My Romance Interview on International Book Promotion blog
I just wanted to tell you all about this great interview I had this past month on the International Book Promotion blog. Seven romance and erotica authors were interviewed. This multi-author interview started off with author bios and spanned several weeks. The questions were given to us in April, but the answers were not posted until May. The interview answers started on May 17th and ended today. Below I have included my answers as well as links so that you can check out the answers from the other authors. There are some really great authors in there! :)
Answer #1 - Do you plan the characters in your story? Do you believe that strong characters should resemble real-life people?
Most of my story ideas come to me in the form of dialogue or full scenes so I wouldn’t say the characters are exactly planned. Their personalities do come out in the writing of the book or story. I do a major character work-up when I am more focused on the project; when I do that, I try to figure out the character’s secrets or how they would react to certain situations as well as their background. I do believe that characters should be complex and as close to real people as we can make them. I don’t usually base them on anyone in my life, but I do want readers to relate to them.
Answer #2 - Do you have a specific goal to achieve through your stories or is your story just for pure fun? (For instance: to promote certain moral values or love via your story)
When an idea first comes to me, it is just a seed. I would say I do it for the pleasure of writing. If moral values come out of the story, that is great. For example, with my recent release, Upon Your Honor, I found that when I was almost done writing the manuscript that Chloe’s motivation really came out and she became a more three-dimensional character. You could see her moral struggles throughout the book, but I certainly didn’t plan for that to happen.
A lot of the time, the hero is powerful. But, I don’t want my female characters to be powerless either. I always try to make them strong and capable in a lot of different ways.
No, I never write to “sell” it. I write a love scene if I feel it is necessary for the story or characters. I have also written books with little or no details regarding sex. I think it completely depends on what the book is about and who the characters are.
That is a good question. Truthfully, I abhor violence at all, but I know life is full of it. I think that a violent hero might be necessary in certain situations, like in war or in the midst of protecting someone. But, violence toward women or children is simply inexcusable. It makes me really think back to the bodice rippers of the 60s or 70s because a lot of those tended to have male dominance. I personally dealt with this issue in one of my own past relationships so it really hits home for me. I think that it’s not necessary to have that kind of male dominance. A real romance is a relationship between two people that have mutual respect for each other. Having an arrogant character is one thing. But, violence? No, that’s not acceptable. I can’t even stomach BDSM scenarios in erotica. Have I written about sensitive topics before? Of course. Because it’s out there, and it happens. But, it doesn’t mean I want to show that it’s okay either. The violence that happens in my books is done by other characters, by villains. A hero should have some redeeming qualities even if he is a little dark, and he should certainly know how to treat a woman.
I do believe that romance can be influential. It had an enormous impact on me growing up. I always loved romance stories. I think what we see shapes how we view the world. For example, I grew up in a close-knit family and I saw the romance between my mother and father every day. I knew that was real love. Obviously, there are children that don’t have the same thing in their lives so turning to books that show that isn’t a bad idea. Seeing that ideal of romantic love can help a young woman or man believe that that kind of love is possible, maybe even look for it in their own lives. Real life isn’t simple. It is challenging. But, I did find true love and I believe anyone can. Everyone deserves to find happiness.
I think what I hope for is that I can touch readers through a good story. There’s always that hope that they will take something away from what they have read, either through the characters or a location in the story. But, mostly, I just hope to give readers an escape, a brief respite from the stressors of life. What more can you ask for with a good book? I believe the literary world can be limitless. A book is a portal into another universe.
My Books under Marie Lavender