Interview on Nancy Wood Books

Marie Lavender


This week, I interview Marie Lavender. Marie has just published her 17th book, Leather and Lace. Congratulations Marie! Let's meet this prolific author.

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 fueled 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 seventeen 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. Feel free to visit her website at 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; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Blurb for Haunted

Carmen Martinez has been running from her terrible past her whole life. Everything turns upside down when she is discovered by a persistent cop and old friend. Can her friend and new lover bring her back to the present or will she retreat and keep running from her fears?

What complicates things more is that an old enemy is tracking her. Can she escape from his clutches in time or will her past finally come back to haunt her?



Why did you decide to write a mystery/thriller?

It wasn’t really planned.  It just turned out that way.

What genre does your book fall into - cozy, mystery/thriller, suspense, police procedural, etc?

It is a romantic suspense.

What prompted you to write this book or series?

Haunted, which was penned under Erica Sutherhome, was born because I wanted to write about a woman who had been running from her past. When I first started writing it, the pieces of her past came to me first.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Both. A lot of it is about Carmen’s internal struggle with how she can have a life even as her past hangs over her head. But, the action drives it forward.

What makes your book unique?

Probably the entertainment angle. Despite Carmen’s need to run, she has a basis as an actress/screenwriter. That makes for a consistent inconsistency with the character. Who would put themselves back in the limelight after what happened?

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

The plot emerges as I write each scene. Since I don’t write them in any particular order, I have to figure out what happens later.

How did you develop the names for your characters?

I wanted Carmen to be Latin so I struggled for some time with what to call her. I kept changing her name around. Eventually, I settled on Carmencita (Carmen for short). I have a thing for nicknames. And since I can’t shorten my name, why not do that with my characters? I already had Joel’s name planned from the beginning. And as for the enemy, his name came when I was finishing up the book.

Do your characters swear? Why or why not?

There may be some mild swearing in the book. I think at some point, everyone does that when they are upset.

How did you decide on the setting?

Carmen starts her life out in L.A., then ends up in New York City. I thought since she still maintained ties with the movie industry, that it made some sense.

What's your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write whenever the mood takes me, but sometimes I have to crack down and make myself do it too. I can write anywhere, in bed, sitting at the table, at my computer. I’ve noticed I write differently when I’m outside (something about the elements of nature, I imagine) so I change it up and try that sometimes too.

What’s the first mystery you read? 

I’m not sure what I read first. I did read a lot of Dean Koontz when I was a teenager. And since I’ve gotten hooked on the Castle TV series, I started reading those books too. They are very good.

What’s next?

Well, I’ve published two police procedural mysteries, Hard to Get and A Hint of Scandal; four romantic suspense books, Haunted, Pursuit,Ransom and Leather and Lace; and I also wrote one paranormal mystery, A Misplaced Life. I have a lot of works in progress. Since I never know where my stories will take me, I’m not really sure. I do have one story in progress, however, that could very well turn into a romantic suspense. It is about two people who have to contend with the woman’s abusive ex-boyfriend trailing them across the states. Gavin will do everything he can to protect Emma, this woman he’s started to care about. I also have a romantic suspense I that just released called Leather and Lace. It is on Amazon and It is about a cop who pursues a stripper because she might have witnessed a crime. Even though her involvement in the case is minimal, he discovers she may be in a lot more danger than he thought.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Aside from Haunted, I’ve written 16 other books. Feel free to check out my website for more information.

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