Author Interview - Lauren Clark

Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 12:14 AM

Hello Everyone! Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lauren Clark author of Pie Girls.

Hi Lauren, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I grew up in Upstate New York (near Niagara Falls, land of ice and snow! As a child, I spent many of our winters skating, sledding, and playing in the snow, even when it was well below zero!

What were you like at school? I would consider myself a good student in school, though I wish I had pushed myself a little harder. I was a multi-tasker back then, too—always involved in cheerleading, field hockey, soccer, and social activities, as well as my school work.

Were you good at English? It was definitely my best subject and my favorite classes. It was never a chore to write papers, I love reading books, and I adore talking about theme, storyline, characters, and plot. I went on to be an English major in college and a Journalism major during graduate school, so writing it certainly in my blood!

What are your ambitions for your writing career? I’d love to hit the New York Times Bestseller List. That would be surreal.

So, what have you written?
Stay Tuned (2011) – set in Macon, Ga
Dancing Naked in Dixie (2012) – set in Eufaula, Ala
Stardust Summer (2013) – set in Ocean Springs, Miss & Penn Yan, NY
A Very Dixie Christmas (2013) – short story set in Eufaula, Ala. (Part of Merry & Bright ebook)
Pie Girls (August, 2014) – set in Fairhope, Ala.

Why prompted you to write your first book?
I was a television news anchor for six years in New York and Alabama. Before I began working at the first station, there was major personnel upheaval. It seems that the two main anchors, who were embroiled in an on-again, off-again relationship, had a knock-down drag-out fight in the television station parking lot. The police were called, they both lost their jobs, and the story made the local newspaper for weeks. That incident always stuck with me—and I thought it would be even more compelling if it happened on air during a news broadcast. That little nugget became the basis for my first novel, Stay Tuned.

How did you come up with the title for Pie Girls?
I like short, snappy titles – ones that tell the reader something about the story – and a title that a fun, bright cover can be designed around. For me, the novel is about the pie shop, owned by Searcy’s mother, who secretly has always wanted her daughter to come home to Fairhope, Alabama and run the business with her (thus the Pie Girls).

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message is about really knowing yourself and what makes you happy. Searcy has spent her whole life running after a dream—one that she thinks looks perfect to her friends and family. Unfortunately, she’s desperately unhappy and is clinging to the belief that she can just ignore the loneliness she experiences and the problems in her marriage. The message is also about the strength women have when their entire world falls apart. Searcy chooses—after some initial moping—that she will fix her life and make it better. Even when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Searcy learns that she is smart and can persevere.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
When we first meet Searcy, she is a very spoiled Southern belle who’s been pampered and polished to shine in Atlanta’s hottest social scenes. She has a personal shopper, a group of wealthy girlfriends, and a credit card with no limit. She spends her days shopping, going out to lunch, planning parties, and socializing.

What makes her so special is that even in the first chapter, we glimpse the real Searcy. She knows, deep down, that something is wrong, but can’t bring herself to admit it. She projects a positive, upbeat attitude and tries to keep things status quo, because she doesn’t believe she can live without her husband Alton.

Alton’s leaving upends Searcy’s life. At first, it appears that the impending divorce is the end of the world, but Searcy’s journey makes her into an entirely different person—someone caring, giving, empathetic, and truly loving. Best of all, she learns to rely on herself, forgives Alton, and finds true love.

What genre are your books?  I guess you could consider them Southern Women’s fiction, although I definitely would also consider them a hybrid ChickLit category. My wonderful readers have mentioned that if you like Sophie Kinsella and Mary Kay Andrews, you’ll like my books.

What draws you to this genre?  I like strong, smart, but flawed female characters. Romance is a secondary part of the storyline. First and foremost, my novels are about the personal growth of a character—usually by undergoing some personal tragedy or seemingly insurmountable odds. I love the fact that my characters can work through their initial fears or worries and become strong, independent women with bright futures.

Do you write full-time or part-time?  At the present time, I am a part-time writer!  I have a full-time job as a web content manager and social media manager for Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. I’m also in graduate school at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) for a master’s degree in Interactive Technology.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?  Because of my crazy schedule, which also includes my two young sons, I write from 5:30 am – 7:30 am Monday through Friday if possible. I also spend Saturday and Sunday mornings writing, if at all possible.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? When I’m in the midst of writing a first draft, I feel satisfied if I can get down 1,500 – 2,000 words a day.  For me, that’s usually one chapter. I like starting and finishing a chapter in one sitting. It gives me a real sense of completion and gives me something fresh to start with the next day!

Where do your ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere!  For Stay Tuned, it was the fistfight in the parking lot of the TV station. For Dixie, it was based on my own move from New York to Alabama and everything I experienced along the way. For Stardust Summer, I wanted to showcase the glorious lake area near where I grew up and look at an estranged family and how they are able to come together in the face of tragedy, For Pie Girls, it was coming across a fun, funky, community-oriented pie shop in the small town of Greensboro, Alabama, and thinking that I’d love to set something similar in Fairhope, Alabama.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I am definitely a plotter and an outliner. I work from a one or two line “What if?” idea and work out the plot from there. I end up with at least a few sentences about each chapter before I begin writing. I have the major plot points and twists, as well as the ending, mostly worked out before I begin the manuscript.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?  I would love to! In fact, I am debating about writing Book #2 in my Dixie series right now. The people in Eufaula have been asking what’s next for Shug and Julia!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I read all of the time. I listen to audio books all of the time!  My favorite authors include Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, Emily Giffin, Sophie Kinsella, and Jennifer Weiner. I also adore Rainbow Rowell, Veronica Roth, and John Green. Really, there are so many awesome authors! I could be here for hours listing them all!

In what formats is your book available? Ebook and paperback. All are available on Audible as well. The Pie Girls audiobook is in production now!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?  I welcome emails from readers! You can write to me at

Book Purchase Links:

Amazon (US)

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Loren Mathis

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