Meet the Author: Claire Fayers
Tell us about yourself and how you became an author.
I live in Cardiff with my husband and two very annoying cats – and I have always loved making up stories. My first book was published after I won a writing competition and I have been writing full time ever since.
Tell us about Storm Hound.
Storm Hound is my fourth book to be published and unlike my other books it’s set in a real world in the little Welsh town of Abergavenny.
It’s a great epic and serious tale of Storm, one of the hunting hounds belonging to the Norse god Odin. One night, Storm crash‑lands down to earth and he finds he has shrunk to the size of a tiny little cute puppy. Nobody will take him seriously anymore, and even the sheep laugh at him.
But very soon, though, Abergavenny is filling up with strange people, all talking about magic and looking for the great and mighty Storm Hound… meanwhile Storm has been adopted by a human family who have problems of their own and maybe, just maybe, they can help each other.
What did you enjoy most – and least – about writing this book?
Most of all I liked creating the character of Storm Hound himself. He is great fun to write about and he is a huge personality.
My least favourite bit about writing this book was finishing it. I know that most authors would say this about their books, but the story actually meant a lot to me personally. I put a lot of myself into it and it was very hard to say goodbye at the end.
What was your favourite book as a child and why?
I have an awful lot of favourite childhood books but one that has stuck by me is Enid Blyton’s The Adventures of the Wishing-chair. I remember this book in particular because in one year in my primary school we had a story time, and at end of the day we would all sit on cushions on the floor and the teacher would read to us a chapter of a book.
We read The Adventures of the Wishing-chair stories together and I always remember sitting there, listening to these wonderful adventures and I loved the idea that you could get into a chair at home and the chair would grow wings and fly. I loved the thought of going to magical lands – that’s probably why I like fantasy now. The Adventures of the Wishing-chair are great fun.
Where do you like to write?
My favourite place to write is my office at home. I’ve got it all kitted out with bookshelves and a desk, and there’s a nice door out to the garden so that the cats can wander in and out. It’s really a special space to write in.
Do you have any advice for a budding writer?
First of all, write about the things you love, not the things that you’d think maybe you ought to write about. Whenever I’m planning a story I get myself a big sheet of paper and I always make a list of everything I can think about that will be fun, whether they will fit together into a story or not. And when I’ve got my list together, which could be 40 or 50 different things, I start to try and match them up to see what I can put together to form an adventure.
The other thing is to read a lot. Every time you’re reading you’re seeing how other people are telling stories, and you’re finding out the kind of stories that you like. Don’t stick to an author that you know you like. Try different authors you’ve never heard of, and perhaps try reading poetry and non-fiction and lots and lots of different things; then you’ll find out what you like and don’t like.
And finally, don’t give up! Writing is like anything else – you need to practice, and some days you’ll write things that you think aren’t very good. If that’s the case you’re in good company, because every author looks at their work every day and thinks that. So keep on writing. Every time you write, you’re getting better and your stories are getting better. So have fun, read lots and don’t give up!
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