Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Getting To Know...Claire Morley

Today on Getting To Know... I have Claire Morley, author of Tindog Tacloban and owner of My ePublish Book. 

You've recently launched your business www.myepublishbook.com which helps authors get their work epublished and marketed. What inspired you to set this up?

Last year I wrote my own novel, Tindog Tacloban and of course like most authors, I hoped to find an agent and a publisher for it. Despite my attempts, it didn’t happen, so I turned to self-publishing. I took courses, did masses of research and learned all I could about the process before taking the leap into the self-publishing world. Having gone through the whole procedure for myself and having gained so much knowledge, I thought I could help others who don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves and My ePublish Book was the result.

You wrote your book, Tindog Tacloban, following your experiences while helping people in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, can you tell me more about what happened and why you decided to write a book?

My initial idea when I volunteered in the Philippines was to write articles about my experiences there and how the typhoon had affected the lives of the people who lived through it. I was very fortunate to be able to interview survivors, volunteers and aid workers while I was there and amassed a huge amount of information. When I returned to Cyprus, my partner suggested I write a fictional novel as it would reach more people. So I did. I wanted people to understand that the effects of a natural disaster like this are far-reaching and long-lasting, not just for the few days it features in the news. And I also wanted to highlight how human traffickers will take advantage of situations like this to recruit vulnerable people and children.

Will we see more books written by you in the future?

I do have some ideas, but so far haven’t committed anything to paper. I have quite a lot of other projects going on at the moment and I think the knowledge of how much time and effort is involved in writing a novel means the next novel will have a wait for now.

Do you have a favourite author?

That’s a difficult one. I really enjoyed the Steig Larsson books, Patricia Cornwall and Katie Atkinson have always been favourites, and I’ve read a lot of Robert Ludlum, Dean Koontz and Jack Higgins, hard to choose just one!

You're originally from the UK but you relocated to Cyprus a good few years ago, what made you decide to move and what was the experience like?

I visited North Cyprus on holiday for Christmas 2001 and just loved it, there’s something magical which you can’t explain to people, but when they visit, they get it. I felt it was somewhere I could live, so moved here initially for three months to see what it was like. I remember thinking halfway through that I wouldn’t be going back to the UK after the three months. Fourteen years later, I’m still here!

You have worked as a journalist, is there a completely different way to go about writing a novel compared to an article?

There is a huge difference between the two styles. I remember writing the first few pages of Tindog and giving it to my partner to read. Afterwards he said: ‘Well it’s okay, but it needs more detail, it’s more like an article.’ Those few pages turned into about three chapters. In journalism, you’re presenting the facts short and sharp, a novel you need the reader to see, feel, touch, smell, even taste what you are showing them.

Did you always know that you wanted to work with books or become an author?

I have always loved reading, as a teenager I would read a book a day, often with a torch under the duvet and I love words. Looking up a word in a dictionary can lead to an hour being lost as I find new words! But I had never really thought of writing a book until the experience in Tacloban.

When you're not reading or writing what would we find you doing?

I love sport, these days it’s mainly golf and swimming, when it gets a bit cooler I might start playing tennis again. I love to cook and hold dinner parties and I am usually involved with some form of voluntary work. I was a marketing and event manager in my previous life, so often get asked to help organise events for charities. I also organise weddings for people in the UK wanting to get married in Cyprus.

Do you own a lot of books yourself? If you do, how do you organise your bookshelves?

Sadly, a lot of the books I brought with me from the UK got ruined by a freak rain storm while in storage a few years ago, so I don’t have so many now. I don’t have access to much in the way of hard copy books here, so I rely heavily on my Kindle these days, so not much to organise on my bookshelves, but what I do have is fiction all lumped together in no specific order and then travel books, a lot of travel related books, I love to travel!

What can we look forward to from My ePublish Book in the future?

I am now looking at how to offer hard copy publishing through Amazon, I’m using Tindog as a test project so I can then advise others on how to get their books physically printed.

I would like to thank Helen very much for this opportunity to talk about my new business My ePublish Book, which helps authors to self-publish and promote their books and to introduce one of my clients, whose children’s/YA book has just become available on Amazon.
Thank you so much to Claire for joining me and answering my questions. It's been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to more coming through My ePublish Book!

To connect with Claire

Twittter @clairemorley15
Facebook author page
My Epublish Book Facebook page

To check out Tindog Tacloban it is available for download here

Visit www.myepublishbook.com for more information on the services Claire provides

Tindog Tacloban synopsis

In the aftermath of the fiercest typhoon on record to hit land, banners bearing the words Tindog Tacloban started to appear all over the city. Meaning Rise Up Tacloban, they were a testament to the determination and resilience of the Filipino people as they tried to rebuild their shattered lives. 
For many, things would never be the same: 
Izel Sombilon watched in horror as two of his children were ripped from his arms and swept away by the huge storm waves 
Eleven year old Lika Faye was plunged into the sordid underworld of Webcam Child Sex Tourism. 
For Helen Gable volunteering in the typhoon ravaged area was a chance for her to come to terms with her own personal tragedy. 

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