When I first met Lori L. Clark, I was immediately struck by her quick wit and awesome sense of humor. Lori is fun, optimistic, and genuinely kind. Having had the pleasure of reading her novel, Tyler Falls, (which you can find on Amazon) I can also say she’s a skilled writer with a knack for damned good storytelling.
When I began doing author interviews on this blog, I did it with a mission in mind: to heighten the awareness of the works
Interview by Jared S. Anderson
written by the author’s I admire. Lori Clark was one of the first people I wanted to ask. As someone who has been on both sides of the publishing spectrum (self-publishing and traditional publishing), I thought she’d give a pretty interesting interview. I was right. Oh… and by the way, I did get her number…
You can find her books on Amazon.com. Also be sure to check her out at: http://www.clarklori.com/ and: http://justbookinaround.blogspot.com/ and: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Just-Bookin-Around/212483995430964
Q: How many completed novels do you have?
A: I have 3 completed, and one WIP.
Beauty’s Beholder (YA contemporary)
Between the Moon & Shine (MG fantasy)
and Tyler Falls (YA contemporary)
Q: You have recently been accepted for publication by a traditional publishing press. What is that like?
A: I have to be honest here, although I’m thrilled that Between the Moon & Shine has been picked up by a local publisher, it’s not as exciting as getting a call from an agent who has an offer of representation must be. I think every author dreams of having several agents “fight” over your manuscript and then having it go on to receive a 6+ figure deal. I think once the book actually hits the stores, then the reality of it will sink in for real.
Q: What is the basic storyline of this novel?
A: This is (somewhat) the query letter I used:
Fourteen-year-old Bobbi Flowers wishes on a falling star for a summer to remember. Rescuing her twin brother from Trogs and meeting a sixteen-year-old boy who claims he’s over half a century old isn’t what she has in mind.
When her brother is kidnapped one night, Bobbi sets out to find him. Armed with her Louisville Slugger (to wallop those creepy Trogs into the next county) and ajar of peanut butter (in case she gets hungry), her search leads her through a portal in the woods to The Over there — and Michael. Michael’s sixteen going on sixty and wants nothing to do with an outsider. When Bobbi saves his little brother’s life, Michael reluctantly agrees to help her. It becomes a race against time when Michael tells her that each night she spends in The Over there might mean years — if not decades — will pass before she returns home. Staying fourteen forever doesn’t sound like much fun and going home decades in the future doesn’t either.
Q: When are you expecting the book to be released?
A: I have no idea how long it takes these things to come out! Summer of 2014.
Q: Having traveled down both paths, what are the major differences, in your experience, between self-publishing and traditional publishing?
A: Traditional publishing takes so much longer for the book to come out. Self-publishing is much faster. I’ve always been a bit of a self-published book snob. Assuming someone who was unable to get an agent or publisher to take on their work must not be a very good writer. I don’t believe that anymore. I’ve read a huge number of self-published and e-published books lately that are surprisingly very good. I believe there is still an unfair negative attitude toward self-published authors and/or books though.
Q: What is your usual writing process?
A: I get a seed of an idea and then I rough out some of the characters and details in a notebook by hand. Other than these details and minimal outlining, I tend to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants style writer. I know some authors painstakingly map out practically the whole book. I am not one of those authors. As close as I come to that is writing in my notebook what I want to have happen in the next few chapters with a few sentences for each chapter.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Books, the success stories of other writers, song lyrics and dreams.
Q: What are some of the books you love?
A: I am a huge fan of YA. Especially contemporary. The Hate List by Jennifer Brown, Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, anything by Ilsa J. Bick and Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala. The list goes on and on.
Q: Do you have a muse?
A: If you promise not to tell anyone… the voices inside my head tell me what to write. It’s more like each main character from my books takes on a life of their own inside my mind and “they” tell me what to write. Is it any wonder so many writers/authors also have had mental issues?
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: A YA contemporary with the working title of Breaker. It’s about an overweight girl with a beautiful voice who can’t get people to take her seriously due to her appearance.
Q: Aside from writing, what do you love?
A: Reading and running are two big time fillers for me. I love going to concerts and my Miniature Pinscher — Barkley.
Q: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
A: Getting the initial spark for an idea is a lot of fun and the excitement that comes with putting pen to paper. After that, seeing “THE END” is pretty awesome too.
Q: What is your ultimate goal in writing?
A: I could say to become rich like JK Rowling or have one (or more) of my books become a household name like “Fifty Shades of Grey” or as wildly popular as the Hunger Games trilogy.
Q: When and why did you decide to become a writer?
A: I’ve always enjoyed writing, and found it easier to express myself through the written word, but I didn’t get serious about it until a few years ago when I moved, which is sort of ironic considering I was born in Iowa City, IA and lived within a few miles of there all my life prior to 2007. Every writer knows why that’s ironic and what Iowa City is famous for.
Q: Who is your greatest supporter?
A: My mom is proud that I’ve finally taken up something she approves of. I also have a good friend in North Carolina who reads everything I write and gives me moral support and suggestions.
Q: Since you began writing novels, what have you learned about yourself?
A: I have a pretty creative imagination and I’m even more impatient than I thought I was.
Q: In your opinion, what main qualities should a book have in order to be damned good?
A: A likeable and interesting main character. Someone people can identify with or empathize with. Unpredictability and pacing that doesn’t make me fall asleep. One of my biggest pet peeves is for an author to name their character something I don’t know how to pronounce. If I can’t pronounce his or her name I stumble over it every time it’s written in the book.
Q: Who do you most hope will really love your upcoming novel?
A: Everyone who reads it. I’m so sensitive, I’m sure the first bad reviews I read are going to crush me.
Q: Do you have any particular marketing plans for this novel?
A: I think it’s important to have an online platform in place. I have an author’s page, a book review blog, a twitter account, etc. I plan to do a lot of word of mouth online promoting. I also would love to spend time at the local indie book stores.
Q: When your novel is released, I’d love to get you in for a book signing. Sound good?
A: I would love that!
Q: You’re pretty cute. Can I have your number?
A: Ha! If I were younger I would have already been your number 1 stalker. See me hiding behind those parked cars over there?