I would like to welcome Emma L Clapperton to Crimebookjunkie and thank her for taking the time to answer my questions in the lead up to her book launch for Beyond Evidence in Waterstones, Argyle St on November 12th.
I am lucky enough to have been invited to the launch and will be attending so expect LOTS of pictures! Eeek! I am so excited. I am going to Glasgow!! So without further ado, let’s chat with the author of Paranormal Suspense Thrillers…Emma L Clapperton!
CBJ: Can you share a little about yourself and your background?
ELC: I am almost thirty years old, I work full time as a Montessori nursery teacher with 3-5 year olds by day and by night I am a supernatural, crime and thriller writer. I have been in early years childcare for thirteen years and I have been a writer since for five years.
CBJ: How did you start writing?
ELC: I have always wanted to be a writer. I know it sounds like a cliché but when the teacher asked everyone in class what they wanted to be when they grew up, my answer was always an author. I decided back in 2010 that I wanted to write a novel. In work, we had been discussing our favourite authors and genres and I chatted with a colleague whose partner had been writing a novel for eight years. I decided just to go for it since there was nothing stopping me. I went home from work that evening and purchased a book by Jurgen Wolff called, ‘Your Writing Coach,’ which helped me to initially plan the book. I knew exactly what I wanted to write about with the first book, I just wasn’t sure where to start. ‘Your Writing Coach,’ helped me with that.
With Beyond Evidence being a supernatural crime book, I decided to visit some psychic mediums for research. I loved it because I love all things spiritual. I went to personal readings and listened to open readings (large audience where the strongest spirits come through.) If I am honest, I was on the fence with the afterlife before I wrote Beyond Evidence but after my research and constant readings, I began to believe that there is an afterlife. However, it is not for everyone, so I decided to make sure I balanced the sceptical approach with the believer approach. I didn’t want the book to seem as though I was preaching to the non-believers.
CBJ: What advice would you give aspiring writers/authors?
ELC: Go for it, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from writing. I began writing for me and in the beginning I had no intention of publishing. Then, the more I came to learn about the publishing world, the more I realised I wanted to try to get an agent or publisher. Then I learned about self-publishing and thought that would be a good base to start from. Five years on, I am with Olida publishing and Gallus press and getting ready for a book launch in Waterstones. Every author’s story is different and I quite like mine.
CBJ: What do you like to do when you are not writing?
ELC: If I am not working at the nursery or writing, I am watching dramas on tv or reading. I love James Herbert books which is where a lot of my inspiration comes from. I also love painting my nails. And the usual things that girls like to do, shopping and the like. I also love attending book talks, launches and book festivals.
CBJ: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your paranormal thriller series?
ELC: That’s a good question. I was surprised to learn that during the Ouiji board and séance I took part in during my twelve hour stay in Edinburgh’s underground streets that the planchette isn’t a magnet. I was always sceptical of the Ouiji board and was convinced that people were moving the planchette with their hands. I was entirely wrong. I can’t explain it, however there was a bad spirit present at the time we did the Ouiji board (which was in a controlled environment with a medium, in case anyone thinks I would be stupid enough to do one alone – which I would not) who was none too amused we were there and during that time I had a panic attack. I am still not sure if it was linked to what I was doing, however I had never had one before and have not had one since. I was quite surprised at how scared I was however I wanted to keep going. I get a buzz from things like that.
CBJ:Have you had a paranormal experience and if so, can you tell us about it?
ELC: Apart from the one mentioned about the Edinburgh Vaults, there have been very little things which could be explained logically. For example, a bulb shot out of the fixture at the top of my stairs once. It flew to the bottom landing, didn’t smash and when I put it back in, it still worked. The fan in my living room began turning on its own when all the windows were closed and there was no power feeding into it. Nothing major, unfortunately.
CBJ:What draws you to writing about the paranormal vs “straight” crime thrillers?
ELC: I love paranormal stuff, it is what gets me going. It is also what inspires me.
CBJ: What do you think makes your books stand out from others?
ELC: A book that you never forget. I have read a lot of books over the years which I have enjoyed but have forgotten the story. One book I will never, ever forget is The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. That man will become history one day and his books will become classics.
CBJ: Would you ever consider collaborating with another author? If yes, who? Why?
ELC: Never say never. If I did, I would love to write with James Herbert (which of course isn’t possible now,) or James Oswald. Both amazing with supernatural elements.
