|All Over the Place|
Serena Clarke, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, All Over the Place.
Genre: Contemporary romantic fiction with a chick lit feel
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Length: 226 pages
Heat rating: Behind closed doors
Tagline: How far would you go to find the place you’re meant to be?
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.
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Livi Callaway, age 25, hair salon manager. Cam Holden, 27, sexy-smart economist.
And a mysterious sexy-cool American!
She was torn between wanting to hug him and shake him. “That was a really, really good thing to do. But, God, you could have got in trouble.”
“No, no.” He shrugged.
“I can’t believe it. Everyone was having such a beautiful time.” She shook her head, embarrassed now at being taken in by the false display. “I really am a sucker.”
“Don’t let that ruin it,” he said. “All the more reason to hold on to the magical bits. Look.” He took her hand and turned her around. Suddenly, countless thousands of white lights were flashing all over the tower, a crazy firefly riot against the gold backdrop. All around them, people broke into spontaneous applause, whistling and whooping in appreciation.
It was perfection. Not even slightly cheesy. She focused high up on the tower, blinking hard, not wanting him to see that she was moved to tears. He squeezed her hand, looking at her under the scatter-gun brightness. His grip was firm and his hand was warm. They were so close. If she looked around now… For a moment, she hovered on the brink. Then, with the hypnotic sparkles of light reflecting in her eyes, she couldn’t hold back any more. She turned to him, her carefully guarded resolve forgotten, and in an instant his lips were on hers, her arms around him. His warm breath mingled with hers as he gave an audible sigh, and she laughed in the kiss, all caution gone. The satchel slipped around between them as he leaned down, but she pushed it aside and pressed against him. As she stood on tiptoe to meld further into his kiss, the crowd seemed to be clapping only for them. In that moment, the city’s magic was as real as the grass under her feet and the tingle of sunburn on her bare arms.
As if on cue, his phone rang again.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I joined the New Writers’ Scheme, part of the Romantic Novelists’ Association in the UK. One of their published authors critiqued All Over the Place, and her advice helped to shape it, and ultimately get it accepted by a publisher.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
When you’re in the flow, and it feels like you’re writing down the story as it’s being given to you. There’s a definite magic happening in those times.
If you could choose anyone to be your mentor who would it be?
The incomparable Nora Ephron. She had such an incredible talent for getting right to the truth of things, with amazing dialogue and flawed but loveable characters. I’m so sad we won’t have any more of her stories.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Don’t worry so much about what people think of you! People will judge no matter what you do, so just go ahead and be yourself.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
Despite a BA in Scandinavian Studies and a Diploma in Equine Management, I’ve done all kinds of completely unrelated jobs – editing an international medical journal, developing photos for the Commonwealth Games, temping in a London law firm, teaching English as a second language to wayward teenagers, and lots more.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I wish I knew! But one thing I’m sure of is that however stories are delivered to readers, we’ll always need people to WRITE them!
What was the proudest moment of your life so far?
There are lots of proud moments involving my children, of course. But something just me would be finishing my first book, All Over the Place. Even if it had never been published, to actually follow it through and FINISH it was a huge achievement. And I’m very happy it was published of course!
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I actually have two favourites. One was a trip to Rarotonga, in the South Pacific – to get married! Magical. The other was a long stint overseas, living in London and travelling around Europe. Lots of the little details in All Over the Place come from that time.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I don’t think it’s possible for a writer to get bored. There’s always something to think about. The real problem is turning your brain OFF – which is a very good problem to have!
If your life became a movie, who would you want to play you?
Oh, Emily Blunt, definitely. She’s much more elegant than I’ll ever be, but I’m sure she could do a great New Zealand accent!
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with my children – they love it!
I'm always ready for a new adventure.
When I'm alone, I do my best thinking.
You'd never be able to tell, but I’m still making it all up as I go along!
If I had a halo it would be somewhere in that pile of unfolded washing in the corner.
If I could do one thing from my bucket list I'd spend an entire spring in Paris.
I can never get enough of watching my boys running wild on the beach because freedom is the most intoxicating thing they know.
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