According to my social media profiles: 📚 I write contemporary fiction novels ✊ Inspirational books for women 📝 Bringing God’s heart to the lost and broken 🔗

But that just says what I do, it doesn’t tell you who I am. So pour yourself a cuppa, and get comfy as I spin the story that is Claire.

𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵, two teenagers made a decision that would have a lasting effect on the rest of their lives. The repercussions were unending, and barely a year later, a baby girl was born. Handed to strangers days later – this was a decision that I would come to appreciate and admire.

My name is Claire, and though not defined by my life circumstances, I certainly have been molded by them.

I grew up in a small town called Yellowwood Park, and I attended Yellowwood Park Primary School before going on to Maris Stella for my high school years. Throughout my childhood, I always felt different; like I didn’t belong anywhere or with anyone. Perhaps it was being adopted – or maybe because I am neurodiverse and cannot help the way in which I process life – but what I was certain of was that there wasn’t ever going to be a box to define me. It took a long time to find peace with this, and now I understand that these experiences are a part of my journey in uplifting and empowering others.

I started writing stories when I was in high school – it was a remarkable way to escape the ordinary, and it created a space for my imagination to run free. My teachers were brilliantly tolerant of my ideas, and I will always treasure the time and effort they put into shaping my career as a writer. I ventured into psychology and English, finishing up with an Honours in Psychology followed by a Post-grad in Education.

Married by 22, it was in fact my husband who encouraged my pursuit of writing whilst I worked as a teacher. And to this day, he is often the initial spark behind my wildly gregarious plot ideas. I became a mother for the first time at 24 and had my second and third babies when I was 26 and 30, respectively. Time ran away as we faced being new parents, losing two pregnancies, raising children, and creating both our businesses.

The short-term pain was worth the long-term gain, though, as I am now able to diligently shape a writing career from the comfort of my rustic farm office, surrounded by stickers, broken crayons, and devilish pieces of Lego.

When COVID-19 hit South Africa, I lost a life-changing writing contract and was left feeling a little off-course. But I turned to one of the valuable lessons I had learned growing up. My adoptive parents taught me that life isn’t about what happens to us, but rather about what we do with it – and given their own challenges and adversities, I knew I could hold tight to that wisdom. When one door closed, God certainly opened another.

After penning a poem that went viral (My President, You’re Tired), I found the confidence to start writing for myself. I started plotting my novel and penned the first sentence in April 2020. With much uncertainty, I surrounded myself with a team of friends and colleagues who I knew would help me find the courage to follow a pathway that could only be navigated by God. The rest followed quickly. But I don’t want to stop here, I have so much to share. I hope that one day I will get to stand on a stage before young minds, and share with them the lessons I have learned; that I might encourage them to reach out and harness their potential.

But for now, I am focusing on my next novel and hope to live a big life, quietly, with my husband and children.