I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Who's That Girl? interview with LaVerne Clark

We have a run on Kiwi's (New Zealanders) this month, folks!

Name? LaVerne Clark.

Where do you live? Nelson, the sunshine capital of New Zealand.

How long have you been a member of our organisation? I’ve been a member of RWNZ for about twelve years now. I’ve always written, but never took myself seriously until my children came along and time for myself became precious. Writing is my escape and what I do to relax, but it can be so excruciating at times!

What genre/s do you write in? I write Romantic Suspense but one WIP has insisted it is a Paranormal. I’ve set it aside for the moment, but the story keeps percolating away.

What's your current writing project? I’m writing a suspense set in Auckland, NZ called “A Klaus to Kill”.

My publisher had put the call out for Christmas stories and I was excitedly writing for this, but unfortunately, I got ill for a month and missed the deadline. The story still excites me though, so I’ll submit to my editor when it’s finished and cross fingers she likes it.

Have you entered any writing competitions? Have you found them to be helpful? I’ve only ever entered two writing competitions before. I’m shy like that. The first was a short story through RWNZ. This taught me a lot about what my strengths and weaknesses were and that to write romance, you actually needed to have romance in it ; ) Who knew?

The second was a competition through The Wild Rose Press to write a novella-length suspense story that had to include a blue diamond. I was gobsmacked when they offered me a contract for this story and squealed like a little girl when I heard a week later I’d actually won the competition!

So yeah – I’ve definitely found writing competitions hugely helpful : )

Apple, PC, longhand or other? I LOVE my laptop. Paper just gets lost or squiggled on around here.

Name your top 5 authors you like to meet, have lunch with and ask questions of about writing. Ohhh – wouldn’t that be wonderful?! Diana Gabaldon; Jodi Picoult; Nora Roberts; LaVyrle Spencer; Nalini Singh – Nalini, will you be around the Top of the South anytime soon? ; )

Do you have any routines or things you do to keep motivated when writing? I’m the world’s worst procrastinator and easily distracted. I love to write, but I dread it too!

The key for me is to make sure the internet isn’t on and to get writing straight after a shower. The steam helps unclog those brain pores I think!
Name one hobby you love doing and would be unlikely to ever give up (writing not included). Indoor netball. Our team loses badly every week, but we have so much fun doing it!

And lastly, finish these statements...
The actor I would most like to see play one of my heroes is...
Sigh...can’t go past Gerard Butler.
My favourite childhood toy was...a thing called a Gonk. It was my first toy memory and had a cardboard tube for the middle, wrapped in wool with big fluffy ears. Weird huh? I still don’t know what it was meant to be – but I loved it.
The best thing about writing is...writing that first meeting scene. I love writing sexual tension.
Two things I would pack if I were going to an isolated holiday destination...30+ sun block (I have extremely fair skin) and my e-reader.
Three goals I've set myself for this year...finish and submit my current WIP to my editor, wrestle my paranormal WIP to the ground until it surrenders to my will, organise my time more efficiently and write something every day – even if it’s just a blog post. All writing is valuable.

It was a pleasure having you visit, LaVerne!
Thanks Kylie! That was fun : )

LaVerne has a blog and is on Facebook if you'd like to know more about her.


  1. I had a gonk too! I think mine was green and purplish.

    Lovely to 'meet' you, LaVerne.

  2. Yay to the gonks Kez! Green and purplish sounds gorgeous! ; ) I think they should make a comeback - don't you? Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Good grief, I haven't heard of gonks since I was a kid!!! I had a bright orange one and my sister had a lime green one. We decided to play hairdresser on them - they aren't pretty with short hair. LOL

  4. I feel a little left out, having never heard of a gonk before!! Lovely interview, ladies :)

  5. Hi LaVerne

    I'm adding your book to my TBR pile. It's sounds great - blue diamond! My birth stones are diamonds, pity I don't own any.

    I'm going to be in Nelson next March for the weekend so we should catch up, unless you're coming to RWNZ Conf.

