I met or discovered Clara Winter through Instagram. We were both participating on an author loop, I saw her book covers and decided to check out her books. In my true bass-akward fashion, I read King of Kings, the third in the Immortal Kindred Series. I fell in love with her writing and asked her to be a guest on my virtual café. Welcome to Creekside Café, Clara.
Clara: Thank you so much! I’m happy to be here.
Sherri: Have you ever been to eastern North Carolina? That is where my imaginary café exists, I can picture it on the banks of the Pamlico River, on the Inner Banks of the sound.
Clara: I lived in Charlotte, NC for about four months, many years ago. The farthest east we made it was Raleigh. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, though!
Sherri: It is but it’s hot and humid here in the southeast, still, I enjoy hot coffee on the porch. If the mosquitos don’t get us, sometimes, we can catch a bit of a breeze. One of your posts said, “You’ll never survive an apocalypse if you can’t drink hot coffee in the summer.” It cracked me up. Can I get you a cup?
Clara: Yes! A decaf latte, please. I live in Southern California and the baristas at Starbucks look at me like I’m crazy when I order a hot coffee in 90-degree weather.
Sherri: I was very impressed with King of Kings, is it really only your third novel? It is so very well written.
Clara: Thank you! King is my third full-length novel, yes. My fourth if you count a novella that came out at the same time as the first book in the series.
Sherri: Tell everyone about your Immortal Kindred Series.
The first book is Deepest Midnight? How did you come up with the idea for this series? Did it start with this first book or did you have the whole idea at once?
Clara: The series began with the first book and was originally meant to be a stand-alone. But, as I finished, I realized how in love with these characters I’d become. They each deserved to have their story told, so that’s what I did. Books one through four tells the specific story of one character. The others make appearances, of course. The fifth and final book will bring them all together.
Sherri: Tell us about your characters. I loved Alexandre. He was flawed but still enticing. From the very beginning of the story, he was sensual, sexy and intriguing. I had to keep reading. Don’t reveal too much but give our readers a little insight into this <ahem> person.
Clara: It’s so hard to talk about Alexandre without giving too much away. He has a big job in Deepest Midnight, but then we get his backstory, plus a little more in Book Three. Most of Alexandre’s life has been spent as a selfish bad boy with a wicked sense of humor. He’s a much more mysterious figure in the first book, which is why I don’t want to give away too many details.
Sherri: You have non-stop action. I love that. You book is definitely NOT boring. Who do you like to read? Who or what inspires your writing?
Clara: Thank you so much. I read absolutely everything! I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood when I devoured the Babysitter’s Club, Anne of Green Gables, and Nancy Drew. My teen years were occupied with Anne Rice and all the classics; the Bronte’s, Austen, etc. I told you I read everything! Now, I still read all the above, but also romance, suspense thrillers, and murder mysteries.
Sherri: Have you always been a writer? Obviously, these aren’t your first stories. What else have you written? What do you have on your resume?
Clara: I was not a serious writer until Deepest Midnight. There a couple of children’s stories I wrote years ago, but really DM was my first foray into serious writing. In addition to the three books from the Immortal Kindred series that are out now, there is a romance novella from a collection called Once Upon a Summer. I have been recently branching out into YA. My first published work in this genre was a short story in the anthology titled Magical Realism. I also have two YA novellas that are paranormal, fairytale retellings. The first, Blood Rose, is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast and was released last month in paperback and in ebook as part of an anthology with Enchanted Quill Press. The second, Blood Dream, a Sleeping Beauty retelling, releases next month. It was such fun writing those stories.
Sherri: I’ll have to look for these stories as well.
Your covers are gorgeous, I saw on the title page that Najla Qamber did the cover art, did you have a say in the design?
Clara: I did. Najla is a wonderful artist to work with. She really wants to capture your vision while creating a cover that will speak to the current market. I absolutely love working with her.
Sherri: I’m not familiar with Inkspell Publishing. How did you get discovered?
Clara: Through querying. When Deepest Midnight was completed, I made a list of about fifteen publishers. Inkspell was the second publisher I queried. I feel so lucky to be involved with this company. They truly value their writers and are so incredibly conscientious and honest.
Sherri: Will there be more to the Immortal Kindred Series or do you have something else in mind?
What are you working on now?
Clara: There will be five books total. Book Four, Goddess of the Moon, is coming in December, and the final book, Dark Star is releasing soon after, in January. Currently, I’m working on a new YA, paranormal project.
Sherri: Oh wow, young adult is difficult to write, I love reading it but I don’t think I’m ready to try writing it.
Clara, it has been great having you here at the café. I look forward to reading your other books. Thank you for joining us and maybe one day, we can do this again, in person.
Clara: I had a blast! Thank you!
Clara Winter grew up reading Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden, and Alice in Wonderland, while watching Buck Rogers, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. Writing her own stories naturally ensued. She is a wife, mother, and former school counselor, with a Master’s Degree in Counseling. Clara is from Colorado Springs, Co and currently resides in Southern California. clarawinterbooks.com
Social Media Links:
Deepest Midnight https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CQNCZS5
Rebel Heart https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M73RMTT
The King of Kings https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S9LKRZN
Blood Rose https://amzn.to/2KgwVif