Clare is an experienced publisher and past winner of the UK Young Publisher of the Year award. She worked for a number of the larger publishing houses including Hodder, Orion, John Wiley and Pearson before co-founding The Friday Project in 2005 where she published a number of brilliant books including the bestselling Blood, Sweat and Tea and Confessions of a GP. TFP was sold to HarperCollins in 2008 and Clare stayed on until 2009 before leaving to offer publishing consultancy services under the banner of The Book Guru. She launched RedDoor Publishing in 2014.
1. What was the last book you read?
Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel. I love his writing, not a word is wasted.
2. What did you read it on?
I read it in print format. I love my kindle for reading submissions but it’s a real pleasure to read the physical book.
3. What’s next on your reading list?
Looking for Mr Goodbar by Judith Rossner. Fay Weldon has given us a wonderful quote for one of our forthcoming titles (Tubing), describing the book as a ‘modern-day Looking for Mr Goodbar’ but as a child of the seventies, it passed me by on first publication!
4. You are stranded on a desert island. What three books would you want with you?
The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Ulysses by James Joyce.
The Penguin History of the World by JM Roberts and Odd Arne Westad.
5. Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
Barton’s Bookshop in Leatherhead. It’s exactly how a bookshop should be, full of unexpected delights and run by a knowledgeable, friendly and passionate bookseller (Peter Snell). I spent a day on the shop floor there and it gave me a real insight into this side of the book business.
6. Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?
Ulysses, see above.
7. What was the first book that made you cry?
The first one I remember was The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde.
8. If you could tell your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Everything happens for a reason.
9. What was your favourite childhood book?
I read so much as a child – the library couldn’t keep up with me. I had many, many favourites. One was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. The idea of being able to simply climb a tree and visit new and strange places sounded wonderful to me. Similarly, the Willard Price adventure books – new places, dangerous scrapes, all from the safety of my bedroom!
10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
On writing: Don’t edit as you go. Get the story that’s in your head onto the screen/down on paper and edit later, otherwise the book will never flow.
On publishing: Research and follow submission guidelines – and personalise your submission.
On stating the obvious: Read, read and read some more.
Thank you to our sponsor RedDoor for being involved in The Writer’s Summit, taking place 11 November.