  6. I wonder if we're mixing up Gonks and Trolls? I made many Gonks when they were trendy, even featured one in an early nonfic I wrote about Soft Furnishings. Don't remember Gonks having actual hair. Mine at least had zig-zag felt for hair. They were a Humpty Dumpty egg shape, top half longer than bottom, with big felt cartoon features and hands and feet sewn into the seams as you went. Oh, meant to say enjoyed the interview LaVerne. Got carried away by nostalgia LOL. Stunning book cover too.

  7. Hi LaVerne,
    Nice to find out about you. I think having a shower is a great way to get the creatic juices flowing too.

    Best of luck with all your projects.



  8. Great interview. I once had a gonk, too, but I divorced him. Ooops...wrong kind of gonk. Sorry. Wishing you great success, dear.

  9. LOL Kylie - One orange and one lime! Wow - I bet they were puurrty : ) Mine was just plain boring cream, but I remember the googly eyes used to fascinate me for ages.

    Hi Helene! Nice to meet you : ) Honestly, you did miss out I'm sorry to say. They were extraordinary toys - so basic, but memorable! Funny how the simple things in life seem to give so much pleasure.

    Hi Bron! Lovely to see you again - thanks for visiting me : ) Sigh... I'd love to have diamonds as my birth stone. I'd always been disappointed mine is the light green peridot. It doesn't sparkle the same and I've always been a bit of a magpie.
    We definitely should meet up when you're in Nelson. That'll be cool - and then you could sign my copy of Invitation to Ruin! Sadly, I won't be going to conference but I'm making plans to go in a couple of years.

    Hi Valerie - thanks so much for stopping by! Isn't it funny how writers tend to be creative in all sorts of other avenues. I'm all thumbs when it comes to sewing, but I'm not a bad pencil sketcher. I love the sound of your Trolls. They are much more intricate than my lowly Gonk. I remember secretly taking apart my brother's one to see what it was made of and all it consisted of was wool over a thick circular tube - (No way did I want to wreck my own!) Do you still make the Trolls or at least have a few in your possession?

    Hi Margaret! Lovely to see you here at Kylie's. Thanks for the good wishes - the projects are never ending are they? : )

  10. LOL! Oh, Vonnie - you always crack me up : )

    I'm glad you got rid of your Gonk then - but there goes that confusing American spelling versus the Kiwi spelling again. Us Kiwi's would probably spell that D-O-R-K : )

  11. Hi LaVerne, Hello Kylie,

    It was lovely reading about you LaVerne, gonk and all!

    Thanks for sharing and all the best with all your projects.


  12. Hi Nas,

    Lovely to see you again too.
    Glad you enjoyed and thanks for your good wishes! : )

  13. As a Brit currently living in the US I have to say - I MISS NETBALL SO MUCH!

  14. It's a wonderful game isn't it Diane? Where I live in Nelson, we have a huge percentage of British people living here and most of my team comprise of ex-pats : ) Great way to try and keep fit - lucky the results don't matter to us (not too much anyway!) We've lost every single game this season!

    Thanks for stopping by - lovely to meet you!

  15. Great interview, Kylie. You probably don't remember me but we met up at the NZ conference a couple of times and had an evening meal together once at Waipuna.

    We've both since been published and I'd like to congratulate you on achieving your goal of being published by Berkley!! You're an inspiration.

    LaVerne, my friend, I seem to learn more about you each time you are a guest on a blog. "Gonk" - your description of it makes me think of a poodle?

  16. Helene, the gonk craze hit about the '70's, was really popular with young teens and down. I can remember they were the "thing" to get at sideshows at carnivals etc.

    Hi Bron,here's hoping you and LaVerne meet up so you can sign her copy of ITR! :-)

    Nostalgia is a good thing, Valerie!

    Margaret, wasn't there some scientific study done that theorized that the ions in water helped brain productivity or some such thing, so that's why any sort of water setting is conducive to thinking things through.

    LOL on divorcing your gonk, Vonnie!

  17. Hey, Nas! :-)

    Diane, netball is a great sport. I started out playing it as a kid then graduated to basketball, my true love in sport. Couldn't go back to netball after that, kept getting fouled with obstruction. LOL

    Cherie, I DO remember you!!! Are you coming to conference this year? Seek me out and I'll look for you if you are. Would love to catch up and find out who you're now pubbed with and where you are in your journey. Thanks for the congrats - all very exciting as you'd know! :-)