Interview – Claire Buss & Roshaven


In today’s post, I speak with speculative fiction author and poet, Claire Buss. Claire has published the Gaia trilogy, the first couple of books in the Roshaven series, and many short stories and poems. You can read my review of the first book in the Roshaven series, The Rose Thief, here.

I asked Claire a number of questions about her writing process and plans.


Jeanette: Claire, it’s great to have you on Jeanette O’Hagan Writes. Share three things that people may not already know about you.


1.      I struggle with snails. It’s not necessarily a phobia but I do have to cross to the other side of the path when they’re out and about.

2.      I have my grade 1 and 2 roller skating qualifications.

3.      I went to a Busted/Mc Fly and Cliff Richard concert on the same weekend.


Jeanette: The scariest snail I’ve encountered are the ferocious snailshark in Chrys Crymi’s Temptation of Dragons, but, I have to say, stepping on one with bare feet is not pleasant either (as I can attest from experience). 

Have any favourite books, movies and TV shows inspired or influenced your writing?

Clare: I get inspired all the time, sometimes even by the rubbish books, movies and TV shows. My early fantasy and sci-fi reading years were filled with Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks and Greg Bear so I have much love for them. Pratchett is definitely an influence and I often catch myself reading another author and thinking man, I wish I could write like this. I don’t think you ever stop being influenced by great creativity.


Jeanette: Anthony and Pratchett were favourites of mine and you have captured the comic vibe with your Roshaven books so well. Which (perhaps little-known) authors were your best reads in the last couple of years?

Claire: For Firefly-esque sci-fi, I can definitely recommend TWM Ashford and his Final Dawn series. For a bit of romance – Jaimie Admans. YA fantasy, most definitely Frances Hardinge. Women-centric mythology, look no further than Madeleine Miller. Superb worldbuilding from NK Jemisin and urban fantasy from Gail Carriger and for a floating library in France consider Nina George. For more details, do stalk me on Goodreads.


Jeanette: I can second France Hardinge and will have to explore the others.  You are on the cusp of releasing The Bone Thief, Book Three in the Roshaven series. How did you come up with the idea for the Roshaven stories?

Claire: I tend to spend a lot of time feeling quite worried about the whole thing until usually a plot idea will come to me randomly, often half-formed but with some merit. Then the discovery writing process begins and I find out where we’re going on this story. And yes, that is exactly what happens and is why second draft editing is spent filling all the plot holes that came up as the story evolved.


Jeanette: I like the term ‘discovery writing’.  Do you have a favourite character among the Roshaven gang? Which character gave you the most trouble to write?

Claire: I don’t really have a favourite character but I do enjoy writing Ned, Jenni and Fred. Momma K’s dialogue keeps me up at night and I wish I spoke firefly. But really, writing a story in Roshaven feels like putting on some comfy slippers and letting the characters tell their story through me.


Jeanette:  They are certainly a lot of fun to read. You have also written The Gaia trilogy, which you describe as hopeful dystopia. What do you mean by that and how do they differ from the Roshaven books?

Claire: The Gaia books can be seen to be hopeful dystopia because they’re not full of the usual doom and gloom you expect from the post-apocalyptic and dystopian genres. There’s hope that if people do the right thing, then good things can happen. It was a phrase coined by a reviewer and it’s stuck with me. The Gaia books differ to Roshaven because they are not humorous fantasy and are instead set in our future, around 200 years hence.


Jeanette: Fiction is a powerful way of imaging alternative futures. In addition to your books, you write poetry and have recently created a sea shanty. What do you enjoy about poetry and shanties?

Claire: I think poetry is a really personal expression of the moment, something that I’ve found very cathartic as a mother to young children. A lot of my poetry is humorous taking the whole, you have to laugh approach to life. The sea shanty was written especially for The Bone Thief. I enjoyed the research stage and listening to lots of different shanties. I think I came up with a catchy shanty and often find myself singing the chorus randomly!


Jeanette: What are the joys and challenges in being a published writer? Could you imagine not being a writer? If so, what would you do?

Claire: The joys of being a published writer are, of course, seeing your book in print and on the shelf – that feeling never gets old. Then, having people you know read your books and enjoy them is an enormous boost to writerly self confidence but even better than that is having people you don’t know read and enjoy your books. That is a constant source of amazement.

The challenges of being a writer are definitely writers’ block – whether you ‘believe’ in it or not, it’s definitely a factor. That and the constant feeling of impostor syndrome. Despite the fact that I’ve been writing and self-publishing for over five years now, I still have that feeling that someone is going to tap me on the shoulder and tell me off for doing it haha.

I, like many other writers, loved to read and write as a child and would often write little stories but never thought I could ‘be’ a writer. I took up blogging about 11 years ago and had fun writing those posts but it wasn’t until I attended a Writers Workshop at my local library that I truly began to think about becoming a writer. I entered a competition which ended up forcing me to write my debut novel in three months – turned out pretty well, I came second in the competition and it launched my writing career.

