June 28, 2014

Clare Bridgeman Interview

(as we didn’t give Claire long to respond... here’s 
some more of her bio! Claire Bridgeman is a secondary
school English teacher living in Norwich, England with,
her husband, their 1 year old daughter Pearl, their
black fluffy cat and the fly infestation currently inhabiting
the conservatory. She has written many books but it was only
in 2013, at the age of 28, that she felt her work was good
enough to be thrust upon the general public. 

Bridgeman loves all things fantasy...)

Today I have author Claire Bridgeman of the Spellweaver chronicles with me... She'll be talking about her books, a fresh new series which awaits you... and me potentially, actually. But instead of reviewing, I decided just to have a chat with a lovely author! So thanks to Claire for coming today.
I hope you like the questions, and especially the answers, sit back... relax!
And we're ready-

&   General  &

·    QUICK! What's your name, where do you call home & what's chasing you (so you had to answer quickly)?
My name is Claire, I live in Norwich (Norfolk) and I believe I am being chased by my one year old daughter, Pearl....! Oh wait, she's gone to bed for a nap so I think the coast is clear!!


   Haha, your daughter is actually innocent. It was my readers anyway... They meant well ;) *raises eyebrows at readers* What would your ideal idea of fame be, if it wasn't for your books?
My ideal idea of fame is to be respected and well known for the work you have done or are doing, rather than by your image. I once had dreams of making it big as a singer, but I decided I didn't like the idea of having to be away from home and my family for months at a time or having to move somewhere like London (it might have also had something to do with trying it out and failing, haha!!). To me, fame is a byproduct of creating something that lots of people come to know and (hopefully) love. My main purpose is to make good use of my vivd imagination and creativity and hope that others appreciate it as much as I do!

·      That's definitely ideal :D Have any of your students that you teach English ever read your book?
I have donated 5 copies of my novel to my school's library and they have been out on loan constantly. I have not once seen it sitting on the shelf, and the librarian has told me that the kids are always asking for it but it's never there. As soon as it is returned, it's out again. Funnily enough, it's not the kids that I teach who have been reading it - it's been the kids in other classes, which is strange because as you can imagine, I definitely tell all my classes about it!!

That's weird, but kind of good. They may be worried (probably wrongly) what would happen if they didn't like it- could they tell you that? Probably not! Authors wouldn't like it either :P
Also, what would you do if your book was on the curriculum & you had to teach about it?
I have 5 years' experience as an English teacher and have taught many novels in that time, so I don't think I'd have any trouble teaching Spellweaver. I think the book could be used to explore character development, and there will be some prominent themes that could be explored, particularly in future instalments.

·      If you had to read (and write) only one genre for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would definitely be fantasy. Fantasy gives us the opportunity to explore what could be or what should be. Utopias and dystopias, exploration of the most interesting areas of the human psyche... the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. 

·      Fantasy is very wide. Just hope you write YA a lot as well ;) Next— Are you better at analysing books (literature) or creative writing (language), outside of writing the Spellweaver Chronicles?
A few years ago I might have said that I was better at creative writing, but as I have got older I have developed an appreciation for literature that though it was always there, was not always quite as developed as it is now. I used to hate dissecting books, picking out language use, imagery and themes that the author probably never even intended to put there. I used to think it ruined my appreciation for them, but I don't really feel that way any more. Of Mice and Men upsets me more with each year I have to teach it, not less!

Spellweaver in Paperback.
Read them this Summer!
Series: ☑


·      Can you share with us what inspired you to write the Spellweaver Chronicles?
Spellweaver is the result of many, many, MANY years of wanting to write. I have books in my attic, 10 pieces of plain A4 folded in half and stapled together, chronicling the adventures of a girl called Isabelle, written when I was in primary school. The story where she is kidnapped by a man and held in a cage in a cave has a far more sinister side now than it had when I was 8, but it shows that I always wanted to tell stories. I have kept most of the ones that I have written throughout my childhood and teenage years, most of which are truly cringeworthy. As I got older I got more sensitive to how 'good' my writing should be before I endeavour to publish it, and it's only now, at the age of 28, that I feel that I'm ready to put my work out there. With the genre of urban fantasy I've found the avenue I need to express my creativity. I have so many ideas for the Spellweaver Chronicles that I know the series is going to go from strength to strength - as long as I can work it all out and give my ideas justice with my writing!!

·      If you don't already know, what star sign do you think your main character is?
I had to look this up, but I believe Felicity would be Taurus. Taureans (allegedly) are known for having something very different on the inside to what they show on the outside, and this is something that Felicity has had to do all of her life. She has hidden her inner feelings so well that it even takes her a long time to find them, and secretly, though she would never admit it to begin with, all she wants is friendship and family, which I hear are the Taureans' secret desires!

·    Thank you for looking it up...  I don't know much about star signs either but to try & categorize them... I like challenges XD Lastly, if you had to be stuck in a lift for a few hours with a fictional character, an author and another famous person who would they be?

I don't mean to sound arrogant but as far as fictional characters go, I would love to be stuck in a lift with one of my own characters. To see them come to life (much in the way a movie would do this, I suppose) would be the most amazing experience, I'm sure any author would agree. I would particularly like to meet Oliver, as I have had the most fun creating him. I absolutely love him as a character. 

True Or False
ü   Your books are fantasy set in our world. – True
ü   You are a hufflepuff. - probably true, though everyone wants to be a Gryffindor, don't they?!
ü   Your characters end up leading the novel to places you hadn't predicted... – True
ü   You're a plotter at heart, though. – True
ü   You love the 'bad guy' in novels. - True
ü   You prefer funny books to sad ones. - False - I don't prefer one or the other, actually! I LOVE books like the Discworld series, which I find hilarious, but then I love sad stories, too. I like being made to cry. What I absolutely hate is horror. I don't like gruesome murders to being made to jump!!
ü   Spring is your favourite season. - False - Gotta be summer. As a teacher, I live for the 6 week summer holiday!!
ü     You are a cat person 😻   – True! Of course! I love dogs too, though.

Does this encourage you to try this new author? Any other new authors you've been trying recently?
What do you think of fantasy? Would you be able to just read & write fantasy for the rest of your life? What would you pick?

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