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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Interview With Marie Lavender

Interview With Marie Lavender

I first became aware of Marie Lavender through the Internet. We exchanged a few emails and I was blown away by her willingness to help other authors promote their books through cover reveals, interviews, and giveaways. She writes in several genres: Romance, like Second Chance Heart; Historical Romance, like Upon Your Honor; Paranormal, like Second Nature, and Children’s Fantasy, like A Little Magick.  Plus, she has finished in Predators & Editors Top 10 several times, numerous Honorably Mentioned and Runner’s Up Awards. She is a very talented lady. I felt it was time we sat down for an Interview, so please help me welcome Marie Lavender to PULP DEN.

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. 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 Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

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. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Tom: Marie, thank you for sitting down with me for this interview. First, how about telling your fans a little about yourself, your family, and where you live?

Marie:  Thanks for having me here, Tom. It’s a pleasure to visit. I’m a girl from the Midwest. I live in a small town with my family and three cats (make that nine when I get married to my fiancĂ©). I’ve pretty much known I wanted to be an author since I was about nine years old. Stories always played out in my head and it was just natural to write them all down. So, I’ve been writing short stories, novellas and full-length novels for a little over twenty-five years. In 2010, I decided to get into publishing my work. And it’s been quite a wild ride ever since. To date, I have published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.

Tom: From reading your Blogs and Facebook page, it is easy to tell you are an experienced writer, how did you get your start, and what is your writing background?

Marie:  Well, as aforementioned, I started when I was a child. I even entered a few young writer’s contests early on. As I was growing up, I read any book I could get my hands on, as well as writer’s reference books. I was eager to learn. In a way, I suppose I was self-taught, that was, until I actually took classes for it. In high school, I had my first Creative Writing class, and that set the stage for the rest. I studied Creative Writing in college and participated in a lot of writing workshops. While there, I was a copy editor for an online student journal, and I also officially published two stories in a university publication.

Tom: What writers influenced you, if any, and whom would you say your writing style most resembles? And are your stories more plot driven or character driven, do you think?

Marie:  I think a lot of writers have influenced me. As a child, I enjoyed the works of Gertrude Chandler Warner, Laura Lee Hope and R.A. Montgomery. As a preteen, I read the diverse styles of Ann M. Martin, Avi, Julie Reece Deaver and Annette Curtis Klause. As I matured, I ventured into more adult novels, authors like Catherine Coulter, Rosemary Rogers and Shirlee Busbee. Now I read novels by J.R. Ward, Nora Roberts, Chloe Neill, P.C. Cast, and the list just goes on.

As for my writing style? I consider it more of a hodge-podge of combined authors, perhaps with the candor reminiscent of Nora Roberts. I don’t beat around the bush when it comes to hard issues which are inherently a part of who a character is. This is information that a reader needs to know. Still, I’d like to think I have my own unique spin on things. My stories are often character-driven, though the plot has a lot to do with it.

Tom: Tell us about your stories, and a bit about your most recent novel, and which genre do you prefer writing? Or do you have a preference either way?

Marie:  I guess you could say I am more comfortable with the romance genre, so even if I stray from the genre you may still see a romantic element creeping in there without my intending it. But, I usually just follow the muse, even if I am encountering something I don’t usually write. My latest book is Second Chance Heart, a contemporary romance, really a “second chance” romance. It is about two people who share a troubled romantic history. The question is, though…can Dana forgive Vince for what happened in the past?

Tom: In your novels, are any of the characters based on imagination, or real persons? I know you want to bring all of them to life, but which one in particular are you most fond of?

Marie:  I’d say most of my characters come from my imagination. Only a few were loosely based on real people in my life.

Ah…which one do I like the most? I think I relate with Fara Bellamont, from Upon Your Return, pretty well. We’re both “dreamers”, in a sense, and hopeless romantics. Also, the fact that the novel was my first historical romance, and my first traditionally published book, probably endears the book to me as well.

Tom: What do you find to be the most exciting part of the creating process?

Marie:  I just love when that crumb of an idea sprouts into full form, when the pen is flying across the page, the story is playing out like a movie in my head and I just can’t stop writing until the scene is finished. That “high”, so to speak, is addictive.

Tom: Along the same subject as above, what do you find to be the most difficult area in the creating process?

Marie:  It usually depends on the project. Sometimes the research or editing can be more challenging than other aspects. At other times, it’s a struggle with a character. In the end, as writers, we have to listen to our characters. They often know their own stories better than we do.

Tom: Are you working on something special right now, either a romance, supernatural, children’s story, or …?

Marie:  Actually, I just wrapped up a book recently, and now I’m in edits. It’s a sci-fi romance, and book one of the Code of Endhivar Series. I also have plans to possibly release three other books this year: a historical romance, a romantic drama and a paranormal thriller.

Tom: Besides family and writing, tell us about any hobbies or community services you may be involved in, and any other activity you would like to mention.

Marie:  Hobbies? I love reading, shopping, cooking and sometimes, if I have a free moment, I’ll tackle a new creative project at home, like decorating a room or putting together some kind of artwork.

As for community services, I guess I consider my blogs a community project. Especially my main blog, Writing in the Modern Age, which is a safe place for writers of all stages to visit for advice on different aspects of writing and publishing, and where readers can find new favorite authors. And when I’m hosting a giveaway, whether it’s on a blog or on Facebook, that certainly feels like a community service. I love making people happy, and what is happier than getting a cool prize in the form of a free book?

Tom: What advice would you give other aspiring authors hoping to break into the writing field today?

Marie:  Believe in yourself first. Know why you’re getting into this field. If it’s for money or fame, think long and hard about that decision. The journey isn’t as easy as it looks, and personally, if I was getting into it for a shallow reason like that, I probably would have given up long ago. But, if you write because you love it, because there is a call deep inside of you, an urge to tell the story the best way you know how, then keep that desire close to your heart. You’re going to need to revisit that reason again and again, to reaffirm that this is indeed what you want and you’re willing to take the long, hard path to achieve it. And my go-to motto – persistence and perseverance – doesn’t hurt either.

Tom:  And now a question from left field.  If you could, would you choose to live in a parallel universe as one of the people in the places you create?

Marie:  Heck, why not? It sounds like a blast! I think in some ways, writers often live through their characters’ journeys, and if we’re not enjoying the worlds we create, then why are we doing it?

Tom: Where can fans find – and buy - your stories, and do you keep copies on hand for autographs? Please include website and Blogs.

Marie:  A full list of my 22 books, with purchase links included, is on my website here. With regards to autographed copies, I sometimes hand those out during book release parties. Readers can also get electronic autographs for my books using my Authorgraph page. My list of author links is included below:
Amazon author page: 
Tom: Marie, thank you very much for consenting to this interview.

Marie: My pleasure! Thank you for inviting me!


  1. Thank you so much for the interview, Tom!

  2. My pleasure, Marie. There have been lots of hits, just no comments yet. But it's hard to get folks to comment (sigh).

  3. What a wonderful interview with one of my favorite authors, who is always supportive of other writers. Congrats, Marie, and best wishes for your continued success! :)

  4. We could sure use more like Marie. Thanks for stopping by, Linda.