Claudia Carroll is one of Ireland’s most recognisable authors and actresses, shining in whatever role she turns her hand to. She chats to Eileen Casey about life, her stellar acting and writing careers and her latest thrilling pastime – learning to fly!

Although Our Little Secret, Claudia Carroll’s new novel, has scarcely landed on the shelves, she’s already nearing completion of the next book, Secrets of Primrose Square, a novel that raises her adrenalin levels, such is her enthusiasm for its plotline and characters.

“I pour my heart and soul into every book,” she tells me, “but for some reason this one really is special to me. Personal.” Fans won’t have to wait too long to read it though as Secrets of Primrose Square, is due out in August coming.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty to enjoy. Since the appearance of her debut novel He Loves me Not…He Loves Me (2004), Claudia has written over a dozen best sellers, together with a number of short stories. She’s also built up legions of fans, eagerly awaiting to ‘hear’ her distinct writing voice.

Indeed, her writing voice could be described as conversational, intimate, as if characters are talking directly to the reader. Characters who are down to earth. Like the novelist herself.

Despite her fame (on screen as well as in print), this is a lady who considers herself to be “the original bargain queen” and who thinks Penney’s is “the best shop in the whole country”. Her most expensive outlay in recent years has been renovations to her city home.

It’s this kind of living in the ‘real’ world, being in touch with her readers, that keeps Claudia grounded enough to have a regular writing routine, enabling her to be so prolific. An early riser, she’s most definitely a lark.
“I rise at 5am,” she says, adding “there’s a great clarity about my thinking at that time of day.” The downside of this however, is that this hard-working, likeable author is asleep by 9pm…
“Seriously, ten-year-olds stay up later than me,” she adds, with a twinkle in her bright blue eyes.

Dublin-born Claudia (1969) is a city girl through and through. She lives near the city centre and walks around its broad and narrow streets on most days. She’s one of those self confessed “weirdos who love noise and traffic and shops and crowds”.
Walking so much enables her to tweak difficulties with whatever it is she’s currently writing and no doubt contributes to her slim, trim physique.

“I do Reformer Pilates about three times a week and I really am addicted,” she says but more often than not she’s in her battered old trainers as she loves walking so much, especially on days when she’s ‘stuck’.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own May Winning Writers Annual