Interview on the Your Stories blog

*This originally posted here, but I will post it below as well.

I feel connected to the characters - Marie Lavender

Today's Author : Marie Lavender

1.       What you write?
I write romance novels.  I have written literary fiction, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, mystery, paranormal romance and historical romance novels.
2                              2. Why you write?
I write because I cannot see myself doing anything else.  When I write stories or books, I feel connected to the characters.  I feel like everything fits.  Writing is one of my greatest pleasures.


3.        For whom you write?
I have self-published 15 books and published one traditionally.  For my self-published books, I used Lulu.com to publish.  Upon Your Return, my historical romance, was traditionally published through Solstice Publishing.  But, I write for myself and for my readers.  Hopefully, something I write resonates with them.  I love hearing fans come back and say how much they enjoyed a book, and why.

4. By whom you inspired?
Sometimes people inspire me.  Just observing them gives me ideas for characters.  At other times, I am inspired by current events.  Mostly, my ideas just come to me and I don’t really question where they came from.


5 .You can Share you current writing (Any small Story/Poem) or Tell your Future plan About writing?
I am currently working on a romantic suspense called Leather and Lace.  It will be published soon.  I also plan to release an anthology titled Miss Lavender’s Anthology of Ramblings.  I am polishing my sequel to Upon Your Return so that I can send to my publisher.   I will share an excerpt from Leather and Lace here.
Beacon Hill, Boston
When he got to the crime scene on Warrenton, Detective Dreyling got out of his car.  He muttered a customary greeting to the officer near the black and white unit stationed outside and headed into the club, Venu. Despite the fact that it was a pretty hot club, he wasn’t really surprised shady things were going on. Venu was placed in a pretty nondescript area of Beacon Hill, and crime wasn’t really location dependent.  
Patrick was the first investigator on the scene, though he imagined the second officer inside had had his own questions.  Patrick’s partner was away for the night because his wife was down with their second baby.  The doctor had put her on bed rest and even though her sister helped out often, his partner Nathan understandably wanted to check in on her from time to time.   
Patrick made inquiries to the owner, a Mr. Francis, and was motioned to the back.  According to the man, the victim was seen leaving the establishment.  He put his gloves on in preparation, then opened the exit door to the back alley. 
                When he stepped out, it was clear the exit let out onto Charles Street, a pretty heavily trafficked street.  It was not far from the Milner Hotel.  By now, the crime scene had been taped off, but there was no officer around to patrol.  The familiar smell of blood and death drifted into his nose as well as the combination of dirt and trash. Stealing himself against it, he headed down the walkway. 
He stopped as he saw a figure leaning over the still form.  He wondered if it was another cop.  As he got closer, he saw the long hair, knew it was a woman.  The lamplight hit her face and his heart stammered.  She was a beauty, for sure, with a heart shaped face and long, wavy brown hair.  But, what drew him the most was the look on her face.  The tears swimming in her eyes, the deep regret.  She certainly did not dress like a cop.  She wore black skinny jeans and a matching top as well as stiletto boots as she kneeled over the body. The clothes she wore were elegant somehow.  She struck him as powerful.  She probably had a powerful job as well.  “Ma’am?”
                She recoiled, gasping and turned to run, effectively breaking the police tape.
                “Hey, stop!  Police!”  He suspected she might know the victim and so might provide some information.  He doubted she was the suspect, mostly because of her compassion toward the man.  But, he had to give her credit as he broke into a run after her.  The woman could sure run in heels.  It was impressive.  He followed her a good three blocks or so until they reached Lagrange.  He saw her enter through the back of a club.  Cursing, he propped his hands on his knees and got his breath back.  Well, he knew where to find her.  And with a body like that, he assumed she was a dancer.  He knew the place, The Glass Slipper.    
