Monday, January 23, 2012

Claire Matthews keeps it short and sweet and has a novella to give away!

**Giveaway is now closed**


Claire Matthews caught the writing bug soon after her youngest daughter started school. She had all the time in the world to either write or seduce the FedEx guy. Since the FedEx guy was a woman, she decided to go the author route. After her first five stories were accepted for publication, Claire began to realize that this was more than just a hobby, and put together a writing studio in the attic using an old TV table, an ancient laptop and a well-worn thesaurus. Focusing on short contemporary romance, Claire balances her writing time with teaching political science at a nearby community college and taking care of her two demanding daughters, her slightly neglected husband and her antisocial dog.

She's here today to talk about her latest novella, "Oh, Baby," and has FIVE copies to give away to lucky readers worldwide (Kindle format only). If you can't wait till next week to get your hands on it, you can purchase it for 99 cents on Amazon.

You can find Claire at her blog and on Facebook.

What was most challenging about writing "Oh, Baby?"
Well, it’s always a challenge to write a novella, because you have to get all the information about the characters across to the reader in very few words. "Oh, Baby" is about 20k words, but there’s a lot going on, so brevity is essential.

In one sentence, what was road to publishing like?
Easier than I ever thought, actually. I subbed a few stories to on-line publishers, got them out in circulation, then decided to try my hand at self-publishing with "Oh, Baby." Oh wait—you said one sentence, didn’t you? What was I just saying about brevity?

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I read. I teach political science at a local community college. I nag my kids. I drink copious amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper. I would say that I volunteer my spare time at a homeless shelter, but I gave up lying as a New Year’s resolution.

What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?
It’s hard to say. I read a lot, and I think that’s my biggest motivation. I’ll finish a great book, and think to myself, “I want to write something that makes people feel like this.” My goal is for people to read my books and get that same happy feeling of discovery.

Characters really make the story for us. What 3 words would best describe your heroine & what about her called out to you to write her story?
I’d say Lainey is determined, conflicted, and a little clueless. Isn’t that the best part of any chick-lit book, though? The reader realizes early on what the heroine needs to learn, and then follows her journey towards self-awareness (aka, getting a clue).

If "Oh, Baby" were made into a movie, who would star in the leading roles?
Hmm. For Lainey, I’d probably go with Emma Stone—I love her, and I think she’s a great actress. For Beck, I choose Matthew Morrison from Glee, because I have a highly inappropriate crush on him.

What do you think the key is to a successful chicklit novel? Lots of sexiness? A studly hero? Plenty of angst? (Something else?)
I think humor is key. If it makes me laugh, then it’s well on its way to being a success in my mind. And I’m a big fan of a beta hero—I’m way too old to find a dominant man attractive. Oh, and angst. Lots of lovely, lovely angst.

What is the best gift you ever gave or received?
We bought my seven year-old a new bike for Christmas, after warning her that Santa probably couldn’t swing a bike this year. The look on her face was priceless.

What TV series feels most like chick lit to you?
Cougar Town. Love that show. I like watching a group of friends with in-jokes and funny rapport.

What is the strangest or craziest date you have ever been on?
I guess that would be a blind date I went on in college. This guy took me to the river for a romantic stroll after dinner, and I fell off a stone landing and broke my ankle. Good times, good times.

Special thanks to Claire for sharing her sense of humor with us through her answers to our questions and for sharing her novella with our readers.

How to win "Oh, Baby":
Please comment below with your e-mail address. (Please note:Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam. Or provide a link to your facebook page or blog if you can receive messages there.)

Bonus entries (can be listed all in one post):
1. Please tell us: What is the cutest or funniest thing you've seen a baby (doesn't have to be your own) do recently?
2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).
3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.
4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)
5. Add a friend to our Facebook group. (Tell us who you added.) Be sure to remind them to edit their settings.

Giveaway ends January 29th at midnight EST.
**This is only for Kindle. If you are interested in entering, but don't have one, you can download Kindle for free to your PC.**

15 comments:

Marthalynn said...

