Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guest Blogger Laverne Clark

Please welcome my guest blogger, Laverne Clark. Laverne is a fellow Wild Rose Press author and her book "Guardian of the Jewel" is part of the Jewels of the Night series as is my book "Flawless". Laverne hails from New Zealand and is a brand new author. She's talking to us today about her debut and about something that helped her on her road to publication...
The Power of Ignorance 
Thank you for having me on your wonderful blog Jana!
For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself first. I’m LaVerne Clark and a newbie writer. Well – that’s not strictly true. I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand and have been writing for years, always with the thought of being published ‘some day’. Luckily for me, The Wild Rose Press turned my ‘some day’ into November 2, 2010 – a date forever etched into my memory and heart. Guardian of the Jewel was also my very first submission to any publishing house and I credit the success of the story to a large dose of ignorance.
Ignorance is a vital weapon in the arsenal of the newbie writer. How many of us would persevere if we knew what we were writing were clumsy and clichéd? Sure, those thoughts invade our minds, battering relentlessly at our ego’s defences, but because we don’t really know for sure, we battle on regardless, and if we’re stubborn enough, finish the prose our hearts dictate we write.
Smug in the knowledge that Guardian was never going to be read by anyone, I wrote the sex scene with no inhibitions. Mum and Dad wouldn’t see it, let alone real readers, so nothing held me back from letting my characters experience the lovemaking they deserved. Thank you ignorance! Without it, I’m afraid the scene could have come across as cardboard and stilted, an instruction manual for what goes where and when : )
Ignorance also shelters you from the tough road of editing – that intensely important roadblock on the journey that forces you to sit down and strip back your masterpiece to the bare bones. Although it can be painful, it will reward you with a story that shines brighter than you ever imagined.
Just when you think that is it – your book is ready to fly off the shelves and find a loving home with a large audience – you’re faced with that last ugly and necessary step – Promotion. Promotion! What is that? For us writers, the very idea is abhorrent. What do we know about promotion – and you mean we have to advertise ourselves – in public? It’s enough to make you run for the hills screaming in terror. But you know what? It’s actually kinda fun. The writing world is inhabited by the most amazing people, keen to help you out every step of the way. Even though I live half-way around the world in New Zealand, the internet allows me to meet and become friends with all kinds of fascinating people. And I wouldn’t be here today talking to all you lovely folk without that dreaded step.
It’s true what they say – Ignorance really is bliss. Embrace it – and good luck with all your own endeavours!

Thanks Laverne! Here's a blurb and an excerpt from her debut novel "Guardian of the Jewel" from Wild Rose Press:

After coming to terms with the brutal death of her husband by unknown thugs half a world away from New Zealand, Amy Hamblin concentrates on bringing up their son alone, struggling to make their dream of an action-adventure tourism venture a success.

When a dark, dangerous-looking man knocks on her door late at night claiming to be a guest, the safe, quiet life she’d created is suddenly anything but...

Gabriel Ryan’s task of finding the priceless blue diamond Amy’s husband stole from an organised crime ring, is made all the more difficult by the attraction that sizzles between them. Playing a role had never been so hard, and now, with a ruthless killer on the trail of the missing jewel as well, he needed all his wits about him to keep them all alive.

Gabriel’s knee pressed into Amy’s thigh and sent unexpected frissons of longing to race through her system. The thin material of her jodhpurs weren’t any barrier to his heat. She scrambled to regain her composure and urged Pippin away, fixing her concentration on the path ahead.

“I’m not looking for romance,” she stated flatly. “I have a child to raise and a business to run. That’s more than enough for me.”

“It’s not nearly enough for a woman like you,” he murmured, his changeable eyes darkened to molten steel and raked over her in thorough appraisal. Her shaky resolve melted away under the heat.

Unable to take a breath, let alone speak, Amy lifted her hand and gave the signal to ride single file. As she trotted ahead, the unmistakable sound of soft laughter followed her. He recognized she was running away and the knowledge he was right made her face flame all the more.


  1. Congrats on the book. Yes ignorance is bliss, I still wish I was ignorant with those loves scenes. Good luck!

  2. Congratulations!
    I'm still a newbie, and I'm still enjoying some level of ignorance, but the veneer is wearing off!

    The book sound fantastic, looking forward to reading it!

  3. Congratulations on "The Guardian of the Jewel". It sounds like a great story. There are some many things that overwell a writer, especially a newbie like me. I'm glad I didn't realize what writing a book and trying to get it published actually entailed. I'm like Joanne, the veneer of ignorance is starting to wear off :D

    Too late to stop now! Good luck!

  4. Congrats on your book, Laverne :)

    Like Joanne, I'm a little jaded after a couple of years writing and submitting. So glad you found publication before the newbie excitement could wear off.

    Great excerpt!

  5. LOL wlynnechantale : )Luckily, my Mum enjoyed it and told Dad to skip from pages ... to ...
    With that seal of approval I feel much more relaxed about my next stories!

    Hi Joanne! Thanks for the congrats and I hope you do enjoy it. It was so much fun to write and there is nothing better than showing off a bit of New Zealand to people - one of the things I'm passionate about. Hold tight to that veneer! I think some shred of it will always stay with me. The Wild Rose Press is such a positive company to be involved with. Good luck with your endeavours : )

    Karyn - definitely too late! Once writing gets into your blood you're a goner - as you well know I'm sure : ) I still get a thrill when people tell me my book sounds good - thank you!

    Hi Janet - I remember seeing you on my blog when Jana blogged didn't I? - Hello again : )
    Keep submitting. I think the best thing to keep motivated is to share your work with other writers and having regular catch-ups and brainstorming with them. It's what recharges my batteries. I'm lucky to have wonderful writer/buddy, Cherie le Clare (also with TWRP), who nursed me all the way through this story : )

    Thanks for all your comments people - I really appreciate them.

  6. Excellent blog article, LaVerne, and so true. Without your constant encouragement my writing halo/motivation would have slipped long ago.
    Thank you for being such a good mate:)

  7. Awww... see what I mean?
    Thanks Cherie, x

  8. Enjoyed your post.

    Congratulations on your new release. I wish you the best and may you write many more love scenes. :)

  9. Thanks Karen!
    I'm in the middle of writing a love-scene as we speak : ) Great fun!
    Thanks so much for stopping by.