For Throwback Thursday, I dug up this interview with author Claire Lewis, who published her first book A Sick Work of Art in 2009. I spoke to UoC alumna Claire for the University of Cumbria’s student newspaper The Informer in October 2009.
Claire Lewis also read an excerpt of A Sick Work of Art for me, a recording of which can be found below!
Getting her novel published was Claire’s big aim. Now that her first work is in print, she talks to Conny Kaufmann about her novel, similarities between her and the protagonist and how she finally got published.
When Claire Lewis was studying towards her degree in Creative Writing and Film at the University of Cumbria, she had a dream. This dream stayed with her so long, that she wrote a short story about it while she was in her third year. However, feeling that there was more to it still, she successfully turned her dream into her first novel A Sick Work of Art, which was published in August.
“The story’s main character is 24-year-old Maxie, who works in the coffee shop of an Art Gallery. One day, she finds a video on the internet, in which an artist kills someone. Through her work, she gets mixed up with the art scene and the story really gets quite dark from there,” Claire outlines her novel.
“Because of the subject matter, one of my friends was worried I might have turned into a serial killer – but I can assure you, I haven’t” she laughs.
“And although 40 per cent of Maxie’s personality is based on me – we both live in Newcastle and our boyfriends are in the Royal Navy – there are still quite a few differences between us.”
When she couldn’t find a job as a writer after her graduation in 2006, Claire decided to put her novel on hold and do a fast-track journalism course. “I guess, in the end, it all worked out for me as an author. But that was the hardest course I’ve ever done!”
Claire had been sending her manuscript to publishers all over the country. In the end, Newcastle-based Wild Wolf Publishing, who specialise in dark fiction, thought she has potential.
“It’s very exciting to have a proper book. It was published a little early and nobody told me, so imagine my excitement when I found it on Amazon!”
She admits that one day she might go down to a bookstore just to see it on the shelf. “But at the moment, I just try to get reviews and feedback.”
Sick Work of Art
Author: Claire Lewis
Publisher: Wild Wolf Publishing
Author Claire Lewis reads an excerpt from A Sick Work of Art at Carlisle’s Bookcase bookstore.
Apologies for the bad light and sound quality of this video. At the time of recording, we had several hiccups with the equipment and later with the editing software, so you’ll have to turn up the volume.
Special thanks to Bookcase Carlisle for allowing me to film on their premises.