CBJ: This may seem a silly question, but how did you feel when you were picked up by a publisher? Do you think it has changed your writing style in any way?
ELC: I felt fantastic, enthused and overwhelmed. I wouldn’t say it has changed my style as such but it has filled me with more drive.
CBJ: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
ELC: The only thing that challenges me is time. A forty hour week which is not flexible leaves me with two days at the weekend to write and evenings. I do as much as I can however it can be limiting.
CBJ: What criticisms have helped you as a writer?
ELC: As a self-published author in the beginning, I received some lovely reviews but some were brutally honest when it came to comments on the quality of the editing. I held my hands up, the editing wasn’t perfect. Now, it is so much better having had it edited through the publisher. You take it on the chin and you learn from it. And of course, there are people who just don’t like your books. It’s just all opinions and we would get nowhere in this life if people all liked the same thing. I value all the criticisms, however, if I allowed the bad ones to shape me as a writer, I may have given up by now. And if I allowed all the good reviews to shape me as a writer, then I would be too big for my boots. I like to critique my own work. I am not aware of any writer who thinks their work is the best.
CBJ: From your Facebook Author Page I know you are an avid reader, what sort of books/genres do you generally go for?
ELC: I will normally go for supernatural, crime, thriller or general fiction. I love James Herbert, Denzil Meyrick and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
CBJ: What book are you reading right now?
ELC: DM for Murder by Matt Bendoris. My next read is Dark Suits and Sad Songs by Denzil Meyrick.
CBJ: Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
ELC: She is not particularly new, however I read Witch Hunt by Syd Moore. I loved it.
CBJ: What current projects are you working on?
ELC: I am working on my third book which is called Chasing the Traveller. It is set to be released next year. Here is a sneak preview of the blurb.
Kat is trapped in a world where she has never felt like she belonged. As a traveller, she has always felt lost, especially since the death of her parents in a fire when she was fourteen years old. The Denton family take Kat on as their own and she falls in love with teenage tearaway, Jimmy Denton. His charm soon wears off and Kat finds herself married to a controlling and violent thug.
Sixteen years later, Kat decides enough is enough and finds herself plotting her escape from a lifetime of feeling lost and lonely. Stripped of her personality, Kat has no idea how to start again. An unlikely source otherwise known as Ellie Denton (Jimmy’s sister) shows Kat that she is not alone in her fears and offers to escape with her, where they will face new challenges together.
Kat and Ellie Denton begin their venture into the world of normality, where they will meet new people and build new lives. But Kat still feels like she has a lot of digging to do about her parents past and when she seeks the location of an address on the back of a family photograph, Kat will begin to discover her family’s past and a revelation that will lead Kat back to the traveller site she had been so desperate to escape from.
Will she find the answers she is looking for, or will she fall prey to the violent Jimmy Denton once more?
CBJ: And finally, if you could describe your book(s) in three words—what would they be?
ELC: Fast, spooky, thrilling.
In an alley way of the back streets of Glasgow there lies a decomposing corpse of a slain female baking in the midday heat. No one has found her yet, but medium Patrick McLaughlin knows she is there. It is not the first time he has dreamt of death… and he soon finds out that it is not to be the last.
Meanwhile, the local police start to request DNA samples from twenty something men in the bustling city of Glasgow where several bizarre murders have taken place.
Through a hunch and in the belief that the terrifying dreams hold the key to the identity of the murderer, Patrick works alongside the police to track down the predator before they can strike again.
The nightmares do not ease up and begin to tear at Patricks sanity and in the midst of the investigation, at what cost would Patrick have to pay to stop the killer striking again?
My Rating: 5/5
This is my original review that I wrote back in January 2013. It is short and sweet as I had just started reviewing on amazon, so my chatty, some times long-winded reviews had not fully developed ?
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to read.
What I love about reading is being able to immerse myself into the characters, get to know them, picture them in my mind, be a part of them. I have to admit, when I started to read Beyond Evidence I was not instantly drawn into the book…it took me about 3 pages before I became intrigued–and that was it!
This book cleverly combines suspense, murder, the paranormal and a great twist. For a first novel..well I was impressed and now I am looking forward to seeing these characters again in another book.
The story itself was well developed and really allows you to suspend your beliefs and immerse yourself into the paranormal.
I will definitely be promoting and recommending this book to my friends!
To purchase a copy of this fabulous paranormal thriller, click the link below:
[amazon template=add to cart&asin=B0099789OE]