I am so happy to welcome back Clare Austin and to share her answers to my nosy questions! Let’s dive in….
AS: Welcome back, Clare! Can you believe it’s been a year since your novel, Butterfly, debuted? How has your writing life changed in the last year?
CA: It’s great to be back. The year has been wild. I have had two books release since Butterfly…Angel’s Share in March and then in July, Hot Flash. The hardest thing of all is keeping the new material coming while trying to promote the three books that are out. I’ve got the third book in the Fadό Trilogy, Selkie’s Song, more than half done, but it is going much more slowly than I ever imagined. I also have a romantic comedy, Rosy Again, about a third finished. It has been a fun project with a quirky heroine.
AS: Well, you are juggling nicely. Hot Flash is a story about second chances that proves it’s never too late for love. What was your biggest ‘hot flash’ while writing this steamy novel?
CA: Hot Flash was my third novel, written the first year of my fiction career. I submitted it around while I was writing Butterfly but was told my heroine was “too old.” Like, what? She had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel? Hogwash! Then Butterfly sold and Angel’s Share. My publisher asked if I had any other work to submit and I sold Hot Flash to them as well. I felt a strong need to write a story about an older woman who, due to circumstances, had to re-build her life, take charge of her destiny and get strong, physically and emotionally. She decides to learn to ride a horse and, just like life, she discovers it’s not a sport for wimps. The fact that she falls in love is a bonus.
AS: I’m with you. Hogwash! Now, please, fill in some blanks for us:
CA: Happiness is loving yourself enough to love someone else unconditionally.
To ride horses is to fall… sometimes!
If you can’t be perfect, then be persistent.
All sunshine, and no rain, makes Clare know she’s not in Ireland.
AS: If casting for the big screen were up to you, who would play Kate and Brandon?
CA: That is a great question and one I’ve avoided in the case of my books. But, now that I’m forced to answer, I’ll give it a try. Brandon…well, how about Patrick Dempsey? He would need a dialect coach to pull off the Irish, but I’m pretty sure he would look grand in riding breeches. For Kate, maybe Sandra Bullock…she’d be spot on with the comedic parts and still believable in the serious parts. And she looks like she could be Italian-American.
AS: Love your choices! Growing up, you were a big Nancy Drew fan. Who do you love to read now?
CA: I’m a very eclectic reader. I love Maeve Binchy and have read almost every novel of hers. I often take a chance on a new author and find a gem. That was certainly true in the case of Erin Hart (Lake of Sorrows, Haunted Ground) and this summer discovering Pauline McLynn (The Woman on the Bus). I also read quite a bit of narrative non-fiction, history and science. I believe strongly that all writers will benefit by reading outside the genre in which they write.
AS: Maeve Binchy has such a nice, lyrical voice. So, what is your favorite scene in Hot Flash and why?
CA: One of my favorites is where Brandon explains to Kate how he can love the memory of his wife and love Kate as well. When I wrote the scene of Bran saying “goodbye” to his wife at her grave and removing the wedding ring, I cried. It was as though someone else was telling me the story and it tore at my heart.
I also love the scene where Brandon meets Kate’s family. Two of her brothers are cops, one is a priest and her mother can’t utter the word “divorce” without crossing herself. They are a force to be reckoned with and Bran pulls it off without breaking a sweat. It always makes me laugh.
AS: Thank you Clare for coming by my blog again. I wish you huge success. Please let readers know where they can find more you!
CA: All my books are available in trade paperback and digital versions. If anyone would like an autographed copy of any of my novels they can go to my website buy link www.clareaustin.com/books.html and use PayPal or contact me at Authorclare@gmail.com.
I have started a blog at www.clareaustin.wordpress.com where I post little bits of my journey and upcoming projects.
My books are published by The Wild Rose Press, so are easy to find on the many internet sites for book distribution in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, and as far away as Australia and India.
AS: How cool is that?! So, reader, what say you? How old is too old for a hot romance?
Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. It isn’t insult enough she is turning fifty, and left at the side of life’s road by her philandering husband. Now she has to contend with her body’s betrayal…hot flashes!
The plain truth hits her with each thermostatic aberration—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.
Brandon Sullivan has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife. Now he is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin, loss of his farm and his life’s dream. He needs to get into the winner’s circle by spring or he’ll be just another poor, landless Irishmen downing his pints and bragging about the good ol’ days.
Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.
What will Kate and Brandon risk for a second chance at love?