Serena Clarke, The Same But Different Blog Tour

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Today I am pleased to welcome Serena Clarke to The Love of a Good Book.

Serena in her words :

What do I write?
Fun, contemporary romantic fiction that reflects the interconnected, international lives we lead—or dream of. No matter where you are, life can be complicated, but it’s also full of magic, possibility and second chances. And whatever’s happening in your life right now, a bookish adventure (and a happy ending) has got to be good for you!
I 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 I could. When I was 16, I 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! I didn’t know it at the time, but eventually I’d be grateful for all the ups and the downs. As writers say in the face of adversity: “I can use that.”
Having come full circle, through seven cities in four countries, I’m now back in New Zealand in my 39th house—probably not the last! Luckily, I have a tall, dark and handsome husband to help look after our two boys while I dream up stories. Turns out that happily-ever-afters happen in real life too.

About, The Same But Different:

The new you could be someone unexpected…

Stunned by a life-changing secret and an unexpected inheritance, Cady Morrow leaves her responsible London life behind and hits the California flash mob trail. With her wild twin sister Shelby in tow, she’s determined to make every day of her new start count. So when they’re invited to travel on the flash mob team’s luxury tour bus—in close company with Reid, a man who sets her dangerously, deliciously off-kilter—Cady grabs the chance to be a different version of herself.

But she soon discovers that not everyone she encounters is who they seem to be. A complicated new family, unwelcome surprises, and secrets past and present test her faith in her reinvented self, as well as in those around her. And when Shelby goes missing, Cady has to rely on the enigmatic Reid for help, even as she doubts his motives—and her resistance to his teasing charm.

With the flash mob facing disaster, her sister in jeopardy, and things with Reid heating up, Cady realizes that what started as ‘fake it ’til you make it’ has become her reality. And when she finds herself in a life-threatening confrontation, she learns just how different she can really be…and exactly what she’ll do for the sake of a new start.
Purchase at Amazon.uk

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Questions:

They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
It is hard, but it comes with moments of amazing satisfaction and fun. You have to keep the faith, before and after you’re published. Two books in, I still have doubts – but writing is always the best remedy. I was with a publisher first, and now I’m self-publishing, and for me, surrounding myself with like-minded, supportive people has been the most helpful thing of all.

Writers put so much time and energy into their characters and I have been told in the past that a writer carries their characters around with them. So my question is if you could go out for a day with any one of your characters: who would it be, what would you do and why did you pick this particular character?
Can I cheat and pick two? It would have to be Cady from The Same But Different, and her twin sister Shelby. They feel like sisters to me now too, and you know you never laugh as hard as when you’re with your sisters. We’d have to go to a flash mob, of course, then out for drinks in San Francisco.

If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
Okay, I have a standard answer for this one: cheesecake. Being dairy free is just so sad sometimes.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
This isn’t romantic, or hip – but I’d take my kids to Disneyland. I went when I was sixteen, with a huge gang of teenagers. Beforehand, oh, we were too cool…but I was soon lining up for my photo with Mickey Mouse, along with everyone else! It sounds cheesy, but it really is the happiest place on Earth. And yes, you have to wear the ears. 😉

If you could choose one book that you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?
Just one? Really? Well, at the moment I’m recommending Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood to everyone I know. It’s so funny it made me do the snorty laugh (not recommended in public!), but it’s also a ripping good read, and a really lovely, relatable story along with all the wonderful craziness. I enjoyed it so much I bought it for my best friend as well, and she loved it too.

If there was one saying that could sum up your life to date, what would it be?
Never turn down an adventure! I love that saying about how you most regret the things you didn’t do, not the things you did. And the things you DID do, that you’re tempted to regret? They make great writing material.

Please share with us, one random fact about yourself or your book?
Diorama, the secret bar-inside-a-bar where the flash mob team from The Same But Different hangs out, is based on a real speakeasy-style bar named the Hideout. The real-life Hideout (on 16th Street in San Francisco’s Mission district) and my fictional Diorama both have a spectacular cocktail menu: the 16th Street Swizzle, Killer’s Lullaby, the Dirty Pigeon…you’d find Cady, Shelby and me here on our night out!

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
Lots! The next project is a series with the same kind of international vibe – fun, adventure, and true love…eventually. Sorry, characters, but you do have to work for your happy endings! The characters in these stories look set for more steamy moments than in my previous books, so they should be happy about that, anyway. 😉

What or who in life inspires you?
Anyone who follows their dream, whatever it may be, and whether they’ve achieved ‘success’ yet or not. As the saying goes, nothing worth having comes easy, so I admire anyone who keeps on keeping on.

Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be?
Norah Ephron
Graham Norton
Mindy Kaling
Bill Murray
Stephen Fry

Laughs and smarts. I totally believe in having my cake and eating it too!

Thanks so much for having me to visit today!

Thanks for stopping by Serena, ifs been great chatting to you!

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