Today I'm thrilled to introduce our special guest, Claire Baxter. Claire has written for Random Romance and Mills & Boon, is self-publishing a series of novellas, and has a book with Entangled coming out in September. She's busy as well as lovely!
Your first book for Random Romance, Anybody But Him, has been getting lots of buzz. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s an enemies to lovers story with some laughs along the way. I’d always wanted to write comedy, but I’d had to rein it in while writing earlier books. Nicola had been living in my head for a long time, as had her eccentric parents and her mum’s rich buttery shortbread (excuse me while I drool over rich buttery shortbread...), and Blair, of course. He was her high-school crush and he’s the last person she wants to run into. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to let them all out.
Sounds sizzling! Regular blog readers will know that I love romantic comedy, so I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Is it your first rom-com?
Yes, it is. I admit that I was surprised when someone other than me found it funny. Humour is so subjective, isn’t it? I’ll be happy if it raises a smile when you read it. :)
It's set in Redgum Valley, a country town in New South Wales. Did you base Redgum Valley on a particular town?
Originally I based it on Coonamble, a small town north of Dubbo, for no reason other than it felt right when I came across it in my research. Redgum Valley took on a life of its own in my imagination, though, so I doubt that any of Coonamble remains.
You're incredibly busy! You have this release with Random Romance, you have another book coming soon with Entangled, and another self-published novella. Plus you're vice president of the Romance Writers of Australia. How do you fit it all in?
Um...next question? Seriously, I don’t know, but we’re all busy, aren’t we? Look at some of the Lovecats! There are some amazing people amongst this group.
I’ve recently discovered the program Freedom which helps me to focus on the task at hand. I really needed it, so I was thrilled to see how well it worked. It blocks my access to the internet for the period of time I specify. But I once selected 300 minutes instead of 30 minutes which was very frustrating because once you’ve switched it on, you can’t switch it off again! I’m more careful with my numbers now. :)
I still need more hours in the day, though. Don’t we all?
I loved your novella, More Than Just One Night, and I see that you've just released your next novella and it's the next Selwood sister's story. Can you give us a hint about what will happen for her?
Gwen is the middle sister. In More Than Just Pretend she’s been through a bitter divorce and desperately wants to create a stable home for her teenage daughter Becky who’s in the final, difficult years of school. Returning to live near her sisters in their parents’ old house, Gwen finds that the house needs fixing up, and Spencer the sexy builder is just the man to do it. He wears a tool belt...need I say more?
We here at the LoveCats are always looking for book recommendations. What's the last great category romance you read, and the last great non-category book?
The last great category...Sarah Morgan’s A Night of Scandal. First book I’d read by Sarah Morgan and I enjoyed it very much.
The last great non-category...Jill Mansell’s Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. I’m a big fan of Jill Mansell and read every book as soon as it comes out.
And finally, since you're visiting the LoveCats we need to know: are you a cat person or a dog person?
I’m a dog person. Categorically.
Thanks for visiting us, Claire! And for those who'd like to know a little more about Anybody But Him, here's the blurb:
A deliciously funny rom com from Random Romance. What happens when you fall in love with the man you hate?
Nicola Doyle's dating record is a disaster, and it doesn't improve when she returns to Redgum Valley, after an absence of twelve years, to look after her increasingly eccentric parents. There, she's thrown into regular contact with Blair Morrissey – the very reason she couldn't wait to leave town in the first place.
The decade-old scars are still raw from that humiliating day in high school – when Blair went from the boy she loved to the boy she hated.
Except Blair doesn't seem to be a ‘bad boy' any more – in fact, he's charming, infuriatingly helpful and extremely attractive.
If only Nicola could forgive and forget . . .
You can pick up a copy of Anybody But Him from iTunes, Amazon or Kobo.