Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writer Wednesday: An Interview with Lauren Clark



Hi Everyone!! I have the lovely Lauren Clark here today! I'm super excited and already downloaded her book so I can try it out!

Hi! Thanks so much for coming today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.

Tell us a bit about your book.

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? 

Is this part of a series? 
Not yet! I’m toying with the idea of bringing Julia back for another book, but we’ll see what readers say first!

What did you find the hardest part of writing it to be? 

I began writing Dixie about five years ago. I’d put it aside when I decided to stay home with my children. Picking it back up again and delving in was tough!  I had to get to know all of my characters again, revisit the city’s history, and decide how to move the story forward and make it better!

What was your favorite part? 

I used to live near Eufaula and went to the Pilgrimage several times, so it was really fun to “revisit” the city’s history from the 1800s and imagine what it must have been like for the first settlers to live there and watch the area grow and change. I spent a lot of time researching online, at the library, and in books that I have at home.

Rate your story in terms of steaminess

1= Iced Sweet Tea     10 =  Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
Dixie is a 3, as Shug and Julia are in the very beginning of their relationship. At the outset, they are each dating other people and have to choose whether or not to end those relationships. If there’s a sequel, I can really see Dixie 2 being an 8 or better!

Who is your favorite romance author? 

I’m such an eclectic reader and love many authors – Emily Giffin, Juliette Sobanet (Kissed in Paris, Sleeping with Paris) Sophie Kinsella, Alice Hoffman, and Audrey Niffenegger did a great job with The Time Traveler’s Wife. I also just finished El James’ Fifty Shades of Grey….steamy!!
I used to love Nicholas Sparks until several bookstore employees told me that he was really arrogant and dismissive to them during book signings. Such a shame, because he’s talented.

What is your favorite romance book or series?

Although it might be an unusual pick, James Patterson’s Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas is fabulous! I remember being on a long airplane ride to California and another woman was reading it at the same time. During the flight, we checked in with each other several times…”What chapter are you on?” By the time the jet landed, we were BOTH in tears!
I also will admit that I loved the Twilight series. I am in the Jacob camp, though!

Who is your favorite romance character? If you could go on a date with that person, what would you do? Details please! *wink*

I’d love to meet Rhett Butler--who doesn’t love a scoundrel? Scarlett was crazy for pining after Ashley Wilkes (boring!)
For a date, I’d love to dress up, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and dance for hours at one of the many lavish balls in Gone with the Wind. Rhett is dashing and handsome—a man’s man who wasn’t afraid to say what he thought or go after what he wanted in life. I imagine he’d be charming and funny—and unlike Ashley—quite proficient in the romance department!!

Boxers or Briefs?   

BOXERS, please for the love of GOD!

What is next for you? 

I am researching for my next novel, The Pie Lab. The setting will include the real restaurant (of the same name) in Greensboro, Alabama. For this novel, the story will follow a girl who’s gone off to a big city (like Atlanta or New York) and vows NEVER to come home. She’s forced to return to Greensboro, though, when her romantic relationship falls apart. Since she’s burned a lot of bridges, it will be interesting to see how she makes amends. 
The Pie Lab, on its own, is a great concept, as the business offers on the job training and the owners are very active in the community. Added bonus…the pies are delicious! The Pie Lab has been featured in Southern Living and The New York Times.

What were your first impressions of each other?

Julia – I thought Shug Jordan was adorable. He loves his family, Eufaula, and is a guy who fights for what’s right. That’s sexy!
Shug – I thought Julia was cute and a total klutz.

What are your favorite parts about each other?

Julia – Shug’s sense of humor.
Shug – Julia’s eyes and the way she laughs.

What’s next for you?

Julia – I’m on vacation with Shug in Eufaula.
Shug – I bought property in the historic district and am building a house. 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lauren Clark writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.

A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.




BLURB:

Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired.

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? 

EXCERPT

“But, I have plans. Every night next week. Tickets to the Met, a fundraiser, a gallery opening, and I have book club on Monday.” I don’t mention the Filene’s trip I’d planned. Or the romantic date I’ve been promising Andrew, my neglected boyfriend of four years.

David waves a hand to dismiss it all. “Marietta can handle the magazine-related responsibilities.” From the top drawer of his desk he produces an airline ticket and a manila folder with my name on it. He sets them on the edge of his desk. Something I can’t decipher plays on his lips.

I keep my voice even. “What about Bali?” I had planned to leave for the South Pacific a week from Friday. “It’s on my calendar. It’s been on there…”    

David shakes his head. “Not anymore.”

The words wound me like a thousand bee stings.

“Alabama,” David repeats.

My face grows hot. He’s plucked me off a plum assignment without a thought to my ability and my schedule. My new boss is sending me to God knows where and he looks perfectly content.

“If that’s my next assignment,” I sputter, “I’d rather…I’d rather dance naked!”

The announcement comes out much louder than I intend and reverberates through the room. Dolores probably has her ear pressed to the door, but the phrase bounces off my boss like a cotton ball.

David smothers a chuckle. “Suit yourself.”
  
Lauren will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Be sure to click the graphic below so you can find more posts!!




16 comments:

  1. After everything I have read about DANCING NAKED IN DIXIE it sounds like Julia deserves another book. 5 years is a long time between putting down the book & picking it up again. Glad you did though.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Marybelle ~ Five years is a long time! I let a girlfriend and fellow author read it ... and she said YOU MUST finish this book! LOL So I did!

      I would love to write a Book 2 in the series :) Now, if I can just find a few spare hours ... and get some coffee! Lauren

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  2. Thanks for the great interview. This book sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it to see how Julia copes with all that Southern charm.

    e.balinski(at)att(dot)net

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    1. Joanne ~ Thank you so much! Julia tries to escape it at first (she's very good at running away) ... but she is won over pretty swiftly by the kindness of strangers and new friends! Lauren

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  3. Great excerpt...I'm more and more intrigued with every post on the tour. Cool!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. Carrie Ann - Thank you so much for hosting me today! I can't wait to hear what you think about Dancing Naked in Dixie! And although Dixie doesn't have "bite," I hope that readers find it is sweet and delicious ...!

    xx, Lauren

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  5. Vitajex - Thank you for stopping by Carrie Ann's blog :) Lauren

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  6. Yes, please write more stories about Eufuala, please, please. I love the way you write. I want more stories, please.

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    1. MomJane! Thank you!!! :) You are sweet ... maybe I can get started with the kids at camp! xx, Lauren

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  7. I'm still laughing at your comments about the heat level of this book. So a 10 is Molten Chocolate Lava Cake huh? I think the molten center would be liquid caramel....sort of like a Cadbury Caramel Chcolate bar...my favorite!

    Now, I don't know if I asked you this question before or not. It's hard to remember when you're doing dual tours, so in case I did, the ignore me and carry on with your other conversation...but if not, well then, what was the most romantic thing one of your characters said or did?

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    1. Karen - You have some great questions!! Do you run a blog ?? If not, you should!!!!

      Most romantic thing ... right now, with Dixie, Shug being at the hospital when Julia wakes up (as they haven't really, really begun their relationship yet).

      :) Lauren

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    2. Thank you!!! (re: heat level) LOL ... and I LOVE Cadbury Caramel Chocolate Bars YUM!!!!

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  8. Very fun interview. Rhett Butler would be fun to meet.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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