You've found the home on the net for romance writer, LaVerne Clark. Thanks for visiting! :)

I write suspense and light fantasy/paranormal set in the beautiful country of New Zealand. A land of myths and magic, Aotearoa (Maori for Long White Cloud) has always been a storytelling nation and it is my pleasure to share mine with you.

Make yourself your drink of choice, stay a while and feel free to leave comments. I love to meet new friends.

Heartpounding suspense and fantasy Downunder

Thursday, February 28, 2013

All Over the Place - Serena Clarke

I'm super excited to introduce another wonderful New Zealand author to you today and honoured to be included on her blog tour for her shiny and spanking-new debut book, All Over the Place. Please welcome Serena Clarke as she shares a glimpse of what makes her tick! 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ll happily admit to being a wide-eyed optimist and (according to my biography, so it must be true) a believer in magic, possibility and second chances. A mother of boys, baker of chocolate slice, and occasional freelance writer, editor and proofreader. A lover of snappy dialogue, triumph over adversity and happy endings. Like lots of New Zealanders, a keen traveller. And, like all writers, a burner of candles at both ends!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s an interesting question! You could say a ‘writer’ is anyone who writes. It doesn’t depend on being published – as long as you’re putting pen to paper/fingers to keyboard, in a creative process, you’re a writer. One thing I’ve noticed is how supremely single-minded a lot of writers are. It definitely takes a certain strange kind of obsession! This picture has been doing the rounds lately – I think it sums it up nicely! 

Hehehe - that is does! Do you remember what inspired you to write your first book?
It was a looming birthday. I won’t say which one – a lady never reveals her age, of course. But it was a big enough roundy number that it got me thinking – when exactly was I going to to write this book?!

I love call stories. Can you tell us about yours and your reaction?
Mine is very unglamorous! Because of the time difference between NZ and the USA, by the time we get out of bed the Americans have been working away for hours. When I started submitting to the States, I’d wake up every morning and immediately grab my laptop, with crinkled pyjamas, hair on end and smudgy morning face. So that was how I looked when I opened the fateful email!

Oh! Not only do we have the same last name (although yours is more exotic with the extra 'e', but we mirror each other in the 'after submission syndrome' :) What drew you to write your chosen genre?
It chose me! I had a good idea of the plot for All Over the Place, but I didn’t know quite how it would ‘sound’ until I started writing. It turned out to be a contemporary story with a chick lit feel – the kind of book I like to read myself. It’s as much about Livi figuring her life out, as about the romance – but there is a gorgeously happy ending!

 I can't wait to get my copy - it sounds great! And I adore your cover. I bet you're thrilled with it! What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?
Finding time to do it at all! Usually once I’m underway, I’m okay. If things aren’t flowing, I’ve learned to skip to another scene and work on that, then go back to the tricky part. And dialogue often saves me – I let the characters talk amongst themselves, and madly take notes, then go from there!

Has anything coincidental happened in the real world while writing one of your books in terms of the characters, scenes or world you’ve created?
Yes, lots of things! It seems like a kind of synchronicity goes on in the universe. I’m constantly finding something in the newspaper, or seeing something on TV, and saying to my husband, “That’s in my book!” It just goes to show that ideas are out there for the taking.

Which one of your books is your ‘baby’ and why?
All Over the Place is my first book, so it’s my baby. But there is a sibling on the way, and I have to say I’m getting very fond of it…

What are you working on right now?
The sibling! It has the same feeling as All Over the Place – a story with adventure, friendship and true love. And a happy ending! London, California, matchmaking, bees, Iggy Pop, loss and acceptance, secrets and sandcastles. A hostage drama, flash mobs, people power in a hyper-connected world, true love, and the trials and joys of sisterhood. Hopefully it’s not far away now…

That sounds fabulous! I'm intrigued by the mention of flash mobs...What fun! Latest news?
I’m on tour! At my website you can see where I’ve been and what’s coming up to celebrate the release of All Over the Place. I’m having a great time visiting with writers and bloggers all over the world – yes, all over the place! And you should see some of the questions they’ve asked!

Where can we find you and your books?
At all these places – and I’d love to hear from you!

Find Serena here

Buy All Over the Place here

About All Over the Place
Contemporary romantic fiction with a chick lit feel – available now!

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.

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 and second chances – and happy endings!


  1. Congratulations on the debut release, Serena - how exciting! Love the "weird writer" picture, very apt, I'd say. Also enjoyed the blurb, intriguing about a disaster, meeting a sexy American on the underground, the different locations - really does sound like a great read.

  2. Thanks Melissa - I had such a lot of fun writing it! And thanks for having me LaVerne - it's great to be here! :-)

  3. ha ha!!! someone had posted that "weird writer" picture on facebook a few months's hysterical! Congrats on your release. So exciting! I just snagged my copy for my Kindle App. Can't wait to read it!

  4. Lovely interview, ladies -- I sure as heck envy you both in NZ. I loved Nelson when I was there, a very gorgeous place to live. One of my travelling partners settled in Nelson for a while too, I was always threatening to visit him. Ah happy days. I'm digressing! All Over the Place was drop dead fabulous, I really enjoyed reading it and Livi still lives in my mind, bless her. So I'm hugely glad she had such a glorious HEA. Great one, Serena :).

  5. It's a pleasure to meet you, Serena! I loved the interview and getting to know you better. Can't wait to read your book. I know it's going to do GREAT! :-)

  6. Congratulations on your new release. Enjoyed your interview. I always like learning about new authors. Best wishes for great sales.

  7. Wonderful interview, gorgeous cover, and great blurb. Of course I ordered it to my kindle. : )

  8. Two of my fave Kiwis! And both named Clark(e), how fun is that? Hi Serena and LaVerne. Great interview. I chuckled at the call story, lovely to be inconspicuous, ain't it? :D And you're my new cp! Love that!

  9. Thank you everyone for such lovely comments, and especially for buying the book! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Let me know how you go. Cait, I hope we'll see you back in NZ one day! :-)

  10. Hi Calisa - think our messages crossed in cyberspace! Lovely to 'see' you here. You can't tell, but I actually look quite presentable at the moment! ;-)

  11. Hi Serena,
    Nic interview. Congratulations on your first book. It is rather like giving birth to your first child.I am just across the water from you in Oz, so I like to support my Kiwi friends.



  12. Hi Serena

    Great interview. I chuckled all over again about that pic of the weird writer. When we were kids we actually wore clothes like that, little puff sleeves and all....I'd almost forgotten.

    Congrats on your book...I love the cover and I love the premise and I've marked it on my to be read pile.

    At the moment I'm reading Fast Forward by Juliet Madison which is hilariouly funny and I must say your book sounds just as intriguing.

    Wishing you a squillion sales.

  13. Thanks Margaret and Shirley - it's lovely to have your support! A squillion sales sounds good! :-)