An exciting interview with a talented, multi-genre author, giving readers an insight into her writing world!
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Sure! I come from the Midwestern U.S, from a family of five and I was raised in a small town. I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old. I think I always knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career. I took Creative Writing classes through school, and that was my major in college. In 2012, I received my first book contract, and I’ve been with the same publisher since. I am a pretty creative individual – I’m constantly immersed in various artistic avenues – yet I have a detailed sense of organization, a “focus” which even my fiancé has remarked upon many times. As you can imagine, I’ve created a monster when it comes to trying to get my numerous writing projects finished.
- Tell me a little bit about your book.
Upon Your Love is the ultimate in the trilogy, the Heiresses in Love Series. It has a full cast of characters, and some definite twists and turns readers won’t see coming. UYL picks up about three years after Upon Your Honor left off. The main story concerns Adrienne Hill, a strong, capable young woman who just happens to live in the Victorian era. Of course, she has no idea she’ll meet a handsome stranger who approaches her about a matchmaking scheme. This kicks off several major events in the novel, some involving other characters, but I should probably stop and avoid spoilers here.
- If you had to write this one all over again, go through the whole editing and publishing process from the beginning again, is there anything you’d do differently?
No, I actually wouldn’t. I know most well-established authors are aware that a book is never entirely perfect, even with all the editing we do. But I can truly say that I honored my original vision for the novel, and I listened to the characters who were telling me their stories should be heard. I think I became a better writer because of it.
- Are you a plotter and know what’s going to happen or are you a pantser that lets your characters lead you by the balls?
I am a hybrid, so a bit of both. I try to let the muse lead me as far as possible, and then I get organized when I run into a wall. I still try to leave myself open in case a character becomes difficult, and has his or her own ideas. It’s hard to be a true puppet master with so many voices in your head.
- Do you think being a writer is a gift or is it a curse? Why?
For the most part, I believe it’s a gift. The muse speaks through me, and if I no longer had it, I would grieve just as anyone would for a family member or friend. I think this is my destiny. Not that there aren’t some days when the exhaustion from staying up late into the wee hours following the spark of an idea gets to me. But it’s par for the course, and I know this is what I’m meant to do.
- Parents like to say they don’t have a favorite child, but we all know that’s not true. I could say the same for writers. So who’s your favorite character?
I think Fara is still my favorite (she appears in all three books of the series). I can really relate to her; she reminds me of myself in a lot of ways.
- Do you usually root for the heroes or the villains?
Usually the hero, but now and then a villain (or anti-hero) will have certain characteristics which can cause a moral dilemma.
- Who are your favorite authors?
I have a whole crowd of them, of course. But my top ones at the moment are J.R. Ward, Chloe Neill, Kris Tualla, Linda Lee Williams, Mika Jolie and Nora Roberts.
- Tell me one thing that’s on your bucket list.
Oh! I’d love to go to Ireland. I always wanted to visit, of course, but now that I know I have true Irish roots, it’s like a sickness I can’t ignore.
- If you were asked to write a book in a different genre than your current works, what genre would you choose and why?
I consider myself a multi-genre author, so it’s not really unheard of for me to try new things or even cross genres. I think horror is still a big genre that I haven’t yet tackled. Recently, I was asked to write a short scene from a horror story, and I think I surprised myself with how it turned out. So, if I were to try something entirely different from what I usually write, then perhaps it would be a horror novel.
- What are you working on right now?
Right now, I am finishing up edits on a modern romantic drama collection of four tales, titled Directions of the Heart. I’m also about done with writing Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy and book two of the Blood at First Sight Series.
- What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever researched for one of your books?
For one of my mystery novels, I once researched what drowning would actually do to the human body, and how long it should stay under water before identification was impossible. Weird, I know, but at times a writer’s search history could probably land him or her in jail, even if one’s intentions are innocent.
- What’s the one book you wish you had written?
If you mean someone else’s novel, I don’t. I’d never begrudge another author’s journey and the success that was well-earned.
I am, however, dying to get to work on this six-book series I’ve had in mind for the last while now. It’s about a coven of witches, and the tale is set in the time of the witch trials – sort of a historical romantic fantasy.
- When you were little, what did you dream of being when you grew up?
I always knew this was what I wanted. I’d often go around telling my relatives when they’d ask what I was going to be when I grew up, “I want to be a novelist!” But I just loved the smell and feel of books – you couldn’t keep me away from a library or bookstore – plus I had all of these stories constantly floating in my head. It just made sense to aim for being an author.
- In your most recent work, would you tell us about some of the material that didn’t make it past the cutting room floor?
I actually cut a significant amount of the prologue out; I managed to pare it down enough to get straight into the action. However, this is still the longest novel I’ve ever written.
- Where can our readers find your work?
They can peruse my author website under the ‘My Books’ section or locate them on my Amazon author page. Most of my books are on Amazon, through my publisher, or on CreateSpace, Smashwords, Kobo, and there even some via Lulu. But I’m working on moving my backlist under this pen name.
- What/When is your next release coming out?
Upon Your Love just came out on February 28th. I also had a new release on February 20th, a new adult romance titled The Missing Piece. Directions of the Heart is just about ready for beta readers, so I imagine it may be out in a matter of months.
- How do you want readers to keep in touch with you?
Readers can subscribe to my author newsletter for updates, check out my website, follow me on Amazon, or Facebook through my profile or my official author page, and even follow my Twitter and Google+ pages.
More about Marie Lavender
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.
Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender