Author feature ‘Self Love’ by TL Clark

An extract from Self Love by TL Clark

Meet Molly; a 30-something florist with issues. 
With her health, and perhaps sanity hanging in the balance, she must face her personal demons, which sound uncannily like her mother. 
This is her personal-growth-whilst-shrinking story. Sprinkled with toils of weight loss, dredging dates, flowering friendship.
Will she blossom or wither?

The bride looks resplendent as she wafts down the aisle like a drifting cloud, but a stone plummets into the deep well of my stomach.
No, I’m not the bride, I’m over here. Cooee! See me waving my hand? No, back further, in the…1, 2, 3…17th row on the bride’s side.
I’m sandwiched between two very fat people. Really, I’m big myself, but I expect other fatties to have respect for one another’s parameters. Too many parts of our bodies are touching, and I’m really not comfortable with that. 
Yes, here I am. Hello, my name’s Molly. Pleased to meet you. I’m sorry it’s not under better circumstances. 
‘But you’re at a wedding,’ I hear you cry, ‘Surely this is a time of merriment and celebration?’ Well, not this one. Before I launch into vitriol, I’d like to point out that I’m not normally this bitter. But today’s one massive ordeal, and we’ve not even got to the vows yet. 
This bridezilla really takes the biscuit. She, who also answers to the name Amelia, contacted me a mere two weeks ago to call in a favour, as her florist let her down. Those were her words. But having worked on this wedding, I think the woman in white stamped her foot once too often and the florist quite rightly decided it simply wasn’t worth it.
I’m not even sure which favour Amelia thought I owed her. It’s not like she’s ever done anything for me. We worked together when I had an office job. She thought she ruled the roost even then, despite the fact we were on the same pay grade. 
Anyway, stupid gullible me felt some sort of obligation to help out an old…acquaintance. God, I can’t even bring myself to call her a friend. Why did I do this? 
I’m a florist. My business is still being built up, but it’s doing OK. I suppose I hoped a big wedding like this might help promote me a bit more. Oh, that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? But really, if she was as great a friend as she insinuated, wouldn’t she have hired me from the outset?
But no, she walked into my little house, armed with her mother. Yes, my business is run from home at the moment. Amelia oozed charm and implored me to come to her aid. What was I to do? I couldn’t say no. Maybe I should’ve, but I couldn’t.
Amelia, who had at best, disregarded my presence before, managed to enlist my services at mates’ rates. Her mother glared icy daggers at me the whole time, daring me to say no. I firmly believe she was disappointed that I didn’t give her an excuse to launch into a torrent of verbal abuse. 
Looking around the church I can see just how conned I was. I’m getting virtually nothing for all this work, and yet they don’t seem short of a bob or two. Nothing has been spared anywhere else. That dress alone must have a price tag in the thousands. 
That’s not even the worst thing. Do you want to know the most deplorable part of this whole sorry saga? Gyp! She demanded bloody gypsophila in her bouquet. You may know it as baby’s breath. The tiny white fluffy, ridiculous flowers are nothing but fillers used by lazy florists, or ones stuck in the eighties. It’s hideous and smells like cat pee.
I had tried to keep it to a minimum in the bouquet, and hid it as much as possible, but Amelia has only gone and bloody teased it out, so it’s sticking in all directions now. This is my professional reputation here. I’m spitting feathers.
The bridal bouquet contains as many peonies as my limited budget would allow, along with some hydrangeas, sweet peas, and roses; all in white. All designed to disguise the appearance and smell of the gyp. 

Catch the video on YouTube

A Bite of... TL Clark
Q1: How much of you is in your hero/villain?

With Molly, she’s as close as I may ever get to an autobiography tbh. Her story was inspired by (but not based on) my own Slimming World journey. I have been my own worst enemy, and called myself horrible names, and been my severest critic. I sometimes still am, but I’m a work in progress. And I’m getting better at being kind to myself. 

Q2: Is it important to include all shades of belief and sexual orientation in a book?

I’m exploring different kinds of love, so yes, this includes different sexual orientations. There’s a gay boy who features heavily in my CSA survivor romance, Broken & Damaged Love. 
Love Bites uses my own pagan and witch learning to create a magickal world for my own witches. This paranormal romance has now won a bronze medal in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards. Not that I’m bragging. OK, I’m totally bragging; it’s awesome! 
Incidentally, there’s sexual fluidity in that duology too. 

Q3: Chocolate cake or coffee cake?

Chocolate cake. I adore chocolate and exist on coffee, but can’t bear the two things mixed together. Does that make me weird? 

About TL Clark

TL Clark is a British author of heart-racing, tear-inducing tales of love.
Her mission is to explore different kinds of love, with the hope of uncovering some of its mysteries.
So far, she has discovered that coffee may be the source of life.

You can find TL Clark on Goodreads, Facebook, D2D, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Bookbub and her own blog. You can also sign up for her newsletter.

 

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