Meet Marie Lavender!
A little about the author-
At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. 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 2010, Marie has published 23 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, dramatic fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.
We haven’t had the pleasure to read any of Marie’s work so we are getting to know her along with some great answers to fun questions…
Do you remember what made you want to become an author? How old were you?
I was around nine years old when I was telling everyone in my family that I wanted to be a novelist. What made me want to do this? I think I was always obsessed with books, found myself immersed in those fictional worlds, and when stories began to spin in my head and wouldn’t leave me alone, it just felt natural to write them all down.
Who are some authors that you look up to or admire?
Some of my favorite authors are J.R. Ward, Chloe Neill, Nora Roberts, Kris Tualla and P.C. Cast. The list just goes on. I was also inspired by Kurt Vonnegut, and classic authors like Emily Dickinson, Aphra Behn, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. They weren’t afraid to be real with the reader or break the mold on their genres.
Who would be your dream co-author?
Chloe Neill, maybe. Writing a paranormal with her would be a fascinating experience. I always love kick-ass heroines and she masters that so well.
Out of all the characters you have created, which is your absolute favorite?
Tough question. I love all of them! But, I guess Fara Bellamont (Hill) still tugs at my heartstrings. It’s probably why she has a new spotlight in the final book of the Heiresses in Love Series, Upon Your Love, which is coming out in late February.
As you know, Crystal likes to create recipes based on books. If there was one recipe you would say would go hand in hand with your book, what would it be?
Probably cheeseburgers made with California marinade (I can scan and email you the recipe). The female main character of Blue Vision, Brooke, is a vegetarian at first, but she starts to warm up to the idea of meat later on.
What do you look for when designing or purchasing book covers?
I look for something that really captures the idea of the book. I like to find stock images that look close enough to the characters, and if I can include other elements related to the story, I will.
Do you listen to music or create a play list when writing or do you need complete silence to be with your muse?
I listen to music sometimes while writing, but music is a no-no when I’m editing. When I’m in the midst of writing a scene, I usually like to listen to music that isn’t too harsh on the eardrums or distracting to the story I’m creating. I’m a big fan of Pandora and I Heart Radio because you can input your favorite artists, and they’ll not only cater the music to that band or singer, but also ones that sound similar. It’s a great way to discover new music while immersing myself in writing.
How often do you find time to read? How long would you say your TBR is?
When I’m not writing, I try to read a few books per month. But when I’m focused on a project, I will read a book now and then, sure, yet I don’t want to get too distracted. And yes, my TBR list on my Amazon Wishlist, my Kindle and Goodreads is pretty long. You can’t be a good writer without first being in love with books.
What advice would you have for your younger self who just started writing?
Have more patience. Know when to pursue the things you want, but don’t be a pain-in-the-ass in the process. LOL.
As an author do you have any regrets?
Not really. I think I ended up where I’m supposed to be. The path is always moving, and I never know what to expect around the corner. I think that’s better than having everything mapped out because you can’t really plan your writer’s journey to a tee. Opportunities you may never have imagined will arise and it’s good to be ready for them.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone alive or dead, who would you choose?
My grandmother. Man, I miss her so much. She was dynamic, the glue that held our big extended family together. I know she had so much more to teach me. I’d like to know more about my Irish roots, which I didn’t discover until a few years ago.
How often would you say your real life inspires your writing?
Now and then, it does. I’d like to think there’s a jumble of consciousness in the chaos that is my mind. My muse draws from past experiences in many ways. At least, I believe it does. I’ve heard people close to me say they can see me in my writing. It’s not always intentional, but I think it’s still there.
Would you ever want any of your works to become a television show or movie? If so, who is on your dream cast?
