It’s always nice to meet an author from my hometown of Montreal. Though the world of independent authors is not huge, Claude is one of the larger-than-life figures within it. He’s also one of the most gracious authors I know, and I’m happy to feature him on my blog.
Like most Canadians, he has a great sense of humor, so you don’t want to miss his interview!
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Welcome Claude. You have so many books that I have to pepper your interview with them! Aside from being prolific, how else would your best friend describe you? Use 20 words or less.
If my best friend were to describe me in twenty words or less and was being honest, she would say… (Crap, I reached the word limit).
Ha, that’s one way of getting out of answering the question. Ok, what is your greatest extravagance then?
Travel. My wife and I love to travel and, although we do so within our means, it doesn’t take much to convince us to go spend a couple of days or weeks somewhere.
Nice, I think most authors love travel, myself included. What is one thing you want to do before you die?
Live a long, healthy life.
🙂 Care to tell us your favorite curse words?
I don’t fucking curse, not even in French, hostie de crisse de tabarnaque.
Quebecois curses – the best! What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Taking my writing career from nothing to being able to call it a full time, paying job.
That’s excellent and the perfect segue into my next question. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere. The inspiration for the first book, years ago, stemmed from OJ Simpson getting away with murder. That fiasco led me to thinking of someone dealing with the bad ones who got away and Vigilante was born. Since, a variety of crimes, both true life and imagined have served as fodder for my stories. Travelling has certainly provided locales and ideas as well, allowing me to set some of my tales, or parts of them, in California, France, Vietnam and so on. A recent Facebook post by a friend about idiot drivers who ignore school bus safety resulted in a scene in my latest release, Getting Even.
What motivates you to write?
The desire to share a story has always been a strong motivator. I’ve read a lot over the years and, when writing, it’s almost the same as reading except I get to decide where the story goes. Once readers began to show interest in my writing, it served as a definite additional motivator. Since I now earn my living with my books, I can’t deny that sales and related revenues also spur me on.
How do you market yourself?
Any way I can and it’s not an easy task. I’ve used Twitter and Facebook to get my name out and, while I once posted extensively about my books, both platforms have since become simply places to meet and communicate with tons of great folks. Over time, this has led to building an audience and provided wonderful promotional opportunities such as this interview. I’ve advertised some on both previously mentioned platforms as well as Amazon and Goodreads but I’m not convinced they deliver a real bang for my buck. Though pricy, I’ve had some real success with BookBub but trying to get a slot has become a frustrating experience. There are other similar advertisers out there but, unfortunately, none with a comparable reach. Finally, what has proven to be a strong marketing tool is writing more books.
Writing more books definitely works. What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer?
Favorite parts include developing, researching, writing and even editing a story. Finishing a story is always a special moment and solid sales and good reviews are always sweet. As for the least favorite, dealing with the marketing aspects can be a pain, specifically with securing advertising for promotions.
Agree on that last part. Is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?
Considering the title has been the first thing I typed for each of my fifteen books so far, it seems it is important to me though I can’t tell you why. The best I can suggest is, it exists so I have to call it something. Conversely, I very rarely know the ending until I’m almost there so, nope, that’s of little importance to me before I start writing.
Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
I sit down and write, starting with the title and a vague idea of what the story will be about. I’ll sometimes note ideas as I’m moving along, simply to avoid forgetting them, usually in the form of emails I send myself from my iPad while off duty.
So … you’re somewhat of a plotting pantser. 😉 Tell us the genre of your latest book.
Like the previous eleven in my series, Getting Even is in the general mystery/thriller genre and, more specifically in the Vigilante Justice category.
Available from Amazon
Buy Getting Even or the
Complete Vigilante Series (Asylum & Nasty in Nice excluded)
Book blurb for Getting Even
Born of old money, attractive and well educated, philanthropist, William Enright had been the picture of the perfect socialite until his arrest and conviction as Montreal’s ‘Homeless Killer’.
After spending nine years in British Columbia’s maximum security Kent Institution, William succeeds in executing a masterful escape with only one purpose in mind…
Finding Captain Dave McCall and the others who sent him to hell and, getting even.
How long did it take for you to write Getting Even?
I wrote this one in just under five months. It might have been finished a little sooner but I had to dedicate some time to a potential television project based on my series.
TV series. Excellent! What inspired you to write the book?
William was one of my rare antagonists from the past who remained available to make a return appearance and became somewhat insistent so I said, “Your call, buddy”.
I love that. How did you celebrate when you finished it?
By pure coincidence, I finished writing Getting Even on the eve of my birthday so we had a lovely dinner party on the following day to celebrate both events.
What a lovely birthday gift to yourself. Has anything surprised you while writing Getting Even?
Since I don’t plan ahead of time, I often don’t clearly know how a book will end until I’m almost there. With this one, I thought I had nailed the ending but suddenly, there was more. Then again, I had it but, nope, I wasn’t quite there yet. Finally, after throwing in the final bit, it was done. The End.
Sounds like another winner, Claude. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? The French Riviera. Been there, loved it, will go again.
Name a food you can eat every day. Cheese.
Salty or sweet? Salty.
Cat/dog/other pet? Two black female felines, Midnight and Krystalle, mostly adorable, occasionally annoying.
Favorite style of music? Rock.
The best gift you’ve ever received? A cheque for an impressive amount.
Your most guilty pleasure. Ruffles All-Dressed potato chips.
Favorite season. Summer
Name something you cannot go a day without. Air.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
I’d like to thank your readers, and mine, for supporting indie authors. Without them, we would only be writing for ourselves.
Thrilled to have you on Eden’s Exchange, Claude. Thank you for sharing of yourself and I wish you continued success!
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Connect to Claude
Claude was born in Montreal, Canada, at a very young age, where he still resides with his spouse, Joanne, under the watchful eye of Krystalle and Midnight, two black females of the feline persuasion. In a former life, he completed his studies at McGill University and worked in various management capacities for a handful of firms over countless years. From there, considering his extensive background in human resources and finance, it was a logical leap in his career path to stay home and write crime thrillers.
His first stab at writing fiction was actually in 1995, the result being his first novel, Vigilante. Two others of the same series followed by 1997 but all three remained dormant until publication in 2009. Since, besides writing ASYLUM, a stand-alone, the Vigilante Series has grown to twelve thrilling installments including his latest release, Getting Even.
Two of his novels were included in the pair of blockbuster 9 Killer Thriller anthologies, the second of which made the USA Today Bestsellers list in March 2014. Claude has also penned Something’s Cooking, a faux-erotica parody and cookbook under the pseudonyms Réal E. Hotte and Dasha Sugah as well as Nasty in Nice, his contribution to Russell Blake’s JET Kindle World. His books have topped the chart in the Vigilante Justice category on Amazon and some 600,000 copies have been distributed to date.
Claude’s other interests include reading, playing guitar, painting, cooking, traveling and trying to stay in reasonable shape.