Friends, Family and Fiction ~ Clare London: Outside the Margins

Join us as Clare London goes Outside the Margins.

Clare London OtMFriends, Family and Fiction

I’ve been thinking about the nature of family in fiction. My stories are usually based on a central romance relationship. But how many of us operate independently of the rest of the world? We all have friends, family, colleagues…and our online communities, of course.

I try to reflect that in my books. The world of fiction is not the real world, and so things are planned to happen in a book that may never happen in real life. How often have we wondered how those two poor guys can have been through so much in one book? or how come they managed to be working right next to each other yet never realised they fancied each other? or wasn’t it lucky they both happened through the bar at that same time? or how wonderful to find that complementary personality just when he thought his lucky, loving days were over? LOL.

But that’s fiction, right? We need those coincidences and s-l-i-g-h-t stretchings of the truth to make the magic happen. And readers accept and love it when it’s done well.

But Hey, don’t neglect those characters’ full lives, fictional or not! Authors can also reflect the relationships outside of and supporting around the romance, without detracting from that central love affair. The (potential) lovers have families too, whether they’re still with them or not, whether they’re supportive and loving or have caused distress and pain in the past. They have friends, either the kind that sits with them quietly in the dark times, or the kind that shares tequila with them in the bountiful times! They have jobs and the kind of workmates we all come across at one time or another, good, bad and downright annoying. They’ll have had prior relationships, they’ll have had best friends, they’ll have had fun and adventures and disappointments and heartache.

And all that won’t just have happened in the 100s of pages of their book. No, all that is a rich back story that shores up the current plot, and paints a much richer picture of our protagonists. Personally, I think this makes for a better story – more balanced, more entertaining, more plausible, more emotionally effective, whether for more joy or angst. Our characters enter the pages of a book already formed by their history, as realistically as if we’d just met them down the pub and they were offering to buy us a drink! We can make the most of that, and enjoy every minute of their life with them.

As for our own families…? Well, mine is small but close. Things haven’t always been good for us, and we don’t always see eye to eye. But I suspect my love and respect for family has seeped out into a lot of my fiction. My recent With A Kick series (written in tandem with Sue Brown) is deliberately written as a series of romances, yet central to the whole set of stories is the thread of companionship and community around the alcoholic ice cream shop of the title. And there are appearances from some wacky relatives! LOL


I enjoy allowing family and friends into my main characters’ stories – and reading about them in other books, too. Let me know how you feel about families in fiction, or any comments you have. It’s great to hear from you all.

Thanks for dropping by!

Please include after my bio


PluckAndPlay_250 Title: Pluck and Play – With A Kick #5
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Humor/Comedy, M/M Romance

Everyone knows Curtis Wilson around the Soho business scene: a hard-working, budding young entrepreneur, who can get you supplies of whatever you need, and always with a joke and a laugh. Only Curtis knows that’s a purely public persona. Secretly, he’s still licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover, and he’s not about to let his guard down again.

Handsome Riley Richmond was born to be a cowboy, on his father’s side at least. But after his parents’ deaths, he finds himself stranded this side of the Atlantic, an anachronism in the bustling capital, and without financial capital. His consolation is his music, albeit he’s not a very successful busker and he loses his only decent piano gig after standing up for Curtis against a homophobic bully.

After that, they keep meeting, partly by accident, partly by Riley’s design. He’s smitten, and doesn’t mind letting Curtis know. Their music brings them together – Riley’s guitar playing and Curtis’ sharp, sexy poetry are a powerful combination. But Curtis still has some unfinished business with his ex-lover that he’s struggling to handle on his own. Riley intends to be the man Curtis calls on for help, whether he likes it or not. He’ll do whatever it takes to show Curtis that people can still be trusted to be honest and caring – even if it means walking them both into danger.

Self Published
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US

~ Clare London

About Clare London

Clare took the pen name London from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with the weekly wash, waiting for the far distant day when she can afford to give up her day job as an accountant. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.  Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter 3 stage and plenty of other projects in mind . . . she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
All the details and free fiction are available at her website. Visit her today and say hello!

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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7 thoughts on “Friends, Family and Fiction ~ Clare London: Outside the Margins

  1. I think I enjoy writing about the secondary characters even more than the main protagonists! Having just finished reading Pluck and Play…I’m looking for a Riley 😉 Don’t tell the husband…

  2. Thanks for dropping in everyone so far :). Interesting to see how many of us get distracted happily with the secondary characters LOL. I agree, they’re some of the best fun to write!

  3. I like to have a few relatives and friends around for my characters, as you say it rounds them out and makes them more real. But it is very difficult to portray a large, boisterous family or group of friends without confusing the reader – especially readers whose family and friends are much more restrained!

    I love linked series where the secondary characters from one story get their own story. I haven’t quite worked out my limit on these, but I know I have one. Three books is fine; six books maybe; more than that and I can’t keep the characters separate in my head – and when an author has written detailed stories about more than a dozen characters who all happen to be friends, it is mandatory (or at least irresistible) to get them all together for a meal or a party. Getting a quick glimpse of how previous couples are doing when their story is ‘over’ is one of the draws for this sort of series, but I do get lost and distracted when there are too many of them together!

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