Welcome, we are talking today with Joyce and Jim Lavene, author of Heart of Shadows.
Heart of Shadows was a wonderful, on the edge of your seat book. How did you come up
with the story line for this book?
Jim: We’d wanted to write a paranormal heroine for a long time.
Joyce: Rae is a throwback to my mother’s mother who grew up in that area and had ‘the
powers’. We just put her in the FBI!
As you were writing Heart of Shadows did you have the whole story layed out in your
mind, or did it take a life of its own as you were writing it?
J & J: A little of both. We ALWAYS outline before we start on a book. We don’t always
stay with what we plan but at least we have some place to start. It’s a good way to tell if
we really have a story that will last through a whole novel.
Who is YOUR favorite male character in your stories?
J & J: People ask us this a lot but we don’t really have a favorite. It would be like having
a favorite child. We love them all!
What kind of research did you do as you were preparing to write this book?
Joyce: We went down and spent some time with my mother’s family in South Carolina. I
grew up with stories of ghosts and the paranormal so I didn’t need to research that!
Do you have a strict writing schedule?
J & J: Yes! We work six days a week (unless we’re off giving programs and signing books)
with Sunday off. We get up at 5:30, go for a walk, eat breakfast then get started writing
by 8. We work about 8 hours a day.
What is your advice to people who are just beginning to write?
Jim: Don’t get too fond of the words you’ve written. You almost always have to give some
up. Although we got a surprise from our editor for the Peggy Lee garden mystery series.
She didn’t want ANY revisions on the second book! We were thrilled!
Joyce: Don’t join a critique group until you’re VERY sure of yourself! They can do more
harm than good.
When you start a new book, which comes first the characters or the plot?
J & J: Always the characters.
Are all of your books E Published? Have you considered publishing anything in print?
J & J: Our first book was a Silhouette Romance in 1999. We have 11 books in a hardcover
mystery series with Avalon Books, 6 romances with Avalon, a writing book from Adams’
Media and a new mass market paperback mystery series with Berkley Prime Crime starting
in May 2005. Most of our books are in print EXCEPT our 12 E books.
Since your book Heart of Shadows are you working on any projects right now? Can you
give us any "brief peeks" of them?
J & J: In May, PRETTY POISON is the first book in the new mystery series from Berkley
Prime Crime. It’s about a botanist and garden shop owner who finds a man dead in a
basket of anemone bulbs. Awe-Struck is set to publish PAPER ROSES in the fall. It’s a
romance about a doctor who loses everything but finds herself and a new love. BEFORE
THE LAST LAP is the 11th Sharyn Howard mystery due out in August. This one has
NASCAR ties (we’re from NC. We HAD to bring that up!) We’re finishing up the second
garden series mystery that will be out next February. And we’re working on a historical
romance for Awe-Struck that’s set in 1870’s Chicago (where we both grew up).
On a more personal level, do you do anything special when you complete a book as a
J & J: We have a set of matching engraved crystal that we drink pink champagne from
every time we finish a book or sign a new contract.
What is the best advice that you ever received? What is the worst?
Jim: Best? Spend some time every day on what you really want to accomplish, even if it’s
only a short time. We create our realities by spending time on what’s important to us.
Joyce: Worst? Don’t worry about the small stuff. Everything we do is important. To say
that the small stuff doesn’t matter is like saying nothing matters.
Thank you for taking the time our of your busy schedule to answer these few questions.
Do not forget to check out the review on Heart of Shadows