with Claire Turton:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Claire: I feel like I have always been writing, little stories I would leave around the house, but more specifically, for my ongoing sci-fi work, over a decade ago the idea came to me and similarly, the collection of poetry was compiled over many years.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Claire: So many! I have a dark mind and so influences like Stephen King all the way through to fantasy writers from Tolkien to Eddings, and current authors like Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb and Patrick Rothfuss. Poetry has always been the classic English poets that I have returned to – Alfred Tennyson through to Burns, I literally have so many, I find this a difficult question.
Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?
Claire: I started to really get quite the collection of poems and thought, I should do something with these. And so, Mettle & Flesh: A Collection of Poetry was born. Co-incidentally as I started to collect this together I finally joined my band @Sonicabandau and turned poetry into song via way of my lyricism. All of my songs are poems if you listen closely…
Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?
Claire: My supportive friends who have always told me to carry on and subsequently supported the book after release. Without their faith, and patience listening to my poems late at night after wine, who knows if it would have really come together.
Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?
I went to about a dozen primary schools and four high schools so yes, constant travel, change and upheaval influences my work and no doubt will continue to do so. Having experienced different countries and their nuances and having to reset relationships many times over does leave a lasting impression on the way you speak and indeed, write, for you have to learn how to communicate quickly in sometimes relatively hostile environments. Many times I walked into a different school syllabus and into friendship groups formed many years before in kindy.
As an adult I have been fortunate enough to have travelled extensively and seeing so many countries and their individual beauty, has impressed upon me a sense of overwhelming kinship with people from all walks of life, and the struggles that we all have, no matter where we are from. The beauty within each country and continent is waiting to be unlocked by any who spend the time to go out and seek it. Many memories I will cherish were formed and some will creep into the writing.
Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?
Claire: Mettle & Flesh is my current most meaningful work, seconded only by the Song Descent into Blue by Sonica which is dark and mournful. Both tap into darker areas on the mind and soul and lay it bare for all to connect with in their own way. Mettle & Flesh has a way of resonating with different people in so many different ways, I get messages and emails from people and their interpretations of what it means to them, and I marvel at just how different it can be dependent on the lens from which you are viewing it.
Q7: Favorite activities to relax?
Claire: Playing the guitar, reading in my egg chair and gaming. If I get a spare moment, I will kill a lot of zombies/bad guys.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/song/writing of yours or others?
Good question! From the poem “Spied her” there is a line “Of woven death so deftly dealt” that I love the flow and sound of with the alliteration and the whole poem has a rhythm, but my favourite opening stanza is from “Immortal Ruse”:
“I realise with quite a fright
This page is now my portal
for as you read the words I write
I become immortal”
Because it confers the sense of responsibility I feel putting into ink those thoughts which some might say, are perhaps best left in your head alone. But where is the fun in that.
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
My book, Mettle & Flesh has only just been released and is available to purchase here:
And Sonica are recording our upcoming first album after having released two singles so far. We are very excited!
Claire’s twitter @turtigirl1