*GIVEAWAY*INTERVIEW* for Bibliomaniac's Book Club: January

January's Bibliomania is for Claire King

"The Night Rainbow" and "Everything Love Is"

Read on for an interview with Claire King and a chance to win 3 signed copies of "Everything Love Is" for your book group!

The Night RainbowEverything Love Is

The Night Rainbow:

"At once moving and gripping, elegant and spare, The Night Rainbow is a daring novel about a child faced with the baffling world of adult grief. Claire King nails the voice of the child narrator from the first page; Pea is a heroine you won't forget." Maggie O'Farrell

Everything Love Is:

From the author of The Night Rainbow: a poignant, mysterious and unforgettable story of love, and of the happy endings we conceive for ourselves.

Baptiste Molino has devoted his life to other people’s happiness. Moored on his houseboat on the edge of Toulouse, he helps his clients navigate the waters of contentment, yet remains careful never to make waves of his own. Until he meets a new client.....

If you have read just one of the books or would like to discuss them individually please click on the link below for information, questions, ideas and suggestions for everything you need to run a book group evening on either of these titles:


If you would like to discuss and compare both books then here are some questions you could use:

Questions for both "Everything Love Is" and "The Night Rainbow":

·      What are the common themes that run between the two novels?

·      Both novels have unreliable narrators – why has the author chosen to tell these stories through their eyes?

·      How do you feel about the way the author has tackled the different, difficult issues raised in the stories? What does this tell you about how she sees the world?

·      What would you say has changed about the author’s style between her debut and second novels?

And here is an interview with Claire King as she very kindly agreed to answer my questions about the two novels. Thanks Claire for your time and thoughtful, detailed responses to my questions!

Both books are set in France- why did you choose this setting? What issues/ obstacles /problems (if any!!) does it raise when you are writing the stories? 

At the time of writing both novels I was living in France, and wanted to set my novels there because there is so much to work with in the locations and the people. Not having grown up in France there's a lot to pick up on as a writer that you might take for granted if you had lived there all your life. But there are challenges there too. In The Night Rainbow the perspective is very much that of an outsider, with Pea's family living on the periphery of their French village both physically and socially, which means any observations they make as to the community they live in are valid from their external perspective. In Everything Love Is all the characters are born and raised in France, so I think the bigger challenge with that novel was getting under the skin of them, culturally and creating authentic characters.

Which authors / novels have most influenced your writing? 

I honestly don't know. I think everything I read influences my writing, from the extraordinarily bad to the extraordinarily good, and from books I love to those I don't enjoy at all. The more I read, the more I find my place, and realise that I just have to write what I'm passionate about and in the way that feels best for me, because it's certain whatever I write, it will only hit the spot for a small fraction of readers.

Both novels are similar in genre, style and with the issues they explore. Is this something that will continue in any future projects or is there another genre that appeals to you? 

I plan to continue in the same style of novel, certainly. I want to write novels that strike a chord with readers and move them because they speak directly to their experiences. But I am tempted to dabble in other things. I need to pick up my short story writing again, and I've promised my daughters a children's book...

Which were your favourite passages in each book? 

That's such a hard question to answer. It's like picking favourite children. I love the opening paragraph of The Night Rainbow because it sets up Pea's character very quickly, as well as the most important thing she wants to tell us about her mother. I also love Margot's summation of why grownups are so often troubled:

Maman's belly is at the stove, her bottom squeezed up against the table where we are colouring. Her arm is stretched forwards, stirring tomato smells out of the pan and into our socks. She isn't singing.


The problem with a lot of people, says Margot, is that they don't notice the important things.

In Everything Love Is there is a scene where Baptiste and his mother are out in her garden, discussing contentment. Baptiste's mother is wise and kind but is not an extraordinary person, quite the contrary, she embodies the quiet, unspoken, everyday effort that it takes to love another person:

‘I already have a lot to be grateful for.’
‘Yes, yes, I know,’ she said, ‘and people can live blithely in a valley their whole lives. Whereas those that climb the mountain for a wider view, they’re the ones who take a risk, but they’re the ones most likely to see something spectacular. You were always so curious, I never thought you’d settle for the valley.’
I was taken aback. ‘But if there’s one thing I learned from you and Papa it’s to find a way to be content with what life gives you. You two have stayed in the valley and you said yourself that it’s enough for you.’

The soft furrows in her brow deepened. ‘No, Baptiste, we are on the mountain. You just don’t see that yet, and that’s what worries me.’

What input did you have on the covers of the books? 

The book covers (several options for each) were designed at Bloomsbury and went through the editorial meeting first for a consensus view before being shown to me. At that stage I was asked to input. I requested several small but important tweaks on the hardback cover of The Night Rainbow, and likewise on Everything Love Is. Bloomsbury were very helpful at getting things just right. 

 Are you planning / working on another novel? 

Yes I am, although this year has been a bit of a writing famine as I've also been managing a move to England with all that entails, plus a new job, the launch of Everything Love Is etc etc. But I'm the kind of writer that gets on with writing in my head even when I'm not getting words down on paper, so that's OK. I'm very excited about the novel I'm working on at the moment, but can't really go into more detail. It's going to reach deep into the heart of what it means to be family, and also a little into the British psyche I hope.

Are there any books you would recommend reading for people who enjoyed your novels?

There are so many books I love personally, but I'm not sure how my own tastes in reading marry up with what I write. Perhaps I could be cheeky and ask you to make some recommendations! 

Oh I'd like nothing more!! There are plenty of suggestions on the following link which looks at both "Everything Love Is" and "The Night Rainbow" in more detail:

Can you tell me a little bit more about the difference between writing and publishing a debut versus a second novel..?

Having written three (one unpublished - and no, it never will be!) novels and working on another, I think what I have learned so far about writing is that every novel is different. I felt most anxious about Everything Love Is. More anxious than I felt about The Night Rainbow and more anxious than I do about my current work in progress. I can put part of that down to it being a second novel - so a need to create some kind of a track record and not really knowing if going at my own pace would be fast enough for the trade. But there was also an element of anxiety around getting the tone of that particular novel right. There are a lot of people who will come to recognise one particular element of this book as something they have experience with in their own lives. I wanted to treat that with delicacy and respect. I am growing in confidence not only as a writer but also as an author - i.e. my involvement in the publishing side of things. Publishing a second novel is easier in a way, because at least now you have insights into how publishing works. What you can and can't expect in terms of support, distribution, marketing etc. You also know just how much of the success of a book, for most authors, depends on luck. One huge advantage is that hopefully between the debut and second novels you have got to know more authors, and have a much broader and therefore more grounded perspective on the whole thing. It's a tricky profession to be involved in because of the huge amounts of uncertainty, coupled with the emotional investment we put into our books, so the more we can support each other as authors the better. Having support from readers and book bloggers makes a massive difference, so thank you! x

No, really, it's a huge thank you to you!! 

Claire it's been an absolute honour, privilege and joy to spend so much time thinking, reviewing and planning these blog posts for your novels! Thank you so so so much for all the time you've given me and thanks so much for supporting my Book Club!

And a massive thank you for the very generous prize of 3 signed copies of your novel! It is very kind of you to help get someone's book group off to a super start! 

If you would like to find out more about Claire you can follow her on Twitter @ckingwriter or via her website on www.claire-king.com

If you would like to be entered for the competition to win 3 SIGNED copies of "Everything Love Is" for your book group please click on the link below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow me @katherinesunde3 (bibliomaniacuk) on Twitter and click on the link below for more information about Bibliomaniac's Book Club


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