“He winked and clicked his tongue. Panic coursed through me at the altered state. Like hearing that your church-going mother likes her bourbon straight and sex on top. He’d offered me a bribe.”
Welcome to C. Hope Clark’s other world. Lowcountry Bribe, released in February 2012, is the first book in the Carolina Slade Mystery Series which is set in South Carolina and is certain to captivate you.
C. Hope Clark was born and reared in the South, from Mississippi to South Carolina with a few stints in Alabama and Georgia. The granddaughter of a Mississippi cotton farmer, Hope holds a B.S. in Agriculture with honors from Clemson University. She has 25 years’ experience with the U. S. Department of Agriculture all of which enable her to talk the talk of Carolina Slade, the protagonist in most of her novels.
Welcome to Writers in Business! I understand there is an interesting story behind the concept for your series.
Yes, the concept of the series originated from my many experiences with USDA investigations as well as those of my husband, retired Resident-Agent-in-Charge Gary W. Clark, Sr. I spent a career in the rural arena, covering every county in South Carolina via my positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The main character in my series, Carolina Slade, fights crime, with the aid of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, a little touted arm of the federal government filled with badge-toting agents just like the FBI.
Can you tell us more about Carolina?
Carolina Slade is smart, sometimes too smart. She’s cocky, sometimes too cocky. She has a white streak in her long dark hair, and what goes against the grain of many mystery writers in the industry, she has two kids. Ivy and Zack provide a three-dimensional side to Slade unseen in other mysteries with female characters. And they can be a hoot!
Slade stumbled into sleuthing by accident then fell in so deep she had to embrace it. Then she learned to love it. Then it became her job. Her love life, well, let’s say she has one, but the kids and solving cases seem to come first, turning into a rub with the man who wants to become her guy. .
In researching for our interview, I was thrilled to discover your book had already won several awards.
Yes, Lowcountry Bribe's opening chapter took first place in the Phillip Mangelsdorf Award, third place in Alabama Writer’s Conclave Competition and honorable mention in The Writing Show Chapter Competition as judged by bestselling mystery author C. J. Box. The chapter also made top three finalist status of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense sponsored by Romance Writers of America. The novel enjoyed semi-finalist status (top 100 out of 10,000) in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.
As an award-winning writer, you have been published in The Writer Magazine, Writer’s Digest, Chicken Soup, Next Step Magazine, College Bound Teen, Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), TURF Magazine, Landscape Management and other trade and online publications. Can you share a marketing tip with us based on your experience?
The most successful marketing tip I can give writers promoting themselves and their work, whether novel, copywriting, plays, etc., is to write articles. That means guest blogs, magazine articles, newsletter pieces. Do you know that one article can reach more people in a weekend than your book could sell in a year? That's serious promotion.
I love guest blogs, no matter how large or small. They are today's word-of-mouth, and so quickly re-delivered via Facebook and Twitter. How hard is it to write 500-700-word pieces? And each article improves your search power on Google, and the viral potential is phenomenal. People find me more through articles on other sites than any other method.
Thank you Hope!
You have until March 15th to win a free copy of Lowcountry Bribe through GoodReads . If you don’t win, be sure to buy your copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bell Bridge Books.