A Chat with Lark O’Neal

LarkONealPhotoI’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? 

Lots of ways! Larkoneal @gmail.com  larkoneal.com https://www.facebook.com/LarkONealAuthor

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.

Look for Extreme at these online retailers:
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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!


  1. The sound like fun books. Best wishes on the new series, I would love to be 19 again and off and running to an adventure. Today is my birthday and I am the downside of the 40’s, I am feeling the need to do something crazy and adventurous, before I am too old, so we will see where the new year takes me.

  2. I am definitely intrigued! I’ve always wanted to travel the world and these books (and future ones) will probably make that desire stronger! I love when books transport you there! Jane- I still want to go to the Brennen sisters beach house! Haha. Lark- I noticed your picture is of you on a train. I once took an Amtrak from Arizona to Indiana alone and still enjoyed it. I’d like to do it again sometime. Did you do it while traveling? I’ve also never heard of the genre New Adult? Can you explain it?

    1. I thought the train picture would be fun. It’s an old-fashioned train in the south of England that serves high tea while you chug around the countryside. It was my MIL’s birthday and we were celebrating with her.

      New Adult is about people 18-24 or so. Often pretty sexy. One of my favorite authors is Colleen Hoover.

  3. Lark – the book sounds like such a great read. I can’t wait to dig in. Also, my ipad is something I couldn’t leave without.

  4. I love Island. Would be fun to read. And I’m actually a fan of young adult. Love that new genera. Congratulations on your new release

  5. I’m intrigued by this…being on opposite continents…a long distance relationship. I would love to see how works out for them. 🙂

  6. Congrats lark on the new release. Thanks for sharing. Will have to check out the books. I read New adult and young adul too.

    1. I am at a hotel using wic

      I am at a hotel using wifi…not sure what happened to my post. Lark, your book sounds wonderful. I always say any friend of Jane’s is a friend of mine. Merry Christmas!

  7. Congratulations! This book sounds like a treasure and is unforgettable. I enjoy your wonderful novels and captivating writing.

  8. Lark/Barbara, I am such a fan of your books. It is a joy to say hello here at Jane’s blog and welcome. I am so looking forward to your Barbara O’Neal book Feast of Peaches or is that just the working title? You write from the soul, like Jane, and truly are one of my favorite authors. Best of luck with all of your books. Just please do keep writing!!!

  9. This sounds like a really fun book. I went to Iceland for the first time last year and loved it. I love traveling and love books so this series sounds perfect for me.

  10. hi to a new-to-me author, Lark. congrats on new release and I like the concept of your new book. thanks for sharing,.

  11. What an exciting new series! I would love to fill up my passport some day. How interesting that the first new adult genre came to uou complete. It has to be when your muse gives you the whole story at once.

  12. what a great concept for a new line of books.
    I am a fan of your women’s fiction and romance already. I look forward to giving your new series my attention.

  13. will definitely be adding to my TBR pile with Lark’s books. i have found that any author Jane recommends is one worth checking out.

  14. I LOVE it Lark O’Neal!!!! Possible to be as hot and intensely connected as Jess and Kaleb? Apparently so!! I love Gabe and Kaitlin.. I need more! Also, love this pic of you – perfect! Xoxoxo

  15. Congratulations Lark on your releassse and the new series. Book sounds fascinating. Thaanks for the giveaaway chance.
    Carol L

  16. Lark, I loved reading your comment about travelling sith a book as well as your iPad. I live in Australia and broke my kindle on the first leg of a 24 hour f
    Ight to Europe. I wasn’t able to buy a replacement yntil I arrived in Coprnhagen and was bereft!

  17. Welcome to the blog, Lark. Congratulations on your book! I would be so sad if my kindle broke while traveling. …love your idea to bring a back up book!

  18. I am so excited to hear about this book and series!!! And I live the photo of Ms O’Neal on a train – so great for a writer of books with settings around the world. I know a plane makes more sense for traveling around the world but a train has romance. Thanks for another awesome year of books and blog, Jane! I hope Santa is good to everyone!

  19. Thank you everyone, for welcoming Lark to JaneBlog. I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas! Our winner for this post is #18, Donna Panzardo! Donna, drop me an email with your mailing details so I can get prize in the mail to you soon!
    Love to all and a very Happy New Year too!

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