Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Phyllis Babrove

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Phyllis Babrove. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Phyllis Babrove. Originally from Wisconsin, I have lived in Florida for forty-seven years.

Wow. 47yrs. It’s like you’re originally from Florida lol. Are you employed outside of writing?

I went to college at the age of forty, and six years later earned a master’s degree in social work. In 2015 I retired as a full-time school social worker. Currently, I work part-time providing supervision to social workers that are becoming licensed and as a substitute social worker in schools when someone goes on maternity leave.

Nice! You are doing excellent work. Phyllis, what’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is pink.

When Shadows Linger is available now on Amazon.

Do you have a favorite writer?

I have several favorite writers so it is difficult to say. Of course, I don’t mind mentioning a few: Jodi Picoult, Nora Roberts, Lisa Gardner, Lisa Scottoline, and John Grisham. Those are just a few.

So Phyllis, married? Children?

I have been married for forty-six years. I have four adult children and six grandchildren.

Yass. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think that our world is desperately in need of repair in many areas. It makes me sad to think that we are going backward in many ways. But I am encouraged by the strength being shown in this young generation. They are the most forceful group that I have seen since the 1960s. I have a great deal of faith that they will make some positive changes.

What are your thoughts on race?

What are my thoughts on race? That there shouldn’t be any thoughts about people based on race, religion, or social economic status. We are all the same and should treat each other as such.

In your own words, what is racism?

Racism is passing judgment on a person based on his or her race, and not on whom the person really is. I grew up with a lot of anti-semitism, so I understand what it’s like to be discriminated against because of “what” I am and not based on “who” I am.

Are you religious Phyllis?

Am I religious? That depends on the definition of what religious is. I believe in God. I try to be caring, compassionate, honest, trustworthy and treat everyone with respect. So, in my mind, I am religious.

What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

“Small Great Things,” by Jodi Picoult, is a wonderful book.

Let’s talk about writing. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about writing for me is promoting my work. The most exciting is when I see the finished product and I feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

My Name is Rebecca: A Novelette is available now on Amazon.

Why is writing important to you?

I love to write. When I write, I can express my thoughts, dreams, and feelings. I am also able to put myself in places where I’d like to be. For example, my novel is set in Vermont because I fell in love with the state and I wish I could live there.

What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

When I envision a room that I would love to be able to write and read in, it is a room with bookshelves filled with all of my favorite books. It would have a lot of windows with views of the mountains (yes, I’d be in Vermont!), a fireplace, a light brown leather love seat (the really soft leather), and a desk. At the desk would be a big soft leather chair that rocks. The carpeting would be thick brown with specks of gold. Pictures of my family would be on the walls and different mementos that belonged to my parents.

That sounds like a great room. Very comfortable. If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?

If I had one superpower I think it would be to take the word “judgment” out of our vocabulary. I don’t feel that any human being has the right to judge another for any reason.

Are you into Politics at all?

I became interested in politics in 2008. For the first time, I helped a candidate campaign by going door to door. While I liked some past presidents, I don’t think we have ever had or will ever have, anyone as wonderful as our previous president was.

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend.

Awwue. Yeess. Phyllis, what is truth?

Truth to me is when I can be honest with myself and with God. Truth is the foundation of trust, so if a person isn’t honest how can they be trusted? Without trust, what are we left with?

Phyllis, thank you for spending this time with us!


From the Author:

I was born in Wisconsin and I moved to Florida as a newlywed in 1971. When my children were old enough, and with a ton of support from my husband, I decided to earn a college degree. I call going to school at the age of forty my first midlife crisis. Six years later I had earned a master’s degree in social work and had a fulfilling career. Three years ago I (semi) retired and took on my second midlife crisis and entered the wonderful world of writing. I have self-published two novelettes, one novel and have had two short stories published in Edify Fiction, an online magazine. I am also a regular contributor to “Extra Innings,” an online newsletter for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

My husband and I like to travel to New England and visit small towns. We live in Sunrise, Florida with our ten-year-old Yorkie, Lars.

Be sure to follow Phyllis on her website below!
https://mirikalblog.com/


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE!

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Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Sean Mungin

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Sean Mungin. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Sean Mungin and I live in Los Angeles, California.

I always wanted to visit Cali. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

My perfect writing/reading room would have bookshelves (filled with books, of course) covering every wall (except for the window and sitting area) from the ceiling to the floor. It would have soft music and sounds of water running in the background. It would have a comfortable sitting area next to the window.

