Q&A With Author Marie Lavender
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Do you have a writing routine or do you write when inspiration strikes?
I guess a little of both. My story ideas or scenes come to me randomly, and I have to write them down right away. There may be a little time between the muse visits, but when I’m really focused on a project, I try to push myself to write every day. With my current work in progress, UYL, and my latest release, Second Nature, book one of the “Blood at First Sight” series, I found it was easier to make progress if I organized myself with notes as reminders about what aspect I needed to focus on at that time.
Do you write with a specific word count in mind?
Not usually. I write until the story is done. Only after that do I worry about whether to start cutting anything down. With my work in progress, Upon Your Love, which will be book three of the “Heiresses in Love” series, the word count is getting up there, but I am not going to concern myself with it until after all of the edits are done. Then I can judge whether I think a certain publisher will take that length.
Are there any essential elements that must be present for you to write?
Yes, either my trusty journal and a pen, or the keyboard on my computer. If I have to, I will use any piece of paper to write on and a pencil, though pencils kind of annoy me. I also prefer writing with a gel pen. Sometimes I use synopsis notes, any research facts pertaining to the story, or printed out sections of the work in progress to jumpstart everything. I also compose on the fly when I’m at my computer. One source of inspiration I use is photos of locations; those help me imagine how a place looks or feels.
Do you ever show your writing-in-progress to friends and family, or do you prefer to wait until it has been polished and perfected?
After I finish a manuscript, I let it sit for about a week or so before I do a ton of self-editing. I go back through the story or novel many times, looking at it from an editor’s perspective. Only after I am satisfied with it is it ready for other people. Then I send it to beta readers, critique partners, and a proofreader, and I revise it until it is as polished as possible. My proofreader Jenn was an enormous help in proofing Magick & Moonlight, Upon Your Honor, Second Nature, and A Little Magick.
How do you select the titles for your books? Do they come to you right away or is it the last thing you think of?
I usually slap on a temporary title, and wait for the right one to come to me. Upon Your Return came from a line in the book. With the sequels, I used the theme of each book to create the titles. For Second Nature, I started with the temporary title of Love or Blood, and then changed it when I realized that it would fit the story and the characters better. For Magick & Moonlight, I came up with the title first, and for the sequels, I wanted to connect them while invoking the notion of lighthearted stories about witchcraft.
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. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction, and poetry. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
How do you select titles for your writing?