Claire Croxton is a fresh new voice in the often predictable ho-hum world of romance writing. Witty, touching, and humorous, Claire’s first novel, Redneck Ex will be released January 20th from The Wild Rose Press. Place your order now on Amazon.com...
I’m proud to call Claire not only my partner in crime but in writing as well. The following interview is only the tip of the iceberg to this snarky, vivacious talented woman.
Move over Jodi Thomas, there’s a new girl in town:
1. How old were you when the writing bug bit and do you remember what your first story was? I think I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember writing stories in a spiral-bound notebook. I was mad at my mother for making me take clothes to the laundry room and I wrote a story about a girl who could make things happen by thinking them. With a blink of an eye, the clothes magically ended up in the washing machine. Another story was about pixies who lived under the piano bench. They would nip at my heels when I wasn’t taking practicing seriously. Unfortunately, those pixies didn’t exist and to this day my piano playing is abysmal.
2. What kind of writing do you do? I spent a great deal of my professional life as a grant writer/ administrator in Northern Alaska. I think I’m one of the few grant writers who has ever killed someone off for dramatic effect in a grant application. Yes, we got the funding. I really enjoyed the job and had several writing opportunities including the creation of beautiful, glossy funding reports and working with authors and artists on children’s books. Now, I write short stories, contemporary romance and women’s fiction. I love sitting in front of a blank screen and freeing my mind of all the clutter. There have been times when I look over what I’ve written and can’t believe I wrote it.
3. What are the proudest moments in your writing life? Writing “The End” on the first manuscript I wrote. Lordy. What a disaster that work was, but actually finishing it made me feel like a success.
4. What have you learned from writing your first book that will help the most in writing your second, third, fourth, etc., etc., etc.? I think the biggest lesson I learned is that in order to get your work published you have to know the genre you’re writing. That seems easy enough, right? No way. There are so many new authors who write their books and then try to find a genre to fit their stories. My first novel had it all: romance, domestic abuse, computer crimes, a serial killer and to top it all off, serpent handling followers of the signs. Talk about not being marketable! Every genre including erotica and fantasy has guidelines. You need to learn those and make sure your story follows them.
5. Your writing has been described as “snarky.” Can you explain what “snark” means for those who are insanely curious but afraid to ask? Snark is just a nice way of saying smartass. My mama wouldn’t allow me to use such unladylike language, so I had to call it something else. So, I settled on snark.
6. What is the best writing advice you’ve received to date and what advice would you give to a beginning writer? Fortunately, I found the NW Arkansas Writers Workshop and they helped me wade my way through the completion of my first epic novel. Dusty Richards told me to “just finish the damn book.” He taught me to write the story and then go back and edit it. Velda Brotherton taught me about sense of place and deep point of view (POV.) I think the most important thing for all writers, but especially beginning writers, is to find a trustworthy critique group—or at least a few friends who’ll honestly review your work. You need honest feedback. It can be devastating to hear someone talk about the major character flaws of your dashing hero, but if your reviewers question him, so will the agents, editors, publishers and readers.
“I found REDNECK EX by Claire Croxton a delightful read, full of humor, tenderness and passion. A HOT story in a cold climate.”
~Jodi Thomas, NY Times Bestselling author,
4 time RITA award winner, and member of the Romance Writer Hall of Fame
“A hilarious, but poignant story of love lost and found under unusual circumstances. With a slightly twisted sense of humor, Croxton is a writer whose work is bound to create its own niche in contemporary romance.”
~Velda Brotherton, author of Stone Heart’s Woman
“Claire Croxton is the queen of redneck romance. REDNECK EX is gonna grab you like a bulldog with a prize bone. You’ll laugh, cry and fall in love with the down-to-earth, big-hearted Summer Leigh.”
~Pamela Foster, author