Clare spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant, and now writes full time.
Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a top ten bestseller and was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015.
*Would you like to introduce yourself to the Dutch readers, using five characteristics?
I am creative, curious, interested in people, addicted to words and easily distracted...
*Your books are absolute psychological thrillers. How dit you come up with the plots?
My first novel, MEA CULPA, was inspired by a real-life hit-and-run that occurred when I was a police officer, and my second was the result of a journey to London, watching commuters going to work. My third novel is also inspired by a real-life situation, but telling you about it would spoil the story!
*What character in the books has most of you in it?
There is a little piece of me in every character that I write. In LET ME LIE, my most recent book, I empathised with Anna - a new mother - but also with Murray, a retired detective. Although I am not (quite!) as old as Murray, I remember the feeling of impotency when I left the police, and think I put something of myself into his character as a result.
*The covers of your books are the same for all translations. Did they do that on your requirement?
Each country chooses the cover that will best suit their market, and I’ve been thrilled with them all.
*I really love the cover of your first book. Did you have a vote in choosing the image and front style?
I have a great design team who work hard on a cover before presenting me with their thoughts. I have always been delighted, and so impressed with their interpretation of the story.
*You spent twelve years in the policeforce, how do you look back on those years?
I loved my police career and still miss it from time to time. It gave me a fantastic training ground in people observation: when you’ve been the victim of crime, or you’ve witnessed a crime - or even if you’ve committed a crime - your emotions are at their most raw, and that’s very valuable for a writer.
*You took a degree in french and management, worked as a policeofficer and now you're a fulltime writer. What
is it you wanted to be when you were a little girl?
I wanted to be a writer, so that’s worked out well :-)
*What kind of books do you like to read yourself?
I love to read crime and psychological thriller books, although I find that many of them are very similar. I break things up by reading funny novels, or non fiction.
*Can you name a favourite book, and tell me why it is your favourite?
Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, is one of my all time favourite books. It has a tremendous sense of place which adds to the building tension.
*Do you have a wrinting-routine or any writing rituals, and if so, what are they?
I listen to the same playlist over and over again when I’m writing. It’s a very dull instrumental album - the sort of music you might hear in a spa - and I hardly notice it any more, but it puts me instantly in the right frame of mind for writing.
*What can distract you from writing?
Friends, my children, Twitter.
*What are your future plans?
To carry on writing books that people enjoy reading.
Some other kind of questions:
*What is your guilty pleasure in music?
I don’t believe in ‘guilty pleasures’. One shouldn’t be ashamed to enjoy any kind of literature, music, television. I like all sorts of music, depending on my mood. When I’m writing I can’t listen to anything with lyrics, otherwise I can’t concentrate on my own words.
*If you had to stay on a deserted island for a year, what 3 thinks would you take with you?
The complete works of Shakespeare. I have a lovely book I was given when I was a teenager, with every single Shakespeare play (in very tiny letters). It would keep me busy for a while. A keyboard, so I could teach myself to play the piano. And a mammoth slab of chocolate.
*If you have someone over for the first time, what do you cook for them?
I like meals that prompt informality and sociability, so we often have fondue, or raclette, or fajitas.
*What makes you very happy?
Writing. If I take more than a few days off I start to twitch.