Ask The Author: Claude Nougat

Claude Nougat, award-winning author living in Italy, recently contacted me about an interview. I was only too happy to oblige! On top of that, she was also kind enough to send me a gift coupon, so I could read and review her omnibus, Forever Young, ahead of her UK promotion. 

Forever Young Book cover

Forever Young immediately put me in mind of J.K. Accinni’s Species Intervention series, albeit without the alien intervention. Featuring a world very much like our own, Forever Young has the added dilemma of a rapidly decaying planet. The elite, known as the One Percenters, can become members of the exclusive Age Prevention Program, which not only allows them to live longer, but also to remain young and beautiful until the end.

Only two options are available to escape the inevitable extinction of human life: one, to take the “Immortality Trip” to another planet, reminiscent of Earth before industrialisation. The other option is to retreat to Antarctica, the last place on Earth relatively free from pollution. But with the first option only reserved for One Percenters, and the second in the hands of Gary Trude XIII, a Hiterlian-style autocrat, the human race is running out of possibilities, and time.

A fascinating concept, Nougat provides beautifully-written science fiction, with enough reality to scare the hell out of us.

Alongside being an award-winning author, Nougat is a poet, painter and economist, who contributes to various online publications, including Publishing Perspectives and Impakter, and maintains a high traffic blog under the name Claude Nougat. She is married and lives in Italy. You can connect with her on Facebook,TwitterPinterest and Goodreads.

Claude Nougat head only light version

“When I was in my early teens, I fell in love with the idea of becoming a writer after seeing how a young woman had become a best selling author when she had turned 18”, Nougat said, referring to Françoise Sagan and her debut novel called Bonjour Tristesse.

At the time, I didn’t realize how demanding it is to write a novel and I thought that when I’d turn 18, I’d do the same. Fat chance! Naturally it didn’t happen. Life took hold of me, I had to study to make a living, I became an economist and worked all my life, including 25 years at the United Nations. But I never lost that dream and I wrote novels all my life.

Everything has changed since Nougat now has more time on her hands, and since 2008 she has published 7 books. She gets her ideas from the world around her. “I’m curious about everything, and being a social scientist, I’m especially attuned to the issues facing our society. I’m concerned about what the future holds for us”.

Nougat warns against aspiring writers rushing into self-publishing:

The amount of marketing that is needed these days in order to prevent your book from sinking to the bottom of the pile is simply astounding.. It takes time to land a literary agent and then a contract with a traditional publisher, I know, but I believe it’s time well-spent. One can always go into self-publishing later, and publish your back list knowing your fans will want to buy your books, but you need fans and that can only happen after you’ve made your mark in the traditional publishing world.

As a shy person, Nougat wishes she’d realised how much marketing was required once you published a book. And, despite the digital revolution and the rise in self-publishing, it’s still evident that people who publish such novels do not have access to the main venues opened up to those who go down the traditional publishing route, such as particular book prizes.

She’s currently working on the follow-up to Forever Young, called Forever Young, 400 Years Later. The novel will feature certain characters waking up after a long period of hibernation; some of them on a distant, pristine planet, others in Antarctica, where they had taken refuge.

But I’m also seriously thinking of going into non-fiction, using my real name (Claude Forthomme) and my experience to write about the issues we are all facing, from global warming to the population explosion and the rise of the ultra-rich, that will end up reaping all the benefits from technological advances, because they can afford them and we can’t.

Having just finished a book tour for her previous novel, Crimson Clouds, and after the demands of online promotion, Nougat will be spending the summer resting and writing.

The omnibus will be available at a 70% discount on Amazon UK from tomorrow, until the 21st of July. So hurry!

Originally posted on ReadWave.


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