Interview on Lannah Sawers-Diggins Blog
Monday, December 2, 2013
PUBLISHED AUTHOR OF SEVENTEEN BOOKS (TO DATE) AND COUNTING
1 Please tell us a little about your background.
A: I come from a small town in the Midwest. It was just my parents and three kids. I was the youngest.
2 You are an established author. Have you always wanted to write or when did you discover this desire?
A: Yes, it seems like I always wanted to write. Pretty much from the time I was nine years old, I wanted to be an author.
3 As a teenager, was there anything else you had considered as a career?
A: At one point, I considered owning my own bookstore because I loved books so much. I also thought about being a singer. I was in choir practically all of my life and I considered singing professionally, but I was really too shy at the time for it.
4 How old were you when you discovered the writer in you?
A: Nine years old.
5 What triggered your desire to write?
A: I wish I knew what started it. It just seemed like I always had an active imagination. When other kids were playing outside, I had whole scenes and stories in my head. Not that I didn’t have a couple of friends too. I was just a little more of an introvert.
A: I have published seventeen books.
7 Who and/or what inspires you?
A: I write romance so I am inspired by many things, mostly true love. Reading about it or seeing it in films is inspiring to me. I prefer to see it in real life though. When I see two people who are simply made for each other in life, that is very inspiring. My fiancé also inspires me every day, whether it is his encouragement of me or his own creative ambitions. I am also inspired any time I can tell how much he loves me. What is more inspiring to a romance writer than having her own love story?
8 You are successfully self-published. Did you consider going through any of the mainstream publishing houses first?
A: Of course I did. And I had certainly planned to all along. But, I watched how the self-publishing craze took on a life of its own and it made me curious. I thought I’d try it myself. I started out with my literary fiction, knowing it was hard to find a market for short stories, and compiled them into anthologies. After that, I published various books, mostly contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance and mysteries.
9 ‘Upon Your Return’ is published through traditional publishing. How did that happen, when your other titles were self-published?
A: I really always planned to publish 'Upon Your Return' traditionally. It was a very long project for me, a nearly ten year project. But, I worked hard and got it where I wanted it before I started sending queries to agents and publishers.
10 The cover of ‘Upon Your Return’ is beautiful. Who designed that?
A: Kayden McLeod was the cover artist.
11 How have you proceeding with your marketing?
A: I have done what I can. My marketing budget has been pretty limited so I have mainly used Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. I also try to have listings of my books wherever I can. And I have a few book cover ads as well.
12 You enjoy reading. Do you have any favourite authors?
A: Definitely. Some of my favourites are Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, J.R. Ward, P.C. Cast and Kerrelyn Sparks.
13 What other hobbies do you have?
A: Besides reading and writing? Hmm. Well, I love music so I spend a lot of time listening to different types of music. Sometimes I use music to set the mood for my writing. And, of course, I sing along because for the moment, I still have the ability to sing. LOL. I also have some TV shows I follow. And I see films when I can.
14 Have you ever read any titles more than once?
A: Of course. I do that now and then, revisit old titles to see if they are still just as good as the first time I read them.
14 What is your favourite genre?
A: Romance is my favourite. I have branched out and tried other types of books, but romance is my favourite. I enjoy reading paranormal romance, contemporary and historical romance.
16 Have you had much to do with the media and interviews? How did you start that – please tell us all about it.
A: I have never been on widespread media channels, but I have done interviews. In August of 2012, 'Upon Your Return' was accepted by Solstice Publishing. After that, I started to learn more about how to market my books. I realized blogging was a big thing, and so were interviews. My first online interview was with RC Bonitz on his site. It posted in March of 2013, about a month after 'Upon Your Return' was released. http://rcbonitz.com/2013/03/20/483/ From that point on, I did everything I could to find bloggers that might interview me or spotlight my book. I also did guest articles. But, I gave back too. I launched my own blog that offered author interviews, guest posts and poetry spotlights. You can subscribe or join the blog here. http://marielavender.blogspot.com/ Writing in the Modern Age has really taken on a life of its own. It’s been such a joy working with a bunch of different writers.
17 Whether a victim or not, how do you feel about bullying?
A: Of course, I don’t condone it. No one should be put down or shamed for being different. They shouldn’t be treated unfairly for any reason. I’m not sure how we can enforce it, but if I had children, I would want to protect them.
18 Do you feel the governments and schools are doing enough to try to control or stop this act?
A: There is clearly a public outcry against it. But, I don’t know if much is being done about it. I see some changes, but I think it will be awhile before we see enough done to stop it altogether.
19 What is next in the pipeline for Marie Lavender?
A: Well, I just released a new book - 'Leather and Lace'. It is a romantic suspense and was published under my pen name Erica Sutherhome. I also plan to have an anthology out soon. I am polishing the sequel to 'Upon Your Return' right now. I am also working on another romantic suspense with a writing partner. Additionally, I plan to re-release all my old titles under one name. So, there’s quite a bit on my plate. LOL.
20 Do you have a message you would like to impart to the world?
Titles of Marie's Books include:
'Unsettling Responsibility' (short story from 'Writing Out of the Margin' - 2005)
'A Time to Fall' (short story from 'Writing Out of the Margin' - 2005)
'Express Cafe & Other Ramblings'
'Ramblings, Musings & Other Things'
'Soulful Ramblings & Other Worldly Things'
'Hard to Get'
'A Hint of Scandal'
'Terror in the Night'
'A Misplaced Life'
'A Touch of Dawn'
'Upon Your Return'
and the newly released:
'Leather & Lace'