Meet Claire Heyworth Barnes from Megan Mulry’s In Love Again

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Good morning, Claire!  Can you please describe yourself in five words or less.

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Shy. Hopeful. Honest. Tender. Loving.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Claire Heyworth Barnes?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  For most of my adult life, I lived in a remote castle in northern Scotland. I oversaw the maintenance and staff, the gardens, repairs, that sort of thing, while raising my daughter Lydia. It was much like running a hotel and, without sounding immodest, I think I was fairly good at it–even though my despicable ex-husband always made me feel like a worthless hausfrau. Now, since I’ve moved to New York City, I get up at seven each morning and take the Lexington Avenue bus to my new job at a high-end interior design firm on the Upper East Side. I love the camaraderie of working in a busy office and the actual work of helping people design the space where they live. At night, I usually meet up with Ben and we go to dinner or a movie (or straight to bed, because sometimes a person is just…tired). I also love walking around New York City and having a coffee in a random coffee shop or lingering in Gramercy Park for no reason whatsoever.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Ben?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Intense. Loyal. Delicious.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about him?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Ben is very short-tempered…but if I’m being honest, I can’t say I find it all that exasperating because it usually means he really wants to get me into bed as quickly as possible. So. Not all that exasperating.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Oh my, that’s a cruel question. I used to think I never would have married Freddy, but then I would never have had Lydia and I adore that fierce terror of a girl. So, I guess I really believe that everything happened as it had to happen. Maybe if I had married Ben when we were young and starry-eyed I never would have appreciated how incredibly lucky we were to have found each other in the first place. I like to think that.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  I love to leave the apartment with nothing but the clothes on my back and a twenty dollar bill in my pocket. Walking around New York City without ID or a cell phone or anything at all makes me feel like an untethered creature, free of every worldly constraint.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t making a second chance for yourself?

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  I love to go out into the countryside around Ben’s house in Litchfield, Connecticut. I love staring at leaves and grass and water and clouds and letting my mind wander as we walk through the forest. I love to think about color and design and how people’s surroundings–their homes–affect how they feel, how they actually live their lives.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Loving family in happy home.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Claire Heyworth Barnes]  Thank you for having me!

About the book

IN LOVE AGAIN – Megan Mulry

The Marchioness of Wick is about to get a second chance at life…whether she wants it or not. After twenty years in a loveless marriage to a duplicitous British aristocrat, Claire Heyworth Barnes finds herself broke and alone. Encouraged by her dynamic American sisters-in-law, the shy royal decides to start over in New York City. After landing a job with an interior designer, Claire reconnects with the first-and only-man she ever loved, Dr. Ben Hayek. Can they build a new love from an old flame? Or will a bitter past and a complicated future stand in their way?