Fly: Hi, Marie. Thankz for joining uz.
Marie: Thanks for having me. Are you really sweating?!
Fly: Err, no. That would be the juicy zweetz I waz juzt munching on. But yea, in a way I am. You zaw that vamp-Fly az well, didn’t you?
Marie: I did.
Marie: It was a mosquito
Marie: Sorry. But I really didn’t mean for my book to have that kind of influence on you. That “flying blood-sucking demon,” as you put it, wasn’t exactly a vampire. And it certainly wasn’t romantic. (Shudders.)
Fly: Zo... no danger to me or Zweet Fly?
Marie: Don’t know, unless she’s into that sort of thing. I’m not sure how it is in your species.
Fly: Whoa, Madame Lavender, time to zwitch focuz!! Let’z ztart with your book - the firzt in the Blood at First Sight zeriez. Alec, the vamp meetz Desiree, the myzteriouz. One name certainly haz more of a ztory in it than the other. Iz there a hint in there we zhould know about? Or did you chooze ‘Desiree’ for itz attraction-quotient?
Marie: I just loved the name and I was dying to use it for a character. Thankfully, the perfect one came to me.
Fly: You give uz zo much depth into the lead characterz and their powerz. Are you zetting uz up for zomething grander in Book 2?
Marie: Hmm…am I? Book two will touch base with the characters from Second Nature, of course, but you may see some other characters popping up and another mystery starting to unfold.
Fly: Thiz one iz out-and-out romance with zome action in between. But your bookz tend to have a mix of genrez in them: Hiztorical romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, fantazy, romantic zuzpenze, myztery/thriller, literary fiction, even poetry. Would you zuggezt other authorz to focuz on their ztory likewize, rather than trying to ztick to zpecific genrez?
Marie: I have found that it’s best not to limit oneself in that regard. Of course, always follow your heart and let the characters lead you into the story. They know best, don’t they?
Fly: They do. You have zome backing to your ztatement, given the two decadez of experience you have amazzed. You ztarted young - at the age of nine. Yet, you only began publizhing in 2010, having publizhed a few in univerzity. Zo how have your writing preferencez and objectivez changed over the yearz?
Marie: I think that just as in life, we mature in our writing. I still fall back on writing with a pen, but I can also compose on the computer. Obviously, I have evolved a lot from the time that I wrote The Mystery of the Golden Chair when I was nine years old. After that, I did my best to learn everything I could about the industry and how to write well, including studying it in college. My goal was always to be traditionally published, but when self-publishing became popular, I decided to try it out. In 2012, though, I received my first book contract for my long-time historical romance project, Upon Your Return. Since then, I’ve published four books with Solstice Publishing, including the sequel to Upon Your Return, which it titled Upon Your Honor. Book three of the series is in edits now.
Fly: You are working on multiple zeriez zimultaneouzly - including the Magick Zeriez and the Heiresses in Love Zeriez. How do you manage juggling the varied characterz and plotz?
Marie: I’m certainly never at a loss for ideas. In between all of that, I often have standalone stories pop up. I just go where the muse takes me. As for how I manage it? Sometimes I have to limit myself to a specific project – sit down and focus by writing the book outline and organizing my research.
Fly: Well, you do it well. The awardz zpeak for themzelvez: 2014 Finalizt and Runner-up in the MARSocial'z Author of the Year Competition, Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader'z Choice Award, Liebster Blogger Award for 2013, Top 50 Authorz on AuthorsDB.com, Winner of the Great One Liners Contezt on the Directory of Publizhed Authorz... the lizt iz long!
Marie: Thank you! My readers remain my greatest honour.
Fly: Pleazure! Having burzt into the zcene with zo many bookz and achieved Beztzeller ztatuz for mozt of them, it iz difficult to imagine Marie Lavender at leizure. What do you do when you are not writing?
Marie: In my off time, I do blogging or I read. I also love shopping. Keep me away from credit cards; they will get me in trouble. (Laughs.) I listen to different kinds of music as well. The Pandora app keeps me sane. I am a bit of workaholic with my writing projects these days, but I do try to carve some time out to spend with my fiancé, whom I adore. And I find that cooking relaxes me.
Fly: Juzt to bring you back, Marie: if you were azked to pen a novel crozzing any one of your current genre with an entirely new one - one you haven’t yet attempted - what would it be like?
Marie: Off the top of my head, I’d have to say that horror is one I haven’t written yet. So, it might be something similar to…ah, how about a story with a female detective who discovers the killer is a monster of some kind. In the midst of it, she gets assigned a partner and all the while, she begins to suspect her fellow cop, who is also her new lover, may be this horrific murderer. Or is he? Hmm...well, it’s not the best start, but it has some potential, right? A bit of horror thrown in with mystery and a small romance angle.