I love that sound of water, I imagine that would be peaceful. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

I think I would probably be a pretty good counselor. I have always been the person that others would come to talk through their problems. I think the most memorable moment was when I was in high school; a married co-worker of mine came to me and began sharing issues she was having within her marriage. I do not remember what I actually said to her, but I do remember that she returned to me and thanking me because whatever I said to her worked.

That’s what’s up. Speaking of being good at things, what was your childhood dream?

My childhood dream was to be a musician. I have always had an ear for music. I once asked my mother for music lessons, but we were not in a position financially for me to ever begin them.

Cool. Do you play any instruments?

I play around with the keyboard and was teaching myself to play guitar until I broke a finger on my right hand.

Aww. Boo. Speaking of childhood, any siblings?

I have five siblings. Two older brothers, an older sister, and two younger sisters.

What’s your favorite drink?

My favorite drink is coffee. I love to try different blends from around the world. The smell is intoxicating. The taste is awesome. Dark, bold roasts…of course.

A coffee drinker, yaass. What state or country do you never want to go back to?

I never wanted to come back to California, but it is amazing how my life has come full circle and I am right back here in the Greater Los Angeles area again 20 years later.

The Thorn in the Flesh is available now on Amazon.

Lol. Let’s switch it up a bit. Does blogging help you to write?

Blogging has helped me write in a major way. I have always loved to write. It helps me to process my thoughts and life experiences. However, because becoming a successful blogger and growing a larger reading audience requires consistency, it also requires that I pay close attention to the content and the reading patterns of my audience. As we try to interpret the data from our sites, we have to tailor everything towards the things that work and make the necessary adjustments on the things that have not worked.

True. Sean, what’s your favorite food?

I am not certain that I have a favorite food. I like to try different dishes at least once.

C’mon Sean. I know you have a favorite food! If all the food in the world no longer existed and you had to eat one meal every day, what would it be?

If I were in that situation, I would have to choose an egg and cheese sandwich. I can eat breakfast any time of the day.

Nice. I love eggs. Well, except for…anyway. Let’s move on. What’s your favorite color?

I have four favorite colors: white, black, blue, and olive green. I am not certain if white and black qualifies though, but I like them anyway.

Ha! Your one of those “black and white aren’t colors” kinda guy huh? Lol. Who is your favorite writer?

I think it would be blasphemous for me to say that I do not have a favorite writer, but it is true. I like to read across different genres and I believe that my writing has been influenced by each in their own respective ways.

Nice. You said you wanted to be a musician, what kind of music do you like?

I like to listen to Christian, classical and soft instrumental music.

Let’s go back to writing, when did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I published my first book back in 2003, I think. It felt like a great accomplishment. But, as I have matured in my thinking about life, I think I would do a complete overhaul of the work to include my current perspective on things. Back then, I was really just venturing out for the first time in this capacity, so I am certain that there were a lot of errors in need of major editorial assistance.

I feel you. I felt the same way about my first work. Although my baby, I have since pulled it from shelves for that reason. What do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about public policy. I, for some reason, am in love with policy.

Interesting. What do you think of the world we live in?

I think, at some point, we all have lost our way. Everything has become focused on global competition instead of what is in the best interest of the global community.

What are your thoughts on Race?

Contrary to the beliefs of many, I believe race is still an issue. It has an undeniable presence within our society. I believe that it has become more overt within the past 14 – 15 months. Maybe that was needed to force others to acknowledge its existence. We cannot address something if others are unwilling to meet us at the table to discuss how to best remedy this problem.

What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Bible.

Yasss! What’s your favorite scripture or book?

I love the entire Bible. If I had to choose my favorite books, they would be everything written by Paul. My favorite verse is John 15:5. That verse keeps me grounded.

Powerful verse. What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult thing about being a writer is overcoming writer’s block. One day, things may flow more fluidly than on others. At this point, you are at the mercy of the process. In a world where there is so many negative events taking place, it is sometimes difficult to be inspired.

The most exciting thing is the finished product. The sense of accomplishment is a big deal to any writer, I would imagine.

Indeed.

Thank you Sean for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright©Sean Mungin. Photo used with permission.

