Kay Doyle talks to best-selling author Claudia Carroll about her new book ‘The Fixer’
Lockdown brought a change of pace and lifestyle for many of us, but for Irish author Claudia Carroll it was business as usual. She has just released her latest novel The Fixer, adding to the 17 published novels, short stories and a play that she has written since she moved into writing fiction in 2004.
To many, she will always be known as ‘Nicola from Fair City’, but Claudia Carroll couldn’t be more different than her on screen character, whose role she reprises from time to time.
“Poor Nicola,” she laughs, “She lives in Cork but every now and then they let her fly into Carraigstown on her broomstick and stir the cauldron, stir up trouble and then back to Cork she goes! I always felt very sorry for her. She’s a baddie, she’s very snooty and snobby and rubs people up the wrong way. People would come up to me and say, ‘you’re not like your character at all’. Thank God!”
Characters are very important to Claudia, who has created some memorable ones in her own writing over the years. Her most recent one, Meg Monroe in The Fixer, is quite the anti-heroine who takes a bit of getting used to!
If you want to get rid of someone, you call Meg, who uses intuition, people reading skills and devious manipulation to befriend them, telling them what they want to hear and using it to convince them to see the error of their ways and fix a situation.
She’s paid to sort out affairs, clingy former-friends, lazy employees and exes that can’t take the hint. But when a blast from the past turns up on Meg’s doorstep, will she get caught in her own web of lies?
“It was really refreshing for me and a big leap to write about an out and out irredeemable black-hearted baddie who is just out for herself,” laughs Claudia. “Because my background is soap opera, I’m very character driven and I tend to discover characters first, like Meg Monroe – The Fixer – and work on the character and then wonder what kind of things could happen to her. I know in soap opera, storylines come and go but characters can be there for thirty years and you follow the characters through stories.”