Jul 30, 2013

Special Guest: Claire Baxter

Today I'm thrilled to introduce our special guest, Claire Baxter. Claire has written for Random Romance and Mills & Boon, is self-publishing a series of novellas, and has a book with Entangled coming out in September. She's busy as well as lovely!

Welcome, Claire!

Your first book for Random Romance, Anybody But Him, has been getting lots of buzz. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It’s an enemies to lovers story with some laughs along the way. I’d always wanted to write comedy, but I’d had to rein it in while writing earlier books. Nicola had been living in my head for a long time, as had her eccentric parents and her mum’s rich buttery shortbread (excuse me while I drool over rich buttery shortbread...), and Blair, of course. He was her high-school crush and he’s the last person she wants to run into. I can’t tell you what a relief it was to let them all out. 

Sounds sizzling! Regular blog readers will know that I love romantic comedy, so I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Is it your first rom-com?

Yes, it is. I admit that I was surprised when someone other than me found it funny. Humour is so subjective, isn’t it? I’ll be happy if it raises a smile when you read it. :)

It's set in Redgum Valley, a country town in New South Wales. Did you base Redgum Valley on a particular town?

Originally I based it on Coonamble, a small town north of Dubbo, for no reason other than it felt right when I came across it in my research. Redgum Valley took on a life of its own in my imagination, though, so I doubt that any of Coonamble remains. 

You're incredibly busy! You have this release with Random Romance, you have another book coming soon with Entangled, and another self-published novella. Plus you're vice president of the Romance Writers of Australia. How do you fit it all in?
Um...next question? Seriously, I don’t know, but we’re all busy, aren’t we? Look at some of the Lovecats! There are some amazing people amongst this group.

I’ve recently discovered the program Freedom which helps me to focus on the task at hand. I really needed it, so I was thrilled to see how well it worked.  It blocks my access to the internet for the period of time I specify. But I once selected 300 minutes instead of 30 minutes which was very frustrating because once you’ve switched it on, you can’t switch it off again! I’m more careful with my numbers now. :)

I still need more hours in the day, though. Don’t we all?

I loved your novella, More Than Just One Night, and I see that you've just released your next novella and it's the next Selwood sister's story. Can you give us a hint about what will happen for her?
Gwen is the middle sister. In More Than Just Pretend she’s been through a bitter divorce and desperately wants to create a stable home for her teenage daughter Becky who’s in the final, difficult years of school. Returning to live near her sisters in their parents’ old house, Gwen finds that the house needs fixing up, and Spencer the sexy builder is just the man to do it. He wears a tool belt...need I say more?

We here at the LoveCats are always looking for book recommendations. What's the last great category romance you read, and the last great non-category book?
The last great category...Sarah Morgan’s A Night of Scandal. First book I’d read by Sarah Morgan and I enjoyed it very much.

The last great non-category...Jill Mansell’s Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. I’m a big fan of Jill Mansell and read every book as soon as it comes out.

And finally, since you're visiting the LoveCats we need to know: are you a cat person or a dog person?
I’m a dog person. Categorically.

Thanks for visiting us, Claire! And for those who'd like to know a little more about Anybody But Him, here's the blurb:

A deliciously funny rom com from Random Romance. What happens when you fall in love with the man you hate?

Nicola Doyle's dating record is a disaster, and it doesn't improve when she returns to Redgum Valley, after an absence of twelve years, to look after her increasingly eccentric parents. There, she's thrown into regular contact with Blair Morrissey – the very reason she couldn't wait to leave town in the first place. 

The decade-old scars are still raw from that humiliating day in high school – when Blair went from the boy she loved to the boy she hated.

Except Blair doesn't seem to be a ‘bad boy' any more – in fact, he's charming, infuriatingly helpful and extremely attractive. 

If only Nicola could forgive and forget . . .

You can pick up a copy of Anybody But Him from iTunes, Amazon or Kobo.


  1. Claire, it's great to have you here. I love the sound of Anybody But Him. Those reunion stories are my favourite. And even with Freedom I don't know how you get so much done.

  2. Sue, I love reunion stories too! I can't wait to read Anyone But Him.

  3. Lovely to see you and your gorgeous covers, Claire! I love a reunion story too and can't wait to read about Nicola and Blair. I'm so envious of your ability to write comedy!

  4. Hi Claire - lovely to have you visiting LoveCats. Off to get Anybody But Him on my kindle!

  5. Barb, the covers are gorgeous, aren't they? Love all the pink on Anyone But Him, but especially love the cover model's expression.

  6. Helen, I'm jealous! I'm on my way out the door, so I'll have to get my copy tonight.

  7. It's fabulous to see you here, Claire! Congratulations on all of your new and upcoming releases -- how very exciting. :-)

    Just want to say, while I love the sound of Anybody But Him, I ADORE that cover. Just gorgeous!

  8. I love a good comedy and a good romance and when they're combined, it's the best. This sounds wonderful, Claire. I'm going now to check it out.

  9. Excuse me for arriving late! I've been out and about while you lovely ladies have been commenting.

    I'm with you, Sue, Rachel and Barbara, when it comes to reunion stories. As a reader, I can't resist them.

    Hi Helen! Ooh, I hope you enjoy it.

    Thanks, Michelle! The pink covers at Random Romance are all rom coms, and yes, Rachel, there's something about the cover model's expression that is very 'Nicola'. It was a 'wow' moment when I saw it for the first time.

    Hi Leisl! Thank you so much.

    Thanks for having me at the Lovecats today. It's a very nice place to be.

  10. Hey, Claire! It's fab to have you here at the LoveCats for a visit!

    You've got some exciting "irons" in the fire with your stories - huge congratulations! The cover fairies did a great job on your covers - I love them both. I'm off to snap up a copy of More Than Just Pretend - how can I resist a man in a tool belt!

  11. Rachel and Claire, what a lovely interview. I love the sound of these latest books. It sounds like you're enjoying branching out so much! Good on you. I'm fascinated by the Freedom program too. Must check it out.

    Thanks for popping by to visit.

  12. Hi Sharon!

    Yes, there's something about tool belts...

  13. Thanks, Annie!

    I am enjoying myself, it's true.

    There's a free trial version of Freedom so you can see whether it works for you before buying it.

  14. Ooh, out me down for a man ina tool belt too :-) and for a good romcom.
    Off to buy another book for the long train trip to Perth :-)

  15. Amy, I do think you've chosen a very civilised way to travel to Perth. Enjoy the reading time.

  16. Hey, it looks like there's been a bit of a party while I've been away today!

    And it seems I'm not alone in loving that Random Romance cover, or in looking forward to Nicola and Blair's story. :)

  17. This sounds like such fun, Claire! And I really like the cover. Best of luck with it.