Sean Mungin is a public figure who has embodied the spirit of individual and corporate success. Sean graduated from Lee University in 2005 with a Bachelors in Theology. He also earned a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He also completed the Masters in Religious Education program from the Mason Kelly Washington Religious Training in Long Island, NY.

Sean’s current positions as an administrator and minister align him with his previous positions as an individual genuinely concerned about the holistic well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, and socio-economical) of all people. His most recent accomplishment was becoming a Certified Writer/Editor for the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors. Sean is currently working on focusing on developing and implementing several entrepreneurial projects. His goal is to create multiple opportunities for a higher quality of living for all within his area of influence.

Sean’s is known for his favorite motto, “Love God…love people…love yourself”


Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE!

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author K.E. Garland

Been a minute since our last Introduction!

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to K.E. Garland. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Katherin Elizabeth Garland and I was born and raised on the west side of Chicago. I currently live in Florida.

Uh oh, another Chicago native in the building. I’m from the South Side myself. How long have you been in Florida? That weather must be feeling lovely.

I know right! Chi-town stand up! I’ve been here for about 20 years. We moved back to a suburb one year (Naperville), but found it was a little colder than we remembered lol, so we moved back. The weather here is WONDERFUL, when there’s not a category five hurricane coming towards us 😉

What is the most annoying habit that you have?

People “claim” <insert air quotes> that I eat very loud. I mean I don’t know if I believe them or not, but several friends and family members have complained.

Several loll. Siblings?

I have one sister who is five years older than I am. We weren’t raised together because I was adopted out of the family. Consequently, we’re not very close. I consider myself an only child; however, I use the phrase, “I was raised as an only child,” out of respect for the situation.

Aww. Let’s get back to writing. I met you through the blog, does blogging help you to write?

Blogging does help me write. It helps me maintain consistency with my purpose and writing. For example, my blog is focused on nonfiction, inspirational stories, so no matter my topic or thought, I always intentionally try to see the “good” in real situations and inspire readers to think a little differently about common issues.

That’s what’s up. Your comment section always popping lol. Do you have any blogging advice for author bloggers?

L…O…L Just be yourself. In all things, be yourself. You can’t be like the blogger who posts every day because you have a day job. You can’t talk about relationships because you don’t want to open up. And that’s FINE! Be yourself and do what you do best.

I get the feeling I already know the answer to this question but, what’s your favorite color?

My favorite color is red. I have a red purse, red laptop cover, and red clothing (in every style, including several red pairs of shoes). I also have red sheets, red silverware, and a red dish holder thing for when the dishes dry (whatever it’s called).

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Kwoted is available now on Amazon.

Oh my goodness lol. You are obsessed! When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

I actually published my first book in 2015. It is called Kwoted and included 100 original quotes created by me. As simple as the book was, I was ecstatic to have even gone through the self-publishing process. People didn’t really buy that book, but it inspired me to know that my next book, The Unhappy Wife (2016) was possible.

Kwoted sounds lovely. I like the spin on the title and I just finished The Unhappy Wife. Are you married Kathy?

I have been married for 21 years now.

That’s awesome. Children?

I have two beautiful and polar opposite daughters. They are eighteen and sixteen.

The Unhappy Wife

The Unhappy Wife is available now on Amazon.

Let’s go back to The Unhappy Wife for a moment. You’ve been married for over 20 years which I think is amazing. What advice can you give to young women out there on being happier in marriage?

Thank youuuu! I had this advice made up on a t-shirt when I was promoting the book:

  1. Know yourself.
  2. Love yourself.
  3. Be yourself.

That’s it. If you do one or all of those things, then your marriage will go smoothly. You’ll take ownership for who you are in the relationship and you’ll stop blaming others for your happiness or unhappiness.

Nice. Write that down people. OK, let’s switch it up a bit. What are your thoughts on Race?

Here in the States, we’ve spent too much time creating racial constructs and fighting against them. It’s an exhausting conversation and way of life. Quite honestly, I know that once we focus on the real divide, socioeconomic inequality, then we’ll be making some headway. Once we realize that most of us are in the same boat financially, while wealthy people control our entire existence, then a true shift will occur. Race (and racial inequality) is just something to keep us distracted from real issues. I hope I’m clear. Racial inequality does exist, but we have to move the conversation beyond race and into financial insecurity.

Interesting. What takes up too much of your time?