Well, sure! Who wouldn’t? I’ve always pictured the Heiresses in Love Series as a movie. Probably the Blood at First Sight Series and the Code of Endhivar Series too. Here is my cast for each series:
The Heiresses in Love Series
Grant – Gerard Butler
Fara – Isla Fisher
Chloe Waverly – Julianne Hough
Gabriel Hill – Simon Woods
Adrienne – Jessica Green
Christian – Eduardo Verastegui
Annabelle – Molly C. Quinn
Andre – Matt Lanter
Eric – Russell Crowe
Claudette – Olivia Wilde
Elena – Ashley Benson
Pierce – Michael Trevino
Marcel – Ian Somerhalder
The Blood at First Sight Series
Desiree – Moon Bloodgood
Alec – Matt Bomer
Myah – Megan Young
Oliver – Jessie Pavelka
Jared – Bradley James
Rhiannon – Lyndsy Fonseca
The Code of Endhivar Series
Brooke – Emily Black
Colin – Brandon Routh
Kemara – Sarah Gadon
Sean – Tyler Hoechlin
How do you react or deal with negative reviews of your work?
It’s discouraging at first, but I’ve never responded publicly to them. That just makes you look rude and pathetic as an author. I read them, and then move on. What good will it do to dwell on something negative?
Do you have any upcoming signings you will be attending?
Signings? No. I do have some upcoming releases, however, and any reader can go to Authorgraph to get any of their ebooks signed by me. You can also check out my news on the Updates page of my website or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
What are you currently working on?
I’m editing a contemporary romantic drama collection titled Directions of the Heart. It’s comprised of four stories about eight different people on a journey of loss, growth, redemption, healing and romance. Additionally, I’m finishing the second book of the Blood at First Sight Series, which is titled Blood Instincts. It’s a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy. And this year, I plan to work on a paranormal romantic thriller collection, which is called Awakening.
How do you prepare to write? Do you have a ritual before you are ready to write?
Usually scenes come to me randomly, but when I’m focused on a project, I need a nice gel pen and a pretty journal. Then I work on a full outline of the book before I launch into writing more scenes and chapters. I usually need some quiet time so I can think about where I last left off.
Do you believe in magic and or a paranormal world like in your books?
Sure! I’ve witnessed some paranormal activity before, and I’ve written about paranormal characters. And as for magic? I’ve written about witches. I just try to keep an open mind. Hence why Blue Vision came about (Aliens are people too. LOL). I think my take on paranormal phenomenon or magic is that there’s still so much about this world we don’t know. So why can’t these things exist?
As an author do you prefer to read via ebook or paperback?
I’m usually more comfortable with paperback or hardcover. I think it’s a tactile thing. I have to touch the story in order to be absorbed into that world.
If you could have anyone and we mean anyone featured on a cover of your book who would it be?
Oh…hmm. I have a little crush on Hugh Jackman, so if he was willing to be on a cover, it would be hard not to have fan fever.
Who would you say most supports and inspires you?
My fiancé is endlessly supportive and constantly inspires me in my work. Not only because I default to writing romance and our relationship is inspiring, but also because he backs me up no matter what I want to do in life.
As an author how do you feel about the pressure that can be put on you to release new books?
There is some pressure, of course. I guess I feel more pressure when it comes to series’ books rather than standalones. I know readers are waiting for the next book in the series, and they won’t wait forever, right? However, the muse has its own timeline and I’ve learned to pay attention to it. It usually knows what to do, and I have to honor my characters when they’re ready to come onto the page. Forcing something will only disappoint me and my readers. So, I guess I just let my instincts lead me.
What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done?
Actually, this one was positive, but different for me. I guess sometimes I’m still a Luddite. But I stumbled across a really great review for a romantic suspense one day, and I was shocked that when I clicked on the link it was actually a video of the fan touting the book! It was such a rewarding and humbling experience, and I have enormous gratitude that she went to all that trouble.
How did you become part of the indie community?
That’s easy. I guess I became a hybrid in some manner. I not only have traditionally published books, I also publish books on my own. It just depends on the book. Being an indie author and blogger has led me to interactions with lots of other indie authors.
How do you deal with fear or jitters before a new release?
I feel nerves the same way I do when I’m doing a radio interview. Public speaking and being in the spotlight always made me nervous. That’s probably weird for someone who was in choir for years, and often had solos. But I still feel it. I’ve noticed, though, that it starts to fade as soon as I launch into whatever I’m doing…