Clare Hawkins

About Me

I am a graduate of the universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield and worked in education for 36 years in various settings, from teaching English in secondary schools to co-ordinating adult classes for the WEA. Over the years, I attended a number of courses in creative writing, but commitments to family and job left little time for writing anything substantial. However, retirement from paid employment offered an opportunity to try and write a novel.

What started as an experiment quickly became an enjoyable obsession. My initial intention was to write historical romances aimed at women readers, though I have broadened the scope in more recent work. Inspiration for plots and settings derive from my fascination with social history and my background (childhood and youth spent in Scotland and experience of living in various different regions in England.) My favoured historical period was at first early modern England and Scotland, but nowadays I find myself ranging further afield for characters and themes. I write for readers who enjoy well-written, mainly plot-driven stories with strong elements of romance and dramatic action. I want readers to share in the emotional struggles and dilemmas of the characters, whilst appreciating an historical context where attitudes and beliefs offer both contrasts and resonances with those of today.

My second novel The Bookbinder's Daughter was short-listed for the Historical Novel Society's International Award 2012/13. Since then, some of my other novels, The Conjuror's Truth, The Apprentice's Pledge and The Dust of Melita have been long-listed in various competitions: The Mslexia Novel Competition, The Yeovil Literary Award, The Exeter Novel Competition. I was delighted to be offered publishing deals with Blossom Spring Publishing for ‘The Pawnbroker’s Pledge’ and Cahill Davis Publishing for ‘The Dust of Melita’.

When I’m not writing, looking after grandchildren or engaged in my other interests, I do voluntary ESOL teaching for a not-for-profit adult education organisation founded by myself and two former colleagues. My hobbies, jogging, keeping an allotment, knitting and cycling are all highly conducive to thinking, imagining and plotting my novels. I also enjoy playing the flute, practising yoga and learning German.