Monday, February 24, 2020

C.L. Gaber Interview - The Claires: An Ascenders

Photo Content from C.L. Gaber

I’m C.L. Gaber, an author and film journalist for the New York Times Syndicate and Chicago Sun Times. I also co-authored Jex Malone series. Originally from Chicago, I make my home in Nevada with my husband, bonus daughter and two unruly dogs.

My husband knows that Ascenders began with me in bathroom half the night writing on tiny notepads because I didn’t want to wake him. When daylight did roll around, I told him, ”Baby, I had the most incredible dream”.


Print Length: 417 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0996242015
Publisher: Big Picture Media Inc. (January 14, 2020)
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Language: English


"Teenage angst like you've never seen it before." —

"I wish I could go back and read it again and again - not knowing what would happen." —, the world's largest Harry Potter site.

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
I'm a journalist for the New York Times who writes about movies and TV. Many times over the years, I’ve interviewed authors of some of my favorite books including Stephen King and J.K. Rowling. Both really inspired me to want to write a novel. Then one night I was in LA about to interview Cher the next day and had a very vivid dream that played out like a movie in my mind. I spent the entire night writing everything down. It became the first chapter of Ascenders.

Tell us your latest news.
Some very exciting things happening! The Ascenders books are in the early stages of being developed for a TV series!!!! And the first spin-off, The Claires just came out. Also, the fifth book in the Ascenders saga, X-Catcher, is going to come out this fall. Lots of very cool things going grateful!

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
I love Stephen King’s rules of building worlds and how you must stick with your rules. I also love how he makes what could be very complex situations both simple and thrilling.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

I had an Ascenders booth at the first “Outlander Con.” A woman came up to me crying with a friend who was also crying. They were in their 50s. One said, “Tell her. You need to tell her.” The woman crying the most said, “We lost my nephew last week in one of the school shootings…and then I read your book. Somehow it makes me feel better that he could be in the kind of afterlife you write about in Ascenders.” I started crying at that point. The readers are everything. I know there is a teen chemo club that reads Ascenders. I get the most beautiful letters from readers.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope it opens their minds to the possibilities. I certainly don’t have answers, but it’s interesting to think about the BIG questions ...that maybe this life isn’t all there is ….that there is more… that this is just stop one on an epic journey of existence.

In your newest book, THE CLAIRES: AN ASCENDERS NOVEL; can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
Absolutely. The Claires have been up to some bad deeds in the Ascenders books. But they’ve also had it pretty tough. They were each born with a special clair gift. Claire V (Violet) is clairvoyant and can see the future. Claire S (Sophia) is clairsentient and can absorb your feelings. Claire A (Alice) is clairaudient and can hear the spirit world. Finally Claire C (Clover) is the most powerful of all. She’s claircognizant and “just knows.” She’s the yoda of the group. They are non-identical quadruplets who die together each time they turn 17….and they were first born in the late 1800s, so there have been many lifetimes with many families. Their stand-alone book explores why this happens, the history of their odd fate and their latest life in current day LA where they hunt supernatural things at night in order to earn the right to live a day past age 17. One last thing, they also deal with their handsome latest “brother” Cass, future Navy Seal, who is an Ascenders favorite.

For those who are unfamiliar with characters, how would you introduce them?
  • I refer to the Claires by just their initial.
  • V (voyant) is quite confused. She’s experiencing romantic feelings for Cass. She acts on those urges.
  • A (audient) is exhausted because the spirits won’t stop talking to her including their original mother from the 1800s who feels she is still in charge. She does call hot fantasy ghosts to her as “boyfriends.”
  • S is overwhelmed because she’s a high school senior who literally feels every feeling from every kid in the school. She has to learn to cope with her own feelings and separate the from the pack.
  • C is overconfident because she’s great at hunting creatures and solving crimes. She just can’t figure out what to do with Emin, a drop-dead sexy, timeless man of mysterious origins, who clearly wants to explore more with her.
If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
What a great question! Well, I’d love to see my main character Walker from Ascenders meet up with Hermoine from Harry Potter. Walker’s a whip smart student journalist with grit, so I’m sure that she would have a lot to talk about with Hermoine. Together, they could probably rule a kingdom or two.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
Walker in Ascenders has grown the most. When we meet her in “Ascenders: High School for the Recently Departed,” she’s 17, living in Chicago and dreaming of working for the New York Times one day. Then she’s in a fatal car crash and finds herself in this realm for people who died young. She’s still wrestling with all the questions of youth while trying to adapt to this new world…and figure out what love is when it enters in the form of rebel Daniel Reid. Walker doesn’t think she can cut it, but learns by rushing in and confronting her deepest fears.

