Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Interview with bestselling author Marie Lavender #bestsellingauthor #interview #marielavender

Please welcome Marie!

Please give us your website addy, a list of your books and a short bio.

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title - winner of the "Broken Heart" themed contest and the "I Love You" themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers' Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers' Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Some were under various pen names. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. 

Author Links

Amazon author page:

A list of my books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature; "Lovers Like Us" (featured poem from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick; Second Chance Heart

Blurb for Second Chance Heart

After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

How do you usually come up with a story idea?  Dreams?  Writer’s journal? Eavesdropping on conversations?  Newspaper?

Actually, a lot of those are spot on. Events or conversations can inspire new story ideas for me. And then, sometimes ideas come randomly, out of virtually nowhere, from that jumble of consciousness. I have a theory that writers store up experiences and impressions, then mix them up in their brains for awhile and they spit ideas out onto the page in a new form.

What importance do you place on writing workshops?  What workshops would you recommend to us?

I actually think they’re very helpful. I had many back in my college writing classes. The downside is that you get 26 different critiques of your story and you have to weigh them all equally, deciding what feedback can really help your manuscript. But I really would recommend a writing workshop or at least a critique partner set-up for writers. We all need help, and getting a second opinion, or third or fourth, from people who are familiar with writing isn’t a bad idea. Here are some resources to find good critique partners:

And this is a list of writing online classes that offer workshops. Some are free, while some aren’t.

You can also check out local universities or writing organizations and clubs that offer workshops.

What person would you like to thank for inspiring you in your writing aspirations?  How did this person help you?

My fiancé has always been incredibly supportive. He has also been a source of inspiration in my romance stories, because there is HUGE difference between loving someone and being in love.

Have you ever used songs for inspiration?

Oh, definitely. I often listen to music while I’m writing. At other times, I get weird and I need total silence. Once I used a Celtic jig to inspire a dancing scene in a historical romance/fantasy story titled Prophecy. That one is part of the future Witches of Moonhaven Series. And not too long ago, I was listening to “Almost Lover” by A Fine Frenzy, and it inspired a particularly emotional scene in Magick Sunrise, a lighthearted romantic fantasy work in progress which is part of The Magick Series.

Do you play music when you write?  If so, what kind?  Or, do you have to have silence or background noise to set your writing muse free?

As aforementioned, I do play music sometimes when I’m writing. With creative endeavors, I usually stick to new age or electronic, something smooth or upbeat like Owl City or Lights. If I’m feeling angsty or annoyed, I listen to Paramore, Icon for Hire or Evanescence and that helps me feel better. It also contributes to difficult characters or scenes with arguments. For emotional scenes, I sometimes listen to something deeper like Adele. When I’m editing my work, I need complete silence or I’m liable to go crazy. LOL.

What is your process from idea to first draft?

Good question. It mostly starts out as a crumb. Sometimes I have a loose plot line, but not always. Or at other times, a story is launched from a random scene that pops into my head. From there, I write as many scenes or chapters as I can without doing any big planning. When I get stuck, I start researching and I make a detailed outline. Then I keep writing until I have a completed manuscript.

Have you ever given assistance to a struggling new writer?  Has another writer ever come to your aide?  How?

I have. I try to help however I can, even if I only have enough time to refer the writer to the right resources for more information. And yes, other writers have helped me with feedback on my manuscripts. I use beta readers and critique partners with every project.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?

My greatest accomplishments? I’d have to say a big one was receiving my first book contract in 2012. That was awesome! And then all of the awards I’ve received along the way. It has been quite a journey. Also, I wouldn’t be anything without my loyal readers, who eagerly anticipate each new release.

If you won the big lottery, what would you do with the money?  Would you give any of it to charity?  If so, which one?

If I had that much money, I’d for sure pay off my bills! Who wouldn’t, right? I would invest in a nice house and finally marry my fiancé, take a great honeymoon to the tropics or maybe Ireland. Then I’d buy my parents a beautiful house, thereby thanking them for all their love and support. I’d set a good amount of money aside to live on, so that I can comfortably write my books as a full-time author. And finally? Yes, I would donate a large amount to charity. There are so many causes I see all the time. I subscribe to and I see a lot of charities in their emails. I’d probably donate to PETA and a few other pet rescue organizations first because animals have no rights whatsoever, and there are a lot of sick people doing some unspeakable things to them. And among others, I’d donate to some organizations that help battered women or rape victims. I was once in an abusive relationship, and I always feel for anyone in those situations. No one deserves to go through that.

What is the best advice you want to give to a new writer?

Have an iron will. Believe in yourself as much as possible. It’s a pretty lonely journey at times. And my go-to method? Persistence and perseverance. You’re going to run into a lot of obstacles. Acknowledge that it happened, then keep trying. If it has to do with a flaw in your writing, do all you can to teach yourself how to fix the problem in your manuscript, as long as you’re not sacrificing your story’s vision for what someone else wants. The industry is very competitive, but we shouldn’t have to sell out either.

If you could choose an animal for a mascot, what animal would it be?  What do you admire about this animal?  Do you feel you have qualities similar to this animal?  If so, what are they?

The white tiger, of course! I think these animals are strong in stature, fierce against the odds and beautiful, qualities I’d hope to be.

If money, education and fear factors were set aside, what three careers would you like to attempt other than writing?

1      An owner of a book store. I love books, and being around them all the time? That’s right up my alley!

2     A singer. I don’t care if it’s in a lounge or I’m recording my own music independently. Along with that, I’d also like to learn how to play an instrument, maybe the piano.

3     An editor. If I had the time to really learn how to do it, I think it would be rather rewarding to help authors polish their books.

If money, talent and fear were no object, what big adventure would you like to have?

Oh, goodness! If I wasn’t afraid of heights, I think I’d try rock climbing or skydiving! It might be pretty exhilarating to be that daring.

What characteristics do you like to instill in your heroes? What characteristics do you feel are necessary for a good heroine?

My heroes have to be strong, but still willing to recognize a woman’s worth. He usually has a dark past or something he has dealt with that makes him the man he is today. A good heroine is the perfect match for the hero; her strengths and vulnerabilities complement his. I also like a girl who can kick butt now and then. LOL.

If you had the power to change two things in the world, what would those two things be?

Hate and illness. We could use a lot less of both on this planet.

If could have a super power for a day, what would it be?  Why?

I think a lot of writers are secretly fascinated with psychology, with how characters tick, so probably mind-reading. It might be interesting to see what people are thinking. Writers are already natural observers.

Thanks so much for reading today's post. Hope you enjoyed it!

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