About

ClareAshtonAuthorPicClare Ashton grew up in Mid-Wales. She has a brain stuck somewhere not particularly useful between the arts and science and that’s how she ended up studying History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge.

She has worked as a scientific copy-editor (where she learnt to spell diarrhoea), a waitress at the Little Chef (where she learnt you could survive on toast alone) and as a software engineer (where she learnt to spend far too much time on a computer).

She has been accused of sometimes living too much inside her head, but it turns out that this is good for writing stories. Her novels are a mix of suspense, intrigue, romance and darker elements too. She lives in the midlands (UK) with her partner and son and daughter who are a lovely distraction from writing.

Her first novel, Pennance, was long-listed for the Polari Prize and After Mrs Hamilton is a Golden Crown Literary Society (Goldie) award winner. Her first foray into romantic comedy, That Certain Something, was a Goldie and Lambda Literary Award finalist. And her latest romance, Poppy Jenkins, is the Rainbow Award winner for Best Lesbian Contemporary & Erotic Romance.

She also edits the UK lesbian fiction blog with Cari Hunter. She posts on Facebook where she never (well hardly ever) turns down a friend request, and is available on .

29 thoughts on “About

  1. Just read Pennance. Fantastic book, so well written. Had to read it in a oner, could not put it down. Felt totally taken in with the thoughts and feelings of the characters. I will be watching out for more books from you. Very impressed and moved by the story. Thanks!

  2. Just finished your book and quickly went online to see what else you have published because I really wanted to read more of your work. Penance was a great read and I look forward to more from you.

  3. Thanks very much for reading Pennance and especially for spending the time to leave a comment here. It’s very encouraging when people do that. I’ve a short story coming out soon in the Sunkissed anthology by Freya Publications, and I’m hoping to start on another novel soon.

    Thanks again.

    Clare

  4. I just finished Pennance and could not wait to learn more about the author, your writing was so fabulous I could not put it down. I never make comments or rate books, but I loved your writing so much I just had to share and let you know I will be anxiously waiting for your next work! Pennance was so unique and fresh, the emotions of the characters so very real! So a big thank you.

  5. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for your lovely comments about my work! It’s very much appreciated. I tried to write Pennance as if it could have happened to someone in reality and I’m glad the emotions of the characters came across well.

    I’m working on another novel at the moment – which I hope to publish at the end of the year/early next year. I’ll add more details here when I get closer to end of the final draft.

  6. I have just finished reading Pennance and what a great book it is. I simply could not put it down. For me, what really made it brilliant was its subtlety – I liked the use of gaps in the narrative and the romantic element was very sweet and touching without being cheesy and spoiling what is essentially a rather sinister tale. Good job. I will be looking out for more stuff from you in the future.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Thanks for reading Pennance and letting me know that you enjoyed it – it made my day!

      I’ve a new novel out at the beginning of December. It’s another story with a good dose of intrigue and romance. It’s a slightly less subtle work, but more of an intricate story. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it too.

      • I did read it – and what another fantastic novel. Was it Stephen King who said that a good book should interrupt the reader’s life, make them miss appointments, skip meals and forget to walk the dog? Well, whilst reading After Mrs Hamilton, I forgot to get off the tube and ended up in stranded in Walthamstow. Does that count? This was a really well-spun tale and again I loved the darker elements to the story. You have a great writing style and I think you are going to do really well; your books deserve to be read by everyone, not just readers of lesfic. Hope you and the family have a great Christmas.

      • Hahaha! I’m sorry about you being stranded in Walthamstow, but also pleased it was that distracting. I had a lot of fun constructing the story. Thanks for leaving a message. You’ve made my day again!

        Have a great Christmas too.

  7. Thanks Rebecca for your post – highlighted to me the new book was out. Clare – outstanding writing. Loved this book even more than Pennance and that’s saying something! Didn’t want it to end but just as well iit did as my life was on hold reading it! Please please keep writing as I can’t wait for the next one. 🙂

    • Hi Angela,

      So glad you liked After Mrs Hamilton. It’s always a worry that someone who liked Pennance will be disappointed with the follow up, so I’m chuffed to bits that you liked it even more!

