It’s bad enough you’re from a family of rich bankers, without having to deal with secret genetic engineering factories in the Dakotas.
Especially when you wake up one morning after a tab of E and find you’re thinking in Hebrew.
Follow the adventures of the Vanpyre family as they wrestle with the Dark Side of money and power.
First of all, can you please tell us about your latest book:
The Gene Wizards is a novel for readers of almost any age. It deals with serious themes like international banking, human genetic engineering and mental health issues, but it is also meant to entertain. I’m a fan of P.G. Woodhouse’s Jeeves and Wooster, and like Woodhouse I tried to create a world that is completely absurd (for example through the names people have!), but also recognisable and believable.
Where do you find inspiration for your novels?
Ideas often come to me at random moments. I love sitting in cafés watching people, for example, and making up stories about them. But most of my inspiration comes while I’m falling asleep. It can be a real pain: I have to keep a note pad and pen near my bed, so I can jot things down before I forget them! If the ideas are coming thick and fast, I may have to get up and put the kettle on to make tea while my brain catches up.
Who is your writing hero?
I’d say John le Carre. Not only does he have superbly compelling plots, based on events and situations that he has direct experience of, but I can’t think of anyone alive who can capture the agony of moral ambiguity the way he can.
Which book do you wish you had written?
A tough one: I already mentioned Woodhouse. But perhaps Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – because it’s so prophetic and still so relevant today. And because she achieved it against such odds.
What advice would you give to someone considering taking the plunge and attempting to write their first novel?
Uncouple yourself from the need to earn your living through your writing and just write, write and write some more. Perfection is paralysis. The key thing is to start writing and see where it leads. Also, when I’m in a writing phase I don’t read other people’s creative writing. You have to make the inner space for your own voice. But not everyone would agree.
If you could have a dinner party and invite three other writers (living or dead), who would you invite?
John le Carre, Dostoevsky and Anne Bronte.
What’s the one question you wish I had asked and what’s the answer?
“Why do you write?”
There is something uniquely intimate about the written page that no other medium can really compete with, except perhaps the painted canvas. We live in an age of superficial perceptions and understanding, and writing gives us a chance to explore the depths of life in a special way. Which isn’t to say, of course, that it shouldn’t entertain
Thank you, Clare Blanchard and Damppebbles
About the author
Originally from the North Yorkshire coast in England, Clare Blanchard spent half her lifetime in Czechia in Central Europe, where her books are mainly set. Inspired by noir fiction, her settings are often like another character in the plot. She writes crime mysteries and dark urban fantasy with a historical twist.
Clare loves beautiful landscapes and architecture, cross-country skiing, the wine of South Moravia, and of course Czech beer. When she’s not being literary she knits funky socks.
The Gene Wizards will be reduced in price from $2.99 to $0.99 until 1st March 2020.