When I approached Clara requesting an interview I honestly did not expect her to say yes. I am relatively new to blogging and reviews so I didn’t expect a response.
I was so excited when I received a response and Clara was more than willing to do an interview with me. Unfortunately as she lives in the US we couldn’t do it in person but It was still great.
Thank you so much for doing this Interview with me. I firstly just wanted to get to know you as a person so.
Where were you born?
I was born in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.
How many siblings do you have?
One brother, two step-sisters.
Did you go to college/University?
Yes! I went to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where I triple-majored in psychology, sociology, and social services.
Where do you live now?
I live in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Yes, I’ve lived in Illinois my whole life. I would love to most out of state one day.
Do you have any children?
Yes, a boy and a girl.
If so how old.. If you don’t mind sharing their names and ages that would be lovely . I understand if you don’t
No names (for privacy reasons) but my son is 18 and my daughter is almost 16.
What is your biggest fear?
Oh my gosh. So many. My biggest fear is something bad happening to my kids.
What do you feel are your biggest accomplishments so far in your career and in your life?
As hokey as it sounds, my kids are compassionate, bright, motivated, and talented, and they are my greatest accomplishments. Career-wise, my greatest achievement is simply writing books and getting them published. That’s amazing in and of itself. Beyond that, winning a RITA Award ranks up there near the top of my biggest accomplishments. The RITA Awards are to the publishing industry what the Academy Awards are to the movie industry. It was an incredible honor. I won it for my first novel, Run to You.
Now on to the bookish questions..
What age did you start to write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. As a young girl I used my diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. I purposely didn’t hide my diary, hoping someone would read it and assume I was writing about myself. Growing up, I took creative writing classes in high school and college. But it wasn’t until years later, when I had the idea for Run to You, that I wrote my first book.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until I finished writing Run to You and its sequel. I’d spent a few months writing those manuscripts, so to justify that time, I decided to try to get them published. While I was searching for an agent, I wrote Aftermath. I didn’t consider myself to be a “real” author until my Run to You series was sold and published. (**Note: I have recently gotten my rights back to the Run to You series, so it’s currently off the market. It will be available again soon.)
What urged you to pursue writing as a career?
I never really pursued it! I didn’t consider writing to be my career until it actually happened.
Did you do any research about what genre was popular before you started writing?
I do like to be aware of the trends, but I don’t write to them. If I did, I would fail. YA Fantasy is a hot right now, but it’s not a genre I particularly enjoy reading, so I wouldn’t enjoy writing it either, and it would be horrible. Plus, it takes so long for traditionally-published books to hit the shelves, that by the time I write a YA Fantasy and my agent sells it and a publisher publishes it, the trend will be over. Chasing trends is an exercise in futility. My best advice is to write what you want.
The Run to You series is a YA paranormal romantic thriller. It was the story I wanted to write at the time. My most recent release, Aftermath, is a dark, YA “ripped-from-the-headlines” contemporary family drama with mystery elements. Again, it was the story I wanted to write at the time.
The age old question…do you ever get writers block? If so how do you overcome it?
Yes! I’ve been stymied by writers block a few times. For me, the best way to overcome it is to just dive right in and keep writing until I find my way through it, even if what I’m writing is utter garbage. I can always fix it later, once I have my writing mojo back.
Where do you get all your inspiration from?
I don’t have just one answer to this. My inspiration comes from all over. Aftermath was inspired by a true event that happened when I was a kid. One of the manuscripts I’m writing now was inspired by my life-long phobia of falling down the stairs. The Run to You series, which is a paranormal romance, was inspired by a what-if that just popped into my head one day as I was pulling out of a parking space at a grocery store.
I am not a writer but when I get an idea of something to write.. or draw I have to do it there and then even if it is just a draft ( do i sound crazy?)
You don’t sound crazy at all!!!
Do you ever feel like that?
All the time!!! It’s a great feeling to have. 🙂
Do you feel pressure to keep producing amazing books with new ideas?
Yes. Every day. This pressure actually contributes to my writers block. It’s actually a huge source of anxiety for me.
What did it feel like when your first book was published?
I felt really, really proud. As often as possible, I tried (and still try!) to forget about the pressure to constantly check my sales ranking, and just enjoy the accomplishment of writing and publishing a book.
What about the awards you have won? Did you ever think when you started out you would be such a hit with your readers?
I originally wrote the Run to You series for myself, without the intention of ever showing it to anyone, or even telling anyone I was writing it. The only reason I pursued publication was because I felt I needed to justify the time I’d spent writing it. The fact that it was published at all was a huge achievement. I never imagined it would go on to win an award, the RITA, no less. Winning the RITA Award is not only one of the highlights of my career, but one of the highlights of my life. Nora Roberts herself presented me with the trophy, and I gave an acceptance speech to an audience of 2000 people, plus everyone watching online. It’s an achievement I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life! (***I do have to note again that the Run to You series is currently off the market, but it will be available again soon. Please follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter for updates).
Finally.. What is next for Clara Kensie??
My first priority is getting the Run to You series back on the market. I’m also in the middle of two other manuscripts, one a dual-timeline, dual-romance YA paranormal mystery-thriller for fans of Run to You, and the other another dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary for fans of Aftermath. After that, I’ll tackle the other ideas that are currently residing in my head and get them down on paper.
A bit more about Clara
Clara Kensie, author of dark fiction for young adults
…don’t forget to breathe…
Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.
Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her super-romantic psychic thriller series, Run To You, was named an RT Magazine Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Run to You Book One: Deception So Deadly, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book.
Clara’s latest release is Aftermath, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines YA contemporary in the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones.
Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.
Find Clara online:
Find AFTERMATH at your favorite bookstore, including:
Once again thank you to Clara for the interview it was lovely getting to know a bit more about you