If anyone had told me back in August of 2012 that by now, I’d not only have completed and published three full-length historical romance novels, but also have numerous works out along with the launch of three other series, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. Yet it’s true.
In 2002, I had this thread of an idea for a Victorian maritime story set in France. That book became a long project which somehow morphed into an empire. In 2013, Upon Your Return was released. I was ecstatic! Not only was my first historical romance on the market, it was traditionally published to boot. Not too long after receiving the book contract for UYR, an image of a young woman stowing away on a ship materialized in my mind. Before I knew it, I was planning book two in the series, Upon Your Honor. The third book, Upon Your Love, came to me then as well.
Quickly, the entire project transformed into a compelling period drama, with elements of romance and suspense, about a family in New Orleans. Of course, the books were set in various locations besides that city. Yet each individual had his or her own trials to face. So, I guess you could say none of this was planned. The muse took on a life of its own, and the Heiresses in Love Series came to fruition. The same thing occurred with my other three series, the Magick Series, the Blood at First Sight Series and the Code of Endhivar Series. Even though they all landed in different genres or subgenres, there was one underlying theme.
Not only are the books about families, in a sense, I’m a reader myself. And whenever I read a series by one of my favorite authors, I rapidly become hooked on the stories and the characters. You warm up to them like a relative you’d see at family gatherings. Maybe you’re not with that person every day, but he or she inevitably becomes a part of you. They give your life meaning. Think of it like a TV series. You connect with the characters, so you keep cheering them on in all their life’s successes, as well as sympathizing with their failures or tragedies.
For me, writing a series has a similar purpose. As authors, we spend so much time getting to know our characters. They become friends, or even family members, and after a series is finished, there is a mourning period. I suppose it’s like moving out on your own. Sure, you love your parents, and you experience a little sadness at the idea that they’ll no longer be close at hand. But you know you must become the person you’re meant to be. You have to fly, though your parents will always hold a special place in your heart. And you’ll go back to visit now and then.
Writing a series is somewhat like loving your family. You grow close to them, even have occasional tiffs, but the familial bond can never be broken. And the Heiresses in Love Series will always be dear to me, for a number of reasons. I love the characters as if they were my own family.
Feel free to call me crazy; I’ll own up to it. I think writers need a touch of madness to write good stories. Yet we can’t deny that our characters become a vital part of us, even if they sprouted from our minds and came to life on the page. They are more than a fragment in a book, though.
They are family.
# # #
About the Author
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 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, 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. Find out more at Marie's website marielavender.com and find her on Twitter @marielavender1.