Friday, August 7, 2015

Marie Lavender stops by Penny's Tales

The Other World: Suspension of Disbelief by Marie Lavender

In college, I would often hear a certain phrase floating around in my writing classes. My Creative Writing professors talked about suspension of disbelief. This device was a way to ensure that the reader accepted what happened in a story without question. No matter how bizarre things were, it would seem completely natural to the reader because a story was told well. What they didn’t talk about was suspension of disbelief for the writer. 
In my thirty and some years, as I’ve spent twenty-five of them in the practice of writing, nothing except literature, movies and my own twisted imagination prepared me for the worlds I would encounter on the page. As authors, we do, in a sense, create another world for readers. Fiction is an escape from reality, and if it’s done well, you can become absorbed in the tale unfolding before you.

In a way, it is the same for a writer. And for writers of science fiction or fantasy, even the paranormal genre, a different set of skills is required. I have written many stories and books that required me to suspend my own disbelief. The key in the end was to start to see each tale as another world. “I’m entering a place where the laws of physics may not necessary apply, and there are no limits…” This was a hard concept to grasp at first. Even with general fiction, there are still some rules. When I’m writing both contemporary and historical romance, I have to pay attention to the facts about that time and place. An accountant wouldn’t be throwing a ball of fire, unless you were aiming for a different genre entirely. Although consistent inconsistencies in a character are more than welcome. With these “magical” genres, a writer has to honor the kind of fiction that has gone before, yet still make it their own entirely. 
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that writers have to wear different hats. That is true because writing and marketing are such diverse animals. But, a multi-genre author has to wear a different hat for every story. Each one has its own set of rules. In the course of a day, I can go from historical romance to paranormal romance to children’s fiction, then to romantic fantasy. It gets confusing. Though I still float around when I have nothing else to do, I have taught myself to try to focus on one project at a time. The muse often has other plans, however.

So, when I am immersed in writing a scene, I have to prepare myself just before going in. Often I write on the fly, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do some mental preparation. Like the pilot going through his checklist before firing up the engine on his plane, in the back of my mind I’m aware that the project I am working on has its own set of rules. Whether the tale is historical, modern, or it’s about witches, ghosts, aliens, demons, even vampires, I know that I have to prepare. In the case of fantasy or paranormal, all bets are off. Suddenly, I have to train my brain not to think of facts, but to let my imagination run wild. I must allow myself to see the story as a new world. In the case of urban fantasy, it’s a world within our world. So, research is still required, but there’s room for creative license. It’s also a challenge to include the necessary facts about a story if it’s part of a series. A writer must juggle a little, decide how to introduce new readers to a sequel in a series, and yet continue the plot without alienating longtime fans of the series. 
Fiction is a world most of us enjoy immensely. The reader gets the opportunity to explore a world he or she didn’t know before, while the writer gets a different kind of seat in the auditorium. As writers, we are in control, and yet we are not. It is a common misconception that we are like puppeteers, amused at the way we can stage a story and move our characters around. There is but a small grain of truth to that assumption. In reality, the characters rule us. The plot takes hold, driving us through days with very little sleep until the story is told and told well. By the end of the experience, it has been somewhat of an addiction, a drug we cannot refuse. 
And still, that suspension of disbelief is necessary for us as writers to maintain. Even we are human beings, and we can get too grounded in reality with life dragging us away from the page.
Though I love writing any kind of story, it is nothing compared to when I can release the reins on my imagination. Spinning tales always requires some imagination, but the stories which are a little out of the ordinary take a bit more. In those fantasy worlds, I can become a witch, a vampire tasting blood for the first time, a spirit trying to come to terms with her new reality, a woman fighting her worst nightmare. I can take on different personas, wear many hats, so to speak, and I adore the experience. It’s just as exciting to me as it is for readers! 
Once I have suspended my disbelief, the story all but spills onto the page, begging to be finished. I relish the journey. My characters come alive and the story possesses me until the project has reached its completion. I can’t even describe the wonder I feel with this kind of freedom.

And still the stories come, the characters demanding their say. Whether they are fantastical creatures or regular human beings, at the core they’re all the same. Wondrously flawed and wanting to live their lives blissfully, at peace. Of course, something always prevents that from happening. That’s a story for you, though. It often throws curveballs when you least expect it.

I must honor the characters, tell their stories, and let these worlds unfold on the page without limits. The result? Something even I am amazed by because I certainly didn’t plan for it to happen. LOL. Nonetheless, it keeps me believing in magic and the unexplained. I would have the process no other way, though. And I can’t think of a better career for myself than this constant plunge into the unknown. It’s so compelling that I just can’t wait until the muse dares to honor me with the experience again.
Below, I am including information about some of my books that contain other worlds – paranormal and fantasy alike. Enjoy!

The Magick Series
Magick & Moonlight (Book 1, Genre: Romantic Fantasy)
Messing with free will is always a bad idea…

Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?

Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.

To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?
Purchase Links:

A Little Magick (Book 2, Genre: Children’s Fantasy)
Little Rosie goes to stay with her uncle. There she meets some new friends…and some enemies. She doesn’t know that her emotions will trigger something unusual. So far from home, suddenly Rosie has become a full witch like her mother. For a time, it is great fun to use her powers the way she wants, but can Rosie figure out how to use these newfound powers for good or will she be lost to the dark side forever?
Purchase Links:

The Blood at First Sight Series
Second Nature (Book 1, Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy)
She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?
Purchase Links:

Standalone Books
A Misplaced Life (Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Thriller)
Death is only the beginning. That is what Alexa Hamilton realizes when she discovers herself beyond the land of the living. She must enlist the help of her best friend and a handsome, but stubborn detective to try to put the missing pieces of her life back together. Alexa faces the biggest challenge of her life when she has to choose between seeking revenge upon her killer or the hereafter. Or perhaps she can have both? Only time will tell.
Purchase Links:

Terror in the Night (Genre: Paranormal Romance/Thriller)
There was no reflection. Just a dark face and a pair of red eyes that glistened. "What do you want?” she whispered. There was no answer. He only smiled. All of a sudden, a powerful force slammed her back against the door.
Claire Retin has been dealing with the same nightmare for years. Little does she know that she is not the only one. When she meets a kindred spirit, she realizes there's more to this nightmare than she previously thought. With the aid of a new lover, she seeks to combat this foe while the past threatens to overcome her.
Purchase Links:

Author Bio:
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 20 other books. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial's Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader's Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature; "Lovers Like Us" (from the book anthology, Poets & Writers in Action); A Little Magick
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Author Links:

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