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spencer native's wife authors first novel, tormented without a trace
clark to star as tormented leading lady in movie-in-the-making
by kris todd, staff
the daily reporter (spencer, iowa)



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a "life altering" car accident which happened several. years ago has turned into a "juicy" romantic thriller for valerie clark.

clark, who resides in atlanta, ga., with her husband, larry howard, jr. of spencer, always wanted to be an author. but, she didn't actually begin to persue writing until she was forced to recuperate from an automobile accident.

"five years ago, i had taken the day off (on dec. 22) to do some last minute christmas shopping." she said. "...i was broadsided, spun around and went backwards up on the sidewalk...i woke up (the following day) and i couldn't move. ...i had a lot of soft tissue damage that didn't really reveal intself until the next morning.

"...at that time, i decided, "you know what, it's not about chasing the almighty dollar,'" added clark. "i had always wanted to write. so, during my recuperation, which was five years ago, i started writing and i've since written abuot 13 books. i completely changed my life based on that experience."

the new york native had previously worked as a marketing professional on wall street in the area of international investment banking.

"now, i use my marketing skills for non-profit organizations that do good things for the community, " said clark. "i don't earn the type of money that i was earning before. i have a much quieter lifestyle, and i'm able to have much more time to sit down and write quite a lot during the week."

although she aquired no official training, clark admits to writing poetry, music and musical lyrics ever since she was little.

"it was a passion...i decided, 'you know what, if yesterday was my last day i spent it in a car accident, i wouldn't have wanted this to be the way i wanted to go.' i really wanted to express myself and reach people through the written word."

to date, all 13 of her published works are considered book-to-film projects. eight are deemed fictional; three are self-help books based on what clark has learned through her personal experiences; and two are children's books, one of which is going to be an animated feature. her latest novel, "tormented without a trace,' is slated to be a feature film in which she will star in the leading role.

the romantic thriller, which is set on wall street, describes the intertwinings of love and abuse for natalie baylor, a successful investment banker engaged to a prominent attorney. the novel's leading lady goes on a business trip and meets a gentleman whom ahe believes to be her soul mate.

"it's about how that unfolds and a game of stalking becomes deadly serious, " said clark. "it's like 'basic instinct' or 'fatal attraction.' it's in that realm or that genre. it's juicy."

although clark did work in investment banking and grew up in new york, she said that's where the similarities between her and batalie stop.

"i basically took a fictitious plot line and threw some hollywood fun in there, and some lessons as well," she said.

"tormented without a trace" has been nominated for the pen/faulner award and the writer's digest international self-published book of the year award. it is also being considered for the independent publisher award and the before columbus foundation book award.

the romantic thriller is slated to be a film planned for release in theaters nationwide. the film, to be directed by filmmaker frederick cohen, will feature clark as the tormented, love-starved natalie baylor.

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