Fly: I darezay we are already looking forward to it. But for now, we zhall make do with an excerpt from any one of your novelz. Do zhare with uz.
Marie: Here is an excerpt from Upon Your Honor, book two of the Heiresses in Love Series, a Victorian romantic suspense:
Then what happened next occurred so quickly she could hardly track it. Another crash sounded, some yelling and then the lamp blew out somehow. The room was encased in darkness. She heard the scrape of footsteps and curses as her captors struggled with the phantom figure. There were punches and grunts, but it was very hard to discern anyone’s location in the dark room. Distantly, she heard more scuffles, a definite fight, and many curses. Then silence. Only silence.
She waited, her eyes blind as she struggled with her bonds. What could be worse than being kidnapped? This. This was worse because she did not know what kind of enemy she faced now. As the minutes ticked by, it unnerved her, sank into her mind, and pricked her arms with gooseflesh. In a bid to stop the madness, she jerked and the chair she was upon creaked loudly. Cold fear clawed up her throat, choking her. Was she alone? Or was someone really there, waiting to take her?
She squeezed her eyes shut briefly and hoped it was not the man that had made no mystery of his desire for her. She opened her eyes once more, straining to see something, anything at all in the darkness. She shivered again, tilted her head to listen. Was that an indrawn breath? Footsteps perhaps. She couldn’t be sure.
Suddenly, the lamp was lit once more and as the room was now bathed in flickering light, she saw two still bodies on the floor.
Fly: Thank you, Marie. It waz awezome, and relieving, to have you here with uz. We look forward to your next releaze!
Marie: Thank you! Awesome for me too! Well, I can also give you an excerpt from Second Nature, though you may be apt to worry that Alec is a Vamp-fly. But, don’t be concerned. He is just your typical vampire. Or is he? (Chuckles.) Hope you’ve grown fond of vamps by the next time we meet.
Fly: I’ll have to! We leave the readerz with a zample from Second Nature then. That’z book one of the Blood at First Sight Zeriez and a most fitting bonus. Have fun!
Vamp it up,
After eating, she returned to the manuscript, but with little enthusiasm. Finally, she gave up and took a bath to relax with the intent of going to bed. She dried off and dressed in her sleepwear. When she realized she was thirsty, she went into the kitchen for a glass of water.
Desiree had just shut off the faucet when the lights suddenly went out, shrouding the room in darkness. “Shit!” she muttered. She fumbled for the light switch, but nothing happened.
Now, where were the candles? Her hands groped the surface of the counter, catching things that spun to the floor. She tried to remember what direction she must walk. Right. She walked slowly along, and cursed when she stubbed her toe on a table leg. Her hands found the hard wood surface and then there was nothing, just air. She kept walking little by little, her arms outstretched until her palms met cold glass. The sliding glass doors to the patio.
She was startled by the light for a moment, a hazy purple glow. It dawned on her then. Her solar-powered lamps had come on. She froze suddenly as a thought dawned on her. Oh, God! They were motion-activated! Her mind raced with the implications of the invasion. Had someone been in the yard? Cut the power to the house? A claw danced up her spine at the thought. Goosebumps prickled her arms. Peering into the semi-darkness, she sucked in a breath as she saw a pale face on the other side of the glass. She screamed, stumbling back. With the dim light shining, she was able to locate the butcher knife off the block and raise it in the air. Her senses strained, she crept back towards the glass, but there was nothing there now.
She frowned. Had she imagined it, the ghostly figure from before? She wanted it to be just coincidence that her power was also out, but realistically she knew that she couldn’t be that lucky. Was this somehow related to the incident upstairs last week?
With her knife poised, the muscles in her arm now shaking with tension, she scanned the patio. Still nothing, but someone was there. She felt it. Hairs rose on the back of her neck. Time ticked by, too slowly for comfort. She felt a weird tingle in her skin, but she ignored it. Her eyes burned now from the effort of peering.
Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement. She swung, her heart pounding in her chest, and sought the source of the motion. Still nothing. She could hardly tell what the danger was over her loud heartbeat. But she still sensed it, like a deer that knew a predator was close by.
For more Author Interviewz & Book Reviewz, check out Earth.
Bookz featuring me:
An Enlightened Fly
The Fly That Followed Me
Kalki Evian - The Ring of Khaoriphea
Malay A. Upadhyay
Gilbert Literary Agency