Today's interview is with Lauren Harvey, a fellow Vanilla Heart author. I'm being interviewed on her blog today as well. Her blog is http://harveyle.blogspot.com/
Another thing I learned is that she's from Philly, a not far destination from New York.
1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
I consider my work contemporary fiction. Most of it is LGBT contemporary fiction, but all of my books translate to all audiences. I do have a suspense novel, and I am just about to embark on another thriller/mystery/suspense book. So, I write in a couple of different genres. :)
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I guess you could say it chose me. I basically just write how ever the inspiration hits me. It's really all up to the muse! ;)
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I have to say science fiction is the one genre I'll be staying far away from. LOL. It takes a very special and creative mind to write like that. I enjoy writing in the here and now, that which I know. :)
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I'll read almost anything. Romance, mystery/suspense, period pieces, classics, etc. There is very little that I won't read. I'm always up for a new author or new genre because (a) it's fun, and (b) I think it's good for a writer to learn, read and gain as much as they can from other authors.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing.
Well, I'm originally from the Philadelphia area, but am now living in a quiet, small town in upstate New York with my partner, our four year old daughter, four cats and golden retriever. :)
I've been writing as far back as I can remember. Writing novels was my idea of play and fun as a child. I was nationally published in the U.S. for the first time at age fourteen. I've written fiction and non-fiction alike, but most of my writing has been non-fiction (historical and scientific pieces). I seriously began writing fiction in 2006 and have been going at it ever since. It's much more difficult than writing non-fiction, but it is so much more fun! :)
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That's pretty much impossible for me to say. :) Each of my characters in all of my books is a reflection of me in one way or another. It's akin to picking a favorite child. ;)
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Yes, there are in villains in each book. Not that they are completely evil. No person is either completely evil or completely good. But there are some people who are mean, selfish, controlling, full of hate, etc. Those types end up playing the villains in my books. They were created as the story was created. I am the kind of writer who lets the story write itself. As it does so, the characters develop on their own. Including the bad guys. :)
8. What are you working on now?
Currently, I am finishing up the sequel to Imperfect, my latest release. After that, I am going to work on that second mystery book. After that, who knows? I have a lot of ideas floating in my head, so I'm never quite sure what's to come next! LOL.
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
My newest release is Imperfect. It's basically the life story of a woman named Carol Mathers. She was born a sickly child in a somewhat emotionally unstable home. In the early 1980s, she receives a blood transfusion. The book actually starts on her twenty first birthday, when she meets the love of her life: Alexandria. They spend the next twelve years of their lives living, loving, laughing and crying. During this time, Carol discovers that she has acquired AIDS as a result of her blood transfusion. Now, she and Alex must learn to live new lives as AIDS patients. Life continues to be both beautiful and belligerent for the two. An unexpected tragedy causes Carol to wonder about the meaning of her life, or if there is any meaning at all.
The idea for this book came at a rather dark time in my life. It was a way for my to address my insecurities and personal issues at the time. It has turned into a book that actually helped and healed me. I've been getting some great feedback from readers, so it seems it's touching them as deeply as it has touched me.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
Carol had anticipated this day for years. Just like so many college students, the day she could legally drink was a great rite of passage in her life.
Marlene, Carol’s roommate, along with other friends and fellow students, had planned a wild night for their typically reclusive friend. Carol knew it would be a long, unpredictable night despite her early class. Carol didn’t care, though. She never went out and never partied. Her social life typically consisted of long nights with her textbooks. She deserved this one night to live it up.
At around seven, there was a thunderous pounding on Carol’s dorm room door. Wearing makeup and nice clothes for a change, Carol opened the door. A herd of people stood in front of her, some of whom Carol didn’t even recognize. She didn’t mind. This was her night. Tonight was her night to live, to laugh, and to enjoy.
“Surprise!” Everyone shouted, but the surprise was on them. Marlene was floored to find Carol wearing an uncharacteristically soft, delicate, slightly ruffled black blouse and a cute asymmetrical black skirt. This was Marlene’s first time in four years seeing Carol in anything other than a tee-shirt and jeans. Her outfit confirmed her ownership of this night. Carol grabbed her winter coat and purse and the crowd left to go paint the town.
Marlene had decided on the evening’s venue. Since her roommie was openly gay, Marlene led the crowd to the best lesbian bar in town: City Girls.
Carol’s troops wasted no time in splurging on shots, beer and a variety of hard alcoholic beverages. Carol, normally introverted, drank the shots and other intoxicating spirits; it didn’t take long for her to become inebriated.
Alexandria, a 24-year old local, watched the loud, raucous group and quietly chuckled to herself. She went to City Girls tonight to people watch and she certainly got an eye-full.
Suddenly, Carol got off her bar stool to go to the ladies’ room. Carol tripped over her own two drunken feet and began to fall forward. She saved herself by slamming her hand on the table in front of Alex. Embarrassed, Carol slowly pulled herself up to find the dark beauty smiling back at her. With skin like rich, dark chocolate, eyes that were beautiful, tranquil, bottomless pools, and neatly braided jet black hair, Alexandria took Carol’s breath away. The two paused and the world around them melted away as they intensely stared at each other.