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Friday, 16 August 2013

Sunny Days with Claire King

As it is now high summer and everyone is taking time out for holidays at Famous Five Plus we are going to share our web site with some wonderful authors in our special Sunny Days special feature.

Today we welcome, Claire King

Q: Which is your favourite month of the year and why?

A: As long as I remember, my favourite month has been September. I'm a Northern Hemisphere girl, so for me September is the last month of summer, up to the equinox on the 22nd, when we tip into autumn.

I love September for three reasons:

Firstly, we generally have beautiful weather in those last 3 weeks of summer, but because many people think that summer ends in August, those bright, warm days come unanticipated, so people are surprised and happy for the sunshine. Tomatoes still ripen on the vines, you can still feel the sun on your skin, a cold rosé wine in the evenings is still welcome! We are always more delighted by unexpected pleasures.

Secondly, September is the 'back to school' month, or in France 'La Rentrée' which is a more general concept of returning to everyday life for adults and children alike. It's the time of fresh pencils (they smell so good), clean notebooks, new shoes (new shoes! new shoes!) and, now we've had a chance to rest, a new start. September, for me, is the real new year, fat with promise, energy and potential.

Thirdly, I do love the autumn; the briskness of the mornings, the figs and the apples and the smell of wood fires, the chance to wrap up a little warmer, the changing colours of the leaves and their crunch underfoot. The way the air seems to get fresher... September gives us just the first hint of that. Such a month of riches!

Claire King has lived in southern France for the last ten years – currently inhabiting quite a shabby stone house in the middle of nowhere with her husband and their two daughters.

Claire’s first novel, The Night Rainbow, was first published by Bloomsbury in February 2013 and launches in paperback on 1st August. She also writes short fiction, which has  been recognised by fancy places such as BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines, New Scientist, The Bristol Short Story Prize, the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Competition and Metazen.

The Night Rainbow


Once upon a time there was a little girl with no one to watch over her…

Under the sweltering heat of the summer sun, five-year-old Pea - and her vivid imagination - run wild in the meadows behind her home on the edge of a small village in Southern France.

Pea’s father died in an accident, and now she has only her little sister, Margot, for company. Their mother is too sad to take care of them; she left her happiness in the hospital last year, along with the first baby.

Overwhelmed by grief, isolated from the other villagers, and pregnant again, Maman has withdrawn to a place where Pea cannot reach her, no matter how hard she tries.

When Pea meets Claude, a neighbour who seems to love the meadow as she does, she wonders if he could be their new papa. But the villagers view their friendship with suspicion. What secret is Claude keeping in his strange, empty house?

Marie-Claire called it “An original and beguiling debut.”

Stylist Magazine said “Emotional and beautifully written, you’ll be on tenterhooks throughout.”

The Night Rainbow has been shortlisted for the Portsmouth First Fiction Award, and is a Sainsbury’s Book Club pick.

It is now available in paperback and e-book from all the usual places.

Find out more about The Night Rainbow (incl where to buy):
The Night Rainbow Book Trailer:

Throughout, July and August we will be inviting more fabby guest, so please come back soon!


  1. Thank you for having me over here, and I am very excited by all that champagne down there. *Thinks of a reason to celebrate...*

  2. Great to have you with us Claire! I agree with you about September being a lovely month. I love it because it signals the end of the heat over here in Portugal... and the coming of autumn and winter - my favourite seasons!! :D

    1. Ooh I love Portugal! Agree that it's much nicer to be there out of the hot months. Now hungry for a little Portuguese food...!

  3. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... Great piece. Tweeted