Local author Claire Allan signs extended book deal with Avon

Derry author Claire Allan.
Derry author Claire Allan.

A Derry author has had her book deal with a major publisher extended following the success of her debut crime novel.

Claire Allan initially signed to Avon, which is part of Harper Collins, for a three book deal.

The extension to this deal will now see Claire, a former ‘Journal’ reporter, publish four books in the next two years.

“They actually offered me the deal before the first book came out but I couldn’t say anything until all the contracts were signed. It showed they had faith in me before the book came out”, Claire revealed.

“The next book ‘Apple of my Eye’ is due out in January 2019 and my third book, which I am writing at the minute, is due out in May 2019. I have lots of deadlines and I’m working seven days a week but it’s good work and I’m really enjoying it. Avon are so good at what they do.”

Claire had published eight women’s fiction novels while working at the ‘Journal’.

However, she left her full time job around three years ago to write full time.

Her first novel in the crime genre ‘Apple of my Eye’ won rave reviews and was on best sellers lists.

It was in the Amazon top 100, was an USA Today best seller, something which Claire describes as ‘just flipping mad’, and sold well in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

“Every now and then I will get an email giving me an update on how it is selling and I just can’t get my head around it all.”

One of the most surprising things of all for Claire is that the print version of the book outsold the digital copy for a long time.

“I had set a target of how many books I would like to sell, around 50,000 worldwide. ‘Her Name was Rose’ sold 50,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone in the first three months. It’s just crazy.”

Claire said the timing was right for her to leave her full time job and change genres and it has given her a ‘new passion and love for writing’.

“I have a wee office set up in my Mammy’s house, with all the boards I use to plot the book and I go there every day to write. It’s fun because there is an awful lot of research involved, although if anyone had a look at my internet search history or the books I have sitting here next to me about forensics they would be worried!

“I am really enjoying the book I am writing at the minute because it is the most graphic yet and is really twisted.”

Claire will be taking a break from writing to appear at the Murder One Festival in Dublin this weekend, The Festival will see her joining huge name’s like Lynda LaPlante and Michael Connelly.