Author Highlight – C. Hope Clark

I first heard Hope speak at the Missouri Writer’s Guild conference a back in 2012. I loved the fact that she always smiled, and consistently wove positivity in her talks.

When I discovered Hope and I were featured authors at a booksigning at Columbia, South Carolina’s Irmo Branch Library in March, 2015, I suggested our husbands meet over dinner the evening prior to the event. After three hours of lively conversation on writing, vacations, dogs, and various topics, we almost closed down the restaurant. Looking around at nearby tables, we didn’t recognize any of the original patrons when first seated. We decided to leave the waitress a NICE tip.

This is the second author highlight on C. Hope Clark, I’ve done, and I admit, she is one busy woman. Hope her answers provide insight for authors everywhere.


1) Is it important for writers to help each other, and not charge for services – kind of a quid pro quo – as long as the writer has already developed a mutual relationship with each other?

I believe that writers naturally help each other, and it’s up to each individual to determine where that line starts and stops. At what point do we remain the professional and charge, and at what point do we give back? In this profession, there’s an assumption that writers are not supposed to get wealthy off their words. It’s supposed to be a sacrifice. I believe that a writer needs to set limits on the giving back or they’ll be sucked dry. But time is money in this industry, so each side has to respect that of the other.


2) If an author could concentrate on doing three things after their book is published, what would those three things be?

First – Never let one day go by without promoting the book somewhere.

Second – Start work on the next book.

Third – Keep an active chatter online about the book, it’s progress, appearances, reviews, etc. and that includes a newsletter.


3) What conferences nationwide could you recommend for the development of an author of any genre? Specific genres?

There are dozens and dozens of conferences each month. And each author needs to decide what they wish out of a conference before they select one. For instance, are they trying to pitch a manuscript? Then find one rich with agents and publishers taking pitches. Or are they working on craft and are a beginner? Or are they seasoned and need in depth work in a masterclass setting? Or do they want to rub elbows with other authors in their genre, necessitating a conference like Killer Nashville for mystery. Do they want a CON or a conference? Bouchercon is a fan-based conference as well as an educational conference. It’s huge, which begs another questions . . . does an author want to attend an event with 800 people or do they prefer something more intimate with 50? Do they want to go someplace exotic or tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Do they want to talk the business side of things or just craft?

As you can see, I’d have to list 50 conferences here to address everyone’s needs and even them would only cover one or two conferences per category. To find conferences, research (and then search “conferences”), Poets&Writers ( ,, then of course there’s the Association of Writers and Writing Conferences ( .


4) How do you choose your book clubs, or do they choose you?

I scrounge for book clubs because most of them are very obscure and private, but I have to admit that they contact me. There is no one place to find book clubs because most don’t want to be found online. Libraries and bookstores know the local clubs and can make connections. But it also helps to have a book club section on your website. What makes landing book clubs difficult is the fact many book clubs go by bestseller lists in making their selections. Or from lists recommended on Goodreads.


5) How do you escape from your writing during the day? When you have writer’s block?

My escape is gardening, raising chickens, reading, and crosswords. My husband says I love reading anything and can’t stand not to have words in front of me. Maybe not that true, but I do adore reading, and I have books on my nightstand, near my computer, and next to my recliner. I can rarely just watch television. It has to be a superb show. Otherwise, I’m glancing at writing how-to books and mags, keeping a journal, or doing crosswords. But gardening takes me away from writing, but I still plot while pulling up weeds and tying tomatoes. And I make myself think about a chapter as I go to sleep at night. You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve awoken in the morning with an idea.

Writer’s block? Sorry, do not believe in it. We can always write. It might not be the project we want to work on, but we can write. I’m a believer in plowing through the tougher days of writing. If I am choosing to write for a living, then I am choosing to ignore writer’s block. I have to report to work. No other job lets you go home on those days you don’t feel like working.


BIO:Hope and Emily Grace (2)

C. Hope Clark’s  newest release is Newberry Sin. Hope is author of two award-winning mystery series, The Carolina Slade Mysteries and The Edisto Island Mysteries. She teaches writers at conferences nationwide and is founder of, a website chosen by Writer’s Digest for its 101 Best Websites for Writers for the last 18 years.



Vote for me starting today, Monday, July 8 – Midlife Collage Contest

Hi blogging friends,

I’m one of five finalists in the weekly MidLife Collage contest.  Please vote for me now and my essay “The Perfect Day”.  I’d sure like to be selected as the winner, and as a perk, there’s a little cash prize.   Here’s the link:

The Judges will decide the winner based upon many factors.

So please give me a thumbs up, high-quality comments and a good reader closing arguments on

The judges will then decide who the winner is.

Email your family and friends. Anyone age 18 and over can comment on “The Perfect Day” and make a closing argument to help choose me as the winner. You can tell others my story is in the contest by posting messages on social media websites.

If you have a Facebook page, you can post a message on your wall with the link so your friends can read and comment on my story. If you post several messages on your wall during the week, it is likely more friends will notice your post and read my story. If you don’t have a Facebook page, ask a friend to post the link on their wall promoting my story.

