Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Guest Blogger - Joanne Clague

A very warm welcome to a new face to my blog - Joanne Clague. I thought I would ask Joanne a few questions about her writing and her wonderful Sheffield sagas books. About Joanne herself: Joanne Clague is the author of a Sheffield-set saga trilogy that begins in The Ragged Valley with the devastating flood of 1864. The third in the series - The Watchman's Widow - is published on June 29 2023. Joanne was born and raised in Sheffield and has had a career in journalism in the Isle of Man before turning to novel writing. Find out more and follow the author HERE
Tell us more about the Watchman's Widow? Still grieving the death of her watchman husband in a terrorist attack, Rose is struggling to make ends meet when she encounters middle-class Annie, a newspaperman's wife who devotes her time to lobbying for better working conditions. With three mouths to feed, Rose is desperate to avoid making waves but she can't sit back and watch women and young girls continue to work in dangerous conditions, including her desperately sick lodger. Fearing for her daughter's future and with her husband's killer still on the loose, all Rose wants is justice.. Just how far is she prepared to go? This sounds brilliant and I love the cover!
You can get your copy of The Watchman's Widow HERE I thought you might all like to know more about Joanne and her books so I asked her a few nosey questions! Q: How many books have you written and are there any that will never see the light of day? A: I've written four books but the first, which was loosely based on the lives of my grandparents, remains tucked away in a drawer. I'd sent the manuscript to some agents and had a little bit of interest, but it was my second book that resulted in representation and a publishing deal. I might return to it one day. Q: How long does it take you to write a book? Which parts are the easiest and the hardest? A: I spend a couple of months on research and really just percolating ideas - who the characters are, what they want, the structure of the story, the themes. I usually know where the book should begin and how it should end. Then it probably takes about nine months to write. The hardest part is when I'm approaching the final chapters. I circle around a lot. I don't like leaving the characters behind. One of the joys of writing a series is that, although each book can stand alone, I've been able to revisit characters' lives, give some walk-on parts to my favourites. Q: What is your favourite time of day to write? Do you have a particular space to write in? A: I'm an early bird. On an ideal day, I write from around 7.30am to midday, or 1pm if I'm on a roll. I edit as I go, as I struggle to move forward if I'm not happy with the previous chapter. But this is an ideal day and who gets many of those?? I am lucky to have a little office all to myself, and the walls are covered with maps, pictures, scraps of text and bits and pieces from the period I write in. Q: What book do you wish you had written, or would like to write one day? A: I wish I had written Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. It's deceptively simple and absolutely devastating. I've read and reread it, and the last page still makes me cry. Thank you Joanne for a lovely interview and congratulations on The Watchman's Widow.

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