Q&A With Claire Isenthal

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Q&A With Claire Isenthal 

Today’s Q&A is with author Claire Isenthal. Claire has the debut novel The Rising Order which is out now. Claire is currently writing the sequel The New  Order. Claire worked in Digital Marketing & Ad Sales for a decade. 

Q: Claire, would you like to tell the readers of the blog & I a little bit about The Rising Order & where the idea came from for that novel?

A: The Rising Order is a thriller/suspense novel about the threats of extremism in the digital age. Many of our systems are extremely vulnerable to being hacked and extremism is one of the largest threats to this country. Put both of those together and it creates a pretty terrifying equation. The idea for TRO originally came to me when I lived in Chicago and mass shootings were on the rise. I wanted to explore what compelled individuals to commit these acts of violence against society and thus TRO was born.

Q: Claire, I know you can’t spoil too much about The New Order, but what can fans of the first book expect in this sequel, & when does it come out?

A: I hope to have a better understanding of a release date this summer, so stay tuned! It’s been a huge amount of work promoting this book since it only released in October, while also finishing the second AND raising two young kiddos but I’m so excited for the continuation of the series. Readers who finished the first book might remember the ending is quite the cliffhanger, and the second book will reveal more unexpected twists early on in the story. All will be revealed about why REDS targeted Chicago, and you can also expect to see both Flynn and Wolf experience pretty dramatic growth and changes in their trajectories based on the ending of the last book. 

Q: I know you worked in digital marketing & ad sales for a decade. What was that experience like? Did you always know you wanted to be an author, or was it during your time as a digital marketer & ad salesperson that you wanted to do it?

A: I enjoyed working in sales because I love working with people so it’s a job that’s always felt very natural to me. But at the same time, I’ve always wanted to be an author and believe in my soul that’s my calling. Sadly, as many of us artists know, it’s extremely hard to make money and so this option never seemed realistic. It wasn’t until I landed my supposed ‘dream job’ at a big tech company that I gradually came to see I needed more fulfillment than ad sales. To me, that meant telling stories and sharing them with the world. So, that’s what inspired me to pursue my dream. I started writing in the evenings and on the weekends around my full time job.

Q: If Hollywood were to get the rights to your novels, who would be your dream cast? The entertainment industry needs new content instead of constant remakes. 

A: I couldn’t agree more! My husband and I saw the second Dune movie this weekend and there was a preview before it started for a new Kong and Godzilla movie… which just made me feel so frustrated. One of the most common responses I get after someone reads TRO is “this needs to be made into a movie!”. During almost all of the book clubs I’ve joined for TRO, people love to throw out suggestions, but to be completely honest, I don’t have anyone in mind for my characters because they’re so personal to me. With most actors and actresses, I have preexisting notions of them from past roles they’ve played. I would love fresh, original talent for this series or movie and would love to be involved in the casting to ensure that the characters are done justice. A girl can dream!  

Q: Would you say your time as a digital marketer & ad salesperson helped influence your writing in some sense? 

A: Absolutely! My company gave me a lot of ideas for the fictional company that Flynn works for (Magnetic) as a recruiter. A few experiences she has are based loosely on my own at my previous employer, and the Google office layout and design in the Chicago West Loop is almost identical to Magnetic’s so I had fun with that.

Q: On the side of your Facebook account, I couldn’t help but notice it saying you’re an account executive at Google. What is it that account executives do?

A: I was! I worked for Google for almost 9 years and as an Account Executive I helped Fortune 500 companies who wanted to purchase ads using Google’s products or on Google owned media (primarily YouTube). We would assist them with their advertising strategy to ensure it was an effective way to reach new consumers and yield a strong return on investment. I’m still very close to many of my friends who work there!