“Write what you know” is the usual advice to aspiring writers, and that’s exactly what gave C. Hope Clark the inspiration for her first mystery novel. It worked again for her second book, and she has just done it again for her third.
Clark is the author of a three-book mystery series centering around an agricultural agent named Carolina Slade who in the first book, Lowcountry Bribe, falls in love with a federal investigator.
Not coincidentally, Clark spent 25 years working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture involved in programs that provided loans and grants to farmers. When she encountered an apparent bribery attempt, she worked with two federal investigators — and ended up marrying one of them, Gary Clark.
Even her protagonist’s last name came easily. It’s a branch of Clark’s family tree.
So is Carolina Slade her alter ego? Clark acknowledges pulling from her experiences, but “reality is not as exciting as fiction needs to be.”
Clark, who lives on the banks of Lake Murray, took early retirement from the Department of Agriculture about 10 years ago to devote herself to writing. Her first novel was set in Edisto and appeared in 2012. The second, Tidewater Murder, appeared last year and was set in St. Helena.
Her new release, Palmetto Poison, takes place in Pelion and Columbia, and Slade investigates a web of lies and murder.
Clark will be signing her books from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on May 31 at Books on Broad in Camden. All three have been published by Bell Bridge Books.
Clark could be branching out soon.
“I’ve been contacted by a film agent who’s fallen in love with Carolina Slade, and is hotly pursuing a cable TV series that will hopefully come to fruition,” she says. “The ink has been dry on the contract for about two days now. Exciting stuff!”
Aside from her novels, Clark has been published in a wide variety of magazines.
She also manages an email newsletter service called fundsforwriters.com, which specializes in providing leads on writing for pay. The website reports more than 45,000 subscribers. It has been chosen by Writer’s Digest for its list of 101 Best Websites for Writers.
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Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
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GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
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