Dancing Naked in Dixie - Chick Lit/Contemporary Fiction

Dancing Naked in Dixie
Lauren Clark

There's nothing like an authentic setting to create mood, emotion, and intensity for a story. Compare The Devil Wears Prada's urban skyline with Gone with the Wind's sprawling, lush cotton plantations. There's the stark Swedish landscape in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the complete opposite of Sophie Kinsella's glamorous, Shopaholic London.

In Dancing Naked in Dixie, I wanted to explore the Deep South from a big-city travel writer's perspective. When readers meet Julia Sullivan, she's at home in the anonymity of New York. She's happy disappearing into crowded sidewalks, being whisked away in taxis, and jetting off to plush European resorts.

In tiny Eufaula, Alabama, there's no place for Julia to hide. Faster than she can park her rented SUV, Julia is surrounded by the city's unofficial welcoming committee. First, at the Citgo, she meets Alma and Stump, neither of whom waste any time announcing her arrival to the rest of Eufaula. Charming Shug Jordan--her host and tour guide--is ready and waiting--along with his sister and windshield-cracking niece. Not an hour later, Julia is introduced to Shug's girlfriend, Mary Katherine, the flamboyant B&B owner Roger, and the entire Jordan family, including MeeMaw, matriarch and keeper of secrets.

Like many of us, Julia harbors many cliche and preconceived notions about an area of the country she's never visited. While the city is boasts the typical BBQ joints, high-strung Southern debutantes, and SEC college football fanatics, her expectations are shattered when the people of Eufaula open their hearts and homes to embrace and care for a complete stranger. Dancing Naked in Dixie is about a girl finding happiness where she least expects it.