Where Are You Now?

Claire Brown

Claire Brown

BA Media with American Studies 2000

After attending Western Washington State University and spending several years working for the Fire and Rescue service in her native North East, Claire now writes part time. She explains: “I take an idea, I play with it, expand it, weave a world around it and write the book I would love to read and hope that putting those words in print makes someone else fall in love with it too.”

The 36-year-old concentrates mostly on fantasy, mystery and thriller genres. She has just published her second book entitled John Axe and the Weeping Bride.  The book is inspired on the idea of what would happen if you could change a moment in time- what impact would that have on your life?

When asking the Sunderland-based author about the topic of her latest book, she replies: “There are always moments in everybody's life where they wish they'd done something differently from something as simple as going out five minutes earlier to miss the traffic or telling someone I love you more often.  We can’t go back and change those things and even if we could how do we know we'd be changing them for the better.  In doing those things would we be missing something else that would become the 'what if' moment.  

“I spent a lot of time thinking about 'what if' two simple words but with massive possibility.  So my book basically places 'what if' in the hands of a selected group of people and shows how they deal with the impact of the decision to change a moment in time and how they live with the consequences whatever they may be.”

Claire is proud to say that her biggest achievement was seeing her first independent book review: “It showed me that what I had always dreamed of making my career wasn't just a dream it was a dream I could make come true.”

But at the same time, becoming an independent self-publishing author has been a big challenge.

“As an independent every aspect of publishing is in your hands, you are responsible for every stage of production from the writing, choosing the book cover, editing and marketing. It can be extremely daunting and is a huge learning curve but you are in control of every aspect of your own work.”

The Sunderland graduate has no hesitation when saying that being able to do a joint honours course gave her the opportunity to explore more than one area and didn’t bind her to one school as she was able to expand her horizons and become an exchange student studying in the USA.

Claire concludes: “I don't think I would have had as much support or as great an experience if I'd been anywhere else. At the University I had lot of fun and learning a great deal about my chosen subjects and myself.”

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