Friday, 22 February 2013

Please welcome contemporary romance author, Serena Clarke!


Hey all, I'm very excited to have the smart and sassy Serena Clarke over at Cait's Place for a little chat. I've just finished her debut novel a contemporary, All Over The Place and I fell in love with it; it's humour, the pace, the friends, family and the fun of it all sucked me right in. So much so I wrote a review, check it out! Bear in mind folks, that Serena lives in New Zealand so my day which is your morning is her night – I’ll leave you to figure it out :). But the upshot being there will be a time delay in her reply to any of your queries or comments!


All Over the Place - contemporary romance with a chick lit feel!

Livi Callaway has fled back to London after a reality TV disaster in New Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and temptations lie in wait.

Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the Underground – and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights of Paris, via a trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a crazed Australian and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret – while keeping her own.

With help – and occasional hindrance – from her friends, what she eventually finds is something unexpected...sometimes, running away can lead you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.

Thanks so much for having me visit at your place Cait! You’re very welcome, Serena, I’ve been looking forward to having you here.

1. If you knew that no-one would ever read your writing, would you or would you not still write and why? Be honest!
Yes! If I didn’t write, I’d be so cranky. And actually for the entire first draft of All Over the Place, no one read a single word. I didn’t even tell anyone I was writing it! So I kind of know what that feels like anyway. Wow, how exciting to do that without telling anyone. I had to tell all and sundry when I first started. I guess it can be nerve-wracking starting on something so new and daunting. I’m happy for everyone to know about it now!

2. What is your favourite word, and why?
Really, just one? I don’t think a writer could choose only one out of all the thousands out there! And I love how there are new words being born all the time. Adorkable, omnishambles, amazeballs… For funny new words and phrases you can’t go past a Cartoon Network show called Adventure Time. If you have boys you probably know it! It’s alternative, weird and totally watchable. Favourites are ‘oh my Glob’ and ‘drizz’, as in “I'm just sick of having to hide my feelings all the drizz…it's exhausting.” (When you google ‘drizz’, you do find some definitions not suitable for children – but we won’t mention that!) I love these! Amazeballs is over here alright, as in ‘totes amazeballs’. Drizz? Fabulous and oh my Glob – I’m going to start using that. Lol let me know how that goes!

3. How would you like to be remembered?
As someone kind. Sometimes when I look at all the awful things that go on, I think, why can’t we all just be KIND to each other? Of course the world is more complicated than that, I know, but how great it would be if we could take everything back to that starting point. The other side of that is to remember to be kind to yourself too. Sometimes we’re so hard on ourselves – especially women. From what I know of you, you are kind and thoughtful. Thanks Cait – and I’d say the same about you. :) Aw, thanks. We're having a love-in :).

4. When and why was the last time you giggled uncontrollably?
If I’m giggling uncontrollably, I’m with one of my sisters! There’s something about the years of history and knowing each other so well – and maybe we have the same sense of humour. I see the same thing with my two boys – they never laugh as hard as when they’re cracking each other up. It’s funny isn’t it, I see the same thing with my girls. And yes I never giggle as much as when with my sisters, how lucky are we that we have them. Yes, through thick and thin! We don’t see each other as much as we’d like – life’s so busy.

5. What's your favourite photo on display?
A photo of the boys up in a tree in our back yard. It’s like their natural habitat – everywhere we go, if there’s a tree to climb, they’re happy. Tree climbing equals freedom – you’re in your own little world, above earthly worries, with a whole new perspective, literally and figuratively. It can be quite a meditative experience! I spent a lot of my childhood hanging out in trees, and I love seeing my own kids doing the same. Me too, Serena, me too.

6. What’s your favourite season, and why?
Autumn, definitely. In my part of New Zealand, the summers can be so humid. I still don’t understand how there can be 100% humidity when it’s not even raining…and I don’t have to tell you what this means for a curly-haired person! Thank Glob for GHDs. After a long steamy summer (and I don’t mean the good kind of steamy), autumn’s crisp air and warm sun is a big relief. I can feel the relief from here :) It seems awful to wish summer away, doesn’t it? Of course when winter comes, I miss lazing on the beach and going barefoot. You can’t please some people! ;-) Send some of that heat over here please, ‘tis flippin’ freezin’ here at the mo!

7. If you could have chosen your parents, who would you have picked?
Well first off, I think we have exactly the parents we’re meant to have. But, if I was to choose someone else, I’d go for the Obamas! Obviously they’re too young to be my parents, but this is wish-fulfilment, right? Both of them are so strong, smart, attractive and principled. And who doesn’t want to live in the White House? I’m lucky to have some of the official Christmas ornaments that the White House Historical Association puts out each year. (That’s a couple of them in the photo.) They’re exquisite, and each one carries a little bit of magic.

 
Interesting answer, Serena, good one. How do you mean that each ornament carries a bit of magic? I love how one little object can be so evocative. I guess it’s the history, mystery and power associated with the office of president. They're very pretty :).


8. And just for pure, adolescent fun, which superpower would you choose?
Well, I would say teleportation, although I’m not sure that’s on the official list of superpowers! There are so many places in the world I want to see and not nearly enough time (or money) to see them all. And unfortunately I don’t have Air Force One at my disposal! If teleportation doesn’t qualify, then flying, obviously. When I was little I loved an Enid Blyton book called The Wishing Chair, which featured a magical chair that grew wings and took the children on adventures in all kinds of lands. I have kind of a thing about buying old chairs online, but I haven’t found one with wings yet! I like the way you think!!

