Here is a brief bio:
Clara Gillow Clark is the author of six MG novels of historical fiction published with Boyds Mills Press and Candlewick Press. She lives with her husband near the upper Delaware River in the Country of her heart.
CGC: Let me use my book, Hill Hawk Hattie, as an example. The Upper Delaware River region is the Country of my heart and for many years I wanted to write about the old time rafting era that spanned from before the Revolutionary War to 1922, with its heyday in the 1880s. I researched and gathered materials for many years, but I didn’t have a story or a character. I guess you could say that I didn’t even have an idea, just an enormous connection to setting. But out of the research and my own personal loss of a parent when I was very young, came the voice of Hattie. So the process of creating a story stemmed from blending the outer story of time and place gained from research, with imagination and emotional experience—in this case, loss and healing. Once you make those connections and understand what the inner and outer stories are, the rest of the job is butt in chair.
WOTS: Do you plot or not?
CGC: I do plot to some degree. I like to know what my character lacks in the beginning of the story and what the character wants. Then I ask will s/he or won’t s/he get what s/he wants? Why or why not? How will s/he grow and change?
WOTS: Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?
CGC: I’d love to, but I can’t. Talking about projects can take away the desire to write them.
WOTS: Describe your studio or usual work space for us.
CGC: I’m a tidy person, but my office often resembles a library book sale.
WOTS: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
CGC: Quantum physicist
WOTS: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
CGC: You mean like Superman and Clark Kent? I’m good at keeping secrets and not just my own.
WOTS: Can you share what you do at a typical school visit?
CGC: I share my writing process from idea to the published book, but I also share stories from my schools years and about my background that show why I became a writer and how some of those childhood experiences ended up in my books.
WOTS: Can you describe some of the challenges of writing historical fiction?
CGC: All writing is challenging, but the one thing particular to historical fiction is often a detail of everyday life that you can’t seem to track down. If you can’t see it, you can’t write it.
WOTS: We here at Writing on the Sidewalk tend to procrastinate with our writing, where do you fit in Procrastinator or Proactive?
GCG: Once I have a project going, I normally set goals for myself for writing at least two pages a day. If I stop at a place in the middle of an event or action, it’s a lot easier to pick up the story thread and run with it the next day and avoid too much procrastination. But then again, I like to putter!
Writing on the Sidewalk