What’s up, my peeps? It’s been about a month since I’ve posted anything. Sorry about that! I’ve been insanely busy with the band. I’ll tell you all about it soon, but today is about someone else! My friend, Serena Clarke, has a new book out and she is visiting my blog today to tell us all about it!
Hi Serena! Thank you for visiting my blog!
Thanks Kristy! It’s so great to be here. I’ve been lucky enough to hear some of your music – you know I’m a fan!
*Blushing* Thank you! I’m a fan of yours as well!
First and foremost, congratulations on your new book, “All Over The Place”!
I have not had the pleasure of reading it yet, so please tell us what it is about.
The starting point for All Over the Place was something that happened on the Underground when I lived in London. It was late, there was a guy…and a misunderstanding! It wasn’t exactly the same as Livi’s encounter with her mysterious American, but it got me thinking about all the people you cross paths with during your day. One of those people might lead you in a new direction. But which direction – and which person – is the right one for you? Here’s the blurb:
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.
Because I know you on a more personal level, I know you love music. Did/do you have a playlist for “All Over The Place”?
Mostly I don’t have music on while I’m actually writing. But while I was researching (that’s what writers get to call randomly messing around on the internet!) I listened to a lot from The Libertines and Babyshambles.
Pete Doherty is a model of chaotic, brilliant, disastrous genius – you’ll spot his influence in All Over the Place! (Try http://frenchdogblues.com/ to see what I mean.)
All authors have been inspired by other authors. Who has inspired you?
Where to begin…Anne Tyler, Bill Bryson, Cathy Yardley, Alice Hoffman, Sarah-Kate Lynch. All the writers of funny, real, feisty, chick lit. Anyone who’s mastered the art of the happy ending. And now I’d add all the gorgeous writers I’ve met recently, who inspire me with their determination and their wonderful books!
You have prepared something for this blog post that blew me away when I read it. It is such an interesting view on this. Also I love it because it is about musicians.
27 = a dangerous number
You’ve probably heard of the 27 Club – that exclusive group of musicians who died at the age of 27, after a short life of wild excess. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all joined the club, leaving their fans bereft and guaranteeing themselves a place in rock legend.
That rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, huh? You wouldn’t read about it! And if you did, you wouldn’t believe it. That’s the trick with fiction. People want a page-turner. But if you put in something really extraordinary, they say ‘pfft, that would never happen!’ Well, I’m here to tell you that it would! Here are just a few things I discovered while researching for All Over the Place:
Jim Morrison is in the club – he died when he was 27. Well, that’s what they WANT us to believe. Actually, he’s alive and living in the Seychelles. No, he’s really a cowboy in Oregon. And he also has a regular gig playing a small club in Anaheim. Seriously though, he’s in the Lone Star state: Stephen King reports picking up a hitchhiker in Texas he swears was Jim Morrison.
There’s no disagreement about the fact that Brian Jones from the Rolling Stones was 27 when he died. He drowned in the swimming pool at his English country house, the former home of Pooh Bear and the real Christopher Robin. Murder was suspected, but never proven. Later, the swimming pool was re-tiled. And in 2001 – not wanting to let an opportunity go to waste – the Brian Jones Fan Club offered the old tiles to souvenir hunters for £130 each, every one numbered, with a certificate of authenticity.
And don’t people love to blame their mothers for their problems? Try this one. Everyone knows the story of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. When she was found dead in their hotel bathroom with a single stab wound, Sid claimed to know nothing about it. He overdosed not long afterwards, having only made it to 21. It’s rumored that his mother confessed to giving him a lethal injection of heroin, so he wouldn’t have to face a jail term for Nancy’s murder. No one knows where his ashes are – some say his mother scattered them on Nancy’s grave in Philadelphia. But witnesses claim to have seen her accidentally spill them at London’s Heathrow airport, where they were blown around by the airport ventilation system. Thanks mum.
“There’s nothing glorious in dying,” wrote Johnny Rotten later, in his autobiography. “Anyone can do it.”
As I write this, the Brits – the British music awards – are on TV. I wonder what stories we’re yet to hear about today’s stars, up there collecting their statuettes. Some of them have made it to 28 and beyond already. Others are still waiting to discover what 27 holds. Whatever happens, you’re sure to read about it. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction…but turning it into fiction can be a lot of fun!
Wow! Thank you SO much for stopping by today, Serena! It’s been so much fun having you here! Best of luck with All Over The Place and your future books! I’m excited to see what the future holds for you!
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!
Find Serena here
Buy All Over the Place here