I’m a huge fan of Lark O’Neal and so excited she was able to join me on my blog to talk about her new release, Extreme. Lark is an inspiration and something of a mentor so please help me welcome Lark to JaneBlog!
Lark, please tell us about the premise of your new release, Extreme.
Extreme kicks off my new series, Going the Distance II: YOLO. It’s about a group of young backpackers and travelers in exciting locations across the planet. Up first is Iceland, land of ice and fire, where a volcano causes all kinds of trouble.
Kaitlin Bouvier has been in love with her friend Tyler forever, so when he texts her from Iceland saying he’s in trouble, she’s more than eager to fly to his side and try to rescue him, even though she knows there is no hope.
At the airport, she meets Gabe Walsh, the opposite of Tyler in everyway—but very, very hot. He talks her into going to the Blue Lagoon, and the two discover an extreme attraction. The trouble is, both have a serious passion in life that has nothing to do with falling in love. Graduate student Gabe is studying volcanoes, while Kaitlin is an Olympic snowboarder—there’s just no way they’ll ever both be on the same Continent, much less the same town. It’s hopeless—and they agree to just have a fling. A very, very hot fling.
But when the volcano blows, they’re stranded together and discover they just might be soul mates.
What sparked the idea for this novel? Do you draw inspiration from real life for your stories?
Kaitlin was a minor character in the first Going the Distance series. She’s Tyler’s friend and I loved her rugged athleticism and straightforward attitude. I also went to Iceland last January and it was crazy, amazing—and so dark. Because it’s cheaper in winter, there were a bunch of young travelers around and I was intrigued by them. I am a very serious traveler and have been to a lot of places (with more still on the list!!). Readers loved going to New Zealand in EPIC, and asked for other countries. Iceland was very high on the list, so it was an easy choice.
Will there be more books connected to this one?
The YOLO series will follow some of the characters readers will meet in this book to England, Venice, Australia—and who knows where else? Next up is Chelsea’s story, FIERCE, out in April.
Why did you choose to write this book? What keeps the attraction alive for this genre for you?
People have been asking me a lot why I ventured into New Adult, as I have a successful career in women’s fiction and romance (as Barbara O’Neal and Barbara Samuel). Why add a new genre? A fair question.
The answer is really pretty simple: these books speak to me. At nineteen, you have autonomy, but not much experience making choices. Life is huge and decisions can have enormous consequences—both good and bad—and luck plays into it all, too. Also, love is real and deep and intense—really intense. I love that. It suits my voice.
I wrote the first one, Random, in a few weeks. It arrived whole and insisted it had to be written—and I was off. Here it is, three years later, and I’ve written six of them.
You’ve got to take a trip suddenly, with just twenty minutes to pack and you don’t know how long you’ll be gone. What 5 things would you absolutely have to take with you – besides clothing?
Book in case of iPad failure (I once broke a Kindle as I got on the plane in Denver to fly to the UK and was desperate by the time I landed. Nine. Hours. With. No. Book.) Good English teabags.
Notebook and pen (of course).
A tiny tin of watercolors and paintbrush.
What’s your astrological sign? Do you read your horoscopes or is it all malarkey in your opinion?
I’m a Gemini, with a Taurus moon and Aquarius rising. That means I’m a restless rebel and easily bored, but also rooted in things like growing gardens and cooking meals to make a home. I love to travel, but I love to come back. I’m a very loyal friend and a big talker. And there was probably no other possible career for me but writing. I’m just too odd to make anything else work.
Is it malarkey? Maybe. Maybe not.
How may fans contact you?
You can also find me on Instagram.
Thanks for having me, Jane! xoxox
Lark, it’s been such a pleasure to chat with you and I am so looking forward to reading Extreme! Readers, do check out Lark’s new release and if you read it, drop Lark an email and let her know what you think of it. Authors always like to hear from readers and I know Lark would love to hear from you.
Meanwhile, I have a festive holiday themed giveaway for one of you, a box jam packed with treats and fantastic reads by three of my favorite authors, along with a couple signed books by me, too! Don’t miss this special prize box and you can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment for Lark below. The winner will be drawn late on Christmas day, and the winner announced on December 26th. Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend. Much love to you!