Thanks for coming to Cait's Place today, Serena, I've really enjoyed having you here :).

Find Serena here:

Website                |             Facebook            |             Twitter                 |              Goodreads

Buy All Over the Place here:

Amazon.com     |             Amazon.co.uk

About Serena Clarke
Serena grew up in a family of itchy-footed readers and dreamers – not concentrating, reading the atlas and Narnia books, and planning to escape somewhere magical as soon as she could. When she was 16, she went from New Zealand to live in Sweden for a year. It was the beginning of many travels and adventures – and quite a few disasters! She didn’t know it at the time, but eventually she’d be grateful for all the downs as well as the ups. As writers say in the face of adversity: “I can use that.” She’s now living back in New Zealand, where she writes stories reflecting her determined belief in magic, possibility, second chances and happy endings.





33 comments:

  1. Hi Cait - thanks so much for having me! It was a lot of fun! Just off to bed now but I hope you and your visitors have a lovely day - look forward to popping back in tomorrow! :-)

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  2. N'Night, Serena, hope you sleep well :)

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  3. Hi, Serena & Cait! Great interview! I've slways wanted to go to Sweden. What did you enjoy the most, Serena?

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    1. Thanks, Kay, for the question! I've always wanted to go to Sweden too, actually.

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  4. great interview, ladies! Serena, your book sounds fab - thanks for sharing!

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  5. Great to meet you Serena! Congrats on your book. I have to say I've found a new word. I love ADORKABLE...I laugh every time I say it. And I'm a huge ornament collector and your White House ornaments look gorgeous!

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    1. Adorkable is rather splendid, isn't it :)lol we'll all be going around saying these in our reviews and interviews now! Thanks for the visit, Christine :)

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  6. It is fab, Kristi, I guarantee it :). Thanks for coming by :)

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    1. :) thanks Lynn, we had fun doing it :)

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  8. My boys watch Adventure Time when it's allowed and, yes - there are some interesting words going on there! Best wishes on your writing career.

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    1. I'll keep on eye out for it -- am loving those words! Thanks for swinging by, Sheri :)

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  9. Adorkable-love it! Fun interview, ladies! Your books sounds like a great read, Serena! Thanks for sharing with us!

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    1. lol it's a fun word isn't it :) thanks for coming by, Jennifer!

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  10. Nice interview! Your book sounds awesome!!!

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  11. Lovely interview, very interesting to read!

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  12. I love that you have a photo of your boys in the tree! You're right - tree climbing does equal freedom. :) Great interview, ladies!

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  13. Great interview, ladies. The Q&A was witty, bright and... adorkable. Serena, I would pick the Obamas, too. Just love them. Best of luck with ALL OVER THE PLACE. I'm off to buy it now! :)

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    1. lol I was just asking for the interview to be called Adorkable, wasn't I!! Thanks, Deborah, for your lovely comments :)

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  14. Wow, it was great to get up this morning and find so many lovely comments! Hi Kay, Kristina, Christine, Lynn, Sheri, Jennifer, D'Ann, Lucy and Juli! Kay, Sweden was just so incredibly beautiful - you would love it. Lucky me, I'm going back to visit later this year. I love that Swedish is the kind of language that lets you just go on joining words together to make one long but incredibly useful and precise word! Happiness for a wordy chick. :-) Sheri, Adventure Time is bizarre isn't it, but so much fun - I like watching it with the boys. That and Phineas and Ferb! And Juli, I don't climb trees enough myself these days - I bet it would be a good place to think about plot problems... Thanks for taking the time to read our chat everyone - and thanks again Cait for having me. It was so much fun! :-)

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  15. Thanks Deborah! I think I'd feel right at home in the White House. ;-) I hope you enjoy All Over the Place! And Christine, I got my ornaments from family in the States, but you can buy them here:http://www.whitehousehistory.org/shop/ I'm so tempted to get more! :-)

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  16. Great post ladies. Those ornaments are pretty. I was thinking how funny it is that, Cait, you're in England and send your heroine to NZ and Serena's in NZ and sends her heroine to England. Just too fun! :D

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    1. Funny is right! Serena spent some time here and loved it so had to write about it, I spent some time in NZ and felt pretty much the same way :) Nicely spotted by you though, Calisa -- you know me well :).

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  17. Great book blurb and interview. This sounds really interesting and I love romance with a chick lit feel, since I read a lot of CL. And London and Paris are two of my favorite cities. Sounds like a wonderful read. Good luck with the book Serena!

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  18. Thanks Eliza, AOTP won't disappoint, this I can promise :). Thanks for swinging by and joining in :)

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  19. Thanks Eliza - I had to send my heroine to Paris so I could relive it myself! And Calisa, as Cait said, well spotted - we've laughed about that too! :-)

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  20. What a fab post ladies, very enjoyable! I think we should get teleportation added to the list of superpowers if it isn't already there Serena, it would be top of my list too.

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  21. Thanks Christy, lovely to see you here :).

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  22. Think of the adventures we could have Christy! Definitely worth writing about. :-)

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  23. Hi Cait, Hi Serena.

    Serena, your book looks great. I really enjoyed that interview. I love meeting and getting to know new (for me) writers.

    Well Cait, this is a grand blog you have here. I'll be back.

    Mx

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    1. Just spotted your comment, thanks Maria :). Can't wait to hang on with you soon xoox

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