What would I do if I wasn’t a writer? Probably diminish to a grey wallflower in an office somewhere. I don’t earn lots of money but at least I get to do what I love and hopefully, something that I’m good at.


Jeanette: It’s not an easy road, but strangely addictive. Tell us more about your upcoming release The Bone Thief. When it will be released and where it will be available.

Claire: The Bone Thief is the third book in my humorous fantasy Roshaven series, although the books can be read independently, it does follow the characters from The Rose Thief and The Silk Thief. In The Bone Thief Roshaven is being threatened by the Spice Ghosts. In this humorous fantasy romp as they demand the return of their mystical bones but when Ned and Jenni follow the skeletal trail into the dark and dangerous waters of the dread Sea Witch they must fight to avoid becoming the catch of the day.


The book is currently on 99p ebook pre-order everywhere (Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook and Smashwords) on comes out on 12th November in both ebook and paperback. Here is the link:

Jeanette: Having just finished reading The Silk Thief (and loving it), I look forward to Ned and Jenni’s adventures in the lair of the sea witch. 

Thanks Claire for taking the time to talk with us. Claire is offering an e-copy of your pick of the delightful Roshaven books – The Rose Thief or The Silk Thief or The Bone Thief (your pick) to one fortunate reader. For your chance to win, leave a comment below about the interview. Closes on 14 Nov 2021

Do check out Claire’s books.  And this weekend (6-7 November 2021), I will be with Lynne Stringer and Adele Jones at the Rendered Realms stall in Supanova Brisbane (Brisbane Convention Centre). If you are in the neighbourhood, drop in and say hello.



More about Claire:  Claire Buss is an award-winning multi-genre author and poet. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of marketing and administrative roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and expert procrastinator Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion.

Since then, Claire has published seventeen novels and poetry collections and had her short fiction published in six anthologies. The Gaia Effect won the Uncaged Book Reviews Raven Award for Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel in 2017 and the first book in her humorous fantasy series, The Rose Thief, won in 2019. Working with Pen to Print, Claire delivers regular Book Surgeries offering marketing help and advice to new and established authors. In 2019 Claire was part of the original team involved in creating and establishing Write On! Magazine and continues to support, work and promote the magazine in her role as Deputy Editor, a different kind of Lois who champions new writers and helps them share their creativity. Claire continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake. 

You can follow her on Twitter @grashopper2407, and visit her website for more information about Claire and her writing. All her books are available in eBook and paperback on Amazon at
You can find her books here The Rose Thief , The Silk Thief ,  The Bone Thief

Claire Buss

Author – 
Deputy Editor, Write On! Magazine –

Lynne Stringer – Verindon

In the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, some of us have too much time, others are run of our feet. We all have a part to play. With so many of our normal entertainments no longer accessible – it’s a great time to read, read, read. Over the next couple weeks or months, I plan to interview a number of fantasy or science fiction authors to help you discover some fabulous new reads.

From dragons and elves to space ships and blasters, our second interview is with YA science fiction author, Lynne Stringer.

Interview with Lynne Stringer

Share three things that people may not already know about you.

I didn’t finish high school. This is the one that surprises people the most. School and I didn’t gel. I learn better on the job, so to speak.

I don’t like sport or games. I never have. I just don’t find them interesting.

I like big, unusual words like sesquipedalian and slubberdegullion. A sesquipedalian is someone who uses long words. A slubberdegullion is a slovenly person.

Those two words are beauties. I might just be a sesquipedalian too, lol, though pronouncing either of them might be a challenge ;). What favourite books, movies TV shows have inspired or influenced your writing. In what ways? 

I grew up watching Star Wars and Doctor Who, and both inspired my love of science fiction. I love superhero movies. E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial is my favourite movie ever. More recently, the Twilight saga inspired me to take up the pen after many years away from writing fiction. I enjoy stories that take me away from everyday experiences.

Doctor Who and Star Wars were childhood staples, along with Star Trek for me as well. Which (perhaps little-known) authors were your best reads in the last couple of years?

Juliet Marillier is one. She writes fantastic fantasy books. Veronica Rossi is another. I love her Under the Never Sky trilogy. Another one is Jeanette O’Hagan! If you haven’t read her books yet, they’re great. 🙂

Ooh, I like your choices. I will definitely check Mariller and Rossi out. You have a YA romantic space opera series, the Verindon Trilogy, published by Wombat Books/Rhiza Press. What do you love about writing in this genre? Are there any challenges?

I love the young adult genre because the characters in that age group are going through a lot emotionally which I find interesting to write about. I also love science fiction and anything that pushes the boundaries of the normal. It’s more interesting for me than reading a contemporary work of fiction.