The cutest thing that happened recently is my son has developed a sense of humor and finds Curious George to be hilarious! It is so heartwarming to hear him laugh at that monkey.

I'm a follwer!

marthalynn16 AT gmail DOT com

meandmom said...

I haven't seen any babies lately, but when my friends son was little they were trying to teach him to wave bye bye. He just would not wave. Then, when they wanted to change his diaper, he started crawling and waving Bye Bye.

I am a Facebook follower.

I am a subscriber.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Lisa said...

Instead of saying "turn on the lights," my daughter used to say, "turn off the dark." I thought that was adorkable!

I'm a follower and would love to read Claire Matthew'a novella.

callcentergal88@gmail.com

Lilian said...

1. Please tell us: What is the cutest or funniest thing you've seen a baby (doesn't have to be your own) do recently?
Play the piano, she was giggling everything it made a noise (even though it was not even close to being a song).
2. I followed!
3. https://twitter.com/circustoybox/status/161575247185854465
4. Joined Chick Lit Central on Facebook.

lilianxcheng AT gmail DOT com

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I follow via twitter, Facebook, and gfc.

I haven't seen any babies in months :(

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

StereoQueenBee said...

1. Please tell us: What is the cutest or funniest thing you've seen a baby (doesn't have to be your own) do recently?

I don't have babies and am not around them... :(

2. Follow this blog and post a comment saying you are a follower (if you already follow, that's fine too).

Am already a follower.

3. Post this contest on Facebook or Twitter or in your blog, and leave a comment saying where you've posted it.

Facebook - Sabrina-Kate Eryou
Twitter - stereoqueenbee

4. Join Chick Lit Central on Facebook. Edit settings if you don't want to receive a lot of messages at your e-mail account. Please read our posting guidelines, as well. (If you're already a member, let us know that too.)

Am a member.

PS there is Kindle for Mac as well as PC ;)

queenofcrunk at gmaill dot com

Heather said...

I haven't been around babies recently, but a toddler at my baby shower didn't want to leave until she saw the baby pop out!
Ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I'm a follower!
Ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather said...

I'm a member of CLC!
Ra6352 (at) gmail (dot) com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this novella

The only time I have been around babies was on Christmas watching them open gifts.

I am a GFC follower

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Margaret said...

Well my kids(two) have a stuffed bear and monkey that is their sleeping companion and they've named them Bobo and Bobo George. I think it's so cute! I call them the Bobo Twins. I'm a follower.

Margaret
singitm@hotmail.com

Anjana Vasan said...

I've seen a year old baby pose for the camera! I didn't think they could do that! She ACTUALLY had a camera smile lol! Even I don't have one :P

Anjana Vasan

vasan.anjana@gmail.com

Already a GFC follower!
Already on FB!

Erica said...

When my baby finally took her first step she grabbed my hands and wanted to dance!

I am a subscriber.

wordywon AT gmail DOT com

kaewink said...

We had one story about waving good-bye already. The little son of my good friend tries to mirror the things people around him do - so he also tried to mirror and try out how the waving-thing works. Only that he didn´t turn his hand and wave at everyone else, but held the hand the way he would see it when people waved at him.
So he waved at himself. And that combined with him sitting in his buggy, looking like the king of the world was one of the cutest things I have seen!

I´m a follower via GFC, twitter and fb!

kewinkler at gmail dot com

Ananda said...

OMG, I've been tweeting about this giveaway but haven't entered??? And it's INTERNATIONAL? Geez, I hope I'm not too late to enter:)
Ok, I have a 6 year old son and now I try to remember all the funny stuff he did/said. And first thing that pops into my mind is dancing on the street in Greece:) We were on holidays there and passing by a caffe, he heard music and started dancing. Few people gave him some money too LOL They thought he's a street entertainer :)

Stalking you:) by GFC and twitter:)

My e-mail is
love2slim(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Love ya guys and keep up the FANTASTIC job:)
xx