventually it was finished.
Everybody who has read it so far has been sobbing by the end and the reviews generated so far on Amazon have been very encouraging.
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A surprisingly uplifting psychological drama with dark moments and romantic overtones. Dealing with the subjects of domestic psychological, physical and sexual abuse and the lasting damage these do to their victims, it covers twelve years in the lives of two initially unconnected girls, Emma and Helen, both the victims of some form of abuse and the very different consequences this abuse has to both their lives.
There are some dark and tragic moments as Emma stumbles from one emotional or physical disaster to the next from the ages of sixteen to twenty-eight. Ultimately it is the realisation of all her clichéd romantic dreams which provides her with the trigger she desperately needs to enable her to take control of her own life. It makes her realise the only way to no longer be a victim is to stop relying on others for emotional and physical stability and to stand on her own two feet. It gives her the courage to face her fears and to do what is right for her daughter.
Helen, on the other hand, uses abuse as a weapon with which to defend herself from a world she can not understand. In reality the abuse she has suffered is difficult to define and the line between legitimate psychological damage and inbuilt character traits is blurred.
The two girls’ lives come together with devastating effects.
Book links: Amazon UK or Amazon US