Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Interview with Lisa Clark O'Neill author of Serendipity

I read Serendipity by Lisa Clark O’Neill and loved the book tremendously (click here for my review).  I had all of these questions I wanted to ask her.  I got lucky and got the opportunity to ask her a couple of questions.  Check out our little talk.

Kim:  Hi, Lisa.  Thank you for joining me today. 
Lisa:  Thanks for having me, Kim.  I’m very happy to be here. 
Kim:  Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your current book, Serendipity.
Lisa:  Aside from the facts that you can get from my bio (artist, writer, mother, book lover) I can also tell you that I love hiking and am absolutely addicted to green tea. SERENDIPITY follows veterinarian Ava Rodriguez, whose family connections include one of the biggest crime lords in the southeast, as she saves an unconscious man – our hero, Assistant District Attorney Jordan Wellington – from being killed by her uncle’s men.  Fate keeps throwing them into each other’s paths, and the tension escalates as she tries to keep her identity hidden from him while they’re also falling in love.  And as a case Jordan is prosecuting involving a serial killer puts Ava in the sites of a madman, things get pretty interesting to say the least.    

Kim:  I thought the book was AMAZING.  How did you come up with the idea for it?
Lisa:  Thank you! And yikes, this is the question that always strikes fear in my heart, because the truth is – I have no idea.  Usually I get a few scenes in my head: I recall quite clearly visualizing Ava pulling Jordan from a trunk. Also, the scene in her veterinary clinic where she attempts to give him a shot and he’s forced to confess his fear of needles.  But I had no idea how I was going to get from here to there, or even why he was in the trunk to begin with.  I just sort of made it up as I went along. 
Kim:  You writers are so creative and have great imaginations.  Do you have a favorite scene or line from the book, which you would like to share?
Lisa:  I think the most memorable scene, for me at least, is when Ava comes home to a darkened apartment in a raging storm, and Jordan is there, waiting for her.  The tension in the book had been leading us to the point where he would find her out, and I felt that scene – the storm, the fear, the sense of betrayal on both their sides, and ultimately, the love – as I wrote it.  Some scenes you can visualize, but the really dramatic ones you feel, and this was one of those scenes.
Kim:  I loved that scene too.  I was also scared leading up to that scene.  I had no idea who was going to be in her apartment.  I loved all the characters in the book, except for the bad guys.  Can you tell us something about Ava and Jordan that we don’t know about?
Lisa:  Well, one thing I can tell you is that SERENDIPITY is actually the third book I wrote in this series.  The first two followed Jordan’s older brothers, Jesse and Jack, and Jack’s book is where I fell in love with Jordan.  He was so charmingly meddling as he caught the scent – rather like a bloodhound – that his notoriously roguish eldest brother was falling in love with one of his clients.   Some characters’ personalities develop subtly as I write, and others catch me full-formed.  Jordan was one of those, so I knew that he deserved his own story, and a heroine who could not only stand up to his charm and his pushiness, but who could push back with equal force.  (Incidentally, I do eventually plan to go back and release those first two stories, after they’ve been *ahem* made suitable for publication.) 
Kim:  Good.  I have to admit I was preparing to go searching for those books.  I was starting to wonder how I missed them.  What was the most challenging part in writing Serendipity?
Lisa:  The most challenging part in any book for me is writing from the POV of the antagonist. The dialogue between the main characters is always fun, but because my novels have an element of suspense, I also have to get into the heads of some fairly twisted individuals. Making the bad guy authentic without being over the top is not as easy as it might seem.
Kim:  Yeah, the serial killer is definitely sick in this book.  What’s next for you?  Do you have anything on the horizon we should look forward to?
Lisa:  Absolutely! The next book in this series, FORBIDDEN, follows FBI special agent Clay Copeland on vacation to Charleston, South Carolina, where he gets more than he bargained for by becoming embroiled in the investigation into a human trafficking ring, and finds himself falling in love with a local innkeeper – and her five-year-old son. It should be released just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Kim:  Lisa, thank you so much for stopping by and agreeing to speak with me.  I’m really looking forward to reading Forbidden, as well as ALL the other books you have coming out in the future.
Lisa:  Again, thank you so much for allowing me to do the interview and I am so happy that you enjoyed SERENDIPITY.

Serendipity book description:

It’s a dog eat dog world for Ava Martinez. On the surface her life seems charmed--beauty, brains, a successful veterinary practice--but Ava harbors a secret. And one rash act on a foggy night threatens to destroy it all. The niece of one of the most ruthless drug lords in the country, Ava has lived her life as an unwilling pawn in her uncle’s illegal game. When Ava accidentally stumbles upon an unknown man lying unconscious in the trunk of a car--a man destined for death at the hands of her uncle’s men--she risks her life to get him to safety and to thwart her uncle's nefarious scheme. Little does she know that lifting the lid of that trunk will be like opening Pandora’s box. When Assistant District Attorney Jordan Wellington--the man she rescued--brings his dog to the door of her veterinary clinic, she does her best to thwart his amorous intentions, but fate has a different idea. When a walk in the park, a friend’s blind date, seemingly everything throws them together, the normally strong-willed Ava finds herself irrevocably drawn into a seductive and deadly game.  Because if Jordan ever regains his memory of that night, both of their lives could be in danger.

You can purchase Serendipity at Amazon
Visit Lisa’s website to find out more about her and to connect with her.


A little bit about Lisa:  One fine day in the not-too-distant past, Lisa Clark O'Neill left Wittenberg University with a BA in English, which she promptly neglected. After working as an interior designer, decorative artist, and Montessori art teacher (there may have been a BA in art as well,) she finally settled into the role of mother to two very fine children.
However, two years of doing the stay-at-home-mom brain cell melt drove her to pull out a pen and one of her old college notebooks.
That turned into six manuscripts.
Lisa spent subsequent years avoiding housework by burying her nose in just about every romance novel she could get her hands on, after completely falling in love with the genre. Her own work falls into the romantic suspense sub-genre, with strong comedic undertones.
Lisa currently lives in the Atlanta area with her family, her dog, her cat and her daughter's pet rabbit. When she isn't attempting to keep the rabbit from eating the woodwork, she's hard at work on her next novel.

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