Friday, March 7, 2014

Author Interview: Marie Laval

Today I have Marie Laval on the ol' blog. She's the author of a book for the grown-up crowd: The Lion's Embrace. Keep reading to learn more!

Blurb: Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him. As Harriet embarks on a perilous journey across Algeria with Saintclair and Archibald Drake, her father’s most trusted friend, she discovers a bewitching but brutal land where nothing is what it seems. Who are these men intent on stealing her father’s ransom? What was her father hoping to find in Tuareg queen Tin Hinan’s tomb? Is Lucas Saintclair really as callous as he claims—or is he a man haunted by a past he cannot forgive? Dangerous passions engulf Harriet’s heart in the heat of the Sahara. Secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters, and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she loves.

Does forever lie in the lion’s embrace?

Me: What inspired you to write THE LION'S EMBRACE?

Marie: I was always very interested in the history, the music and culture of North Africa where my mother grew up. One day I stumbled upon magical photographs of the Hoggar mountains and of rock art which showed that the Sahara wasn't always a desert. As I researched the history of the region further I read about the discovery of  a tomb filled with gems and precious objects in which the first Tuareg queen Tin Hinan was rumoured to have been buried. My imagination did the rest...

Me: What does your writing process look like?

Marie: I am a total pantser! I write my novels on the computer but I am a complete fan of notebooks. I always carry one or two around to scribble notes and ideas, bits of dialogues and anything that comes into my mind. The only thing is that these notebooks must be from the French make 'Clairefontaine'! My sister very kindly sends a pack over to England every so often. I was very lucky with THE LION'S EMBRACE. It only took me a few months to write and hardly needed any edits. My current project seems a lot harder!
Me: If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Marie: There are so many authors I would love to meet. Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, for a start. Not to mention Isabelle Eberhardt and Colette - two great female writers who were very much ahead of their time and led very unconventional lives. I would also love to have a chat with Nora Roberts, one of my favourite romance authors ever, and ask her how she manages to come up with so many great plots and characters time after time. 

Me: Are you working on another book right now? If so, care to share a little about it?

Marie: I have just completed a contemporary romantic suspense set in Provence, in the South of France, and I am currently finishing yet another historical romance set in Scotland. I have a few other projects I can't wait to start, one of them being a Corsican adventure! I find the start of a new story so exciting.

Me: Any advice for kids/teens/adults wanting to write and get published?

Marie: Just one: keep writing. Never mind how many rejections you get from publishers or agents, or how many people tell you that you should concentrate on 'real' work, writing is magical. It's yours. It's who you are. And nothing can change that. 

Thanks, Marie! Here's some more about the author, along with links to her book:

Originally from Lyon in France, Marie Laval studied French History and Law at university there. Marie now lives in Lancashire, in Northern England, where she tries to balance a busy family life with her passion for writing and her occupation as a modern foreign languages teacher in a large secondary school.  THE LION'S EMBRACE is Marie Laval’s second novel.

Buy The Lion's Embrace from


  1. This book sounds just up my street. Not only do we have my kind of hero (a bad boy who might not be as bad as we think) but I love North Africa. Never been to Algeria, though I was sent to Morocco a few times with my job and I fell in love with the place, the people and the culture. Good luck, Marie.

  2. Thank you so much Beth for welcoming me on your blog today, and thank you Caitlyn for your lovely comment. Like you, I do have a fascination for the landscapes, the art and the people of North Africa. I hope you enjoy The Lion's Embrace!

  3. Let's hear it from us pantsers, eh? I can't wait to read the books I have of yours.

  4. Thank you for visiting Suzanne. Although I would love to plan more, I could never have everything worked out right from the start. Not only I can't think that far ahead when I am writing a story, but I think it would spoil it for me, I like not knowing exactly where I'm heading and letting the characters decide - within reason! Being a pantser however can be a pain too and lead to many rewrites!

  5. I absolutely loved The Lion's Embrace, Marie, and last week downloaded your first novel, Angel Heart, from the Muse bookstore, and am looking forward to reading it. Wishing you much success!

  6. How nice of you, Helena. I do hope you enjoy Angel Heart too! I look forward to reading more of your wip - I really enjoyed the first three chapters - and wish you luck with all your other writing projects,

  7. You're welcome, Beth. It was a pleasure.