Two years ago local author Claire Allan took a huge leap of faith and it has led her to the best seller lists.
Days before her 40th birthday, Claire left her job in the ‘Derry Journal’ and a publishing contract which had seen her release eight women’s fiction books.
The leap of faith paid off as Claire signed a two book publishing deal with Avon Books, an off-shoot of the massive publishing house, Harper Collins.
Earlier this week, the talented scribe launched her latest novel ‘Her Name was Rose’ amongst family and friendsin the Centra l Library.
The book, which is a psychological thriller, is a complete change of direction for Claire and she relished the opportunity to write ‘really, really dark things’.
“Waking up without a job and no publishing deal was really scary. It was a huge leap of faith and I had a moment of panic.”
She said signing the deal with Avon Books has been the ‘most surreal experience’ and would not have believed it was possible back when she left her job of 17 years.
“Even now I don’t believe it!” she added.
Claire said she was able to use her experiences as a journalist to help her write dark subject matter.
“Domestic abuse is a strong element in the book and as a journalist I spoke to many, many victims and sat through court cases, so I was able to draw on that experience.
“I don’t think you realise until you come out of it that you have covered some dark and serious things. It was just a day’s work.”
Claire was supported through the change in direction by the crime fiction community.
“Writing a crime book is very different. Even though I had written eight novels, I almost had to go back to school to write ‘Her Name was Rose’. There is much more planning involved.
“The crime fiction community were so lovely and to have so many of them endorse the book is very humbling.”
‘Her Name was Rose’ has been receiving rave reviews and is making it’s way into the top 100 on the Kindle Chart. It has sold out in all bookshops in Derry, apart from Little Acorns, and has claimed the number one spot for Northern Irish crime on Amazon.
There is no time for Claire to sit back and enjoy all the plaudits as she is currently in the editing process for her next psychological thriller ‘Apple of my Eye’.
She reveals this ‘is even darker in a lot of ways as it is about the obsessive bond between a mother and daughter.’
‘Her Name was Rose’ is available in supermarkets, bookshops and online. Signed copies are available in Little Acorns Bookshop.
To win one of two signed copies of the book email firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Friday, July 13 and to read an extract of the book visit www.derryjournal.com