10 Questions for Joyce and Jim Lavene
We are terminally married, almost inseparable, mystery authors who started out as romance authors and ended up working as reporters. We actually had four novels out last year (NASCAR, gardening, pet psychic and Renaissance Faire mysteries). We live in rural North Carolina where we have emus for neighbors
1. Tell us about your latest book.
Our last book was Wicked Weaves. It’s the first book in a series about crazy people who live at year-round Renaissance Village in Myrtle Beach, SC. They dress up as varlets, knaves, wenches and bailiffs and manage to solve murders that happen at the Village. It’s maniac fun.
2. How did you get started as writers?
One of us started writing at 9 and the other was a late bloomer at 39. We’ll let you guess which one is which. We started writing together because Jim bugged the crap out of Joyce to let him write with her.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
Hmmm . . . when we encounter a typical day at our house, we might be able to answer that question. We attend about 50 meetings a month for the local newspaper (politicians, sweet potatoes, beauty queens) so we have to be flexible. Sometimes we write in the morning with coffee. Sometimes we write in the evening with coffee. But we always write one-half to one chapter each day. Throw in a few revisions and rewrites, cover approvals and promotion and that must be a typical day.
4. Describe your desk/workspace.
We have a VERY LARGE desk Jim made because our cat has to write with us. He weighs 22 pounds and it’s no easy feat to get everything on the desk and still have room to work. We write with flat screen monitors back to back. Jim has the keyboard ( for right now)and I get the cat where my keyboard used to be. Joyce’s side is very neat and organized. Jim’s side is very messy. He can’t find anything.
5. Favorite books (especially for writers)
Joyce: My favs are historical romances and fantasy. Anything by Barbara Hambly or Loretta Chase. Jim: Anything Sci-fi or fantasy and mystery. I love Charlaine Harris!
6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you
Sometimes we get up at 3 am and go to Wal-Mart. We’re writers. That’s about as crazy as you get. We built our own log cabin and lived off the land in Minnesota where we homesteaded land and bartered for toilet paper.
7. Favorite quote
And each must build, ere time has flown, a stumbling block or a stepping stone, –R. L. Sharpe
8. Best and worst part of being a writer
Best? Hanging out with other writers. Writers are the coolest people in the world. Worst? The waiting.
9. Advice for other writers
Hang in there. Be persistent. Keep sending stuff out no matter what anyone says. Work at getting better.
10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.
Our first editor at Silhouette Books went to Colorado in search of a real man. Our first agent developed a life threatening disease. Moral: life changes. Roll with the punches.
Where can people buy your books?
Our books are available (by the grace of God) at all major bookstores and indies as well as libraries and places online. Our website is www.joyceandjimlavene.com and we blog with the Carolina Conspiracy at http://carolinaconspiracyblog.blogspot.com/