May 2, 2018

Celebrity Crushing with Clare Connelly

My new book is officially released today! BURN ME ONCE is a Mills & Boon Dare and the hero, Ethan Ash, is one of the most famous rock stars in the world.

One of the great things about writing romance (and reading it, for that matter) is the sheer, unadulterated joy that comes from the escapism and fantasy. Whether it's in a bedouin tent in the middle of a sandstorm, in an ancient, mythical kingdom, or stranded on a Greek island, there's something utterly hedonistic about being able to shut out the 'real world' for a few hours.

And Ethan Ash is pure, sexy escapist fantasy! I fell completely in love with him as I wrote this book, and in order to come up with his character, I sort of cherry-picked parts of my favourite celebrities. I listened to Ed Sheeran obsessively while I wrote, and watched a fair few concerts of his on YouTube. Ethan has Patrick Swayze's arms, Colin Farrell's eyes and Mr Thornton's sex appeal...

But the core of the book, the beating, racing heart of the story, belongs to Isaac Handsome. I mean, Hanson. When I was a teenager, Isaac Hanson, or 'Ike', as he was to me, was pretty much the be-all-and-end-all of my romantic fantasies. In fact, I often credit my love for him for getting me into writing. One of my best friends and I used to write each other band-fan-fic overnight (in which we were each married to a brother, obviously...) and we'd swap these short stories every morning, devouring them hungrily before going off to write the next instalments. We were madly, completely in love and it didn't matter to me that I knew I'd never really meet Isaac (who would let the truth get in the way of true love!?).

Isaac, Zac and Tay back in the day.

I went from Hanson to Weezer - a bit of a strange ricochet, I'll admit, and then onto Jeff Buckley (beautiful, dear Jeff) but Ike will always hold a special place in my heart. He was my first love, my first rockstar crush. And when, only last year, I had the chance to go and see Hanson perform live, you'd better believe I was lining up with the rest of my contemporaries, screaming like a wildling, utterly under the same spell I'd lived most of my teenagers years in the thrall of.

Isaac more recently.
It's only appropriate then that BURN ME ONCE is dedicated to Isaac Hanson, and to anyone who's ever lost their heart to a muso. Have you? Who was your first rockstar crush? What did you first love about them? And do they still make you weak at the knees?


  1. Woohoo on your release Clare this is one I am dying to read it shouldn't be long :)

    My first rock star crush was Paul McCartney (yes I am showing my age) He was everything to me I would daydream for hours about him and being a part of his family you see I was only about 9 at the time LOL then in my early teenage years it was Davy Jones from The Monkees and there were scrap books posters and many hours of daydreaming again but by the time I was 15 Rod Stewart took over big time :) and yes he still makes me swoon :)

    Have Fun


    1. Love both of these choices! Paul McCartney still has major sex appeal. He's fantastic.

  2. Oh, yes! I like Davy Jones, as well, Helen, and Hanson are great, I have MmmBop on my frequently played list and their Christmas album gets airplay every year in our house, but my first rockstar crush was a-ha, the keyboard player, Magne Furuholmen, in particular. I think I have a subconscious thing for keyboardists, because I've taken a fancy to a few in other bands, thankfully my husband can play. Anyway, I'm not sure exactly why, or how, but I lost my heart the moment I saw, and heard, Morten, Mags, and Pal, and yes, I'm still in awe of them, and Magne still makes me weak at the knees. Back in 1985 I also fell in love with the creativity and magical realism of the comic book romance in their Take On Me video clip. I still think it's a cute concept. They were very much an inspiration for me. I wrote stories back then, and joked about marrying Mags, while my sister wanted to marry Morten. And, I wrote another cathartic short story about them in 2013, which I published. In my opinion, Magne is a creative genius, he produced the famous synth riff in Take On Me, and aside from being a talented muso, he's also a visual artist. I've followed a-ha's career since the moment I met them, and while they only ever performed in Australia once, I had the chance to see quite a few of their concerts when I lived in Europe, including an intimate open air performance, in the middle of nowhere, one summer. I'm fond of all the songs they produced, and I followed their career both as a group and their individual work, not something I've done for other bands, but I've also never fallen so hard for another rockstar. Congratulations on your release, I can't wait to read it :)

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  4. Clare, I'm definitely showing my age when I confess that MIck Jagger was my first celebrity rock star crush. I thought he was incredibly sexy. Not handsome. Sexy! I have to admit that these days he doesn't have quite the same appeal! Your Ethan sounds like a very sexy hero.

  5. My celebrity crush was also a Monkee, Mickey Dolenz. He had very curly hair like mine. I actually got to meet all the Monkees but Mike Nesmith in 2012 when I went to one of their reunion concerts in Detroit. My sister won a contest and I was her date for the meet and greet. Davy passed away a few months later.