Nothing takes up too much of my time. I say this because I’ve spent much of my life getting to a place where most of my time is my own; therefore, I don’t think anything takes up “too much of” it. In most moments, I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing, which I know is creating each future moment of my life. That’s a great feeling.

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Thank you Kathy for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


garlandk

K.E. Garland. Photo used with permission.

Katherin is a First Place Royal Palms Literary Award winning writer for Creative Nonfiction. Her work has been featured in the South Florida TimesTalking Soup and For Harriet. She typically writes in order to inspire social change. Other examples of her work can be found on her personal blog.

Website: kegarland.com
IG, Twitter, and FB: kegarland

Are you an author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE!

New Page for Introduce Yourself Author Feature + How Guest Posting Can Help You Win

As we approach the end of the year, I am doing what I always do at this time. Revisit my pages, update them, move some things around and maybe change my theme. In doing so, I’ve compiled all the Introduce Yourself Interviews and stored them away on their own page. You can now easily access the author’s interview using the Introduce Yourself Author Interview page. If you are one of the featured authors, you can also easily access your feature if you need to copy and paste your link or share it.

As a reminder, I am still looking for authors interested in being interviewed by me on this page. When I took that extensive break the feature slowed down but I am now ready to start scheduling again. AND if I missed you, please resend your information to my email HERE.

Interviews are published every Monday (being it’s already Sunday afternoon here whether we have one tomorrow will depend on how early I get some questions in).

Here are some benefits of being featured on someone’s blog:

Whether you are guest blogging or being interviewed, promoted or featured, as a guest your work is introduced to a NEW audience. This gives people who have never heard of you or your books an opportunity to learn more about you, follow your blog and check out your social media pages.

I’ve heard it said that guest posting is FIVE TIMES GREATER than posting to your own blog. Now, I am not sure how accurate that is but I do know from experience that guest posting gives you the opportunity to connect with a new group of people and to share your expertise or skill. If you wrote a book, I believe you are an expert on the subject matter that you are writing or have written about. In fact, I believe we are all experts in some way. Everyone is a genius when we focus on our own individual gifts. We have all been given something special that others can learn from.

You could have been blogging for five years and promote your books the whole time only to find out, after posting to someone else blog, that few people knew you existed. That’s the power of networking. Being featured on someone’s blog is stepping outside the box. If you’ve been blogging longer than one year, chances are you are already comfortable with your own blog. If you want to continue this growth, step outside your comfort zone and introduce your books to a new audience. Why not start here? Whenever I publish an Introduce Yourself Feature, it always becomes the most viewed page on my site for that week and a few authors have even informed me that they have sold a book or two.

VISIT THE ORIGINAL POST HERE TO GET STARTED

and Remember, this feature is FREE.

Not interested in an interview but have books to promote? Just shoot me an email with your covers, links, bio, and release date. I’ll be happy to help you to spread the word!

Note: If you have any trouble with the email link or emailing me in general, use the contact page.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One), her latest novel available now on Amazon.com. Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at  yecheilyahysrayl.com.

Introduce Yourself Returns

I am just about settled in which means that I will be getting back into the swing of things with reviews and promotions real soon. I still have a few things to do before I am back full time so I am still somewhat MIA this week, but I’d still like to get some interviews scheduled in time for November if possible.

If you are not familiar with my Introduce Yourself feature, here is a short breakdown. For more information, please do check out the first post HERE:

Introduce Yourself is a free promotional opportunity for new and established authors via an author interview on this blog. Unlike the same questions over and over again, authors have the opportunity to choose from 50 questions (SEE ORIGINAL POST) they would like to answer in the interview from writing and books to relationships, religion, and politics. But that’s not all.

To further set this feature apart, I do not just copy and paste your answers so be sure your answers are juicy and interesting! Once you have sent me your Q&A, I go over them to see if there is anything I want to add by way of commentary and you are given the chance to respond. We email back and forth until the interview sounds more authentic and real life (as if we are two friends sitting down for coffee) because that is at the core of what Introduce Yourself is all about. We want to get to know the real you. While your books and links will be promoted freely on this site, I ask that you use this opportunity to do less selling and more connecting with potential readers. This is what social media is all about.

If you are an author (Indie / Trad / Hybrid) and you’re looking for more exposure, CLICK THROUGH TO THE ORIGINAL POST HERE, choose your questions and email them to me at yecheilyah@yecheilyahysrayl.com. I will look over them, email you back so we can chit chat and then schedule your feature. All interviews are scheduled to go live the Monday of every week @ 12:00am Eastern Standard Time.

