In the latest of our online book series, bestselling author and star of Fair City CLAUDIA CARROLL tells SOPHIE GRENHAM about working from DUNNE AND CRESCENZI, being inspired by JANE AUSTEN and why she loves New York …
Multi-talented Claudia Carroll, star of the stage and small screen, has lived in Dublin all her life. A veteran cast member of Fair City, she wrote her critically acclaimed first novel He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me in the RTÉ dressing rooms.
Since then, Claudia has published a string of best-sellers, with particular titles I Never Fancied Him Anyway, Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man and If This Is Paradise, I Want My Old Life Back sparking interest from America for film and television options.
In 2009 Claudia opened an exciting chapter by signing with Harper Collins (Avon) USA as her new publishers. Her books are sold all over the world and have been translated into many languages.
Claudia lives in Ballsbridge and has just finished a new novel, due out in April 2016.
On working lunches
There’s a gorgeous Dunne and Crescenzi in Sandymount Village and I’m there so often, I nearly know the staff by name (special shout out to the lovely Francesca). I often drop in for a coffee with my notebook and pen in hand, as I’m a great believer in plotting before you launch into a new book.
On her favourite bookseller
I often walk into town and love Hodges Figgis on Dawson Street. Amazing staff (shout out to the gorgeous Pat Prizeman) and they’re so incredibly supportive to Irish authors too. Plus they really know how to throw a launch party.
On the classics
I love Pride and Prejudice and often think Jane Austen is the mother of women’s commercial fiction. To think she could write this at the age of twenty-one? I could barely cross the street at that age. And another great favourite I keep coming back to is Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s got everything ; romance, drama, war, death, destruction and one of the most unforgettable characters in literature. Scarlett isn’t necessarily likeable, yet you can’t help but admire her and you bet on her every time.
On acting vs writing
I love doing the two in parallel and it’s a great joy to be able to dip in and out of Fair City, who’ve been so good to me over the years. Plus given that writing is such a solitary job, it’s a joy to be in a make-up room hearing all the gossip and chat and messing. And there is always gossip, chat and messing on the set of Fair City.
On the city that never sleeps
NYC is such a melting pot. You see all human life there, from the more underprivileged areas out in Queens and beyond, to the chi-chi districts like the Meatpackers and then the almost unimaginable wealth you see around the Upper East Side of Park Avenue. Must do’s for me when I’m there would be spending an entire day in Macy’s on Herald Square, having a bit to eat in The View (an incredible revolving restaurant overlooking Times Square), and of course, seeing a Broadway show.
Claudia’s latest novel Meet Me In Manhattan (€19.55) is out on paperback with a beautiful new cover on December 5th and is available now on Kindle. Her books are available from bookshops nationwide.
Image by Eoin Rafferty, taken in Herbert Park
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