Author Claire Cappetta (C. L. Cappetta) is the focus of this week’s author interview. Over the past months, I have watched her growth as a writer and blogger. Her story of empowerment certainly is a testament to the transformative power of literature. The more I learn about her, the higher I nudge her book on my never-ending TBR list!
Giveaway: Two randomly drawn commenters will receive a free Kindle copy of Claire’s book.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
A Broken Ring: A Woman’s Journey from Abuse to Empowerment, is based on my own experiences, but I decided to place it in the fiction and family genre because it protects people who have been involved in my life.
The main character, Lydia Castle, is raped when she is fifteen by her best friend. It follows her journey of rape and domestic abuse through survival. Although I understand people consider it a dark subject, the story is about how the character finds empowerment and strength.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
When I met my husband we were each just coming out of an abusive relationship. His was from a 25 year marriage to an alcoholic, violent abusive wife, mine an 8 year relationship. We talked about our pasts but when he asked me some questions I would draw a blank, telling him I couldn’t remember… Honestly, I couldn’t. He suggested to me after a while to write down as much as I could remember, thinking it would trigger past, deeply hidden memories. It did!
The writing took me on a journey of understanding and healing myself. It was very difficult at times, but it turned full circle as it helped him understand his past too.
He then suggested that I publish it. I thought “Who would want to read this!” Then one day it hit me, I had felt so alone through it all. What if other people thought the same way? What if my story helps someone, even just one person?
A friend of my husband’s bought it. Later she called my husband in tears, thanking him for pushing me. I guess it found its way into that one person’s hands that had kept me going.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
My sister gave a wonderful book one Christmas, Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. It’s an amazing story about Veronika’s journey. The book itself as a gift was hard to accept at the time as I had just been diagnosed with cancer, but reading it I realized why she had given it to me. Veronika has everything but the will to live and takes an overdose only to wake up in hospital. Finding out she has a week to live, there becomes a new found freedom of who she really is. Suddenly the constraints she has placed on herself are lifted. It is a powerful story of self-discovery and mental health.
4. What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?
My blog, clairecapetta, started as a diary of the journey in publishing my book, so people could learn from my mistakes and also understand why I was writing. I included the first chapter of A Broken Ring, but also talk from a ‘layman’s’ view point about PTSD, Rape trauma Syndrome, stalking, and where and how people can get help.
I have also posted about holidays, the simple things in life which I find empowering.
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
I took the route of self-publishing as I wanted to keep control of it. It did take a while to learn the formatting which was alien to me. I figured if I was self-publishing, then I should undertake as much of it on my own as possible, including the book cover. The cover took four attempts to get it to where I was happy with it.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
Meet and talk to people and groups in your local area about your books subject. You’d be surprised just how much they are willing to help you. I did and was given the opportunity to have an author signing table at the Fall Festival! A local coalition for domestic violence even placed my book into their library.
I would strongly suggest writing a blog. You meet the most wonderful people, who you know will be by your side through all the ups and downs of your book. Also, a Facebook page for small announcements. Lastly, a Goodreads and Amazon author page, so at certain points you can give back to people by throwing ‘giveaways’ of your book.
7. Describe your writing background.
I attended a night class for writing for a year. I have looked around here for writing groups but they are few and far. Everything I have done has been learned by following other authors and internet classes.
8. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
I edited the book until I became ‘word blind’. I think I must have gone over it 30 times. I then handed the book over to an editor to critique the story line, then the grammatical work. It was a wonderful experience to have someone as a third party go through it with fresh eyes.
It was most rewarding when it came back and I was told the storyline needed no editing at all!
9. What future projects can we look forward?
I am just completing the sequel. It is called Stalking Liberty. It follows Lydia, who is now thirty. I am really excited about it! I have finished the cover for it and the little synopsis for the back cover, here’s a little snippet:
Lydia stares at the note which was delivered through her letterbox in the night. The typed written words start to blur in front of her eyes as tears well, spilling over, slowly coursing down her face… “Only death will separate us…”
Lydia has to decide, to either stay, fighting for her life… Or run for it!
Someone is stalking her.
It will be released at the end of March in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In time also for a US book tour which is in the process of being organized now with a large sponsor. Exciting times ahead!
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
The funniest moment was when it was published. A friend bought it, and after reading it,she said I should ask for a refund on the editing. I asked why. A barrage of expletives gushed forth about how dreadful it was, to be concluded on how I should have paid her to edit it instead. I asked what was wrong with it, trying to keep an open mind because I thought maybe I had missed something… I was told it was when the characters were speaking.
“Ah!” I replied. “Are you talking about the syntax?” My friend looked puzzled. “You know! A regional dialect? It is written in a Yorkshire dialect, you did realize that, right?” Sadly, she didn’t know what I was talking about… No, she had never heard of syntax. If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be ‘Always pay a professional and not a friend’.
You can connect with Claire on her website.
Is there anything else you would like to know about Claire?
Please share responsibly. Jeri Walker, 2013