I’d like to offer a warm welcome to Romance author Marie Lavender! I feel confident that you will enjoy the following interview. Personally, I can relate to so many things Marie has to say.
When did you first discover the desire to write was so strong in you?
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an author. I began writing stories at the age of nine and really never stopped. I had a pretty big imagination, and even when I was a small child, I entertained myself with play worlds including characters and plots. It’s no wonder that’s what I ended up wanting to do.
Do you usually write in the same genre you tend to prefer to read?
Yes, for the most part. I love reading romance novels, and I definitely write them. Though I read a lot of different sub-genres such as contemporary, historical and paranormal. I have written in these sub-genres as well.
When reading, do you prefer traditional printed books or ebooks?
Though I am coming to accept the prevalence of digital technology, I have a definite preference for traditional books. I love the texture, and I love collecting them. I want a huge library at some point!
Have you been influenced and/or inspired by another writer, or writers?
Of course! I have been influenced by Catherine Coulter, Jennifer Blake, Nora Roberts, Emma Wildes, Tessa Dare and Nicholas Sparks. These are some of my favourite authors as well. I have also been inspired by classic authors such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte.
Do past or current events in your life have an influence on your writing?
I believe that my experiences have fashioned me as a writer, in a way. Sometimes I can look back through what I’ve written and track where I was in my life based on what is there. So, I think events, either past or present, have a definite effect on an author.
Have you got a favourite author, who stands well ahead of all others?
For historical romance, I would choose Jennifer Blake or Catherine Coulter. For contemporary romance, probably it would have to be Nora Roberts. For paranormal romance, I definitely love J.R. Ward.
Have you got both printed and digital books published?
Yes, I do. I have published sixteen books under various pen names. Nearly all are available in print and digital forms. My last release, Upon Your Return, is available in e-book format, and the print version will be coming out in May or June. You can find information on the rest of my books at marielavender.webs.com.
Do you try to write to satisfy what is fashionable, or do you write pieces that you would want to read?
Though I have wondered if there is a niche for some of my works, I mainly write what comes out, what makes me passionate to write about. My ideas just come to me randomly so I just write and hope that someone will want to read it. After a manuscript is finished, then I can worry about whether there is an audience for it. Someone told me once, “You do what you have to do. You write for yourself, not to please anyone else.” I didn’t get into it for money or anything trivial. I just write because I love writing.
How do you fit writing into your life? Do you have set times for writing?
That is an interesting question. My life feels so hectic sometimes! The best thing to say to that is that I just try. I try to set aside time every day to write, no matter when it is. I am a night owl so I do end up writing in the evening quite a lot, but I have been known to write during the day as well. Sometimes the mood just strikes me, and I have to write or it will drive me crazy.
Do you keep every jotting of ideas, just in case they might be developed at some later date?
I keep journals. I write everything down. I also keep files, digital and hard copy, even for my less developed ideas. I never seem to run out of ideas. They come to me all the time, even when I am focused on a specific project.
Do you write freeform or do you faithfully plan every piece meticulously before you start on a piece?
I write as I go. Scenes come to me in pretty much any order in a story, and I figure the rest out later. Though I might have a good idea about the main point of a book, what happens is just as surprising to me as the reader. Sometimes I go back and do my research and add those details in later. Sometimes I do research as I go. It depends on the book. Yes, I know preparation is best for some writers. But, I can’t turn off the muse.
When writing, most authors now use a computer of some description. Which do you find more satisfying: writing using any means available, using a computer, using a typewriter or using a pen/pencil?
Someone called me a Luddite once because I preferred writing in pen rather than composing on the computer. And some days, I still do. I like the texture of the paper as your pen goes across the page. I like to see handwritten documents. But, I have grown to accommodate myself to technology, and I just as easily compose on my PC.
Have you ever been somewhere and discovered a copy of a book that’s extremely difficult to find, and drooled over the discovery?
Yes, I believe I have. Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated with the written word. I collect books, as aforementioned. So, I believe I did find something in an antique store once. It was only a 1947 copy of American folk songs, but I still found that interesting. I also visit used-book stores from time to time. My shelves are full of used-books with yellowed pages and crinkled corners. I find most of my rare purchases online though. I would love to purchase older books, like classic novels. I don’t know much about preservation, but I would definitely like to add them to my collection.
If you’ve had books published in print form, have you ever come across a copy of one of your own books by accident?
It’s funny you mention that! Fifteen of my books were published through Lulu Press. And my latest book is through Solstice Publishing. My books can be found on Amazon, Lulu.com or Solstice.com. Where was I going with that? I’m getting there. I found out that an independent seller was trying to sell two copies of my books through Amazon for an ungodly amount of money. I don’t know who it is, but I just found that kind of comical.
What is your greatest ambition in writing?
I’d like to see my books in stores someday. Just that satisfaction would be enough for me. I don’t have to make millions. The other thing is I just want to write, and I want to feel I have made an impact on someone’s life. Maybe something a character went through really made the reader think. If I got a response like that, that would mean a lot to me. My goal for now, though, is to complete The Heiresses in Love series.
Where can readers find out more about your works?
You can visit my website at marielavender.webs.com. I also have blogs at marielavender.blogspot.com and marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com. All of my books are on Amazon. You can also follow my pages or connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
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. At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fuelled a lot of her early child’s play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.
Since then, Marie has published sixteen books. Marie Lavender’s real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Most of her works have a romantic element involved in them. Upon Your Return is her first historical romance novel. free to visit her website at marielavender.webs.com for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return
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
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things