There is something fresh and immediate about young adult stories. Both YA and speculative fiction explore exciting new frontiers. The first novel of the Verindon trilogy has an interesting premise. How did you come up with the idea of the trilogy?

I got the idea when my husband and I went on a holiday to the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia, where I live. For some strange reason, he loves laughing over cheesy pickup lines, and he was telling me some new favourites he’d heard. I was trying desperately to think of one, but the only one I could think of was a guy saying to a girl, ‘You are the only reason I was put on this planet’. Not exactly a brilliant one!

While I was thinking about it, I imagined a guy saying this to a girl, and she said, ‘Yeah, right!’ Then, to my surprise, he turned to her and said, ‘No, you are the only reason I was put on this planet.’ And I realised he meant it literally. I started to think, ‘Why is that? Why would he be here only for her?’ I spent all the time on our holiday starting to develop the story that became The Heir.

Brilliant. You have also written a New Adult Contemporary drama, Once Confronted.  How did writing this book differ from writing the Verindon Trilogy?  Would you consider writing other genres or for other age groups?

I had to do a lot more research for Once Confronted as I had to make sure it conformed to reality, particularly in the areas of social work and working with at-risk children, as I had no experience with this. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder element wasn’t a stretch for me, as I’ve suffered from it myself as the result of an armed robbery, so I could write about that from my own experience. But the other elements required a lot of work. I’m not much of a person for research. I find it hard.

There are constraints writing about the real world. I think your research paid off. You mention that Madison in Once Confronted had a similar and confronting life experience. Are any of your characters like you? In what way and how are they different from you?

Sarah Fenhardt from my trilogy is probably the most like me. She has similar insecurities and strengths and looks like me as well. All my characters, particularly my female protagonists, share something of me, though. Vashta, the protagonist in my latest book, The Verindon Alliance, tends to react without thinking at times. I definitely have this tendency.

What have been the joys and challenges in being a writer? Could you imagine not being a writer? If so, what would you do?

I love putting worlds I have created out there for people to enjoy. It’s especially wonderful to hear from them when they love them as much as I do. That’s the greatest thing about it. The hardest thing is trying to get word out about my books, as well as dealing with bad reviews, which are always hard. 

I’m a professional editor, which means I get to help people improve their books, so I would devote my professional time solely to that if I didn’t write.

It is hard to get our books seen by a wider audience, but so worth it when fans get in touch. Patience and persistence are great qualities in writers. And helping others improve their writing is a worthy goal.

The exciting news is your upcoming release, the Verindon Alliance from Rhiza Press. Tell us more about it and when it will be launched. 

The Verindon Alliance will be released on Friday 1st May 2020. I am holding a book launch on Facebook Live on Saturday 2nd May 2020. The video will be on my Facebook author page after that date if you can’t tune in to watch it on the day, so make sure you check it out.

The Verindon Alliance is set several hundred years before my trilogy, back when the planet Verindon didn’t have much more technology than we do on Earth. In the story, the two humanoid species on the planet, the Verindal and the Vendel, are at war and have been for centuries, but Princess Vashta of the Vendel realises that there is a new threat that comes from somewhere else. When members of her race won’t listen, she allies with Brandonin, the heir to the Verindal throne. Together they have to fight against their own races and against time to defeat this new enemy.

Sounds exciting. I love your cover and I’m really looking forward to reading a new book set in the Verindon world. Thanks Lynne for talking about your fabulous books today.

Why not check out Lynne and her books on her author page or on Facebook, Twitter,  Amazon and YouTube etc. And don’t forget the launch party on 7am, 2 May (Brisbane time).

And There’s More

And just before I go – a quick reminder that the Under the Mountain boxed set will be at low, low price of 99c USD for just one more day. And as a special treat, I’ve reduced the next book in the series, Shadow Crystals to 99c USD. Grab the both while you can. 🙂

See you soon with another author interview.


Kasper Beaumont – Hunters of Reloria

In the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, some of us have too much time, others are run of our feet. We all have a part to play. With so many of our normal entertainments no longer accessible – it’s a great time to read, read, read. Over the next couple weeks or months, I plan to interview a number of fantasy or science fiction authors to help you discover some fabulous new reads.

Interview with Kasper

The first interview is with Kasper Beaumont, the wonderful author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series, and the Hidden Angel paranormal series. Not only does Kasper write cracking good books – by day she is a superhero working tirelessly in Infection Control to keep us safe from the dreaded virus.

Welcome Kasper. Good to have you on Jeanette O’Hagan Writers. Can you share with us three things that people may not already know about you.

  1. I don’t like beans, more precisely, they don’t like me.  Don’t worry, I make up for a darth of beans with an oversupply of chocolate.
  2. Two of my children have red hair, the other one must have been switched at birth  (just kidding, she’s a super cute lil blondie).
  3. I like to crochet in my spare time.  Spare time is a rare commodity, so that’s on the odd occasion I’m in a waiting room.

