Claire Nasir: From TV weathergirl to book author
PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 September 2014
From TV weather girl to a five book publishing deal, janet Reeder finds that the outlook is sunny for Clare Nasir
It’s been two and a half years since Clare Nasir moved up north from London with her Radio Six presenter husband Chris Hawkins and she says there’s nowhere quite like it.
She loves heading over to Media City on the Quays, where she’s worked on TV programmes for Cbeebies and in her day job as weather girl because it’s a genuinely creative environment.
‘There’s a company at Media City called Blue PR and the guy who runs it is a brilliant motivational speaker. He’s very good at connecting people and Media City is all about that,’ she tells me over lunch in Bottega Selfridges
‘It’s about inter-connectivity it’s a network where you can talk to the top man and also have access to all the underlying talent that’s there and raring to go. There’s real sense that of everything being everything is open both physically and metaphorically. You can move around at Media City, whereas BBC London was like a labyrinth and you never knew what anyone did.’
She’s no time for her to miss the Islington townhouse and celebrity friends she left behind when she and Chris left a part of the BBC’s Manchester exodus and she sees them on regular visits to the capital anyhow as she can just jump on the train at Wilmslow where she now lives. But it’s a move that has seen her not only developing her TV career but doing what many in the media dream of becoming a writer.
She’s now in a five book deal with a publisher for a series aimed at children aged five to seven, about clouds and loving every minute.
‘I wrote it 13 years ago before I had children,’ says the former GMT weathergirl who had just returned from a London bikini shoot with a national magazine. (Although she a degree in maths and a masters degree in Marine Sciences, she’s perhaps best known for being papped post-baby in a bikini looking overweight, so the fact she’s now a svelte size 10 is still a source of fascination.)
‘It was 9,000 words long and then after having my daughter Sienna, I realised there was no way a parent was ever going to read a book that long for a five year old so it’s been refined and edited down to under 1,000 words now.
‘So Colin is a little cloud who lives at the lower part of the sky and wants adventures he wants to travel round the world seeing deserts and mountain peaks and the only way he can get to the top of the sky is to through a thunderstorm because they have updrafts and downdrafts - that’s your learning point bit of it.
‘He goes to see the wise old cloud which is called Arun - my dad’s name. They go on an adventure and Colin ends up at the top of the sky. The second book is about Steve, who needs a career break - he’s drizzle and wants to be mountain mist!’
Clare readily admits that it would have been so much harder to do the books had she stayed in London.
‘ Since I moved to Cheshire I’ve had a lot more time to develop my writing skills because I’m at home a lot more with Sienna and I met a really lovely network of talented people who’ve been able to really make my dream come true,’ she says.
‘I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a little girl. In fact, I am writing a novel at the moment and am 80,000 words into it.
‘It’s almost like a travelogue because I’ve travelled round the world with my job at CBBC doing programmes about extreme environments - so this is about a girl in search of a healer to save her aunt. But it’s really about living in extreme environments and how your mood and personality reflects that and the people you meet along the way. It’s called Time to Call the Texans. Texans are like Essex boys. they’re a bit brassy, loud and seem superficial but within there’s some goodness and the Texans basically save her from this journey that goes really wrong.’