IHS: Welcome, Claire! Thank you for being with us today. I’m really excited to have you here! Would you please tell our followers who you are, what city you're from?
Claire: I am Claire Gager. I live in Upland, California.
IHS: Okay, Great! What is the title of the book you just completed with us?
Claire: Always in My Heart
IHS: What was your favorite part about bringing this book to audiobook life?
Claire: I was amazed at how well the narrator was able to capture the emotions I wanted to convey in the story. As I listened to the book, it was almost as if I wasn’t the author.
IHS: Whether fiction or non-fiction, books are truly inspired work from authors. What was your inspiration for this book?
Claire: I have known quite a few doctors and law enforcement officials in my lifetime. Some were friends. Some I have met in passing. I often wondered what their personal life must have been like. Sometimes I would imagine it was lonely having so much responsibility in their chosen careers. Other times I thought it must have been exciting. I am still very curious about both sets of professions, but now with the curiosity of how their love life must be like.
IHS: Is your primary business writing? If so, what do you do for fun? If not, what do you do “in real life”?
Claire: In real life, I am a higher education administrator, and have been in the same field for over 24 years. Writing is my hobby, but I do have a passion for it. I am an avid reader, and also have a love for music. When I am not writing or reading (or playing with my children), I play my guitar and sing for loved ones who may be feeling down.
IHS: Many authors are not audiobook listeners by nature. Are you? Have you ever listened to an audiobook before your own?
Claire: I certainly have listened to a number of audio books. However, I tend to listen to books from a different genre than the one my book is for. I am a fan of fantasy fiction and historical fiction.
IHS: When you were listening to your narrator auditions, what was it like to hear your book get voiced by different people?
Claire: I thought it was interesting to hear how narrators interpreted and conveyed meaning within the text they were reading. In one audition, the narrator had a very different way of expressing feelings that I didn’t consider when I was writing the story. I ultimately selected the narrator who best portrayed the passion between the two protagonists.
IHS: What were you most worried about when starting out with this audiobook process? Did the worry happen or was it unjustified?
Claire: I worried that no one would want to listen to a newer author in this genre. With so many writters in the romance industry, one can get lost. While this fear didn’t manifest itself, it is a constant thought that invades my brain from time to time.
IHS: Was there anything that you probably ACTUALLY should have been worried about instead?
Claire: I probably should have worried more about promoting my new audiobook on my end rather than dwelling on things. Other than that, the process has been a great one with a lot of support.
IHS: Okay, let’s talk reviews. Do you read your reviews and will you read your listener comments? What do you most like to see in the comments?
Claire: I do actually read my reviews, and I plan to continue doing that. What I like seeing in comments are the parts of the story that my readers were most touched by or that stood out to them. I like reading how the story kept them listening and evoked different emotions.
IHS: Okay, once a book is finished, then the work of marketing begins. What do you do to spread the word about a new release?
Claire: Social media is my usual method of marketing. I also offer review exchanges with other authors. We try to help each other out, but social media really seems to be the way I know best to market.
IHS: What advice would you give those who are thinking about becoming an author?
Claire: Just keep writing. Get those stories out on paper (or onto a word document online). You can’t call it a story unless it’s out of your brain, so just write it! Worry about the finer details once you’ve put it all down. Also have someone read it. Never underestimate the power of a good editor!
IHS: That's some good advice there! So for our audience who hasn't begun the process yet, what advice would you give authors who are thinking about doing an audiobook from their published book?
Claire: I have no regrets and it is totally worth it. Most people are always on the go and don’t have time to sit and read, so what better way to get your book out there than to make it into a format that is easier for someone to listen? Listening to my audiobook for the first time was a unique experience and I don’t think I will ever see my books the same again because of it.
IHS: Thank you for that! So, what was the best part for you about working with I’m Hearing Stories.
Claire: The best part of working with I’m Hearing Stories is the time and care they took to ensure I was satisfied with the narrator and how my story was read. I would certainly recommend I’m Hearing Stories for an author who is unsure of whether they want their book turned into an audiobook. They work closely with you and stay with you through the whole process.
IHS: Wow! High praise from such an accomplished author! What a fun time we've had chatting with you today and getting your input! Okay, just for fun now, why don't you give us your Top Ten Craziest Accomplishments....
Top 10 Things I’d Do If I Get Ridiculously Rich.
10) Go on a missionary trip to a foreign country
9) Create a business where I could hire people who are homeless to work
8) Create an employee housing development for the folks in #9
7) Pay off my parents debts
6) Buy a house for my parents to live in
5) Pay off my debts
4) Buy a house for my family to live in (one that my kids will want to live in even after I am dead and gone)
3) Hire special tutors and teachers to teach my Autistic son
2) Open a private bookkeeping and income tax service for my husband to use his skills and degree
1) Go on an annual month long vacation to historical sites.
Why? Each of these things makes someone else happy.
IHS: Thank you! That's very impressive - and inspiring!! So, how can our followers learn more about you?
Claire Gager is a southern California based author. Born, educated, and ongoing resident of the Golden State, she lives with her husband and two autistic sons. She is a trained counselor and public administrator, and currently directs a federal program at a university. Her writing began in 2012 with two self-published novels, and from there her love for writing flourished. Claire, being a woman of much passion and life, combines these traits together in her tremendous ability to weave romantic fiction stories such as Always In My Heart where her characters struggle, fail, and triumph in love. She has also published novels in the spiritual/religious fiction genre and is working on another series in the fantasy fiction genre soon. Her latest projects include paranormal romance and fantasy fiction in her upcoming series The Chronicles of Aurendel.
Okay, folks, there you have it Claire Gager, author of Always in My Heart.