Bookworms who like to spend time online are likely to encounter Marie Lavender’s name either as the author of 24 books in different genres or as the writer behind several popular blogs, including the top-ranked I Love Romance Blog.
Lavender has been writing for over two decades. The two dozen books under her belt were published in the last eight years. She writes in a wide range of genres, from romance and its various subcategories to fantasy and science fiction to literary fiction and poetry. In this question-and-answer article, she talks about her latest book, Blood Instincts, her journey as a writer, and how to fight off the isolation of the writing life.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you became a romance novelist?
A: I came from a small town in the Midwest. I've always wanted to be an author, ever since stories played through my head as a kid. From the beginning, I believed in the concept of true love, no matter the odds. Even after I grew up and pursued creative writing in college, I continued to have a soft spot for romantic tales. Six years later, I self-published my first book of literary fiction and poetry. I released several books in different genres afterwards. In 2012, my first historical romance, Upon Your Return, was accepted by a traditional publisher, and the novel was released the following year. Since then, eight titles in various categories have been released through the same publisher. Many of my works have at least an element of romance, even if the story isn't all about that.
Q: What is Blood Instincts about?
A: Blood Instincts is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy (with a slightly futuristic angle) that centers around the premise of finding out you're a little different than you originally thought. The female main character, Myah, gets a big wake-up call and discovers some facts about herself, facts that are disturbing, to say the least. Let's just say she learns about a new world. Blood Instincts, released in May by Solstice Publishing, is book two in the Blood at First Sight series.
Q: How did you come up with this story? What inspired you to write it?
A: Well, I knew Second Nature would have a sequel, and one day, it just came to me out of nowhere. I thought...wouldn't it be pretty weird to learn that you're not exactly...well, human?
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A: Don't take the easy way out, if you can help it. By that, I mean try to stick with your goals, even if people are telling you they’re impossible. Persevere and be persistent. The one person who will be disappointed the most if you don't pursue your dream is you. Remember, it's your path, your choice here, and you have to decide what's important.
Also, it might feel like a lonely journey, but really it's not. If you take a moment to look around, there is a big support system with tons of writers going through the same things, or having already been through it before. No, it's not easy, but if you really want this (and you're not in it for fame or money but rather because you love writing), then you will succeed.
Q: What's next for you?
A: I'm working on a romantic comedy right now, as well as a romantic mystery collection. Which one will come out first is anyone's guess. The muse is always surprising to me.
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