Claire Alexander.

Posted by Sue Leonard on Wednesday 26th October 2022

As a child, Claire Alexander lived in her imagination.

“I was active and had lots of friends, but reading and writing stories became my safe place.”

After her degree, Claire did some freelance work for a PR company, and some writing for the Scottish press, then she moved to Manchester to study law.

            “I qualified as a lawyer and worked in Manchester for a while, but it wasn’t for me,” she says.

She then owned and ran a giftshop for a few years, but she returned to Scotland in 2010 when she was pregnant with her second child.

“I wanted to be closer to my family,” she says.

Claire had been writing throughout, and in her thirties started many novels, mostly in the crime genre, but they never got further than 25,000 words.

            “And meanwhile I did more journalism. I wrote parenting and mental health/wellness articles for, mostly, American publications. (Also, the Washington Post and The Independent.) I’m still doing that.”

In October 2019, Claire took the online Curtis Brown Creative Writing course, and got the idea for her debut, finishing her first draft in lockdown.

By October 2020 she had acquired agent Juliette Mushens, who helped her with final edits.

            “She submitted it on a Thursday afternoon, and rang me on Friday morning to say Penguin had a made a six-figure pre-empt offer.”

Who is Claire Alexander?

Date of birth:  1977 in Ayrshire, Scotland. 

Education: Marr College, in Ayrshire; University of Glasgow, English literature; Manchester Metropolitan University, MA Law.

Home: Ayrshire.

Family: Single mum to children aged 14, 11, and 3. Two dogs, Teddy and Ziggy.

The Day Job: Full time writer with bits of freelancing.

In Another Life: “I’d be a psychologist. I’d thought of studying psychology.”

Favourite Writers: Ali Smith; Anne Tyler; Marian Keyes, Jane Fallon; Joan Didion; Matt Haig.

Second Novel: “I’m working on my commissioned second novel.”

Top Tip: “Write, write, write, and something wonderful will come.”

Website:    Twitter: @ClaireAwriter

The Debut: Meredith alone: Michael Joseph: €17.99. Kindle: €9.99.

Meredith hasn’t left her home in 1,214 days. With her cat, one friend, and a support group, she doesn’t feel alone. But does she have the courage to re-enter the world?

The Verdict: A glorious read. Compassionate, romantic, heartfelt, and utterly authentic.

Published in the Irish Examiner on 9th July.

© Sue Leonard. 2022.


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