Beverly and Tamara: Marie, welcome to SSLY. Thanks so much for joining us today. So first why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. My preferred genre is romance. I have published sixteen books. Fifteen of them were self-published. My latest release, published by Solstice Publishing, is a historical romance called Upon Your Return. It came out in February.
Tamara: What do you HAVE to have when you are writing?
A pen usually. Most of the time, I write by hand, unless the mood takes me when I’m at the computer. Preferably, a gel pen in a pretty color, but I’ll use what I have if I must.
Beverly: When did you start to write?
When I was nine years old. I started writing stories then, and really never stopped.
Tamara: What do you think are the qualities that make up a “hero”?
A good hero in a story should be compelling. Strong, attractive (but not overly) and human. By human, I mean he should be a little flawed, capable of mistakes.
Beverly: Can you describe your favorite character? And which of your books is he/she in? How do you come up with your characters?
That’s a hard question. I love them all! I guess my favorite is Fara Bellamont. She is the starring character in Upon Your Return. Despite the odds and the time period, she is strong and determined to find love at all costs. As far as how my characters come to me, they just do. The muse strikes me whenever it wants. Right now, I have over 90 stories in progress. I get new ideas for characters and storylines all of the time.
Tamara: What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?
Dialogue is pretty easy for me. I would say with some books, love scenes can be challenging. Getting that perfect balance between passion and emotion is hard. And the other challenging thing for me is description, giving a sense of place. Sometimes I have to go back in and put it in later.
Beverly: What writer, if any, influenced how you write?
That’s a cross between Catherine Coulter and Nora Roberts.
Tamara: Who would you choose as your “book boyfriend/girlfriend”? From what book? Author?
Hmm. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is very good. Maybe the character Wrath from Dark Lover. He is very powerful.
Beverly: OMG! He is sooo yummy! What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? Or would like to? What? We are all about the love!
Um, I’d like to get my man outside, maybe on a beach or something. I’m not saying anything else! *Blush*
Tamara: What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?
I like a combination of the two. I definitely like a woman who can handle herself in a time of crisis, but I am okay with someone saving her if the situation calls for it (if there’s no other choice). I like strong females (i.e. Buffy…LOL), but it’s even better if the hero and heroine can work together kicking the villain’s butt.
Beverly: What was your worst date ever?
I went on one date with this guy, and I just knew there was no chemistry at all. I think he took me to a pool place (pool tables). It really isn’t all that memorable. But, I felt so incredibly awkward. I just wanted to go home.
Tamara: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you? (you have food, water, shelter, all the necessities, so nothing mundane)
My fiancé, a thick journal and a pen that never dries up. LOL.
Beverly: What is your “guilty pleasure”?
Dark chocolate. It is my total weakness. I can’t get enough! Really, any kind of chocolate dessert is wonderful, but dark chocolate? I can’t say no!
Tamara: What dream or goals have you yet to realize?
I want to see one of my books on a shelf in a store someday. That would really make my day!
Beverly: What was your most embarrassing moment? It can’t be worse than mine….
Really? Did you flub up the words to a song you were supposed to sing in front of your whole graduating class in high school? I ended up singing the first verse all over again, hoping no one noticed, but I was mortified!
Tamara: *shakes her head* Beverly was much naughtier than that! It involved *muffled, pries Bev’s hands away* Fine! I won’t tell! But you owe me! If you were a color what would you be and why?
Hot pink. I love hot pink. It says, “Hey, I’m here,” and yet it’s still feminine.
Beverly: *high fives Marie* Oh yeah! Who has influenced how you perceive love? Why?
Well, I’ve always loved “love”. And reading romance novels certainly helped. But, I would have to say that my parents really affected my view of love. If they didn’t clearly love each other, if they weren’t clearly “in” love with each other, then I’m not sure I’d be where I am today.
Tamara and Beverly: Okay. We are SSLY so I have to ask. Who loves you?
My fiance. Chris. He loves me. I know he does. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have stuck around this long. LOL.
Now for some quick fun questions:
Boxers or briefs? No preference really.
Coffee or Tea? Tea.
Tall, dark and handsome or Blond and buff? Tall, dark and handsome of course.
Hairy chest or smooth? Smooth. My man better have no hair. Hair is gross.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate.
Kinky or Sweet? A combination of the two, I hope.
Fast or slow? Oh my God, did you really ask that? That depends on the mood.
Public or private? Private, of course. A bed is really nice.
Top or bottom? Wow. Bottom, I guess. Sometimes it’s nice to have him in control.
Beverly and Tamara: Well, now that we’ve shocked Marie our job here is done! *laughing and hugging Marie* Thanks for being such a good sport!
UPON YOUR RETURN
Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life. But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position. Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms. Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society…
Buy links: http://store.solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-return/
MARIE LAVENDER bio:
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 sixteen 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 http://marielavender.webs.com/ 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
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things
MARIE LAVENDER links