                Reluctantly, he headed back to the crime scene, though her escape really got to him.  He had given chase to many suspects and hadn’t lost once.  Well, he certainly wouldn’t be floating the story around at the precinct.  She was a person of interest in the case, but no one needed to know about it.  He didn’t bother to wonder why a woman of her looks and character should be a mystery he very much wanted to unravel.  He was a cop.  It was his job to figure people out.
                When he returned to Venu, the medical examiner had already arrived.  Dr. Tremont was clear that it was a stabbing, but she informed him she wouldn’t know what kind of knife it was until she did the autopsy.  The body was bagged and sent away. 
                Patrick had recovered enough belongings to know the victim’s I.D. and little else.  He interviewed the patrons of the club, then spoke with the owner, informing him the CSI unit would still need a couple more hours to process the scene.  It was possible hair and other tissue could be found, but Patrick really didn’t consider it likely since the street was so busy.  He would put Nathan on the 911 call tomorrow to try to determine who it was who’d phoned it in.  The club owner had seemed far too surprised when the first car came on the scene.  So, who had called it in?  The murderer?  A witness?  Someone who’d just stumbled across the body? 
                An image of that woman came to mind.  Long legs, enough curves to make his throat suddenly dry.  He shook it off.  It didn’t matter how attractive she was.  She could be any of those things.  He still had a job to do.  The clear emotion on her face had moved him, he had to admit.  So, it was very possible she had only come upon the victim in his final moments.  That couldn’t have been easy to see.  In any case, he would find her and figure out how she’d been involved.
                He returned to his District A-1 precinct on Sudbury Street.  He updated his Captain, filed a report and headed home.
6. We came to know that you believe in ghosts. Tell us how this thought come to you?  You saw any ghosts?
No, I haven’t seen a ghost.  But, I am very open-minded to the supernatural.  I guess that’s part of the reason I am interested in paranormal romance.  I even published one ghost story, a book about a young woman who tries to seek revenge on her killer.  It is called A Misplaced Life.
7.  What is love? Tell us your view on this.
I think that love, the kind we write about, is an ideal.  I believe there are all kinds of love, but I tend to write about true love, or at least bonds that become a lasting love.  True love is a meeting of two minds from different backgrounds, and yet, at the core of each person, in their souls, they are the same.
8. Give five pieces of advice to a new writer?
That is a hard question.  1) Don’t give up.  There are lot of hurdles to jump in the industry, and it can get discouraging.  2) Follow the guidelines of the industry, but find your own voice.  Only you will be unhappy with end result if you don’t follow your own vision.  3) Get an agent, if you can.  Most publishers require one.  They will open doors.  But, do your due diligence too.  You don’t want to get attached to a shady character.  4) Write a killer query letter.  So many agents won’t even give you the time of day without one.  Publishers are pretty picky about them too.  5) Make sure you have a second or third pair of eyes to look at your manuscript (i.e. critique partners or beta readers).  They may be able to catch things you couldn’t see.
9. Give five pieces of advice to a reader?
1) Read what you’re interested in, but don’t be afraid to try something new.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll stumble across a new favorite author. 2) Open your heart and your mind to a book.  I have found a lot of basic truths in other authors’ works.  3) Word of mouth is wonderful!  If you like a book, tell your friends.  Maybe they’ll like it too.  4) Write a review!  So many readers do not write reviews.  Authors thrive on reviews and without them, their books sit around and don’t get read, even if they are masterpieces.  The industry is very competitive and to get noticed nowadays, with so many famous authors and self-published writers in the same marketplace, is difficult.  So, I encourage you to write a review if you like a book.  5)  Everyone has a different opinion.  What might work for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa.  It’s just like when you disagree with someone about your favorite movie or TV show.   Don’t ruin their experience of a book, and don’t necessarily be swayed by their negative opinion.  Experience it for yourself.  The world inside a book is so wonderful.  If it appeals to one person, it may not to another.  We are all different.  We have different tastes and different backgrounds.  So, we can agree to disagree about things. 

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