1) Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Sure! I’ve been writing stories since the age of nine; it seems there was always some of kind of tale playing out in my head, and I wanted to be an author from a young age. I pursued the dream from then on, taking writing classes or studying up on the elements of fiction. I also read voraciously. In college, I pursued Creative Writing as a major. About five years after graduating, I decided to finally try to publish a book. I am an indie author, in a sense, because I have self-published as well as used traditional publishing. In 2012, I was picked up by Solstice Publishing, and through them I released my first historical romance, Upon Your Return, book one of the Heiresses in Love Series. The rest, as they say, is history.
2) What inspired you to write?
The muse inspired me, the voices in my head, the characters that drove me to tell their stories.
3) What inspired your novel?
With Blue Vision, I wanted to tell an entirely new story, a different approach to meeting a stranger. Through some unusual circumstances in this tale, the main character encounters a mysterious man.
4) What is the genre?
The genre is science fiction romance.
5) What draws you to this genre?
Although I’ve always been drawn to the romance genre in most of its forms – at the core, we’re all human and I think we’re all meant to find that special person – I actually got to try something new with this novel. Blue Vision is my first published foray into sci-fi. I like playing around with unique characters; with this one, I just let my imagination soar. I had to think beyond the world we see.
6) How did you develop your plot and your characters?
Though one character isn’t exactly human, I had to try to make him relatable to readers. I think they’ll connect with his struggles. And with Brooke’s character, she’s a blend of various traits. She’s braver than she realizes. As for the plot, once I had the seed, it just exploded forward. I even found myself planning the second book in the series.
7) What inspired your protagonist?
As both main characters share the novel equally, I’ll address the question for them. With Colin, I just tried to imagine someone who reluctantly follows his people, though deep down I think readers will realize he isn’t exactly like them. As for Brooke, she evolved on her own. I began with her speech patterns, her mannerisms, delved into her history, then discovered even more about her in the process of writing the story.
8) What inspired your antagonist?
The antagonist in the book is a combination of elements that make up one main entity. I’d say I just imagined the most power-hungry people in the world, changed a few things and went on from there.
9) What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The hardest parts for me were the technical aspects, the sci-fi portion of the novel. Well, the advanced technology, you know? I didn’t want the book to sound juvenile. I had a friend who was a science fiction geek, and he gave me some really good advice. “Use your imagination; that will take you all the way…” So, after I got over my initial anxieties, I let the story and the characters speak for themselves.
10) What was your favourite part of your book to write?
My favorite part? Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’m divided between what it was like to write about an alien as a male character (would I have said ‘no’ if a strange blue, sexy man kissed me?…ah, probably not), or just writing about his home planet, imagining the way his world looked. That was actually pretty fun!
11) Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
I write part-time for now. When I’m not writing, I do two things. I am a designer at Ambrosia Innovations, where I design book covers, graphic teasers, social media banners, and make book trailers/marketing videos. The rest of the time? I work at a call center.
12) What are you currently reading?
I’m reading Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward.
13) Who would you say are your favourite authors?
Among others, a few of my favorites are J.R. Ward, Nora Roberts, Chloe Neill, Kris Tualla and P.C. Cast.
14) How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
1. The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward
2. The Chicagoland Vampires Series by Chloe Neill
3. The House of Night Series by P.C. Cast
4. The Discreet Gentlemen Series by Kris Tualla
5. Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts
15) What are your future projects, if any?
Right now, I’m editing a contemporary romance/romantic drama collection, which is titled Directions of the Heart. I hope to have that out in early 2017. I am also writing the second book in the Blood at First Sight Series. It’s called Blood Instincts, and the novel is a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy.
16) What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
Readers can connect with me on social media. They can also subscribe to my author website, and my monthly newsletter. I host three blogs as well: Writing in the Modern Age, Marie Lavender’s Books! blog, and the I Love Romance Blog. They can find a full list of my published books here, or just follow my Amazon author page for updates.
17) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Patience is a big thing to remember. The journey is rough, and it will take as long as it takes. However, if you want this bad enough, if you wake up and most days all you can think about is when you can get back to writing, if the story and the characters guide you, then don’t worry. You have a good handle on what’s important. Be persistent with your dreams, and be patient. At least have a nice balance between the two, and you’ll come out the other side published and working on a lifetime writing career. Think about it like you’re launching a new business. It takes time and effort, but in the end you’ll be rewarded in numerous ways, the most imperative being that you preserved your dream and saw it through.