for taking time out of her busy schedule
to be with us here at Nose In A Book!
Lauren Clark is the author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. She writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Herbig loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website atwww.laurenclarkbooks.com.
What is was the most fun scene to write in Dancing Naked in Dixie?
That would have to be the scene with Julia trying to get the cab from the two wealthy women in New York City. Julia's tired, cold, and wet, she really wants to go home and the two ladies are rude so she makes up a story that's she has an illness (Athazagoritis), which, of course, is also not real. The women buy the story, though, and spend the next twenty minutes quizzing her on medications, recovery, and the sickness itself. This scene is so Julia, she's very impulsive, though not meaning any harm to anyone. When she acts before she thinks, then Julia often ends up regretting it -- as is the case for these two ladies, who continue to try and "take care of her" long after the cab ride.
What was the most emotional scene to write?
Hands down, the night where it starts snowing in Eufaula. It's a weather rarity, so people get really excited and race outside to see it. Of course, a light dusting of snow looks really magical, like someone sprinkled powdered sugar on rooftops and front yards. Add that to a starry, bright night, and it's the perfect setting for romance. Unfortunately for Julia, Mary Katherine thinks so, too, and makes a public display that Shug is still her boyfriend.
Where did you get your ideas or inspiration for the characters in this book?
I lived near Eufaula for many years and it is one of my favorite places to spend a long afternoon. The homes are amazing, the food is fabulous, and the people take a lot of pride in their community. The Pilgrimage is a great event, especially the candlelight tour!! I had the idea of a big-city travel writer coming to the Deep South for a story--and Eufaula seemed like the perfect place for her to visit. Throw in some controversy, secrets, danger, and romantic tension, and it all fell into place! For the characters, many people in Lower Alabama (LA, as the locals call it) are die-hard Auburn University football team fans. "Jordan" is the last name of one of the famous coaches at Auburn, and I thought it would be fun to name a whole family after people or things that represent this much-loved university.
Is there anything in this book readers may not pick up on that you want to point out?
I'd love for readers to take away that --like Julia-- we all have had preconceived notions about people or locations that may seem different or foreign. Dixie is about opening up to experience everything that life has to offer -- and finding happiness in the most unexpected places.
I love superheroes and know waayyy too much about the powers and history of different characters. For Mother's Day, I went with my two boys (7 and 14) to see "The Avengers" movie! I think I liked it as much as they did (And of course, it helped that all of the good guys were pretty darn hot... and that Scarlett Johansson kicked butt as Black Widow.