 

Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author Emunah Y’srael

* I am away. This post is scheduled. Your support in sharing this author’s interview is appreciated. Emunah, enjoy your day of shine hun! Chat soon.*

Introduce+Yourself

 

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Emunah Y’srael. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Emunah Y’srael and I was born in Brooklyn, NY. First generation Carib-American with Hebraic roots.

Your name is beautiful. What does it mean?

My name Emunah means Faith in Hebrew.

Beautiful. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Ah, the thought is so relaxing. The room would have a huge bay window overlooking nature (beach, lake, meadow) something breath-taking. Lots of natural light, a comfortable chair for me to recline and write. I am old school and love writing my first drafts with pen and paper. Oh, yes and lots and lots of pens for some reason they tend to wander off from time to time. ​

Lol. Don’t they? Emunah, what was your childhood dream?

My Childhood dream was raising a family in a quiet, peaceful, natural environment filled with love and laughter. No, really, I always dreamt of the simple life and still do. As we speak I am writing it into existence.

 

Island Love is Available Now on Amazon

 

“Writing it into existence”. I like that. In your own words, what is humility?

Humility in my estimation is the ability to accept wrongs, take advice, understand that not everyone knows everything. Humility is being comfortable with giving and receiving. and accepting we are not perfect.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

I am already on it, the wildest most amazing adventure for me has been and continues to be the journey to the center of my soul. Wherever that takes me physically adds to and helps to unpack the things that have been there all along.

Nice. Does blogging help you to write?

​Yes, I started blogging more lately and it helps to keep my creative juices flowing. A lot of my work is historical research and blogging helps me share my findings. ​

Speaking of research, what genres do you write in?

​Historical Non-Fiction, Fiction Romance, Coming of Age Fiction, Women’s, Fiction, Self Help​

Emunah, we like to jam out here on Throwback Thursdays. What kind of music do you like?

Depends on my mood, reggae, blues, country, jazz, classical it all depends.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

Even to this day, that first published book gives me shivers. Back in 2005, I started on a journey of healing. I wrote my autobiography still unpublished but, I did publish a self-help tutorial inspired by the book in 2010.  I tried to do it myself, laying it out was like plucking hairs one by one. It was stressful but once I got it done and published it took another five years before I published again.

What takes up too much of your time?

I would say research, I love researching and sometimes I delay writing because I’m concerned about not knowing enough on the subject matter. This is why lately writing fiction has added balance to my research obsession. I can express myself and write interesting stories without having to quote sources. I like both genres and feel they both have value.

What do you think of the world we live in?

The world we live in is beautiful and ugly, it is peaceful and chaotic, it is hopeful and hopeless it all depends on how we choose to look at what we see.

Perspective. I like that. What do you love about yourself?

​I love my resilience. ​

What don’t you like about yourself?

​My tendency to be consistently inconsistent. ​

Why is writing important to you? ​

Writing is important to me because it captures my thoughts, allows me to see my words, refine my message and share it with the generations to come. It also allows the audience the privacy to receive the message, thought or story in their own time. ​

Alrighty then Ms. Emunah. You have a way with words. I’d have to check out your books! In your own words, what is love?

Love, oh wow love is giving, helping to restore, support or establish balance. Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation and when we love it transcends our feeling. Love is an action word.

“Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation.” Yaasss!

OK, had a moment. I’m back. Lol In your own words, what is truth?

Truth is complete, it has not holes or gaps, it is 360 like a circle from point to point.

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What a pleasure to have you, Emunah! We enjoyed you beautiful. Thanks for spending this time with us today.


Emunah Y’srael

Bio.

Emunah Y’srael is an expert in DIY Soul Improvement with over 20 years actively dedicated to her own soul journey. She is the creator of the a myriad of self improvement projects. Emunah has authored to date four books, all available on amazon.

Additional Info from the Author.

New Release – Island Love:

What could be more innocent than a good girl’s first crush? Jackie Brown was a sheltered teen who only knew sports and school, but when the new boy piques her interest she makes up her mind to take a chance at the game of love. But when her not so secret admirer decides to up the ante, the deck is shuffled and something goes terribly wrong. As secrets pile up a mistake she made in high school may cost her real love in the future. Will she reveal her hand in time or will her secret destroy her chance for true love forever?