      Thanks again,

      🙂

      Clare

  8. hi clare,
    having read pennance earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it, i was disappoined to find you hadn’t written anything else. i looked smile. imagine my delight at finding mrs. hamilton.
    enjoyed them both! in fact mrs. hamilton was read completely the night i purchased it and pennance has been re-read at least twice.
    thanks for writing them and i’m looking forward to your next endeavor’s!
    tina

    • Hi Cab!

      Thank you so much for your review. I’m glad you weren’t disappointed. I’m also glad you liked Clo. I loved writing her scenes and her romance especially. I’ll add a link to your review.

      Many thanks again,

      🙂

      Clare

  9. I read After Mrs Hamilton, and then Pennance, and I truly loved them both! It was nice to mix up the romance with darker elements, and to have complexe storylines. And of course your writing is fantastic. I read both books in 3 days and couldn’t put them down! I’m looking forward to future novels from you!

    • Hi Eve,

      Thanks very much for reading my work. I’m very glad you liked them both. People find them quite different novels so it’s a relief when they’re both enjoyed!

      Many thanks for getting in contact, It’s much appreciated 🙂

      Clare

  10. Hi There- I love both your books, and Pennance still haunts me. Such great writing and characters, and at no point did I know where the story would go. I LOVE THAT. Thanks for writing amazing, challenging, haunting and literary books. I’m certainly waiting for the next one.

    • Hi Kim,

      What a lovely message to wake up to!

      I realise my books aren’t always the easiest read and they’re not for everyone, so it super to hear when someone enjoys them so much.

      Thanks very much for leaving a message.

      Clare

  11. Just finished That Certain Something. Totally different from your other work. Really enjoyed it. There seemed to me a lot of external influences, ie the opening reminded me of Notting Hill, Ed – Miranda in Devil Wears Prada, and the final scenes a bit like Imagine Me & You. But what you do so well is really draw your characters so that as a reader you can really see them in your mind. Hope that makes sense!

    • Hi Anne 🙂

      I hadn’t thought of Miranda, but British romcoms are definitely an inspiration. I love the Richard Curtis films in particular, so this is my version of that genre with a lot more lesbians.

      Glad you enjoyed it. It was a blast to write!

      Clare

  12. Thank you so much for “That Certain Something”. I love this book and have already read it multiple times. Pia& Cate are two of my favorite characters ever. They feel real to me, like I could run into them and ask, “Pia and Cate. How is your day?” 🙂
    You create London so wonderfully. I have only been there once many years ago but you brought it alive again for me. All of the characters were brilliantly done (I could particularly hear Ed and Sir Charles!!)
    I think this would make a terrific movie although I would be a little reluctant to let the people as I hear them and see them in my mind be “played” by anyone else!!
    I would love to know what happens next, but considering all they’ve been through, I don’t’ want any needed “dramatic tension” to disrupt their happiness! Thank you so much!!!
    Mike

    • Hi Mike!

      What a lovely thing to say. Thank you for leaving a message.

      I’m glad the characters rang true. They were a lovely pair to work with although the supporting cast ran away with the best lines 🙂

      It made me smile that you thought they should live happily ever after without any more drama. I do put my heroines through an ordeal!

      Thanks again,

      Clare

  13. Thank you for the gift of a novel that is ‘That Certain something.’ It’s 1 am and I have work in less than 5 hours, but I could not put the book down till I’d finished.
    I loved every moment of it; the awkward, the bad and the good. Definitely will be looking forward to your next book(s).
    Thank you, again.

    • Hi Juanita,

      Thanks very much for leaving a message. It’s wonderful when people let me know when they’ve enjoyed one of my books and it’s very much appreciated.

      My first two books are definitely unusual darker romances but I hope to write another a romcom in future – That Certain Something was too much fun to write not to try another light romance.

      Thanks again. And good luck at work after that little sleep!

      🙂

      Clare

    • Ooo… well that’s put a smile on my face. Thank you 🙂 I’ll tweet the link etc. during the week.

      “The book is filled with moments so lovely you wish you could frame them and keep looking at them”

      Very nice 🙂

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