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first registered 17.04.11

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about me

Like the main character in my novel "Inevitable", I teach languages to adults in Brussels; unlike her, I've never fallen in love with any of my students, though she and I do share a love of coffee, the West Wing, and unbroken book spines.

I have a place on an MFA in Creative Writing at American University (Washington, DC) for 2012.

Agents and publishers, please feel free to contact me at claire.lyman at gmail.com


"Conquering Babel: A Practical Guide to Learning a Language" is now available on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.


If I owe you a read, please feel free to remind me, and if possible send me a couple of chapters by email - it's so much easier to get round to reading if you don't have to be online to do it.

The best way to get me to read your book is to comment on Inevitable first (though if you want to be sure I will return the read, please check first, as there are some genres I avoid).

Note that I back only books I fall in love with,and tend to keep them on my shelf for ages, if possible until they reach the ED.

Thanks to Sheila Streetman for the Inevitable cover and to Bradley Wind for the Primary Season cover.


I've got a lot going on right now (May 2012), not all of it good, so apologies if your messages go unanswered.

favourite books

"Let the Great World Spin" - by Colum McCann
"The Song is You" - by Arthur Phillip
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" - by Mary Ann Schaffer
"One Day" - but David Nicholl
"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niefenegger
"Primary Colors" by Joe Klein
"Come to the Edge" by Christina Haag

.... those are just recent ones! One of my all-time favourites is "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver and I also have really enjoyed non-fiction like "State by State - a Panoramic Portrait of America" and Obama's "the Audacity of Hope"

my websites

http://www.brusselsclaire.blogspot.com     http://pinterest.com/brusselsclaire/inevitable-by-

HarperCollins is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

my books

Primary Season

Claire Lyman

Louisa hates Aaron. She really hates him. Or at least it would be simpler if she did.

There's a job to do. There's a cause to promote. There's an election to - well, not win, exactly, but at least kill yourself taking part in. There's no time for distractions. There's no time for forbidden love.


Conquering Babel: a practical ....


This time, you're determined: you're really going to learn a language. Except, how? Where do you even start?

i would really love your feedback as I've now e-published and want to make the next update even better! Please take a look at my table of contents (chapter 14) - am I missing anything you can think of? Do you have questions that aren't covered or suggestions for things to add? If you can, take a look at a random chapter too and.do flag up anything - typos included!



Claire Lyman

Fall in love, and it might change everything. Your plans, your future, you. Maybe even your politics.

Kate has taught French to dozens of people, but she has never met anyone like Brad, a diplomat who teaches her to love America and follow her dreams. But an ambiguous friendship in Brad’s past casts a shadow over what could be between them.

Years later, as she reminisces from Washington DC, she wonders if they each made the right choices with their lives. By 2035, she is a US Senator, enduring attacks from the opposition as she fights for a paid parental leave bill.

Inevitable explores the age-old question: is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? And if your pain has the potential to lead indirectly to good for thousands, millions, of people, is it worth it?

Note to HarperCollins editor/reader: this book fits best in the women's fiction genre (not chick lit, and not traditional romance). Looking forward to your comments!


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tone099 wrote 71 days ago

Brussels, huh? I spent a lot of my teen years in Mons. I loved it. ....

Anthony Brady wrote 166 days ago

Claire - Greetings I am pushing forward to the Editor's Choice and....

katie78 wrote 202 days ago


katie78 wrote 204 days ago

do you know that when i go to your blog, it says i can't enter until ....

Kenneth Edward Lim wrote 208 days ago

Claire, My novel - "The North Korean" - has hit a snag at number 3 p....

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my comments


I wrote 726 days ago

I'm not sure about the beginning. It feels a little as if you're trying to inject information into the dialogue for the benefit of the reader rather than painting a genuine scene. Which is a little unfair, because these people definitely do exist - maybe this scene would work better at a different p... view book

I wrote 748 days ago

I love the title. There's something romantic and melancholic about it that draws me. I also ilke the pitch - it's historical fiction but themes we can all identify with - love for our children, wanting to be with someone we can't be with... I like the prologue too (though I confess I am not a fa... view book

I wrote 748 days ago

I have to say I am really intrigued by this title... very original! But then looking at the short and long pitch I wonder why you've called it that... guess I'll need to read it to find out! A few small points to help you tighten your writing... watch your tenses - you have "I shout" but "He cried"... view book

I wrote 748 days ago

Hi Janelle, I have to agree with Charlotte, below (I don't normally read other crits before I add my own but this one caught my eye) - the beginning is good. You really know how to set the scene. Though (tiny nit), I don't think you need "Turning the day into night" - "darkness had crept over th... view book

I wrote 748 days ago

Hi MIchael, I had a look at chapter 6 since I suppose you've had more comments on the end of the book than the beginning. Nice job personalising the room though and giving it power. "it is as dull as it is interesting"... I'm not sure what this means. It can't be dull if it's interesting?! Now f... view book

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