Clare Ashton is an extraordinary author. She is one of the few who can write a convincing, light romance in one novel and a deep, sad story of loss and self forgiveness in the next. Her work, no matter the topic, is beautifully written.
Here is what she had to say about her writing:
A brief description of your writing:
Very British tales with roller-coaster romances with flavours of intrigue, suspense and romantic comedy.
One word to describe your books:
Who/What inspired you to start writing?
I grew up in Wales. Now the Welsh are right, it has unparalleled beauty in its luscious green unspoilt hills where you can walk for miles without seeing another soul. But as a teenager this means: (1) it’s bloody raining the whole time – those hills are green for a reason – so you spend your time indoors reading stories; (2) there’s no other bugger to talk to – so you spend your time inside reading stories. And then when you run out of books, you make up your own.
Why lesbian fiction?
Because I’m a big lezzer myself.
If someone is new to your work, which of your books should she read first?
Pennance, my first novel, has been described as a more literary and atmospheric book – at this point I should say that I think of literary novels as ones where bugger all happens so I would like to emphasise that there is a plot.
After Mrs Hamilton: if you like a cozy romance that’s going to kiss you goodnight with a happy ever after, don’t read this! Actually it’s not all doom and gloom by any means, but if you fancy a romance with a difference please start here. And then get your goodnight kiss, and a warm cuddle besides, from That Certain Something.
What inspired you to write Pennance?
I love Cornwall – it’s a county in England with a rugged coastline that gets blasted by the Atlantic. It’s especially appealing in winter when the moors are bleak and misty and the sea really bites into the land. I wanted to write a suspenseful story with that backdrop, and it also inspired some rather battered and beautiful characters I think.
See our review of Pennance
What inspired you to write After Mrs Hamilton?
A lot of beer, and a lot of offbeat conversations in pubs. And the desire to write a complex page-turner of a lesbian novel with intrigue, passion, scandal, and a deeply moving love story at its heart.
See our review of After Mrs Hamilton
What inspired you to write That Certain Something?
British romcoms, especially Richard Curtis’s Four Weddings and Love Actually. They are unrepentantly frothy and fun and so very well done. I just wanted my own lesbian version, and it was a hoot to write.
See our review of That Certain Something
Anything else you think readers may find interesting?
Hmmm….depends on the reader. My wife might want to know where I’ve put the keys…
Other Works In The Lesbian Genre
Your favourite lesbian book (not written by you)?
It has to be Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith – I tried hard to think of something else that wasn’t on everyone’s favourite list. But her writing is so vivid, evocative and fresh, and she weaves such intriguing and surprising tales, and she writes about flipping lesbians too – well that’s all my Christmases come at once.
Your favourite lesbian movie?
See our Amazon.com store of Clare Ashton’s novels here
Find all our reviews of Clare Ashton’s work here
Get in touch with her
Clare Ashton on Twitter