Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Giveaway:The first three folks to tweet a link to this interview and tag @BadgersTweetToo with hashtag #chclepittinterview will win an audible book (US, UK only) of “Or What You Will.”
Today, C H Clepitt – C H Clepitt has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of the West of England. As her Bachelor’s Degree was in Drama, and her Master’s Dissertation focused on little known 18th Century playwright Susannah Centlivre, Clepitt’s novels are extremely dialogue driven, and it has often been observed that they would translate well to the screen.
Since graduating in 2007, she gained experience in community and music journalism, before establishing satirical news website, Newsnibbles in 2010. In 2011 she published her book, A Reason to Stay, which follows the adventures of disillusioned retail manager, Stephen, as he is thrust into village life and the world of AmDram. Clepitt’s feminist fantasy, The Book of Abisan not only crosses worlds, but confuses genres, and has been described as a crime drama with magic.
She has often said that she doesn’t like the way that choosing a genre forces you to put your book into a specific little box, and instead she prefers to distort the readers’ expectations and keep them guessing. Her 2016 work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse does just that, as just like the characters, the readers won’t know what’s going on in this laugh out loud satirical scifi.
Thanks so much, C H, for joining me!
JSC: What action would your name be if it were a verb?
CHC: Badger, obviously!
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
CHC: Whilst technically not a fantasy realm, I would choose to live on Picard’s Enterprise. I love the fact that everyone is kind to each other and I really want a holodeck (or a friend to play make believe with, but I think a holodeck is more likely!).
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
CHC: Can I only pick one? I’d love to time travel and see history happen. If I went to the future and it was worse than now (if possible) I’d go to the past and stay there!
JSC: How does the world end?
CHC: With a load of idiots screaming “it’s a hoax”!
JSC: Star Trek or Star Wars? Why?
CHC: Trek (although I’m not anti Wars) – because it projects a future of hope and kindness.
JSC: What is your writing Kryptonite?
CHC: When I get bouts of anxiety I can’t write because I can’t focus. When that happens I have to do mindless things like colour matching games to focus without having to think.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
CHC: I find writing collaboratively gets me through writer’s block. If you have someone else to bounce off it helps you push through. I like working on collaborative projects.
JSC: Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?
Yes, Clepitt was my nan’s maiden name, and we are now the only family in the country to have it. I published my first book under my real name, but it turned out that someone else was publishing books under the same name, so I decided to change it to something more unique. Everyone who gets my newsletter knows my real name, though; it’s not a secret!
JSC: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
CHC: I do if the reviewer tags me into a post, or if I’m on the page and notice I have a new one, but I don’t actively seek them out to read, that’s no good for mental health. Some people will like my stuff, some people won’t. It is what it is.
JSC: Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured in your book? If so, discuss them.
CHC: I feel like all of my characters are underrepresented in some way. I try to represent as many groups as I feel comfortable giving a voice to (I tick A LOT of diversity boxes!). People want to see themselves represented, and I try to do that as best I can by having as diverse a cast of characters as I can in my stories.
And now for CH’s latest book: “Eye of the Beholder“:
When pressure from his materialistic children turns Claude into a thief, it is down to his youngest daughter to set things right. Angelique agrees to take her father’s place as prisoner to what she is told is a hideous beast.
Angelique soon discovers that the so called beast is nothing more than Rosalie, a princess cursed to remain trapped in a castle, unless the curse can be broken, something she assures her is impossible.
Angelique does not believe in the impossible, and sets about trying to find a way to save her new friend, who she is rapidly growing to love.
Eye of the Beholder is the first in a series of queer fairy tale retellings in C H Clepitt’s Magic Mirror Collection.