Frequently Asked QuestionsCommon questions about my writing style and the specific series books
- How long have you been writing?
- As long as I can remember! I kept diaries as a young girl and dream journals as an older girl. I wrote to entertain myself in high school and through college. However, I completed my first original fiction book at the age of seventeen, and began pursuing professional publishing in 2008. My first book sold in 2009 and was released the same year--Seduction's Stakes, written as Claire Ashgrove.
- Why do you use different pen names?
My use of different pen names is to create a hard line between reader expectations. I began writing as Claire Ashgrove, but the Tori St. Claire
Black Opals series sold as erotic romance, and I didn't want my readers picking up the new book and being shocked by the content. As I've branched off into different genres I've maintained this as I've felt it's appropriate. You'll never see a historical from Tori St. Claire, just as you'll never see romance central themes in
G.P. Charles' works.
Admittedly, it's a little difficult to keep up with the promotions of multiple names, so I do combine a lot of my efforts in that respect. But as I progress with publishing, expect these lines to become less transparent, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay on top of everything!
- Are your books based on real life?
My books are strictly fiction!
Sure, as an author, I have life experiences that I draw from, but while there may be threads of reality here and there, 98% of everything I have written, and will ever write, is a product of my imagination. Even those tiny tidbits of experience that do get interwoven are twisted, mixed up, and mashed together.
- Where do you get your story ideas?
Story ideas come from so many places and so many triggers. Like a lot of authors I know, I suffer from idea overload and constantly find myself having to pare creativity down to a plausible task load.
Sometimes ideas come from song lyrics, or the tone of the singer's voice, or a scene from a movie I think should be re-written a different way. (I outlined a ten-book series based on the single word, "Finally!" at the end of a movie scene.) Sometimes they come from headlines. More than anything, they come from the question, "What if...?"
- What can we expect next?
- This is always a hard question, and I usually prefer to surprise everybody with what's coming next. I can say that there is a new Black Opals book in the works! Beyond that, however, I'm focusing on finishing up some long-overdue Claire Ashgrove projects and my fantasy creations with G.P. Charles. Inspiration strikes at the most unexpected times, however, so this is subject to change at any given moment!
- What's the best way to stay up to date?
- The very best way to stay current on what I'm working on and get word of the newest releases is to subscribe to my newsletter. There, you'll not only get updates on Tori St. Claire books, but you'll learn about all my other releases as well. I also provide exclusive content and run occasional contests for my subscribers.
There's nothing better for a book than a review. Even negative reviews mean people are talking about my work, and that's great!
I understand not everyone will receive a book the same way, and I don't expect everyone to love every book I write. Personalities are different--I get it. I'm just grateful you've taken the time and gave my book a try.
I don't care where you write your review or where you publish it. I also won't discuss or disagree with your opinion. So please, keep reviewing, keep being honest! Please!
Black Opals FAQs
- How Many Books are in the Black Opals series?
- The Black Opals are undefined. How many books end up being in the series really depends on my motivation and inspiration. I will say, however, that all the Black Opals books can be read as stand-alone novels. So even if you're picking up one in the middle, there shouldn't be much confusion or catching up to do.
- Why does Explosive have a different feel and tone?
- I tried a little something different with Explosive, and brought the focus more to an emotional journey, not a heavy exterior plot. In addition, Explosive paves the path to a sideline story related to the Black Opals and sets the stage to better establish this. As the series continues, a few will follow this pattern and it will become more clear why there was a distinct difference in tone and feel.
- What kind of research goes into the Black Opals?
- Lots of it -- laugh! From researching places, to parts of guns, to how to make bombs, to consulting with experts in the intelligence community and military experts, there's a heck of a lot of research involved with crafting a Black Opal book. Sometimes, I'm sure it feels a bit implausible, but trust me when I say the suspense / thriller elements have been heavily vetted also.
- Where is Misha's book?!
- I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you...
Brazen Books FAQs
- How are these books different than your others?
The Brazen books are hot, contemporary romance, but they are not erotic romance.
Also, these are more category style with the focus solely on the hero and heroine, and only very rarely someone else's point of view. They are shorter, lighter reads, and don't have the heavy elements of suspense or thriller.
- Are all the Brazen books connected?
- The current Brazen books are all stand-alone novels, and are not connected to each other through any element. If this should change, they will be divided into their own series on my website.
- Will Andre get his story?
- I've been asked this many times, and several reveiews mention the desire to see Andre get his own story. I'll keep it in mind, but I'm not making promises!
- Why has it been so long since your last release?
I had to take a little break from publishing and deal with some family issues. As things are finally falling back into line, I hope to change this soon.
That said, I do have other projects that are taking priority, and it may be a little bit before we see new Brazen books releasing.