Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Lois Cloarec Hart grew up as an avid reader but didn’t begin writing until much later in life. Several years after joining the Canadian Armed Forces, she received a degree in Honours History from Royal Military College and on graduation switched occupations from air traffic control to military intelligence. Having married a CAF fighter pilot while in college, Lois went on to spend another five years as an Intelligence Officer before leaving the military to care for her husband, who was ill with chronic progressive Multiple Sclerosis and passed away in 2001. She began writing while caring for her husband in his final years and had her first book, Coming Home, published in 2001. It was through that initial publishing process that Lois met the woman she would marry in April 2007. She now commutes annually between her northern home in Calgary and her wife’s southern home in Atlanta.
When the Clock Strikes Thirteen is a Goldie finalist in the Anthology/Collection category.She kindly answered our facbook questions.
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
Nothing like starting off with an easy question, eh? I couldn’t pinpoint just one book or author, but I can list many favourites whose novels I’ll buy, blurb unseen, with complete confidence that I’ll be swept up in an engrossing story. Some of my favourites (in no particular order) are Karin Kallmaker (I’ve reread all her books in times of stress—they’re marvellous distractions,) J.M. Redmann (I love Mickey Knight with her all-too-human flaws,) SX Meagher (I’d be hard-pressed to name just one of hers,) Georgia Beers (her 96 Hours brought tears to my eyes,) Jae (it takes courage and confidence to put one of your protagonists through what she did in Conflict of Interest and pull it off so well,) Blayne Cooper (I wish she were still writing,) Lori L. Lake (her Snow Moon Rising is brilliant,) Fletcher DeLancey (another writer whose series I reread on a regular basis,) KG MacGregor (any of her stories, anytime,) Robbi McCoy (my wife and I laughed our way together through Two on the Aisle,) Jane Fletcher (I happily get lost in the world she created,) Julia Watts (how can you not appreciate an author who comes up with titles like Hypnotizing Chickens,) and Gerri Hill (I applaud her willingness to step outside of conventional romance for her wonderful Keepers of the Cave.) Individual books that I’ve enjoyed immensely in recent years include Lynn Ames’ All That Lies Within, Erica Abbot’s Fragmentary Blue, Cate Culpepper’s A Question of Ghosts, Andrea Bramhall’s Clean Slate, Pol Robinson’s Open Water, and Chris Paynter’s Survived by Her Longtime Companion. A couple of older books that have a permanent place on my bookshelves are LA Tucker’s The Light Fantastic and KE Lae’s And Playing the Role of Herself.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
Kicker’s Journey began life as an erotic, untitled short story that I wrote to share with my wife. Not long after I completed it I needed a story line for a romantic Valentine’s Day submission so I expanded on the original idea, named it Kicker’s Heart, and sent it into the Academy of Bards. I was pleased with the way it had shaped up, and reader response convinced me to turn it into a novel. Several years, considerable hours of research, and one title change later, Kicker’s Journey was born.
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
Family, friends, Diet Coke. I actually thrive on a certain degree of solitude (and copious amounts of Diet Coke) so I find writing invigorating, not isolating. My problem revolves more around not allowing myself to get distracted when I should be focused on work.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
I’ve been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. Stories have entertained and sustained me for over five decades. To create something that may touch other readers the way so many books have lingered with me, is always a thrill. To have it recognized with an award is the icing on the cake.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
Meandering through life without a bucket list of any kind has served me well thus far, so I’ll probably continue on without much of a plan, enjoying whatever pops up. I may not have a road map, but I always seem to arrive at a destination I enjoy. I’d probably have made a good hobo…except for the no showers, no clean, comfortable bed, no certainty of your next meal, and the absence of Diet Coke. On second thought, I’d have made a terrible hobo.
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
The next up for publication is a shorter e-story, Beyond and Begone. I also recently finished the first draft of a novel called Bitter Fruit. It’s drawn from a novella I wrote years ago called The Lion and the Lamb. I’ll be working on the edits for that in the next little while, as well as beginning another novel over the summer.
Huge thanks to Lois for taking part. You can read a full biography and see all her books on her Lois Cloarec Hart author page.