 If you have a Twitter account, tweet that my story, “The Perfect Day” can be found at If you tweet this several times a week, it is likely that more people will read your my story. 

Every writer’s organization I’ve been apart of, and every publication that I’ve been selected for, shows up in my bio on their website.  So please, vote for me!


Pitches, Lit and Conversation at the MWG Conference

MWG contest winnersThis weekend I attended the Missouri Writer’s Guild Conference in St. Louis.  I met some really cool writers, talked to friends, and collected helpful information from the workshops I attended.

Nightcap sessions on Friday evening writers mingled with lit agents and speakers. I sat at a round table with others and Jita Fumich, of Folio Literary.  Jita welcomed questions from the group, and answered eloquently throughout the session.

Saturday morning I attended breakouts and pitched my project to agents.

My pitch with Jennifer Stewart at Blank Slate Press went quite well – she even commended me for my well-thought out pitch and platform – however, the press wasn’t taking essay collections at this time.

Two ladies visiting St. Louis seated outside the conference room helped me prepare for my pitch.  Though they weren’t authors, they certainly were positive, upbeat and cheered me on.

Breakouts included:

ebooks 101 by Jita Fumich.  Stepping through the process of e-publishing models, and how to create professional eBooks.

How to Parse a Press by Steve Yates where we learned about keys to publishing with University Presses and what genres they’re accepting.

Query 101 with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.  Pam’s presentation was so entertaining.  I found her fresh, funny and informative.  A great look into an agent’s mind as they peruse author queries.

I skipped the first afternoon session as I needed desperately needed caffeine, and spent a quiet time at Starbucks sipping a wet cappuccino.

Back to the breakouts and Robin Colucci Hoffman’s session titled Bestseller Blueprints where she stepped attendees through the elements in spotting a NYT Bestselling book.

Jane Henderson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, certainly made the banquet lively.  She’s seen it all when it comes to book reviews.  Jane touched on interesting, if not strange ways, authors attract attention when submitting books for her to to review.

Awards for contest entries were next on the agenda. I placed Third in the Missouri Writer’s Guild President’s Contest last night for Best Article in a Magazine, Anthology, or Journal for my AAA Traveler article titled Inside the Bahamas Out Islands.  Other writer friends from Saturday Writers and St. Louis Writers were also recognized.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A comedian, a novelist who writes post apocalyptic works, a couple of gals from Kansas City, a paranormal romance author, and a movie producer became new acquaintances.

But, the evening’s highlight was winning the Lit Ladies silent auction gift basket and four tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Dodgers game in August, with seats behind the first base dugout. A plethora of other goodies such as autographed books from local women authors, some earrings, a journal rounded out the basket.DSC_1441 silent auction basket

Thanks Missouri Writer’s Guild for a fun time and the camaraderie of writers.  See you same time, next year.

Well Versed Literary Works 2013 – Breakfast with the Queen

I love the days when I receive a congratulatory email for something I am passionate about – writing.  Today was one of those days.

My essay “Breakfast with the Queen” was an Editor’s pick for an Honorable Mention in the non-fiction category for Well Versed 2013.  The story is about our cat, Midnight, who loves butter.  So much so, there’s a ritual that she goes strictly adheres to (every morning) in order to acquire this savory treat.

There will also be two poems in the book – “Winter’s Kiss” and “The Girl With the Dunce Cap.”

You’ll just have to buy the book when it comes out!  Click on the above link for other great things from the Columbia Chapter of Missouri Writer’s Guild.

(Breakfast with the Queen) Midnight eating butter 1 copry

2012 Missouri Writer’s Guild Awards Banquet

Last evening I attended the Missouri Writer’s Guild banquet at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Chesterfield, Missouri.

I made new acquaintances, ran into old friends, and met facebook buddies for the first time.  The food was good, the conversation was lively, and I was in special company – the company of others that share my passion  –  writing.

Especially surprised and elated, I won two awards, and I told Marcia Gaye she was the good luck charm at our table (and a big award winner at last year’s gala.)

I received Third Place for Best Poem, sponsored by Mozark Press.  My poem, Carolina Delight, reminisced about my love affair with Folly Beach, South Carolina and garnered publication in the Folly Current Newspaper at least two times in 2011.   Little did I know there were over 600 poems submitted in this category, so I felt truly blessed.

I received 2nd Honorable Mention for Best Newspaper Article or Column, sponsored by the Missouri Press Association, for an article I penned for AOL/St. Charles Patch in 2011 on master gardener Anne Tansey of St. Charles.   I swear, it had to be one of the hottest days of the year, and yet Anne kept her wonderful garden looking healthy and vibrant.   And if those plants could’ve spoken, I am sure they would have said “I love you” for all the TLC she showed them.  The article was entitled Garden Party: A Master Gardener’s Not-So-Secret Garden.

Sunday morning, I attended Christina Katz’s master class where I shared the company of ten energetic and exciting women writers.  I had a blast.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to be in the company of such creative minds  and hear about everyone’s projects, successes and even tribulations.   Inspiration surrounded me.

And if anyone has pics from the conference, please send them to me.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said –