In The Life Of by Claire Merchant

In The Life Of…

By Claire Merchant


Hi, I’m Claire. I’m a writer and published author from Perth in Western Australia. Since 2013, I have had eight books published through Pegasus Publishers in Cambridge, England, and I have self-published a short eBook on Amazon. I have one more book ready for release, and I have all up completed writing twenty-five.

I have an identity crisis at least once a week, and depending on how that particular week is going, sometimes it’s more like once a day. I am an emotional sponge. I feel everything and it is utterly exhausting sometimes. Other times, it’s useful. I can tap into that when I am writing. I can wring the sponge of feelings and drip words onto a page. Sometimes it’s effective; other times I merely use it as a kind of therapy.

Along with writing in my waking hours, I also work part-time as a clerk in a hospital, and I try and maintain a healthy lifestyle with at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. I am a human, yes. I eat and sleep too.

But my favourite thing in all of these is to write. I love it most. I’m a writer. If anyone asks what I do, that’s the first answer I give, even if there are other things that keep me busy too. Writing consumes who I am, but I am so thankful for it. Most of the time, I’m not just Claire, I’m also the voice of one of the other twenty-five characters that I write about. It’s one of my favourite things about myself because it means that I’m always amused, but it’s probably the most difficult thing for people to relate to.

Being a writer means being an empath. It means walking around in someone else’s energy and feeling and seeing the world like them, taking on their joys and feeling their hardships. Depending on the character, this can be easier or it can be quite difficult. For instance, it was really challenging when I was writing Finding Hope (which is due to be published later in the year). Hope is quite a damaged character, and staying in her mindset was quite exhausting. Everything that I experienced during that time, both highs and lows felt lower. But she is a character who has stayed with me. Even when I’m not in her head, or rather she is not in mine, I still find myself thinking about where she would be now. That’s the same with a few of my other characters too. My mind is always buzzing.

Living the way I do also has its struggles though. I struggle a bit sometimes, not so much with balancing everything, but being present in everything that I do. My passion is writing, and if I could, I would do it full time and as much as I can. On the days I am not committed to my Clark Kent job, I spend either working on a new story or editing a completed one. These are my favourite days of my week. I love spending time in South Coast, my fictional city, with my paper children. To live in that place every day is my Superman dream, mostly because I also struggle a bit with reality. It is a constant challenge that seems to only get more difficult the more time I commit to my writing. Sometimes I forget that my characters and stories don’t matter as much to other people as they do to me. I understand that it’s not the easiest thing to comprehend, but I need to remind myself that to them, they are just fiction. To me, they are as real as anyone living.

I also love to read. I love books. I love reading different perspectives of the world and walking around in someone else’s shoes. My favourite books to read are young adult fiction novels, which are the ones I also enjoy to write. I think that’s the key to writing, making it something that you’d want to read yourself.

I started off writing for myself and eventually decided to share my stories with people. It’s a very bizarre thing to think that my books can share the same shelf as some of my favourites. Early on, and still even now, I’ll read a book that will just blow me away so much that I feel my entire world has shifted. It’s intimidating sometimes reading as a writer, because there are some authors who are just perfect. I literally couldn’t say it better myself, and it’s not for me to try. The world already has a John Green, J.K Rowling, and a Melina Marchetta, but they also have you and me. We all have something unique to offer, we all have a unique perspective and story to share. What sets us apart from others is what makes us incredibly special in the greatest sense of the word. I truly believe that.

So, with a bit of luck and hard work, I hope that in five years’ time I’ll be a full time writer with a few more books out. I hope to have released my Light and Shadow Series, which was my absolute favourite to write. I also hope that there may even be some films on the horizon...

But whatever happens, as long as I am still able to write every day, then that will be pretty great with me. I mean, even Superman had a day-job.