Interview: YA Author Clara Bennett


clara, blogs as the book goddess with Roshani Chokshi

Clara Bennett’s book blog was a happy discovery, i love reading blogs and hers was like a steamy caramel cappuccino at a Paris cafe. Blogs are essential non fiction, and her passion for writing and books shines through her fantasy and historical fiction book reviews. Her style was sophisticated,  She self published her first book at 13, and is working on the third book in the triology. Writing a book is a huge accomplishment and I was incredibly honored that she offered me the first book, which has a pretty cover of a lady in a midnight blue dress.

The universe she created was regal and imaginative. Parts in this book made me smile, she should be so proud of the world building, her tale tells the story of Princess Gwen who escapes an arrange marriage with some new friends and fall prey to slave traders. I did not get to finish the book, with the stress I’ve been under. She was gracious to let me ask her questions about her writing process and self publishing. her responses made me laugh, i enjoyed reading her creation and demonstrates she’s a promising writer.

1. I know you’ve celebrated publishing your second book, Lady Gwen, how old were you when you published your first book and what were the surprises you learned along the way? If you could go back in time and give yourself writing advice, what would it be?

I was 13 when Captain Guinevere was released. I don’t remember any big surprises, but it was definitely easier than I expected to self-publish. I learned more with Lady Gwen– number one being to not cut corners because you’re bored at a certain point in the story; it only results in more editing later. 
Writing advice I would give to my younger self: Think about everything. Take your time. Really get to know your characters and don’t ever be afraid to write the hard things. 

2. How are you feeling now that you are published and what do you look forward to?

I’m very proud of myself for what I’ve done; I’d say it’s a big accomplishment to write a book. I’m looking forward to finishing the trilogy and I hope to traditionally publish in the future. I have a project I’ve been working on for over a year now that is truly the book I want to read. I would love to get it traditionally published at some point.

captain g

3.Are you a plotter or a pantser? What’s your average writing day like?

I am a bit of both! I do a lot of plotting as well as a lot of pantsing. Captain Guinevere was entirely pantsed during NaNoWriMo 2015, Lady Gwen had a very small list of plot points I needed to follow, and my current project (unofficially “The Nikolai Project”) has an outline, a very detailed and organized Pinterest board, and a lot of character information sheets. But I am still pantsing parts of it- I needed to add a little more conflict and so I did, even though it wasn’t in the outline. 
A typical writing day for me: I sit down, pull up the Word doc, probably watch a makeup video on YouTube, get distracted by Pinterest, write a few words, get distracted by coffee or tea or Pinterest again, write some more, get distracted, write more, get distracted, get sick of getting distracted, and make myself write, even if it means turning off the Wi-Fi on my laptop. Which I have done in the past. 

4. What books are a must read?

The Great Gatsby is one I think everyone should read at least once in their lives. It’s just got so much raw humanity in it and it’s beautiful. I think it’s also very important from a writer’s perspective because it is a classic of American literature. To be a good writer you have to read everything, including the classics. The characterization is also beautifully done. 
I also recommend The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer to everyone who has even the slightest interest in reading. 
My favorite book on writing that I’ve read is Gail Carson Levine’s Writing Magic. 

5. I read on your blog you play piano. What’s your favorite classical song? Any favorite musicians?

My favorite classical piece is Fur Elise, even though that’s the most cliche answer ever. I just recently learned the full thing and it is so amazing to be able to play a piece I’ve loved for as long as I can remember.
That said, I actually don’t like classical music all that much. I like to listen to it occasionally, but playing it is not my favorite. 
I’m a little bit obsessed with film scores and had the great pleasure of playing Hans Zimmer’s “One Day” from Pirates of the Caribbean on the recital this year. 
Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, and Ramin Djawadi are my favorite composers. Game of Thrones, while I don’t watch the show, has the most amazing soundtrack ever and it’s perfect for writing. 

6. What do you hope readers will gather from reading about Guinevere?

I don’t know for sure. I don’t sit down to write stories with a lesson in mind. I would say that, by the end of the series, I hope readers realize that no matter what happens to them, bad things do not define them and they cannot let their lives be controlled by the tragedies.


there will be a part II once i finish the book as i’m sure ill have more questions. The links to the first book of her trilogy are linked below. Please follow Clara for more bookish content @thebookgoddess

Amazon | Create Space


honestly wont be able to be as consistent with my blog as i deal with my injury.  i had so many posts planned for the year – how to develop characters and how to outline your novel if you are a pantser like me. i’ll update on my diagnosis after my visit with the neurologist.

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