A question that I have always pondered is what makes an author? As I *think* I can now class myself as one having written 2 / 3 books so I asked Marie Laval a fellow Choc-lit author what she thinks makes an author.
“My first instinct was to beg you to give me another question to write about because I don’t feel in any way qualified to answer it… Perhaps it’s because I suffer from a massive case of imposter syndrome, but I have never consider myself an ‘author’. In fact I very rarely talk about my writing life to work colleagues or friends who aren’t writers because not everybody understands the need to create ‘imaginary worlds’ and populate them with characters who feel like real people. The few times I tried I got strange looks or people’s eyes glazed over and they quickly switched to another topic of conversation, such as a favourite series on Netflix or what they were having for tea.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had the need to jot down ideas in a diary or a notebook and to write stories – the need to escape in an alternate universe with people I made up and yet who were completely real to me, and places which I loved as if I actually lived there myself even if I had never actually visited them. My brain is constantly full of parallel thought processes – about work and family life, of course, and about whatever story I am inhabiting at the time and characters who need a voice and plots problems that need solving.
So, what makes an author? I should mention imagination of course, the ability to give life to engaging characters readers can see, hear and relate to, and the skills needed to write snappy dialogues or immerse readers in a landscape. But I think that taking the time to dream and let your mind wander is absolutely essential too. The older I get the more I realise that time is a luxury – time to be with loved ones or to be alone…
I am very lucky to live in a village surrounded by hills and lovely countryside and when I was stuck on a plot problem I have always found that going for a walk worked really well to sort things out in my head and I came back not invigorated but with a few new ideas too.
And of course, what an author needs most of all is the perseverance to keep going every day, even if only for an hour or so after work. It’s not easy, I know, and not always possible. My family circumstances dramatically changed last year and for these past few months I haven’t been able to write every evening like I used to. Most nights in fact I can only manage a few lines before nodding off on my laptop. I hope I can get more organised in my work and home life soon and find a way to get back into writing.”
QUEEN OF THE DESERT
Sometimes the most precious treasures exist in the most barren and inhospitable of places …
Harriet Montague is definitely too much of a gentlewoman to be frequenting the backstreet taverns of Algiers. But her father has been kidnapped whilst on an expedition to the tomb of an ancient desert queen, and she’s on a mission to find the only person who could save him.
It’s just unfortunate that Lucas Saintclair, the man Harriet hopes will rescue her father from scoundrels, is the biggest scoundrel of the lot. With a bribe in the form of a legendary pirate treasure map, securing his services is the easiest part – now Harriet must endure a treacherous journey through the desert accompanied by Saintclair’s band of ruffians.
But on the long, hot Saharan nights, is it any wonder that her heart begins to thaw towards her guide – especially when she realises Lucas’s roguish façade conceals something she could never have expected?
You can buy Marie’s book from a selection of places included those below.
Marie’s other book can be found HERE
You can talk to Marie via one of her social media links below.
Marie has appeared on “Story About A Girl” her previous visits can be found HERE