Today on the blog we are featuring Claudia Conner, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of The McKinney Brothers series.
To start things off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an author?
Hi there. Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Okay, my background as an author is that I have no background. Really. I’ve always been a big reader, but I was never interested in writing, never thought I was particular good at. In fact, before my first book, I’d never written so much as a short story. BUT, I’ve always made up stories in my head, I see them like movies, I just never considered writing them down because I didn’t see myself as a writer. I mentioned this to a friend, thinking everyone made up stories, not true I found out, and she encouraged me to try. That was four years before my first book was published.
One reviewer wrote, “This debut mixes passion and compassion in a contemporary story that has emotional depth.” How did you come up with the idea for The McKinney Brothers series?
Matt and Abby and all the kids lived in my head for years! Like maybe seven years before I began trying to write down their story. It started small and grew with the emotional scenes coming first and the rest filling in. It grew until I spent almost more time with them in my head than I did in the real world. They got louder, the conversations more exact. There were many nights I cried myself to sleep so deep in Abby’s head, during that scene…I don’t to ruin it but…if you’ve read Worth The Fall you that scene.
The third book in the series released in April, 2016. Can we expect more from the McKinney Brothers? What are you working on now?
I’m almost finished with the first in a spin off series, The Walker Brothers. These were the super swoony men who raised the heroine in book two of the McKinney Brothers. The series will begin with Nick and Mia, whose story was originally included in Worth The Risk, but my editor and I decided they deserved their own book. I love them and I’m so glad their story is getting justice. Can’t wait for you to read it!
I love that you have a playlist to accompany Worth the Fall! Do you listen to music when you write?
Thank you! Music does aften spark a story line or at least a scene, but, no. I do not listen to music when I write. Ever. Chances are I know the words and if I know the words my brain can’t help but sing along and I can’t sing words and write other words at the same time. I’m amazed by people who can.
What would you say is one of your biggest writing challenges? Biggest source of success?
My biggest challenge is making decisions. I see scenes in so many different ways, different points of view, different settings, that I often create a mess of pieces to sort out. LOL My process is ugly. My greatest success is probably just finishing the book. The last book in particular was it was extremely difficult, so that was a huge win for me.
You mention in your bio that you went to Auburn University. Are you a big football fan? 🙂
Huge. HUGE. I grew up in Alabama and if you know anything about college football, you know that one of the biggest rivals, if not THE biggest rival, in the coutry is between Auburn and Alabama. Serious, serious business down here. You did not say R*LL T*DE in my house. My dad was dead serious. He once sent home one of my friends who thought he was joking. Both of my parents went to Auburn, my husband and I went to Auburn, and we have a daughter there now. :))) WAR EAGLE!
How did you end up in England for your studies? Will you ever draw on that time for one of your books?
One of my gradate professors had worked with the headmaster of a picturesque school in a little town in Sawbridgeworth. Highwych. Look it up if you’re interested in that kind of thing. The things they do there are INCREDIBLE. SO different than public school in America. I might draw from my travels for a book some day. I’ve traveled around Europe several times and there is a new adult story simmering in my mind right now. 🙂
Where can readers find out more about you or your work? On which sites are you most active?
I have a new website that I’m excited about. That’s a great place to find information. I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram. I love pictures. I have a Facebook Page and also a Facebook private group.
Oh! Almost fogot!! Beginning in January, Newsletter Subscribers will receive Matt and Abby short stories each and every month! REALLY excited about these. So please, go sign up. You can never have too much Matt in your life! You’ll also get deleted scenes and release news.
Are there any questions I haven’t asked you yet that you’d like to share with the Book Buddy readers?
Um…have you read The Bronze Horseman? Or seen Gladiator with Russel Crow? I encourage everyone I meet to do those two things. LOL I’m very bossy.
Thank you so much for joining in on the Author Interview Series!!
Thank YOU so much for having me!!!