Clare Bentley (Weekly Author Spotlight 24 May 2021)


Clare Bentley is a married mother of a son and a daughter, who are now adults. She was raised by a single mother and didn’t care to know her abusive biological father, instead considering her stepfather to be her dad. Playtime for her growing up was filled with creating scenarios to act out and making up dance routines to her favourite songs of the late 80s to early 90s. She discovered a love of writing in secondary school English, which was the only lesson she cared to attend, and the only GCSEs she actually got a decent grade in. She never really had a passion for anything other than being a mother until she was one, and that’s when she decided to try her hand at writing.


Where are you from?
“I was born in the West Midlands, UK and although we bounced around from place to place, when I moved out on my own, I ended up back there. I now live in Stourbridge with my husband, youngest child and my cat, Albert.”

What is your favorite genre to read/write?
“I like to read any genre, as long as the story is written well, I can read anything. As for writing, I’m not sure what genre I fit into yet. I like to write dark stories… my first novel was about domestic violence and the plan for my next is about a mother who loses her child. So, I’m not sure where I fit.”

When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
“I have written stories since I was a child and acted out storylines with friends whenever we played. But I didn’t consider trying to move into being published until much later in life. Once I was a mother, I wrote stories that I published online. It was only when friends read those stories that they encouraged me to share my talent for storytelling with the world.”

Who/What inspired you to write The Waiting Duo?
“I was reading a lot of romance books at the time, and I think that’s where the idea originally came from. But I always like to add a twist in my writing.”

What was the highlight of writing The Waiting Duo?
“The characters never stopped talking to me – especially when I was trying to sleep – so there was no shortage of material for me to write. I love when stories tell themselves.”

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
“To date I’ve published three, and of them, my debut novel is my favourite. Growing up in a home of domestic violence, it was important for me to tell that one first, and I’m extremely proud of it.”

Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?
“It took me 4, almost 5, years to write What She Deserves. I had to do it right, to be honest to the survivors of domestic violence. It was hard. It forced me to deal with feelings about my past that I thought I had put behind me. It took an emotional toll, but for me, that just meant I was doing the story justice. I’m just glad that people enjoy it. It makes the heartache and tears worth the hard work.”

Can we expect any new releases in 2021 and share details?
“I am hoping to have my next novel, After You’ve Gone, out before the end of the year. But I try not to put too much pressure on myself, so if it isn’t finished before the end of the year, I won’t be too hard on myself. I have my plan all mapped out. It’s a story about a woman who, for the sake of her father losing everything, agrees to marry a man she detests. A contract is drawn up that the marriage is to last a certain length of time and she is to give him a child before going on her merry way to live the life she wants. Being in love with the boyfriend she had in school, she can’t wait to get her obligation over with. But to deal with her situation, she drinks – a lot. It leads to her having to enter rehab, and she even tries running away for a while.
When she discovers she’s pregnant, she knows she’ll finally be free of her husband. Though, the pregnancy ends in tragedy, her husband let’s her out of the contract – without much of a fight.
But what’s a story without a twist? People will have to read it to find out what that is.”

What do you think makes a great story?
“I like to read about real people…one’s that readers can sometimes see themselves in, with flaws and maybe sometimes, not the best judgement. I also like it when stories aren’t as straightforward as expected, and those are the kind of stories I like to write.”

What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
“As long as your proud of the story you’ve told, don’t worry so much about bad reviews – if you get them. It’s hard, but you’re not going to please every reader who comes across your story. And it will take some time for you to get your name out there, it won’t happen overnight.”


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We want to thank Clare Bentley for signing up for our Weekly Author Spotlight.

Interview done by HVDB BOOK LIFE

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