Claire McGowan is a Northern Ireland author who writes crime under new own name and female fiction as Eva Woods. Her latest thriller called â€™The Pushâ€™ 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 â€˜The Pushâ€™.
â€˜The Pushâ€™ 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.
- Whatâ€™s your favourite opening line from a book?
â€˜The Secret Historyâ€™ -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.
- Whoâ€™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 â€˜The Silence of the Lambsâ€™
- 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, â€˜I Know Youâ€™, 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.