Today I'm so excited to tell you about the latest release from Lauren Clark. I'm a huge fan of Lauren's books, so when I heard she'd published a new book recently, I couldn't wait to read it. In addition to my review, which you'll find below, Lauren stopped by to answer a few questions and was gracious enough to offer an AMAZING giveaway, which you'll find at the bottom of this post. THANK YOU, LAUREN!
I read The World Breaks Everyone in just a few days. Here's what I thought about it...
Every once in a while you read a book that you can picture on the big screen as a major motion picture from the very first chapter. Lauren Clark’s The World Breaks Everyone is just that book. When seventeen-year-old Olivia Jacob’s father is brutally beaten on his restaurant’s opening night, Olivia finds herself on the run. Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, the story is an action-packed thriller, telling a compelling story from the point of view of both Olivia and Kate, her father’s girlfriend. Lauren’s beautiful and lyrical descriptives are the perfect complement to her nail-biting suspenseful scenes. And there are plenty here to keep the pages turning. If you are looking for a book with perfectly weaved stories, engaging characters, unexpected twists, beautiful writing, and edge of your seat suspense, The World Breaks Everyone will not disappoint!
Hi Lauren - thank you for stopping by! Tell us about The World Breaks Everyone and what inspired you to write it.
New Orleans is such a fascinating place for a writer! I decided several years ago that I needed to write something set in or near the city and it was then that the idea for Olivia’s story began to form. I really love the New Orleans music and food scene, too—it’s so vibrant and rich. I kept visualizing a dream restaurant opening, an attack on Olivia and her father, and the story behind why someone would want to hurt them.
Can you tell us a little bit about the title and the cover, both of which are wonderful?
When I was crafting Olivia’s story, and piling so much angst on her shoulders, I kept coming back to whether the world I’d created would break her or not. She endures so much loss and betrayal. Watching her (and Kate) persevere is a testament to the human spirit and to love the love that exists between a parent and child.
For the cover, which I adore, I can thank the team at Damonza.com. I was scrolling through his website and happened upon an image that ultimately became the final cover. With some conversation and graphic design magic, I had what I consider to be the perfect cover to represent the story. The background is Lake Pontchartrain and the causeway that connects the cities of Slidell and New Orleans—a memorable and scenic drive if you’ve ever been to that part of Louisiana.
As a mom, career woman, and full-time student, you might be one of the busiest people I know! When and how do you find time to write in your daily life?
It’s a bit of a challenge! I take advantage of early mornings (5 am, usually) when the rest of the world is still sleeping. I find that time of day the most productive and peaceful. I make coffee, turn off the Wi-Fi, and leave the phone downstairs.
I start my full-time job at 7 am, so I have to work fast and be focused. Weekends, I have the luxury of a little more time! In the evenings, I read or work on my dissertation—though I am in a holding pattern until December, when I can begin my research. I don’t watch much television, though I can be persuaded to make a trip to the movie theater when something fabulous debuts.
Life, of course, gets in the way (a lot), so there are starts and stops. Right now, I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so I’m hoping to get to the 50,000-word mark by November 30th.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Finish what you start. Keep learning. Pay it forward. Support your writer friends. Believe in yourself.
What is the best writing advice anyone has ever given you?
Read a lot, write a lot. And study the craft of writing. It truly is an art form; one that can be learned and improved upon, even after ten or twenty years. I recently spent a wonderful weekend at a Robert McKee seminar in Nashville. We listened to lectures from 8 am to 7:30 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Nothing but taking notes, chatting with other writers, and absorbing all of the great information, camaraderie, and creative energy. I filled two notebooks and loved every minute of it. There’s always something new to learn!
As for the reading, I can’t digest new stories fast enough. In fact, I always have an audiobook going, in addition to a paperback, and a novel on my Kindle. I am constantly inspired (and a little awed) by the new stories I get to experience on a daily basis. So much talent!
What are you working on next?
I had a tough time, for once, deciding on a new project! I usually have at least a dozen ideas floating around in my brain, with one story idea rising to the top. This time. I began outlining, thinking I would write another traditional suspense novel, this one set in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s in Syracuse, New York. My grandfather sold and delivered Lincolns to car buyers back then, and I am absolutely fascinated by what could happen on one of those trips.
In the end, I decided to pursue a different idea (keeping the Lincoln novel on the backburner). My new story centers on a young woman who becomes an assassin in a future version of Russia—on the brink of war with Siberia. It involves the loss of one parent, her need to protect her younger brother, and discovering that many of the beliefs she’d held since childhood—about her country, her closest friends, and her own family—had been lies or some version of the truth. Ultimately, she becomes involved a cause much bigger than herself, and it requires every ounce of her courage, strength of spirit, and daring.
The futuristic world is a bit of a departure for me, but the story will contain plenty of drama, suspense, and family challenges. I’m hoping my readers will be willing to embrace it—I am certainly excited about the possibilities and challenges this novel holds for my heroine.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have been blessed to have such amazing and supportive readers and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity to share my stories. For more about my books (including those written under Laura McNeill), visit my website and blog at https://www.lauramcneill.com.
Now for something fun ... As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Indian princess. (Just ask my parents!)
Who is your favorite super-hero and why?
Wonder Woman is an all-time favorite, though I am partial to any Batman/Dark Knight stories. My boys and I are big Marvel fans.
Coffee or Tea?
If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
J.K. Rowling or Margaret Atwood. Both women are such inspiration to me!
Lauren Clark is the author of several award-winning novels, including Stardust Summer, Pie Girls, Dancing Naked in Dixie, and Stay Tuned. She also writes suspense under the name Laura McNeill. Center of Gravity and Sister Dear have been published by HarperCollins.
To Purchase The World Breaks Everyone -
Enter now through November 18th. Good luck everyone!