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?
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.
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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Amazon author page: Author.to/MarieLavender
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