She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.
Get to know Claudia
I enjoy playing with the character’s lives delineating their outcome and in my own world making things better… or worse.
Are you inspired by any particular books or authors?
I think I have the influence of every author and book I ever read, trying to pinpoint a specific one is hard.
What are your must have writing accessories?
Wireless keyboard, tea and music.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Don’t give up, write, write, write and write.
If you could work with any author who would it be?
What sort of books do you personally enjoy to read?
Like music, I’ve eclectic taste. I enjoy about every genre—except horror, I’ve read only a few of those in my life time.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Unbelievable, it can only happen to me!
Tell us a little about Next to You?
Next To You is the sequel to Where Life Takes You, it starts right after the first book ended. This book is written from Daniel’s POV, as oppose as WLTY where we follow the story from Becca’s side. Daniel tells you what is life without his best friend, his own healing journey and happiness.
What traits do you and Becca have in common?
My love for chocolate
Who designed the book cover?
What was the hardest part of writing the book?
Writing the entire book from the perspective of Daniel, and making the decision to cut the number of letters between Dan and Becca. We didn’t want the reader to fall asleep after letter number 10.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Standing By, the second book of the Knight series; to be released around mid-September and I’m working on a new Sci-Fi Nix Terra.
…I need time. Time to heal those wings and learn to use them…
Was part of the letter Rebecca Trent, Daniel Brightmore’s fiancée and best friend left when she ran away. The person he trusted the most for the past decade disappeared without giving him a second glance. She taught him how to love, believe in family and that everyone deserves a happily ever after. Now he’s struggling between wiping any traces of her from his life and drowning his sorrows away with the help of his new best friends—Don Julio and Jack Daniels.
Rebecca’s past suffocated her to the point of not wanting to continue, her lifeline and the only reason to live began to withdraw from her. She wished it had been her imagination, but heard it loud and clear: “If not, there’s always a divorce, nothing is forever.” This time it became a leave or die situation. Something has got to change—she had to change. Packing light and leaving a letter behind, she takes a journey that can help her find herself through the shards of her painful childhood.
As letters, memories and stories are exchanged, two once inseparable people reconcile what’s left of their relationship. Beyond the confines of everything they built together, they’re left with two lonely people searching for what it means to be whole. Will they find meaning under their bruised psyches or will their pasts get the better of them?
As I step outside the elevator and come close to my office, Betsy my efficient fifty some year old assistant with the pressed tailored suit and blond bob opens her eyes wide. She straightens her posture and I know her back stiffens right when I reach her desk, though she says nothing. The grimace on her face feels like a judgment and some part of me wants to apologize, though the rest of me wins and I choose to ignore her.
“Coffee Sir?” she asks as I take the messages from the tray on the left corner of her desk where she usually leaves them in the morning without answering. “Mr. Brightmore.” She clears her throat and finally stops typing. “Dr. Vadapalli called earlier and asked me to send you home if you came by. You need to rest.”
A grunt escapes me, home… there’s no fucking home. My new address is down the block in the Presidential suite of one of the hotels I own, but I refrain from giving her those specifics since she knows them well enough.
“Raj Vadapalli isn’t the one running this company,” I remind her while reading through my messages. “As I recall, I’m the one who signs your paycheck.”
Ty, Buddy, Raj and Ashley have left messages, all of them telling me to go home. Call them, they are here for me. It has been four days. Four fucking days since I came home to find the letter on top of her pillow with the pink diamond ring next to it, saying ‘goodbye, have a fucking nice life.’ Fucking bitch.
“Shh,” Betsy hisses while setting her index finger on top of her lips, like a school librarian chiding a child. “Mr. Brightmore, are you drunk again?”
“Nope,” I answer standing up as straight as I can. “Again would imply that I let the buzz go, and I won’t… Hold my calls.” I bang her desk a couple of times with the crystal paperweight that reads employee of the year. It was a present from Rebecca to her. “I’m in the mood to destroy a company or two.”
After that, I head into my office, but stop right in the threshold. “Did you cancel the wedding?” A question I had been meaning to ask yesterday… or whenever Raj sent me home. Unlike today, when he said I needed to be responsible. “Because she said no wedding.” I place a hand inside my pants pocket and fidget with the ring she returned. “How stupid is that? You know, I have women throwing themselves at my feet on a daily basis. Women who are more willing to do whatever shit I tell them to do. Anyone would do anything to be Mrs. Brightmore… and she dumped me.” Betsy doesn’t seem to assimilate it quiet yet. That makes me say it louder. “She dumped me.” There’s no response from her part and I walk back to her desk and grab the phone handle, then press the keys to access the company speaker and say it again. This time separating the words, so they sink in. “Rebecca. Trent. Dumped. Me.”