Hi, Lauren! Great to have you here and be a part of your ongoing tour - looking forward to finding out more about you and your work. Let's get started…
1) What kind of music do you like?
I’m so eclectic when it comes to my musical tastes! I like just about everything—from 80s music to country and the most popular songs on the radio today. Here are some of my favorites that also remind me of the Pie Girls storyline:
Downtown, Lady Antebellum – The lyrics of this song fit Searcy’s life to a “T.” She’s longing to be downtown Atlanta on her anniversary, celebrating and having fun with Alton and her best friends. If you haven’t watched this video, it’s hilarious!
Wide Awake, Katy Perry – This song definitely mirrors the beginning of Searcy’s transformation. The lyrics are so powerful, as is the video. Here, Searcy is realizing that she was never living an authentic life with Alton. It’s difficult to swallow, but necessary for her growth into a really fabulous person.
Happy, Pharrell Williams – I love a happy ending, and that’s what Pie Girls delivers! You’ll have to read to find out what I’m talking about!
2) Describe your dream home…
I actually feel like I’m lucky enough to own my dream home. I’m very traditional and like airy, open spaces. I have a cottage-style house, which is a popular Deep South home. It has large windows, big window boxes full of flowers, and is cozy and warm, but large enough to entertain my friends. It’s painted in cool colors on the inside, shades of slate blue and gray. My favorite room is my office, where I do my writing and keep shelves and shelves full of books!
3) Favorite literary hero & heroine?
Gosh, I would have to say that I love Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. I adore a strong, spunky heroine. She’s smart and resourceful, loves her family, and finds bravery in the moments of deepest despair. I think Suzanne Collins did a brilliant job of defining and developing her character.
As for a hero, I would have to say that I adore T.J. Callahan from Tracie Garvis Graves’ On the Island. He undergoes such a transformation from teenager to man during the course of the story and his love for Anna is definitely the stuff of happily ever after.
4) What are you reading now?
I just finished One Plus One by Jo Jo Moyes. It was very good and had some laugh-out-loud parts, as well as some chapters that made me teary. I also recently finished Chris Bohjalian’s Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, which is a little darker and deeper. Brilliant writing and a gripping story! I’m about to begin Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings, and am eagerly awaiting Sophie Kinsella’s newest, which comes out this fall.
5) What did you do on your last birthday?
On my last birthday, I spent the day with my two boys and went out to dinner with one of my best friends and the boys to Fuego, my favorite local Coastal Mexican restaurant in Mobile, Ala. I prefer a casual day, as I’d rather save the big birthday celebrations for my sons!
6) What comes first, plot or characters?
Plot definitely comes first for me. I usually have a “What if” question that I answer. For example, with my novel Stay Tuned, the question was “What if two TV news anchors get into a fist fight during a live newscast?” With Pie Girls, my question was “What if a spoiled Southern belle’s life turns upside down when her husband decides to leave her for another man?”
7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Fortunately, no. Thank the writing gods!
8) Do you ever want to be someone else? Who?
If I had to choose to be someone else, I would love to be Jodi Picoult, even for just a day. She is a brilliant writer and so prolific. She’s amazing in the way that she keeps churning out compelling books that make a reader stop and think about life, love, loss, and redemption.
9) What’s next for you?
I’m tossing around several ideas right now, including a sequel to Dancing Naked in Dixie. After traveling quite a bit this summer, I’m also intrigued with the idea of writing a story about a girl who works in an airport and lives in her own sheltered world while watching all of the passengers come and go. I’d love for her to develop a love interest and break out of her bubble in a big way!
I’m working on a suspense novel, Center of Gravity, which will come out in July of 2015 with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson.
by Lauren Clark
Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style.
But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man.
Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s is thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever.
Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls.
"C.C.," I exclaim, standing on tiptoes for an air kiss. "What a lovely surprise."
She clears her throat, and I step back. "You haven't greeted my Precious," C.C. warns in a lilting voice, tilting her head toward the pink sequined bag hanging over her left forearm.
Precious? Like as in the Lord of the Rings? Surely she doesn't mean...
A tiny black nose and beady eyes poke out of the bag.
"Eek!" I jump back and squeal, clapping a hand to my chest and dropping the keys.
The dog—if you can call it that—begins yipping and complaining like I've just whipped it with a cat o' nine tails.
I freeze in place, flush a lovely shade of violet, and want to self-destruct; certain that I've committed what equates to a mortal sin in the world according to C.C. Anderson. She's carrying her new puppy, a tiny Min-Pin; complete with pink collar and matching pink toenails.
"I'm so sorry—"
C.C. waves her own pink manicured fingernails an inch from my face.
"Mama's poor little baby," she coos in a high-pitched falsetto. "Are you okay, my sweetie-weetie, lovey girl?"
My jaw drops open slightly. I've never heard the woman utter a word of endearment toward any human being or living creature.
When I first dated Alton, I was almost certain that C.C., in fact, was among the un-dead. Five years ago, when she and Alton’s father decided to move to Atlanta—under the auspices of closer to their only son—I almost had him talked into buying some dove's blood from Marie Laveau's shop in New Orleans just to see if she'd drink it.
"Mama's Precious will be all right, won't she?" C.C. continues. "Searcy's just a bad girl. She'll do better, I promise, darling."
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lauren Clark writes contemporary Southern novels 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.
She is the author of four award-winning novels, Dancing Naked in Dixie, Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Pie Girls, as well as a short story, A Very Dixie Christmas, published in the Merry & Bright holiday collection. Lauren is a member of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and the Mobile Writers Guild. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
Lauren will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Lauren will be popping in and out to answer your questions and comments - bring them on!!