Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Today I am thrilled to have Lavinia Lewis hanging out on my blog. Lavinia is a fellow Total-e-Bound author, a friend and an incredibly talented M/M writer. Her series, Shifter's Haven, is going down a treat and she is going to tell us all about it. But first check out these hot covers - phew!!

Okay, Lavinia, let the grilling begin :-)

What inspired you to write this series?

I’ve been a fan of paranormal fiction since around the age of twelve, when I got my hands on a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Of course back then Vampires were the bad guys, not the romantic heroes they are often depicted as today. Everything changed for me about three years ago when I read Twilight. Suddenly vampires and werewolves were sexy. Dark and dangerous, sure, but sexy nonetheless. I began to look online to see what else was out there of a similar nature and was amazed at what I found. EBooks to be exact, thousands of them and so many in the paranormal romance genre that I was spoilt for choice. Through EBooks I discovered M/M romance and loved it so much I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on. The many shifter stories available had me captivated and soon ideas began to form in my head for characters and plotlines of my own. I had so many ideas in fact that I knew I had to start writing a series. I got the first few hundred words down on the page and my Shifters’ Haven series was born.

What is the name of your latest book in the series?  And how did you come up with the title?

The latest book in my series is called Cody’s Revelation. Cody is one of three Morgan Brothers whose stories make up the first three books in the series. Each book in fact contains the name of one of the lead characters, so for example there are Luke’s Surprise, Cody’s Revelation, Kelan’s Pursuit and Aaron’s Awakening etc. I wanted to use the characters names in the titles so that they become memorable to the reader and easily distinguishable from each book but also to give a slight hint as to the plot of the story.

What books are you reading now?

I used to devour books at an alarming rate. At least one a day. However since I started writing my own and have less time, I read less. I was always the type of person that read one book at a time, finished it and then started another. Recently all that has changed. At the moment I have four books on the go and I dip in and out of them whenever I have a spare few minutes. Usually that’s at bedtime when my brain has turned to mush and I’m not able to write another word. The books of the moment are Anything For You by Ethan Day, Liquid Crimson by Carol Lynne, Special Delivery by Heidi Cullinan and Italian Weddings and Funerals by A. J. Llewellyn.  I’m absolutely loving each of them for different reasons.

What do you snack on when writing?

LOL. What don’t I snack on would be a better question. I love food. I’ll eat anything and everything but I particularly love savory foods. Like most women I know, I’m on a constant diet so I do try to limit my snack intake. But give me a cheese sandwich with mayo, a packet of crisps or a bowl of cereal and I’m a very happy woman.

What are your current projects?

I’m currently in the middle of writing books five and six for my Shifters’ Haven series. The working titles are Nate’s Dilemma and Gregory’s Rebellion.  And at the request of my publishers, I’m lengthening a story I submitted for an anthology so that it can be released as a standalone novel. But like all writers I know, it doesn’t stop there. Every day a have a new idea and have to get it written down. My laptop is littered with stories at various stages of completion that I swear I’ll get back to as soon as I have a spare few hours to devote to them.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. I can’t think of anything I’d enjoy more than to write full time for the rest of my life. I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that romance writers don’t make a great deal of money but you can make a living from writing romance, and a good living if you are dedicated and take it seriously. If you treat it as a job and not a hobby then writing can most certainly be a career.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’d being making up stories since I knew how to write but my fate was well and truly sealed when my parents bought me a Brother typewriter for Christmas when I was eleven. Being an only child I was used to amusing myself but when I got that typewriter I’d literally shut myself away for hours writing stories, and I haven’t stopped since.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I’d have to say the main challenge for me is keeping track of all the characters, events and timelines in a story. I am one of the most disorganized people you are ever likely to meet. Unlike so many writers, I don’t plan. I guess I’m what you would call a ‘pantser’.  Basically, I wing it. I open up my current manuscript and write the story as it comes to me. I did try writing an outline once by I found it stifling and impossible to stick to. When I got a few chapters into the story and the characters personalities started to develop, I found they often didn’t want to do what I had planned for them so I threw away the outline and just went with it! That’s all well and good in theory but in practice it means I often have to go back and reread the last few chapters to see what I’m up to and quite often I go back and read from the beginning. That’s not a huge problem but it is time consuming. Sometimes I do wish I could be more organized when it comes to my writing but I suppose we just have to do what works for us.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Motivation can be a big problem for me. As much as I adore writing there are days when I have to force myself to sit down and open my current work in progress. Although when I do and I manage to write a few thousand words, I get a great feeling of accomplishment. So now I’ve learnt of things I can do to motivate myself that seem to help. Firstly I think it’s important to make writing a part of your daily routine, like cooking dinner or doing the washing up. It’s a good idea to set aside a certain time of the day for writing, and be specific about that time. For example plan to start writing at 9:17 at night for one hour or 8:24 in the morning for an hour and a half. Choose a time that fits around your lifestyle and stick to it. Make sure it is a realistic time when you are least likely to encounter any distractions. I find that if there is a precise time that I have to open up my manuscript and write, I am more likely to do it. And be sure to switch off the internet so you are not tempted to chat to friends on Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes the smallest distractions can completely derail us. Take away those distractions and make writing a part of your daily routine and you’ll be amazed how much you will accomplish.

Just for fun –

Beer or wine - Wine
Hot or cold Hot
Sweet or savoury - Savory
Summer or winter - Summer
Quiet or loud - Quiet
Ski or beach - Beach
Apples or bananas - Uh, Pineapple?

If you could choose any Hollywood star to be the main characters in your books who would it be?

Lol! I’d have Josh Holloway as every character in my books if I could.

Do you have a pesky day job which interferes with your writing time?

At the moment I temp which suits my lifestyle perfectly. I could do a three month contract and then nothing for several weeks or I could be asked to go in for just a couple of days a week. I love those weeks because on the days I’m not in the office I get to sit at home and write all day long.

Tell us where we can find you

Twitter : lavinialewis
Facebook : Lavinia Lewis

Thanks so much for taking the time to join us today, Lavinia - I am so with you on the Josh Holloway thing and Twilight vampires!! I hope your series continues to be a wonderful success and please feel free to drop in any time and let us know how you are doing.

Lily x

Oh, and just for you .....


  1. Thanks Lavinia for sharing all the yummy details of your books and writing.

    Lily x

  2. Thanks so much for inviting me today Lily and for all your interesting questions! And thank you for all the hot pictures of my favourite men, what a great way to start the day! :)

  3. Great interview - it's lovely to find out more about you, Lavinia!

    I can't wait to read your books.

    And Lily... thanks for the hot pics ;)

  4. Thank you for reading Lucy! I know the pictures are hot aren't they? ;)

  5. Hiya Lavina!

    Lovely to read this. I could hear your voice as I read it. LOL!


  6. Hi Emmy!

    Would you perhaps be referring to a certain accent? lol! Thanks for reading hon :)

  7. Greetings, Lavinia!

    You're amazingly prolific! I'm very impressed.

    You're right, though. Sometimes it's really hard to make yourself sit down and DO the writing, as much as you love the process. I don't understand the resistance but I feel it too.

  8. Its been fun Lavinia, feel free to come and hang out any time :-)

  9. Hi Lisabet, thank you for reading! Yes I do like to put myself about ;) I don't know if I understand the resistance myself but I am learning how to combat it.

    Thanks again for inviting me Lily and be careful what you wish for! lol