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Claire Fullerton, Author of “A Portal in Time”


Interview for Malibu Chronicle

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

For me, it all began with keeping a journal from a very early age because laying things down on paper helps one to organize their thoughts and examine their feelings. As one does so, one realizes there is a craft to the process and an art form in brevity; the right words in the right order that get to the heart of the matter. The focus came when I started to submit to publications.


Claire Fullerton
Claire Fullerton

When you are writing a new novel, what does your day look like?Claire fullerton - a portal in time

I center my day around writing. I treat it as my full-time job. I’m at my computer by 7:30 a.m. and work until around two in the afternoon, but I’m not glued the entire time. It’s a lot like keeping a stream of conversation active. I currently have a few balls in the air simultaneously. I am promoting one novel, preparing for the publication of another (to be released in early 2015), and am writing a new one. Towards the end of the day, I practice a combination of ballet/pilates/yoga because it’s part of a balancing process, and at the very end of the day, I heed the clamoring of our two German shepherds and take them to the beach.

How do you get inspired?

I typically draw from real life; that’s where the stories live. In the case of my novel, A Portal in Time, my husband and I checked into an historic hotel in Carmel, California. Framed photographs hung on the lobby’s wall, depicting the early stages of the hotel’s growth, beginning in the early 1900s. People wore period clothing and stood beside horses tethered to hitching posts, and I imagined myself living in that time frame. The graceful Mediterranean staircase caught my eye. I imagined myself in a room at the top of the stairs, looking out a window at the garden below, and then a question came to me, “Why would I be drawn to the window?” A Portal in Time is the entire backstory to what drew me to that window.

 What prompts your creative flow?

I think the creative flow is around everybody at all times. How one works is very individual; there is no right or wrong, but I think it all comes down to a passion for follow-through, in seeing a project to its completion. For that, one has to sit loose in the saddle with persistence and patience.

What advice would you give to a novice writer?                    

Write how you talk to keep your voice authentic. Lay down the entire first draft without worrying about it, then go back and perfect it repeatedly. It’s not enough to have a good story; the art is in how the story is presented.

How much time do you devote to writing?

I’d say a good eighty percent of each day!

Why do you write?

I like to tell stories, to entertain, to hand readers a story that may lend insight or perhaps consideration. I like the art of positioning words and the beauty of language. It’s all a search for perfection in the art of communication, which all people engage in every day. 

Does it come naturally, can you call upon your inspiration or does your inspiration call on you? 

It comes as naturally to me as the beating of my heart. I don’t know if it’s so much that one “wants to be” a writer. I think it’s more like one gets in touch with the fact that they are a writer.  

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