For those who are unfamiliar with your series; ASCENDERS Series, how would you introduce it?
Scientists agree that the human brain doesn’t fully develop until you’re 24-year-old. It begs the question: If you died young…where would you go. Walker, 17, dies in a car crash and wakes up in a much nicer house in an adorable town that looks like a sleepy Michigan town. It’s really a limbo for those who died young, so they can continue to grow and learn until it’s time to move on. There are no rules except you can’t think about or try to go back and check on your former life. Falling in love isn’t encouraged because you don’t know how long you will stay. Walker falls deeply in love with rebel Daniel Reid who died in a car crash with his four other siblings. The only thing is the youngest, Bobby, who is six didn’t ascend with the rest to their new home. Daniel will break the only rule and go back to the site of their plane crash in the Living Realm to find Bobby. He’s sure the kid is just standing there because he told the boy to never go anywhere without holding his older brother’s hand. Walker vows to go with Daniel to take care of unfinished business and see her family one last time.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That there will always be that one kid who needs your kindness. I can picture Kathy B now…cat eyed glasses, too short skirt, a shirt with spaghetti stains on it, hair messy, torn winter coat from her big sister. The kids in elementary school were BRUTAL to her every single day. My friend Barb and I – two nerds in corduroy floods in fourth grade -- made it a point to be nice to her and talk to her every single day no matter what. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life. You know what? You can always find the Kathy B. Give her one kind moment.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Probably losing my mom when I was young. She died of a very rare form of cancer. One day, she was just gone, which taught me that life happens in a blink. Hug the ones you love and tell them how you feel about them.

What's your most missed memory?
I was also very close to my Dad growing up. When I was young, I used to write short stories and bring them outside for him to read. It was the Chicago suburbs. Everyone was always tanning in the driveway! But, he’d read the stories, make comments and I’d go rewrite. It was our thing and I loved doing it.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
I’m such a dog lover, so I’d definitely say that everyone should experience the unconditional love of a pet.

What was a time in your life when you were really scared?
I’m a wussy person on a plane and I fly a lot as a journalist. Once I was in horrible turbulence – rollercoaster ride – over NYC and it was really scary.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I remember covering the Toronto Film Festival, which is grueling, for the New York Times wire and calling my parents to say I’d be home soon. My mom really wanted to go out to dinner with me and I said, “Oh my gosh, no way…I have to write three stories tonight and prep for interviews next week.” I rattled off my busy list of things to her and she was like ‘OK, honey, another time.” You know what? You can’t get that time back. I wish I would have gone out to dinner.

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
I gotta do two…

One is Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.” Reminds me of my college friends.
Two is “It Had to Be You.” I married my high school boyfriend 30 years after we first me. It had to be him! We played it at our wedding. 

Based on the bestselling Ascenders novels by C.L. Gaber
The abilities of the four Claires take shape in the form of Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience and Claircognizance. These abilities allow the gifted to see, hear, know and feel beyond our normal capabilities.

Ever feel like you might be just a bit out of the ordinary, like you might have something “extra?” Take this short quiz to find out if you have any “Clair” DNA!

