Behind the Bestseller #3 | Sam Blake talks to Claire Allan
From her life as a journalist in Northern Ireland to her first women’s fiction book, Claire Allan’s publishing journey was punctuated by key life events. In Behind the Bestseller she reveals what made her take that first step into fiction and how she moved from women’s fiction to crime. Sam Blake delves into what makes Claire’s books bestsellers across multiple platforms and all over the world, and how she comes up with her ideas. Character is crucial in Claire’s books – as she digs into her writing process, Sam Blake get’s Claire’s top tips for bestseller success and unlocks her secrets.
Claire Allan is a former journalist, turned bestselling author from Derry in Northern Ireland who graduated with a Masters Degree in Newspaper Journalism from Ulster University in 1999, before starting work as a staff reporter with the Derry Journal – covering an array of news from politics to human interest stories. She was the paper’s first female columnist in its 200 year history. She also worked for a time as acting news editor.
Claire was part of the award winning team that covered the Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday, and she covered Derry’s year as the first UK City of Culture. She maintains the best part of the job was always meeting ‘ordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell’.
In 2006, Claire decided to try and fulfil a lifetime ambition to write a novel and spent six months writing ‘Rainy Days and Tuesdays’ – loosely based on her own experienced of post-natal depression. This was published by Poolbeg Press in Ireland in 2007 and became an instant bestseller.
Seven more women’s fiction novels followed before Claire decided to leave journalism to concentrate on writing, and also to try her hand at writing psychological thrillers. Ten years after ‘Rainy Days and Tuesdays’ was written, Claire began to write ‘Her Name Was Rose’, which was published by Avon Books in 2008. It became a bestseller in the UK, Ireland, Canada, America and Australia.
It was followed by Apple of My Eye (Jan, 2019) and ‘Forget Me Not’ (May, 2019). The fourth thriller from Claire Allan, ‘The Liars Daughter’ is out now.