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Friday, August 21, 2009

A Day In The Life Of Clare Austin, Author Of Butterfly

Everyone knows that authors have glamorous lives, right? Okay, here's a day in the life of Clare Austin, author of Butterfly. See if it's what you expected. Welcome, Clare. Thanks for guest blogging today.

A day in the life….

I rise from my scented bower around eight a.m. Slip into a sexy bathrobe and wait for my man servant…who has an uncanny resemblance to Gerard Butler…to bring me my cappuccino. I open my laptop to check the hundreds of fan emails in my mailbox. “Gerard” (I’ll just call him that to protect his true identity) comes to check on me, ask if the coffee is to my liking before he walks my little dog, Maggie.

Hold it! Whose life is this? Not mine.

This morning I got up, made my coffee and stumbled back upstairs to a shower. Tried rather unsuccessfully to tame my frizz ball of red hair, couldn’t find the white shirt I wanted to wear and had to settle for a less than fresh pair of khakis because I haven’t done the wash.

I brushed my teeth while reading my email. I answered a few, toothbrush in hand, as well. Tossed back a protein shake, kissed my man…not Gerard…goodbye and dashed out the door.

Today I was at my “day job.” We were unusually busy and I felt more than a little scattered all day. I did have a lovely surprise. One of my co-workers had made a beautiful pendant out of little parts of my book, Butterfly. It was one of the dearest things anyone has ever done and it made me realize that my accomplishment with the publication of my first book actually meant something to my friends and acquaintances.

When I finally got home, I had a birthday party to attend and a blog or two to write.

This is not necessarily a typical day for me. I work at home, writing, five days a week. On those days, I try to write a good couple of hours in the morning, not counting the time I spend on emails and promotion. Then I typically go ride my horse, go for a swim or both. If I don’t get out and do something physical, I find it hard to sit and concentrate on making a bunch of words into a story…or a story into words on a page.

I write again in the afternoon, taking one or more breaks to walk my dog, get a cup of tea or play my violin. In the evening, I will relax, read a book, study Irish language or read aloud to my husband as we lounge in bed. I always go to sleep thinking about my story. Every night I write a scene, visualize a setting or play out how a character will react to a situation.

Somewhere in all this I manage to keep my home in some semblance of order, cook just enough to get by, garden, and wash the clothes…but I still don’t know what I did with that white shirt!

Thank you for hosting my on your blog today.
Clare Austin

Excerpt #1

He lost sight of the fiddler in the mobs of tourists enjoying the April sunshine.
No sooner had he decided to give up on his quest than he heard hands clapping in rhythm with the beat of the now familiar Irish drum.

Then he saw her.

She lifted her instrument and, with the surety of a bird’s wing slipping through the air, bow was laid to strings and life was breathed into melody.

He moved to the edge of the gathering where he could have an unobstructed view of the musicians. She looked up, and he thought she recognized him for an instant. Then her eyes turned and followed another. She smiled and nodded.

Cade had never thought of himself as the jealous type, but he did feel cheated out of that smile.

As soon as the last vibration of strings quieted, a man Cade recognized from O’Fallon’s came up behind the fiddler and, with disturbing familiarity, spoke in her ear. She responded with a hug and an adoring look in her eyes.

Cade had been raised to be competitive, in sports as well as in business, and the appearance of a rival on the field made him want to draw blood. He wanted the fiddler in his studio, and if she ended up in his bed, that might be as nice.
He stood and listened until the sun set and the air held a chill that thinned the throng. The musicians were packing it in.

He hadn’t realized he was staring, until she walked up to him and stood so
close he could smell the scent of her warm skin in the cool evening air. Her approach to introduction took Cade completely by surprise.

“Are you lookin’ at me or waitin’ for a bus?” she said, one hand on her hip and a sassy smile on her lips.

Excerpt #2
Flannery swung through the door into the dining room with a flourish but nearly tripped over a bar stool when she saw the now familiar profile, broad shoulders, and curly dark hair of the man who had come to see her sister.

“Sufferin’ ducks, and if it isn’t himself come to brighten the day at O’Fallon’s.” Cade was as compelling as she remembered. Today he was dressed in jeans, a black knit shirt, leather bomber jacket, and a slow smile that would stop a saint in her tracks.

“What can I get you?” She thought a couple of shots of good Irish whiskey would sort him out.

“I’d try the fish an’ chips if you would join me?”

She gave him one of her best smiles, turned toward the kitchen, and yelled, “Hey, Jamie, I’m taking my break. Give us a one an’ one, a serving of the bangers and mushy peas, a couple o’ Harps, and an Inishowen, would you there?”

“Anything for the love of my life,” Jamie called from behind the door.

“Stow it, Jamie Mac!” Flannery shot back, then turned to Cade. “He’s always good fer craic, our Jamie.”

“Craic? Inishowen? One and one? Would you like to translate?”

“Whatta ya mean ‘translate’? You speak English don’tcha?” she teased. “Okay...I’m just giving you a time. ‘Craic’ is fun, ‘Inishowen’ is a whiskey from County Donegal, and a ‘one and one’ is what we, the feckin’ Irish, call fish ‘n chips.”

Flannery’s pulse quickened at the way his dark eyes, shaded by long lashes, swept lazily over her, undressing her, right here in a public place. Yes, as her girlfriends back home liked to say, “He was a ride.”

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