Claire McGowan is a Northern Ireland author who writes crime under new own name and female fiction as Eva Woods. Her latest thriller called ’The Push’ is out now.
- To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing.
I grew up in Rostrevor Co Down in Northern Ireland and now live in London. I write mostly crime fiction and also women’s fiction, as well as radio drama and scripts.
- Tell us about your new book called ‘The Push’.
‘The Push’ is about a group of couples, all very different, who are all expecting babies and go to the same antenatal group. When someone dies in a suspicious fall at one of their gatherings, their secrets and lies begin to unravel.
- You write both female fiction and crime. Which genre do you find easier to write?
Definitely crime! I tend to over-plot my women’s fiction as I’m so used to having to write lots of twists and turns.
- If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
I’d invite Marian Keyes who seems brilliant fun and reads a lot!
- You come from a rural village in Northern Ireland, has that been a setting in any of your books?
It features in some of my Paula Maguire books, though I rarely write about actual real places. I usually give them a different name and change them slightly.
- What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
‘The Secret History’ -The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation
- Why do you think Northern Ireland is so popular and successful for crime authors?
I think we have an incredibly rich history of crime and loss here, which we are only now beginning to be able to write about.
- Who’s your favourite villain or hero?
It’s hard to think of a better or more interesting character than Hannibal Lecter – he’s sometimes a villain and sometimes an ally, at least in ‘The Silence of the Lambs’
- If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
Something very long – I still have to read the new Hilary Mantel, so probably that, then maybe the complete works of Shakespeare, and the artist’s way so I could work my way through it.
- What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
I think there needs to be a balance between developing your skills, and almost more important,
- When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
Giant cup of tea – I drink lots of tea all through the day
- And finally, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
I’ve just finished my next thriller, ‘I Know You’, and also have a true-crime audiobook coming, which will be announced soon.
You can buy ‘The Push’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.