  • 1. Do you ever see flashes in your mind of someone else’s future…but not your own? Do they seem like still photos that appear in your mind, or more like a short “coming attractions” montage? 
  • 2. Do you see things out of the corner of your eye that cause you to do a double take, and seem to be clues about the future? When you look again, have these visions vanished? 
  • 3. Do you listen to other people’s conversations, and write your own endings in your head? 
  • 4. Do you ever have feelings so strong they manifest physically, causing a warm rush throughout your body, and sudden mood swings? 
  • 5. Do you have strong physical or emotional reactions (like a revved pulse, plummeting stomach, nervousness, or extreme joy) to being in large crowds? 
  • 6. Do you often pick up on the “vibe” of a place before those around you can figure it out? 
  • 7. Do you ever feel a sudden, unexplainable pressure in your ears, followed by brief popping or buzzing sounds? 
  • 8. Do you talk to animals and imagine what they would say back to you? Do these conversations seem real to you, although you don’t often tell others about them? 
  • 9. Do you dream of those who have passed away? Do you look into a crowd, and swear you see someone who should be long gone? Have you ever seen a ghost or spirit? 
  • 10. Do answers of all kinds, from quiz questions to life problems, just occur to you in a rush…and are they almost always right? 
  • 11. Do you just know odd facts that you can’t remember ever learning? In other words: are you usually (and don’t be shy about this) the smartest one in the room? 
  • 12. Do you ever focus hard on a thought or idea, and then watch what you believe manifest before your eyes?
If you answered YES to questions 1, 2 or 3 you might be CLAIRVOYANT—you have clear visions of the future. These are inner images of what will happen. It is often easier to see the future for strangers or acquaintances than for yourself or close family members.

+Plus: You predict what is going to happen …and then it happens.
-Minus: You still have to live in the now.

If you answered YES to questions 4, 5 or 6, you might be CLAIRSENTIENT—you are clear feeling. You have major empathy, absorbing the feelings of others and taking them on as your own, almost as if you’re living another life.

+Plus: You are a great friend because you understand another’s pain and joy.
-Minus: You must also make sure not to let the emotions of others overwhelm you and crowd out your own.

If you answered YES to questions 7, 8 or 9, you might be CLAIRAUDIENT—you are clear hearing. You can listen to what others cannot—like the voices of animals, or even those from the spirit world who might use you as a door between realms, and pass messages through you.

+Plus: You give great advice because you have the wisdom of others coming through you, and you can also be quite comforting to friends who have lost loved ones.
-Minus: You deserve as much down time as you need, but it can be hard to take it. You have to remember to say “be gone” or “go away” when you don’t want any others to enter your private thoughts.

If you answered YES to questions 10, 11 or 12, you might be CLAIRCOGNIZANT—you are clear knowing. You are the touchstone of your friends and family because you are the one with the answers. Always right? You might be a “clair” Yoda.

+Plus: You’re never out of ideas— great ones just keep appearing in your mind.
-Minus: Your gift can put a lot of pressure on you, and you can only stretch yourself so thin.

Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.
But each is named Claire.
Claire V is Clairvoyant—clear seeing with visions of the future.
Claire S is Clairsentient—clear feeling as she embraces another’s pain.
Claire A is Clairaudient—clear hearing to tap into the spirit world.
Claire C is Claircognizant—clear knowing with 100% accuracy.

Born in 1911, they first died together in 1928 at age seventeen. Two months later, they were reborn. And reborn. THE CLAIRES only live to seventeen and then they’re violently murdered. Somewhere in the world, a woman finds out she’s pregnant with quads. The Claires return to a new family as they try to break a curse that guarantees they die young.

It’s current-day Los Angeles, and once again, their seventeenth birthday is looming. Can they save themselves, clean up the streets in the name of penance, and crash their own prom?

The Claires is the first novel spin-off of the best-selling Ascenders Book Saga. Also available in paperback starting on January 14, 2020.

You can purchase The Claires: An Ascenders Novel at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you C.L. GABER for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of THE CLAIRES AND ASCENDERS Series by C. L. Gaber.

FEBRUARY 27th THURSDAY Nay's Pink Bookshelf REVIEW 
FEBRUARY 28th FRIDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW
FEBRUARY 28th FRIDAY Books Less Travelled REVIEW
MARCH 1st SUNDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW 
MARCH 1st SUNDAY J.R.'s Book Reviews REVIEW


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