Interview with Katie St. Claire, Author of Second Hand Stops
Tell us about your new book:
My latest novel Second Hand Stops is the first book in The Van Buren series. It was published by New World Publishing in April 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon. Here’s the synopsis:
Julia Malone lands on the doorstep of an old English manor at the age of three. She’s abandoned and alone, later joined by five incorrigible children with the same paranormal abilities.
When the teens reach eighteen, the mistress of their manor presents them with an unbelievable opportunity with curious strings attached. They must drink an elixir that promises to prolong their lives. At the conclusion of this mad science experiment, they become wealthy beyond their wildest imaginations, thanks to a mysterious benefactor from New York City.
The children meet Claude Van Buren, the man behind the elixir. They assist in a global launch of Immortality, a facial product marketed to the world as the new fountain of youth. Julia and the others become the youngest executives at Van Buren Industries, a diverse giant positioned in the global market.
Interwoven between the pages of this intriguing plot is a love story that spans a lifetime. Her paranormal journey of ethical dilemmas, a heartbreaking love triangle, hidden family secrets, and a fight to stay alive, finally erupts in the conclusion of The Van Burens.
Start the story in Second Hand Stops (book 1), continue the action in Rewind (book 2), and prepare for the shocking conclusion in Fast Forward (book 3). Discover The Van Burens and ask yourself one thing. Are they out there?
What genre is it?
Paranormal Urban Fantasy
What inspired you to write Second Hand Stops?
My love of paranormal fiction. And I wanted to create something that would remain long after I was gone.
Give us an interesting fun fact about your book:
It takes place in certain locations around the world, real locations, as well as fictional ones.
What types of readers will enjoy this book?
My target audience is women aged 16+ although men have enjoyed the books as well.
Please share an excerpt from the book with us:
Dreary gray clouds cast shadows across the sky, and heavy rain soaks me to the bone.
A bald man stinking of cigar smoke leads me up a circular driveway toward an old brick manor.
His determined expression terrifies me. Coattails fly behind him in the bitter wind and I yearn for the warmth of the long, black car from which I came, idling in the distance behind me. The man’s eyes are even colder than the wind biting at my back. He jerks me by the hand, and I stumble, tripping across the uneven cobblestone. I’m positive he’s delivering me to my death.
The man raps at a thick wooden entrance and the echo reverberates.
I don’t know whether it’s the uncertainty of my fate, unfamiliar surroundings, or a sopping wet coat that makes me shiver. Perhaps it’s all three. The door opens and creaks on decades-old hinges, and I’m relieved. A plump woman with soft features greets me with a gentle voice in my head.
“I’m Lillian, welcome to the manor. Reputation has it you’re a handful and I should keep an eye on you.” She seems safe and my breath evens out a wee bit after that.
The bald man nods and turns to leave. He scurries through the rain and back to the warm, black car of my origin. The last thing I recall is the noise of tires crunching on gravel. I’ll connect that sound with this moment forever. Somehow, their slow departure appears guilty—one final assessment of the terrified girl on a stranger’s doorstep.
My dripping teddy bear is as pathetic as the uncertainty of my future. Lillian is kind and leads me to a cavernous room with wooden beams at the ceiling. Flickering blue flames crackle and dance in a stone hearth, warming the vast space. She wraps a thick crocheted blanket around my shoulders and sits in a rickety rocking chair beside the fireplace. It squeaks beneath her weight.
Her voice is clear inside my head.
“Several other children are coming to the manor so we won’t be alone for long— you have so much to learn here.” She gazes my direction and waits for a response.
“Do you have any candy?”
“Candy you say?” The woman claps a hand over her mouth. She’s trying not to laugh at me.
“It’s been a shite of a day you know.” I cuddle into my blanket, and Teddy drops to the floor with a thud. He’s heavy with rain, and so is my heart.
“Oh dear lord, you are a handful aren’t you? And yes, I have plenty.” She stokes the fire with black metal poker. “We need to clean up that mouth of yours. How old are you again?”
“Three. And still counting.” I sigh with exasperation.
“Three.” She grins. “Candy it is, then.”
About Katie St. Claire:
Katie is an avid reader and researcher, particularly drawn to the inner lives of her characters. She loves developing complex personalities, and plots that twist and turn. Readers often say, “I didn’t see that coming.”
That’s her goal.
Some of Katie’s passions include gardening, photography, crafts, reading, and the Caribbean. Atypical by nature, she enjoys exploring topics that stray from the beaten path. Well known for her sense of humor, sensitivity, and deep philosophical sides, she’s an old soul who will forever remain a kid at heart.
Her deep themes become clear as the true nature of the characters unfold, and Katie’s approach to writing is simple. She writes what she knows and adds a heaping dose of imagination to the mix. Her books are a romp through the countryside of England, which lands six telepathic teens in New York City.
Katie is an offbeat author who wants readers to imagine the unimaginable, almost believing “this or that” could happen in real life. This contemporary Urban Fantasy series, which includes Second Hand Stops, Rewind, and Fast Forward, has a mixture of the paranormal, romance, adventure, mystery and a dose of science fiction. It appeals to young and old alike and is a slight departure from the ordinary.
The Van Buren series is urban fantasy with a twist, and appeals to young and old alike. Readers describe her books as fun, entertaining page-turners, and hard to put down.