The Multi-Talented Claire Boley

I'm saying  hello to Claire Boley on my blog today.  Not only has Claire written a successful novel but this multi- talented lady has also published a book on the craft of hand spinning and natural
However more of that later.

So welcome Claire, tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

.When did you start writing?
 Ten years ago. I read an article by a friend and decided that perhaps I could write one about hand spinning as at the time I was running workshops plus having solo exhibitions on the subject across the South West of England. The article was accepted by Country Smallholder. A year later Good Life Press gave me an advance to write a book on hand spinning and natural dyeing. After finishing this book I thought perhaps I should attempt to write a novel. I never dreamt that a publisher would take it on.

That must have been really exciting for you. What is your novel about?
The story of If Only I’d Listened is based in 60s London when 16 year old school girl Samantha Smithson gets pregnant by Peter Knight a 6th form student from Samantha’s school. All this happened in an era when pregnancy outside of marriage carried a stigma.
Peter comes from a middle class family and is studying for his A levels with plans to go to university. These plans are scotched as soon as Samantha mentions that she is pregnant as he wants to stand by her and the baby, so he needs to find work and accommodation suitable for him and his young family.
Sam comes from a lower class background, lives in a tower block with parents that drink a lot and a father that is abusive. She spends most of the nine months in hospital worrying about her future and wondering if she should have an abortion.
Pete visited Sam in hospital most days but is encouraged by his mates to go out and about enjoying himself in both clubs and pubs.

Where did you get the inspiration for If Only I’d Listened?
      I lived and worked as a nurse in 1960s London for four years. I took most of the ideas from my life at the hospital.

         How did you research the book? 
     From the worldwide web where I found out about the buses and tubes – where they stopped and the London A to Z where I looked up the names of the roads.

     Did you plan the book? 
     I do not plan my writing. For me the first paragraph for writing  anything is the hardest. Once I have written that I am away until I get writers block – if I get that I find it hard to get going again.

How do you organise your writing time? 
My brain is at its most creative in the morning. I get up at 8am and start writing at 9am and finish at lunch time unless I am on a roll then I continue until about 3pm.

 Will there be a follow up? 
Most probably and I will send Pete to University. 

Having written one craft book have you continued with your creative lifestyle? 

For the last ten years I have been writing articles for the national magazines on different subjects including hand spinning, ceramics, cooking and gardening. 

Please tell us a little about the book. 
I have enjoyed many years of hand spinning and have been a full member of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen where I showed and sold my designer knitwear. In the past I have held regular workshops for hand spinning along with solo exhibitions across the South West of England.
In 2011 I was offered an advance to write the craft book Hand Spinning and Natural Dyeing by the Good Life Press.
This book takes you through the complete process of hand spinning explaining how to spin wool using your fingers a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. It also guides you through spinning different types of yarn from the most basic to the elaborate. I also share recipes for producing wonderful colours from plants that I grow in my garden.

Thank you so much for coming along Claire.  I am in awe of such a talented lady. It takes me all my time to sew on a button!

.Links Amazon for If Only I’d Listened
                 for Hand Spinning and Natural dyeing


  1. I envy you your crafting skills, Claire! Wishing you the best of success with your novel.


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