Claire Gem is an award winning-author of supernatural suspense, contemporary romance, and women’s fiction. She also writes Author Resource guide books and presents seminars on writing craft and marketing. Her supernatural suspense, Hearts Unloched , won the 2016 New York Book Festival, and was a finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards.

Claire loves exploring the paranormal and holds a certificate in Parapsychology from Duke University’s Rhine Research Center. She earned her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University.

A New York native, Claire now lives in Massachusetts with her husband of 40 years. When she’s not writing, she works for Tufts University in the field of scientific research. She is available for seminars and media interviews and loves to travel for book promotional events.

Beverley: Which genre or genres do you write or prefer to write? And why?

Claire : My favorite genre to write is supernatural romantic suspense, i.e., romances with ghost stories. I’m fascinated with the paranormal, and have a strange affinity for old buildings and graveyards. All of my books thus far have been influenced by a place I’ve visited or read about.

Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?

Claire: That’s easy. Seventh grade English, many moons ago, I had a teacher named Nancy Prather. She was a tiny sprite of a woman with the energy of a sparrow and the aggressiveness of a hawk. She taught me the basics of structure—beginning, middle, and end of a piece, and how to connect both ends. At first, I was terrified to tackle the writing assignments she gave, since many were really creative writing. She would give us a prompt and we had to write something. One day, as she called us up to her desk to receive our latest paper, she looked me in the eye and said, “Young lady, you have a real talent for writing. Don’t let this go to waste.” It’s become my mantra ever since.

Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?

Claire: A spooky old building with a sketchy history. Mysteries about people or places. Unique, tiny towns in the middle of nowhere. And urban legends. My first Haunted Voices novel, HEARTS UNLOCHED, was inspired by an urban legend from a little town near where my husband grew up. He’d been telling me the same story for years before, one day, driving through the area, the idea hit me: a haunted hotel on a lake rumored to have been the Mafia’s body dumping ground. I signed up for Nanowrimo, sat down on November 1st , and thirty days later, had most of the novel completed. The title won the 2016 New York Book Festival.

Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?

Claire: Another easy one, although Boss Baby is a fairly recent Pixar creation. The reason? For one, I love his attitude and spunk. For another, my grandson says my beloved Persian kitten looks like Boss Baby. And so, the kitten is registered as Boss Baby Leo.

Beverley: Who would you love most to meet ‘in person’ and why?

Claire: I used to say Nora Roberts, because she is so prolific and such a favorite author of mine. But after recently taking a Masterclass by Dan Brown, I’d have to say he’s the one I’d love to have lunch with. The man has an easy, approachable teaching style and I would love to pick his brain.

Beverley: What are you working on now?

Claire: I actually have two projects going now. One is called PIGMENTS, and is about a psychic DNA analyst who can access the memories of artists whose DNA is trapped within the layers of oil paint. The other is ELECTRICITY and takes place close to home. I work at the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, and the campus resides on what used to be Grafton State Hospital—a mental asylum. Most of the buildings have either been demolished or repurposed except for one. I’ve been given a sneak peek inside and researched its history. This building housed the most “excited” patients, meaning the most violent and disturbed. Those with no chance of ever going home. That’s where my heroine, Mercedes Donohue, is working with an electrical team to renovate the building. I’m hoping to have ELECTRICITY ready for release later this spring.

Blurb for Civil Hearts A Haunted Voices Novel

He’s a sexy Southern gentleman—with epilepsy. She’s a widow scarred from her late husband’s brain cancer. Her new home, an abandoned antebellum mansion, is haunted by a Confederate soldier—and she’s a Yankee.

A widow with no family, web designer Liv Larson yearns for big change. After all, she can work from anywhere, right? Why not throw a dart at the map? She heads out of the big city for the rural South and falls in love as soon as she arrives—with the Belle Bride, an abandoned antebellum mansion.

Heath Barrow loves his country life, managing his antiques store in sleepy Camellia. But he’s lonely, and his condition—epilepsy—makes life uncertain. It’s already cost him a marriage. A new medication and the new girl in town have his heart hopeful again.

Sparks fly between Heath and Liv. But his first seizure sends Liv into a tailspin. Its mimics those her husband suffered before he died . . .

To make matters worse, Liv discovers she’s not living alone. Her challenge? Dealing with a Confederate soldier, one who clearly resents his Yankee roommate—even though he’s been dead for over a hundred and fifty years.

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