Interview on Becoming A Writer Blog

*This was originally posted on June 22nd here, but I will post it on the blog as well.

Marie Lavender

What is your name?  

Marie Lavender

How much have you written? 

I have published sixteen books. A list of my books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender:  Upon Your Return

Erica Sutherhome:
Kathryn Layne:  A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse:
Do you have specific title that you are promoting right now? What influenced you to write it? 

I am promoting Upon Your Return, my newest release.  It is a historical romance novel, and it was released in February through Solstice Publishing.

I guess the idea for the book just came to me suddenly one day, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.  It is a love story about two people who have to go through quite a lot of trouble to find their happiness.
Click Marie’s beautiful cover to order a copy of Upon Your Return!

Do you have a blog or website? If so, does it help you promote your work? 

Both, yes.  I have a website that features my books, updates on current and upcoming releases as well as some snippets of my writing.

I run two blogs.  One is a personal blog, and the other is one in which I host other author’s articles, do interviews, etc.

I think those, paired with maintaining my status on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn help with promotion.
What has been the most rewarding part of becoming a writer?  

First, I love seeing my name in print.  It’s so exciting.

Another rewarding part is interacting with potential fans and readers.  I love hearing that people have read my books and that they have liked them.

Receiving compliments on my writing is very helpful to me as an author.  It tells me I have done my job.

What challenges have you faced since becoming a writer?  

Well, it is hard to brand your name, to get your name as an author out there.  I have to admit that, much to my dismay, I spend more time promoting myself than writing these days.  So that is very challenging for me.
The other thing is research.  At least with my current release and the sequel I’m working on right now, I have faced a lot of hurdles with regards to research.

They are both historical romances so that makes it complicated, of course.  But, every labor of love is never easy, right?

Who are your favorite writers, and why? 
All of these are great writers.  Their love stories are classic.
I also like Kerrelyn Sparks, J.R. Ward and P.C. Cast because I not only like reading paranormal romances, I have a weakness for men who also happen to be vampires.  Sigh.  I am writing a couple of vampire stories myself as well (nothing like Twilight, I promise).

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  

Use critique partners for your work.  That will save you a lot of headaches.  You don’t have to use every suggestion, but at least consider them.

And when you’re on the hunt for a literary agent/publisher, don’t give up.  Rejection letters are customary.  We all get them; we all get discouraged.

Keep moving forward.  Keep trying.  Keep writing.  The only person who will be disappointed if you quit is you.