Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
In total, I have written three books. Two are from the Romance genre, and one (the latest one) is from the Spiritual Fiction genre. The two romance novels are entitled “Always in my Heart” and “Searching For Sabrina Fair.” My Spiritual Fiction novel is actually a five part series that I began writing back in 1999 as part of a conversation I had with one of my spiritual mentors. The title of that series is “The Last Prophet” and the first book is “The Last Prophet: Guarding Sophia.” The remaining four books are currently in the works and I’m already having a lot of fun working on them.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
The latest book that is already out is “The Last Prophet: Guarding Sophia.” The idea for “The Last Prophet” book series came as a result of a very profound and deeply moving spiritual conversion I went through back in the summer of 1998. I was at a crossroads in my life then, having completed my undergraduate degree the year prior, and still searching for what my calling was after college. I was blessed to have met, worked with, and befriended a group of individuals whose faith journey and practices spanned a wide range of experiences. Through the sharing of their life stories and their personal journeys I reconnected with my faith and found myself drawing closer to God and having a lot more peace. The embodiment of that journey for me was the idea of the book series I am continuing to write.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to write in darkness, with only the light from my computer screen illuminating the room. I realize that doing so is actually doing more harm to my eyesight than good for my writing, but it just seems to focus my attention on the story I am telling. Other times, it feels like I am truly in an intimate setting with the characters of the story, in a place where no one will disturb us. The only other quirk I have when I write is that I seem to do my best writing in the late hours of the evening or the early morning hours. I’m not quite sure why this developed as a habit, but it may be a remnant from my old college days when I would do my best writing for research papers and essays in the late evening and early morning hours.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
In the romance genre, I have become quite fond of Cat Johnson’s books. When it comes to writing in the spiritual fiction genre, I am largely influenced by Frank Peretti who has written one of my favorite spiritual fiction novels on angels and spirituality. In general, I find myself drawn to authors and books that can take my everyday experience of the world and make it believably extraordinary. One can read about a person’s experience, for example, of going to a coffee shop and ordering their daily latte. The difference between just recounting what happened, and telling a story is the detail and the emotion the writer/author brings out in even the most ordinary events.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the second book of “The Last Prophet” series. Where the first book in the series deals with the Archangel Gabriel and Sophia (the Last Prophet), the second book deals with the Archangel Michael and a woman he is given special care over. The second book is also a continuation of Sophia’s journey as the Last Prophet and her relationship with the angels and God. Each of “The Last Prophet” books will deal with the Archangels and a special “charge” for which they have care over.
Although “The Last Prophet” series is in the works, I have already begun developing ideas and stories for a few other book series I hope to write. One is a continuation series from “The Last Prophet” series, which I have begun referring to as “The Remnant” series. Another series I have wanted to write since the onslaught of paranormal and werewolf movies among the younger generations is a paranormal series about shape shifters seeking sanctuary. That series I have begun calling “Redemption Ridge.” That series also ties in with a potential paranormal romance series I hope to write soon called “The Sanctuary.” As you can see, my mind works a million miles a minute and in a thousand different directions. The end results are all stories I want to share with readers.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Thus far, my publisher has kept me abreast of all the latest sites and promotional items through her website. Both of us have worked on updating Facebook pages, my own personal website on Weebly.com, Twitter, Google+, and through getting to know other authors through social media sites. Finding websites that allow authors to promote their books for free and posting that information widely in sort of snowball effect has been what seems to work thus far.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
In the altered words of Dory, the fish in Finding Nemo with absolutely zero short term memory… Just keep writing. If you love the story you are telling or are just dying to tell it, think about the story you want to tell rather than worrying about whether it will sell or not. I am in a place and age in my life where I am comfortable in my own skin and the only thing about writing that matters to me is to tell the story inside my heart and mind. My desire is to tell the stories, not just sell the book. We buy books because we like the story, or the story caught our attention somehow. If you have a story to tell, then tell it. A good story will sell itself. Be happy to just write and tell the story in your writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I recently watched a webcast through YouTube with Jimmy Thomas and a few book cover designers and book reviewers and the best piece of advice I heard so far was really very simple. That piece of advice had to do with promoting your book through social media. A book reviewer on that webcast simply said to be yourself. She said that people are more likely to check out a book or website or blog of someone they genuinely find interesting or simply like, as opposed to someone who keeps pushing and pushing and promoting and trying to aggressively sell their book. When we like a person, or respect them, or find them interesting, we will naturally be inclined to trust their word on something. Constantly putting something in a person’s face does not always work, especially if it is done in a forum where the atmosphere is supposed to be social. We equate social with being around people we like or would like to know. When you try to pitch something that seems out of place in an arena it is not designed for or welcomed, it could backfire. Be yourself. Likewise, however, if your true self is someone who has a grating personality all around, you have to learn to reel it in and keep yourself in check.
What are you reading now?
I am reading several books at the same time right now. I’m the type of reader who likes to do more than one book at a time. On my current “reading list” I have quite a few short romance novellas by various authors, “Luke’s Tale” by Carol McKibben, “Caged” by Cameron Conaway, “The Pope’s Stone” by Mark Kuhn, “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti, “A Princess of Landover” by Terry Brooks, and “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer. As a mother of two small boys, I am always looking for new children’s books to read to them. They both love to listen to me read to them and they both love holding the books themselves, so I am very conscientious about the types of stories they read. I want them to hear and listen to stories that help them grow as individuals and ultimately good people.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to continue writing in various genres. I love Spiritual Fiction, but I am also a fan of Romance, Suspense, and Science Fiction. Ultimately, I just love telling a good story. It’s my hope that as story ideas come to me, that I will be able to write about them and tell those stories. I’m really just enjoying being able to write the stories I’ve always wanted to tell to multitudes of people.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t have a favorite book of all time, and I myself have been guilty of that. I do, however, have favorite authors and because I enjoy their books I go back to them often. Frank Peretti is one of my favorites and the book I enjoyed most that he has written was “This Present Darkness.” Peretti is a Spiritual Fiction and Spirituality author. Two other authors I enjoy reading is Cat Johnson, as well as Christin Lovell, both of which are romance genre authors. When it comes to classics, I really enjoy C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkein, Jane Austen, the Brontes, and even Shakespeare. My husband and I both have one author in common that we love to read, and that is Terry Brooks, the author of the Shanara series of books, as well as the Landover series. I just love to read, which is one of the reasons I love to tell stories through my writing.
Author Websites and Profiles
Claire Gager Website