Claire Rebecca McDougall was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her father was a minister who moved the family around Scotland every four years until they settled for good in rural Argyll when Claire was twelve. Argyll’s wild and rugged countryside, with its ancient ruins and standing stones, loomed large in her imagination and would later furnish the themes for her writing.
Once she had finished high school, Claire took a year out to work as an au pair in Stuttgart, Germany, and from there she studied philosophy for four years at Edinburgh University. In her third year, she was an exchange student at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, where she met her husband. After earning her MA, she spent four years on a Haldane scholarship to gain a Master of Letters at Christ Church, Oxford, studying Nietzsche.
After moving to the United States, Claire started work as a journalist, before opting to pursue creative writing full time. Her early efforts were in poetry, but she slowly migrated into short stories and then novels. She has written eight novels and their attendant screenplays. During this time, she earned a black belt in karate and became the mother of three.
Claire is represented by Esmond Harmsworth of Zachary, Shuster, Harmsworth, New York