Derry Journal reporter Claire Allan’s bestselling sixth novel has just been released in paperback and the columnist and author hopes it will mark the start of a very special year for her.
“I’m delighted to see ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?’ hitting the shelves in paperback format. It was a lovely book to write and I’m hoping the re-release will open it up to a wider audience.”
‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?’ examines two relationships on the brink of major changes.
Claire explained: “The book is set around a wedding dress shop, and opens as the owner of the shop, Kitty discovers that, without warning, her marriage has crumbled around her ears.
“She has to continue to work - to sell the dream of the big white dress and the happy ever after while trying to make sense of the implosion which has just taken place in her own relationship.
“In addition of her brides, Erin - is a commitment-phobe but has agreed to marry the the love of her life, Paddy, as he faces his own battle with cancer.”
Claire believes that the emotions in the book will resonate with everyone. “I believe that everyone has had their heart broken at some stage - maybe not romantically, but we have all had those moments when it feels like a bomb has been dropped into our lives and we have to make that decision about where to go next.
“As a friend of mine’s mammy would quote, from ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ - you either get busy living, or get busy dying.”
And Claire is certainly busy. Her second novel, Feels Like Maybe, which was originally released in 2008, has been creeping up the Amazon Kindle charts and is currently available for the bargain price of just 77p.
The mum-of-two is also preparing for the launch of her next novel, ‘The First Time I Said Goodbye’ which is due to hit the shelves at the end of September.
“‘The First Time..’ is my most ambitious book to date,” she said. I’m hoping readers will see a real growth in my writing with the new book. It is a very personal book - one which really tested me to the limits while writing and which I hope will be a great testament to the people of this city.”
The book, which will be published by Poolbeg Press, came about after an ordinary day at work in ‘Journal’.
“I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but a chance interview two summers ago set the wheels in motion for this novel.
“I wanted to write something very special for City of Culture year and this book looks back at Derry in the 1950s and early 60s and will pay tribute to the factory girls of our city, the dockers and the women who went to America in the quest for true love with a GI.”
And Claire has no plans to call it a day after seven books. “I’m very lucky to have published seven books, I never even thought I would publish one. But there are more stories to come yet and I hope to be writing for more years to come. I’ve already started work on book eight - with a working title of ‘Still You’ ”
‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?’ is available now from Eason and all good book stores. All Claire’s novels are also available for download on Kindle.