Book Club: Lancaster author’s road to publication

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Clare Davidson certainly has the write stuff.

In fact, you could even believe she was born with a pen in her hand for this teacher from Lancaster has been writing for almost as long as she can remember.

“I’ve always written,” said Clare, 35, who teaches performing arts at Heysham High School and has just 
published her second book, ‘Reaper’s Rhythm’.

“I just have ideas in my head. It’s really hard not to write.

“I lie awake at night thinking about stories and I carry a notebook around with me with lots of ideas in it.

“It’s been a lifelong dream to be an author.”

Clare’s passion for writing was undoubtedly inspired by her dad Paul Williment.

“My dad always read to me every single night and I liked being able to escape into other worlds.

“Then I started daydreaming about the other worlds and then daydreaming my own worlds.

“You could say it’s all my dad’s fault.”

Clare, who was born in Northampton, also has her father to thank for four-and-a-half very happy and carefree years spent in Malaysia. A priest, Paul was posted there to teach in a seminary before Clare’s second birthday.

“We lived in a small town on the island of Borneo,” said Clare.

“The weather was amazing and it was definitely more free there as a child.

“There was very little crime and it was very safe. My brother and I went to an English-speaking international school alongside politcians’ children.”

Clare’s return to the UK, aged six, wasn’t all plain sailing.

“I remember coming back and being the odd one out. My dad was a priest and I did get bullied quite a bit so for that reason I always have a soft spot for Malaysia.”

Clare, her dad, mum Sylvia and older brother Mark settled in Leeds where she completed her schooling before choosing Lancaster University.

In her second year, she met her future husband Tom, now an IT worker.

The couple will celebrate their 10th anniversary next month and have a four-year-old daughter Eleanor.

When Clare opted for Lancaster University she had ambitions to work as a lighting technician and it had one of the best theatre studies programmes in the country.

But a fear of heights put paid to her plans.

“I really like lighting but also I’m petrified of heights,” she told me.

“I couldn’t go up the ladders.”

It was time for a rethink.

Clare began her working life at Plastech Windows of Morecambe, then moved to local firm Cannon Hygiene.

It was while working at Cannon Hygiene that she decided she wanted to go into teaching.

Clare then spent six years studying for an English degree alongside her full-time job. She’s been teaching for six years now, firstly English at Morecambe High and now at Heysham.

While Clare’s career may have taken several different paths, writing has remained her constant.

“It was knowing that my style had developed enough to the stage where I could be proud of it that made me take the first step to publishing,” she said.

And after much deliberating, she took the indie author route with her first fantasy book, ‘Trinity’.

“I made an active decision to be an indie author for lots of reasons but mainly a control thing.

“I spent over a year researching it and then with Amazon and Kindle there’s been this rise of indie authors. Amazon especially allowed indie authors to publish in their own right and call themselves indie which after all muscians have been doing for years and years.

“One of the biggest acts, REM, were an indie band originally.”

There’ll be four books in the ‘Reaper’s Rhythm’ series with the second to follow in January and then if all goes according to plan, at six-month intervals.

The book is an urban fantasy aimed at the aged 14-plus market.

It tells the story of Kim who sets out to prove her sister Charley was murdered even though everyone else thinks it was suicide.

“Effectively it’s a coming-of-age novel,” said Clare.

“Kim has to grow up and mature as a person in order to get the answers that she wants and obviously she has magical things to deal with to boot because it’s an urban fantasy.”

Clare is currently touring the area promoting ‘Reaper’s Rhythm’.

You can catch her at Waterstones in King Street, Lancaster, on Friday August 23, 6-8pm. She’ll be signing copies of her book plus there’ll be lots of giveaways and free refreshments.

She will also be in the Arndale Shopping Centre, Morecambe, on Saturday August 31, from 11am to 3pm.

When schools and colleges restart in September, Clare would also be more than happy to pay a visit to read from her book and host question and answer/creative writing sessions. Phone 07926366782 or contact Clare through her website www.claredavidson.com if you are interested.

By DEBBIE BUTLER