Claire Russell

Claire Anne Russell is an ex-banker who, until recently taking time off to have her first child, has spent the past two years recruiting financial modellers for a client base of life companies, pensions consultancies and general insurance providers. Prior to that Claire lived in Kenya and, before that, Luxembourg. She holds a degree in English.

Claire came on board the drafting and review process with a vengeance in the summer of 2008, after first requesting copy then reliably and consistently saying constructive things about anything I gave her to read. She has since provided feedback and criticism on every section of the book and reviewed all the woven chapters at least once. Claire was as close to the second half of the drafting process as anyone.  I spent 19 months putting copy under her nose on a weekly basis, as she helped me arrange particular plot devices and sections of the narrative. She was the driver to several major scriptural revisions and (successfully) argued that I should be straightforward about some of the more risqué aspects of the adventure.

Crucially though, she stood by me through the period between June 2008 and February 2010, while I ground through my brain-numbing double life of writing every weekend, working every week and supporting my mother through her final year. Claire offered understanding and moral backing during some very dark hours. Her capacity to remain interested, engaged and encouraging while I was in an exceptionally self-involved chapter in my life was truly remarkable.

In addition, as a result of an enquiring mind and a superb memory, Claire developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of my life (bearing the brunt when I rambled on about its minutiae), including friends, family, business, ex-girlfriends, potential girlfriends and, of course, my hobo phase.

Her hobbies include exploring foreign cultures, singing, amateur dramatics, eating out and eating in. She has a fixation with globes (there are 20 scattered around her house). Claire lives in Wimbledon with her husband, Alan, and her daughter, Matilda, who was born at 7.11pm on 26 March 2010, weighing six pounds and six ounces.

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