Hmm I wonder where the red hair comes from. 😉 So , what were your favourite books, movies and TV shows as you were growing up, and how have they influenced your writing?

Is this so you can guess my age?  Ok I’ll bite.

  • Gilligan’s Island, M*A*S*H, Transformers and He-Man
  • The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, Star Wars, and The Goonies
  • The Famous Five, Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, and Nancy Drew

I guess it has helped my hone my sense of adventure, cracking wit and modesty LOL

LOL, Kasper, I can see that sense of humour bubbling over. And the sense of adventure and wit are evident in your stories.

Which (perhaps little-known) authors were your best reads in the last couple of years?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one.  I’ll go Marsha A Moore with the Enchanted Bookstore; and Cat Spydell Faeries of Fellyan.  Also did an audio recording from an extract of the Chronocar by Steve Bellinger.  Awesome prologue.  I can’t wait to read the rest.

Fantastic – new authors and books to add to the to-read list.

You have several children’s fantasy stories published now. What do you love about writing in this genre? And have you ever considered exploring another genre or writing for other age groups?

Thanks, yes I have 4 books in the Hunters of Reloria trilogy  (yes, I can’t count).  I think writing children’s stories keeps me young and also connects me with my own children.  They have co-authored a book and also done some paintings for the stories.

I have recently released an angel and demon paranormal book for an adult audience, Captive of the Darkness, which is a fun change for me.  It’s set in a strip club (shh, don’t tell the kiddies).

I’m also doing a vampire flash fiction, and have had a short sci-fi published in an anthology.

Terry Prachett has a four book trilogy, so you are in good company.

I must say, I think one of my favourite characters in the Hunters of Reloria series is Ash. Do you have any favourite characters from your books or do you think it’s best not to play favourites? And if you do, what do you like about them?

Hmm…oh it’s hard not to have a favourite or two.  I like Ash for his devil-may-care attitude and the fact that a dragon sometimes appears when he’s around.  Might just be a coincidence, but hey, he’s quite secretive.

I like Sienna the Huntress for her bravery and archery skills.  She does have plenty of character development which is fun to write.

I also like the dwarven brothers for their drinking prowess and badass fighting.  They’re just the right height to bash the kneecaps of the invaders.

All great characters 🙂 How did you come up with the idea of Hunters of Reloria? What have been the joys and challenges in writing the series?

The first idea I had was definitely of the halflings and fairies being bonded together in a symbiotic relationship.  I wanted to explore things like how their lifespans would mirror each other and what benefits each would gain from their bond.

Throw in an Elven Jewel which sustained the land’s protective forcefield, and then invaders on a mission to steal it.  A novel was born.

The link between the halflings and the bond fairies was one of my favourite things about Hunters of Reloria. I also love the fan art that you include in your covers and on your social media and pages. I curious to know how that came about? 

I had an idea that a way to attract readers would be to give them a chance to have their artwork in the finished book.  After four art competitions over the years, I now have a great catalogue of character pictures to illustrate my fantasy worlds. Seems to be working so far and they came in handy when I published my Choose Your Hunters of Reloria story which has artwork on every page.  I love it.

Yay, the exciting news is your recent release last year – Choose Your Hunters of Reloria story. Tell us about it 😊

Choose Your Hunters of Reloria story is my take on the Classic Choose Your Own Adventure books from my childhood.  I had a whole bunch of them and liked to borrow others from the local library.  I had test readers on this one from age 8 to adult and great feedback that it has broad appeal to all the family.

My version is set in Reloria, in the time of the Elven Jewel novel.  First you do a quiz on personality types, what fighting costume you would wear and your choice of weapon.

Once you have your character, you are thrust into a chase across the lands to recapture the stolen Elven Jewel.  You journey through many perilous places and encounter the invaders along the way.  Only one path leads to success, so you will need to choose wisely and possibly back-track or read again to complete your quest.

The Choose Your Hunters of Reloria story is a fun read. My first foray was rather short after a few bad choices but I made it in the end.

Thanks Kasper for a fun review and also for entertaining, high-octane fantasy adventures in your Hunters of Reloria series.

Why not check out Kasper’s books or her author page on Amazon or Goodreads.

And There’s More

And just before I go, a quick plug for my latest release 🙂

Yet to start reading about Zadeki, Retza & Delvina’s adventures under the mountain and across the sea? Now’s the perfect time. the first three novellas of my Under the Mountain series are now available as a boxed set – Under the Mountain Boxed Set 1-3 at a steal of 99cUSD – but only to the end of the month (30 April 2020).

And to see some other great bargains – check out the SFF Bonzana 99c for April

See you soon with another author interview.