Emunah Y’srael delivers a tale that is reminiscent of the writing styles of Mary Monroe, Brenda Barret, and Sista Souljah just to name a few. Island Love is her debut novella the first of a four part series, inspired by a Toni Morrison quote Emunah decided to write the book she wanted to read. Island Love is funny, culturally transparent and speaks to the awkwardness of coming of age and falling in love.

Intrigued? Get Island Love HERE

…And Be Sure to Follow this Author Online!

Twitter @emunah_ysrael
Instagram @emunah_ysrael
Blog:

Are you a new (or not so new) author looking for more exposure? Introduce Yourself! CLICK HERE to learn more and to sign up.

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Marie Lavender

 

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Marie Lavender. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?  

My name is Marie Lavender, and I am from the Midwestern U.S. I was raised in a small town in Indiana.

Lavender. Nice name! Marie, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Oh! I would have a true bibliophile theme, perhaps the furniture that mimics a shelf of books? Plus, I would choose peacefully, yet inspirational quotes to display on the walls. Anything that might spark my creativity.

Ooh. That sounds nice. I would so love a chair made of books. Yesss. What is the most annoying habit that you have?

Sometimes when I’m nervous, my right leg bounces up and down. This drove my parent’s crazy when I was a kid!

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

 

Lol. What do you hate most about writing advice and what do you love?

I think those who generally offer advice mean well. And I love that people are so willing to help! However, there are some types of ‘advice’ we should take with a grain of salt. For example, a school of thought exists, one that impresses upon us writers that we shouldn’t talk about our current writing project, or we’ll lose interest in it. I’m not sure that’s altogether true. I’ve never had any trouble in that regard; in fact, discussing it with someone, at least an individual you trust, is a way to find a great sounding board for potential issues that might come up.

Plus, there’s another piece of advice which has always bothered me – “write what you know”. Yes, we should draw from our experiences, but I think we also tend to live vicariously through our characters. We put ourselves in their shoes. What would I do if I was Jake or Brenda? We wear those costumes and take their journeys. So, I don’t think we always need to have experienced their traumas firsthand. Writers house a wealth of empathy inside them. Research can only take us so far; at some point, we must put ourselves in the situation and imagine how it would feel if that happened to us too. I just believe that writing what you already know is somewhat limiting.

Interesting. It reminds me of how the process is different for everyone. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Actually, when I was a kid, I secretly wanted to own a bookstore. That would be pretty cool! Being around books all the time would be quite a dream.

Speaking of childhood, what was your childhood dream?

I always wanted to be a writer. I remember telling my relatives in an excited voice, “I’m going to be a novelist!” Of course, I don’t think I realized it would be this much work. LOL.

What skill would you like to master?

Hmm…that’s a good one. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano. My problem is that I’ve never been able to read sheet music. Even when I took choir classes from elementary school to college, I just couldn’t get my head to wrap around the idea of the music notes. I couldn’t tell you what was a B or a high C. As a soprano, I could always match a pitch pretty well, though. So, I think maybe I’m just not meant to play the piano!

Wow, so many people would like to play the piano. That makes those who already know how pretty special lol. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

I’d love to go to Ireland! I have deep Irish roots, so I’d like to see what it’s like to visit.

Cool. Marie, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

I’ve always wanted a beach house. I don’t think I’d be too picky, as long as it was pretty and I could plant myself on the back porch, listen to the waves of the ocean as a sort of white noise, and write like a maniac.

What’s your favorite drink?

Chai iced tea with coconut milk. I haven’t been able to enjoy that for many years now, because I’m on a no-caffeine kick, but I really loved it.

No caffeine? You poor soul. Lol

What state or country do you never want to go back to?

The one I live in! LOL. For several years, I’ve really wanted to get out of Indiana. It’s just dead here. The economy is crap, and it’s hard to get inspired because there’s nothing going on here. Very little to see. I mean, I’ll come back to visit my family, but I don’t want to live here for the rest of my life.

Into music? What songs have you completely memorized?

Mostly the ones by my favorite artists – such as Paramore or OneRepublic. Other songs I have memorized were tunes that impacted me in some way, were emotionally compelling. One that I can think of off the top of my head is “Wrapped In Your Arms” by Firefight. My music tastes are pretty eclectic, but that one still makes me cry a little.

