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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest Blog: Naomi Clark

Usually if I want to set a story somewhere more exotic than Cambridge, I need to spend a lot of time on Wikipedia and looking at pictures on Google. I got lucky when I decided to write a book set in Paris, because it just so happened that in January 2010 my then-boyfriend (now fiance) decided to take me there.

We were staying in a beautiful hotel in Montmartre, practically on the doorstep of the Moulin Rouge. It's a colourful, crazy part of Paris and I knew immediately this was where Ayla and Shannon would be staying in DARK HUNT ( The vibrancy and variety of the district, housing everything from upscale bistros to gloriously tacky sex shops, was the perfect setting for my urban wolves to take on the mysterious, deadly villain of the book.

I wanted to really capture the spirit of the area in DARK HUNT (, but I also wanted to make this Ayla's experience of Paris, not mine. So whilst I was delighted to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night and see Paris spread out before me from a great (great) height, Ayla was less keen – wolves and heights don't always mix! And whilst Ayla spent a lot of time exploring the Parisian catacombs, it was somewhere I never visited (so yes, I did have to spend some time on Wikipedia for this book).

The one experience we did share was a visit to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, despite Ayla's fear of heights. I'll always have a very special place in my heart for the Arc, as this is where my boyfriend took me to propose, and a more perfect setting you can't imagine (we'll skim over the part where I threw up, that's another story and kind of detracts from the romance). Ayla and Shannon don't get engaged at the top of the Arc, but I tried to convey the sense of wonder I felt staring out over Paris that night and let my characters feel it too. Hopefully it worked and when you read the book, you'll feel just the same way.

Now, if anyone wants to take me to New Orleans, Mexico, or Tokyo in the name of "research," please let me know...


Ayla Hammond is taking on Paris.

Hoping for a romantic getaway in the City of Lights with her girlfriend, Shannon, she finds a city under the dark thrall of Le Monstre.

Getting caught up in mystery and murder was the last thing Ayla and Shannon expected to find in the City of Love, but as the body count grows and tension rises between Parisian werewolves and humans they find themselves stalked by an unknown terror.

What is Le Monstre and why does it make Ayla's wolf want to turn tail and run? Can it be stopped before they become its next victims?

Contest Time:
We're giving away plenty of swag in the DARK HUNT blog tour ( There are daily ebook giveaways and hampers of goodies up for grabs at the grand finale of the tour including ebooks, limited DARK HUNT t-shirts, personal horoscopes and tarot readings by Naomi Clark, as well as postcards from Ayla, Shannon, Vince, Joel and Glory (urban wolf series characters). Leave a comment here (ask me a question; tell me about your favourite holiday destination; or just say hello) with your email address to be entered. Enter at each point along the tour for more entries and more chances to win.

Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching 80s cartoon shows, and sometimes she manages to do all three at once. You can follow Naomi at Twitter (!/naomi_jay); Facebook ( or on her Blog (


Quinn Smythwood said...

Hey Naomi!

Great post. I'll have to put Paris on my list of places to see before I'm too old to climb stairs!

What no interest in exploring darkest Africa?

After reading the fabulous free story in A Wolf in Girl's Clothing and getting closure on how Ayla met Shannon, I'm wondering if you're ever gonna do a short story about how Vince and Joel met?


quinnsmythwood(AT)gmail(with the usual DOT)com

Debby said...

Werewolf novels are my latest fad. I will have to check this one out.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Naomi Clark said...

Quinn - I'd love to go to Egypt. I think there's a story in there amongst the pyramids and sphinxes. Maybe a cat-shifter tale?

Debby - thanks! I hope you enjoy it :) I've been a werewolf fan for years so I'm always happy to see other people discovering them. There are so many great books out there.

heatwave16 said...

I would LOVE to go to Paris. I've made it to London, and I have to so many places in Europe I'd love to go. Rome & Athens are right after Paris for me.


Naomi Clark said...

Heather, Rome is amazing! I went there for a week a few years ago and pretty much ate ice cream for every meal, lol.

Blogger Name: Krystal Larson said...

Who wouldn't love to go to Paris, especially after this post! I enjoyed reading this guest post, thank you :) edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Angie said...

My favorite holiday would be Christmas :) I would love to go to Paris or England! That would be awesome. I also want to go to Rome now because you said you pratically had ice cream for every meal :D

Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

Anne said...

Your main character is a lesbian and you write for Queeredpress (I visited the website to confirm what context the word queered was being used), but you have a male fiance. What prompted you to write in this subgenre?

Naomi Clark said...

Hi Anne,

The Urban Wolf series started with the Queer Wolf anthology call for submissions - a friend sent it to me, knowing I love werewolf stories, and I couldn't resist trying my hand at a story. I'd always included queer characters in my writing because I'd always had gay friends and it just seemed odd not to include them. Wolf Strap was the first story I wrote with a lesbian protagonist though, and I just fell in love with Ayla and was very grateful to have the chance to write more stories around her!