Interview with Joyce Lavene

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our interviewee today, Joyce Lavene.

Joyce Lavene2Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mystery with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. Visit her at www.joyceandjimlavene.com, www.facebook.com/JoyceandJimLavene, Twitter: @AuthorJLavene, romanceofmystery.blogspot.com.

Tell us about yourself—the part you tell everyone?
I am slightly crazed, write way too much with my husband/partner Jim, live in North Carolina with my family, enjoy gardening and puttering, and love paranormal anything.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think when I was eight, but I’m not sure. I was already writing poetry and short stories by the time I was eight. My first poem was published when I was nine. My mother thought it was ‘cute’ that I wanted to write.

For your first book, what was your writing process? Is it any different than how you write now?
As I mentioned, now I write with a partner, so my process is much different. We write on networked laptops – all very techie.
I wrote my first novel when I was fourteen, most of it in my dark closet. It took me years to get out of the closet and let others see my work. My husband knew as soon as he saw that I was a writer that we should write together. It just took him 20 years to convince me.

Is being a writer anything like you imagined it to be?
It’s exactly as I thought it would be! I love all of it and can’t get enough.

What is your favorite part of writing? Your least?
My favorite part is sitting down and telling the story, the rough draft, with no interruptions. Probably my least favorite part is when I have to bend that story to what my editors want it to be too!

Where and how do you find the most inspiration?
We have a local spot in an ancient mountain range – the oldest in North America – where we go and sit and look at the lake, walk the trails and think about the people who lived there 15,000 years ago. It’s amazing!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sometimes working together means compromise. A character is slightly different than I imagined her or a scene changes. Sometimes that’s harder than others. In the long run, working together is worth it.

When you’re writing, do your characters talk to you, develop a life of their own?
Definitely! That’s why I could never write horror stories!

Who or what are the biggest influences on your work?
Everyone I have ever met or talked to. It’s the truth. People affect me more than other books or movies.

Tell us about your book. Is it a standalone or is it part of a series?
The new book right now is A Haunting Dream. It’s the fourth book in the Missing Pieces Mysteries. It’s set in Duck, North Carolina – it’s a very small town located in the barrier islands off the coast. The protagonist, Dae O’Donnell, is the mayor of Duck and she is gifted. She is a finder of lost things. She has used her gift to help the people of Duck since she was a child, finding lost watches or wallets. In this book, she has to find a kidnapped child. It’s very emotional and challenging for her.

A writer’s resource everyone must have?
An imagination. You can get by with very little else if you have a good imagination.

Dogs or cats?
Both! We have a rescue puppy, Rudi, and a rescue kitty, Quincy. They both love to ‘help’ us write!

That’s all we have for today, folks. Let’s give a big thank you to Joyce for stopping by to talk to us!

Thanks for interviewing me!

A Haunting Dream

The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancée Ann arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancé might be the only person who can help find her.

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