Yes, DEAD GAME is my very first novel.
PPM: How did you choose the title and what have been people's response to it?
When my cousin and I were children we used to play a game called ‘DEAD GAME at my Grandmother’s house – it’s a game that has stuck with me right through into adulthood. Archie, a Lance Corporal is trapped in a land between heaven and earth called Transit playing the game of his life – it’s the same game – the game of life or death.
The title’s been slightly tricky – a few people have said ‘oh is it a thriller?’, which I can fully understand – but thinking on spiritual level the title is very apt and very personal to me.
PPM: Dead Game is a fantasy located in the Persian Gulf a war hero complete with centaurs and guardian angels... So do centaurs and angels get along or are they natural enemies?
The centaur Emrys is cursed and angel Felicity, a guide to Archie, is also lost in Transit, they are strangely allies and very good friends, as they have only had one another to rely on. They are like chalk and cheese, with lots of friendly banter. At one point in DEADGAME Emrys carries Felicity on his back when she’s injured and likewise when Emrys is in fatal danger, Felicity, using her all her inner strength rushes to his aid and fly’s him out of harms way. Both of these characters are very central, I love both of them to pieces as they were inspired by people I know. Everything in my writing comes from personal experience, emotions and dreams.
PPM: What is your personal experience with military life?
Both of my grandfathers fought in world war II, one in the Royal Air Force flying Lancaster Bombers, the other in the Army as a physical trainer.
In 2003, when I was pregnant with my first child, my cousin was killed in an accident after serving his country with the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers in Iraq.
I have lived by an RAF camp for the past seven years and forged very close friendships with RAF families. Seeing both men and women, who I know and love, leave behind their loved ones and children and go off to war-torn countries to fight, other than filling me with immense pride, really inspired me to finish DEAD GAME. Some of the men and women have never returned.
PPM: Do you identify as an aspiring writer?
PPM: A good aspiring writer?
PPM: What advice would your main character give you about trying to sell your novel?
Archie would say to charge in like a raging bull to a red rag and just keep telling everyone about it and it’ll sell itself once word gets around – that’s what he’d say!
PPM: Are military related stories common within the fantasy genre? Do they have wider appeal or generate more support within a niche?
I don’t know of many military stories that are within the fantasy genre to be honest. I’d like to think DEAD GAME has massively appealing to every person out there, because we’ve all loved and lost someone at some point in our lives.
I loved writing DEAD GAME – it was like a tonic initially, a healing process during my bereavement and quickly became a necessity. It didn’t take long before it became habit. I couldn’t imagine my life without writing now. I’m part way through DEAD GAME’s sequel WAITING GAME, which will be out next year. But foremost I am a mother to my three small children who are desperate to write and make books like Mummy.
PPM: A portion of your sales goes to "Help for Heros" and "SSAFA Forces Help," is that just a clever ploy to sell more books or do you really care about these causes? And what are they?
Yes, £1 from every book sold goes to Help for Heros & another £1 goes to SSAFA Forces Help. I DO worry that people will think it’s a ploy to sell more books. First and foremost I am a writer, secondly I’m a fundraiser, I always have been, it just seemed the natural thing to do given the topic. My second novel is also going to the same charities. I’m under no illusions… people will only buy DEAD GAME if they like to read or know someone who does and if it’s good they will spread the word. Sincerely these causes are so very dear to my heart. When my cousin passed away these charities where phenomenal with my grieving aunt and uncle – I just can’t tell you how supportive they were. If only half a dozen people buy DEAD GAME –the message of hope in DEAD GAME will be out there and I will have raised something for the cause.
Claire Kinton's inspiration to write Dead Game was ignited following the tragic death of her cousin, who served in Iraq with REME. After six years of living by an RAF camp with husband Gareth, Claire has forged close friendships with families whose young men risk - and all too often lose - their lives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. For some young minds it is not enough to say ‘He’s gone to Heaven’, they need to know why, what happens next, how long will they be gone? Dead Game strives to put forward one answer to death and at the same time teaches us; we are what we think; love never dies and that the human soul continues eternally. To buy Clarie's book or support the causes mentioned in this interview visit: http://www.clairekinton.com/default.html
Interview conducted by Carrie Bailey