 What’s your favorite food?

Chicken Oscar. I love the blend of crab meat, chicken, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. I’ve never cooked it for myself, but I had it at two different restaurants, both of which are now closed. So, I hope I can find another that makes it at some point.

Eww at crab meat lol. Favorite color?

Hot pink!

Directions of the Heart is available now on Amazon

 

Lol. Alright. Let’s get back to writing. Does blogging help you to write?

Blogging is a completely different animal, so to speak. If I’m writing an article, I am using a different part of my brain and all my creativity is shut off. I do try to make the blog post attractive with pictures. However, once I’m finished with that project, I can focus on a story.

What genre do you write in, why?

I’m a multi-genre author. I am all over the place. I have published in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. But some of my works in progress encompass the categories of time travel, dystopian, horror, comedy and erotic romance. Why do I write in all of those fields? I just let the muse lead me where it wants; I’m hardly in control! Though I lean toward romance, sometimes I surprise myself with something entirely new. In 2015, I even wrote and published a children’s fantasy.

Who is your favorite writer?

At the moment? It’s a cross between J.R. Ward and Chloe Neill.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

Technically, my first book was released in 2010. That was a collection of literary fiction and poetry. It was really exciting, actually! It was fun to think of myself as a published author. Soon, I plan to re-release the book, combined with two other previously released books, as a full collection. It will be titled Madame Lavender’s Collection of Ramblings: Tales, Snippets & Poetry.

Very cool. If you could live in a movie, which would it be and why?

I love the movie Kate & Leopold. I’m a sucker for a good time travel romance, so it was right up my alley. So timey-wimey and romantic! I love the blend of modern and Victorian era in that film.

In your own words, what is love?

Love is the deep gift of yourself – it is beyond pettiness or these trivialities we often bother ourselves with. Love is the source of everything, and we are bereft without it. Even if we don’t experience love in our lives at first, when we do, it’s extraordinary because we wondered how we existed without such a treasure. Plus, when someone really loves you, you can tell. It is unconditional, not just convenient. Real love doesn’t expect anything in return; it just is, and when you can give your heart back to someone, it’s that much more beautiful.

Indeed. Marie, who is your best friend?

It might be cheesy, but my best friend is my fiancé. He means everything to me.

That’s not cheesy at all! My hubby is my bestie, hands down. Would you like to have children?

Yes, I would love to have kids someday. I will be turning 37 this year, so I’m definitely not getting any younger! LOL. And even if it turns out that I can’t have any children of my own, we could always adopt. I think sharing a child with the love of my life, having someone we could love and raise, would be awesome. Plus, since we both have cats, it would complete our little family.

Nice. What takes up too much of your time?

Uggh…marketing! I really need to focus more on writing stories.

What do you think of the world we live in?

I think if we don’t stop hating – and I mean in every direction, even at home – we’re going to be in a lot more trouble soon.

What’s your favorite TV Show or Movie?

I have so many! The one I’m currently watching is Chesapeake Shores. Favorite movie? I think I still have a soft spot for The Princess Bride. Even though it’s silly, there is something incredibly romantic about it.

Have to agree with you there. Princess Bride is pretty good. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?

A channel featuring films based on books! I love books!

Wow, that would be awesome. Like, an entire channel totally dedicated to movies and TV shows based on books. Yaass. Marie, why is writing important to you?

Writing is a kind of freedom that I’ve never experienced in other parts of my life. I can take on different personalities, drive down roads I haven’t seen before. I fall in love with my characters and go on their journeys with them. When I’m in the midst of writing a scene or chapter, it feels like home.

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?

I’m a fan of peace. I’d want to be a version of an empath – reading people’s emotions but sending them back to the person and those around them. This would be done in a manner to show what someone else is going through. I think a lot of us feel we’re misunderstood. Our pain is often silent. If we knew more about what the next person was feeling, maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge or hate.

Indeed. In your own words, what is truth?

Truth is the human condition. Truth entails a realization that we may not have known before. Sometimes the truth is good, sometimes bad. But in the end, it’s a necessary evil, I think. I’d rather have the truth than a lie. The fiction that I write is full of hard truth in many ways.

What a pleasure to have you, Marie! We enjoyed having you. Thanks for spending this time with us today.


Author Banner. Marie Lavender.

Bio.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Additional Information from Marie:

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART placed in the TOP 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

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