Since I joined the authors at Museitup Publishing, I feel as if I have become part of a wonderful family. I’ve loved getting to know other authors like Marie Laval and their work. In fact, I am currently reading Marie’s book, THE LION’S EMBRACE, so it seemed a good time to invite her round for a chat, and learn more about the lady who wrote such a compelling book.
Hello Hilary, and thank you very much for welcoming me on your blog today. I am delighted to be here and have to opportunity to talk about my writing, and in particulary my second historical romance THE LION’S EMBRACE, published as an ebook by MuseitUp Publishing.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in France, in a village near Lyon. I grew up in a very cosmopolitan family – my father was Polish, my mother was partly Italian and Spanish and was brought up in Algeria! They gave my sisters and I a wonderful childhood, filled with love, sunshine and laughter. After graduating from University with a Law degree I came to live in England and worked as a PA in the University of Manchester for a few years, before retraining to become a modern languages teacher.
I have published two historical romances, ANGEL HEART and THE LION’S EMBRACE with Canadian publisher MuseitUp Publishing, and I have recently signed two publishing contracts with Áccent Press, one for a contemporary romantic suspense THE LADY OF BELLEFONTAINE, which is set in Provence and should be released next December, and another for DANCING FOR THE DEVIL, a historical romance set in the remote North of Scotland.
You’ve been busy! Did you always know you wanted to write?
Yes! When I was growing up, my best friend and I had a great time writing silly plays and romantic novels, and I always knew writing was my passion. I used to write short stories, and when a couple were published and won prizes, I decided to try and write a novel. That was five years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
I was always fascinated by the Sahara and the breathtaking Hoggar mountains in the deep South of Algeria. One day I saw photos of the rock art you can find there. I started reading about the region’s ancient history, including the legendary Tuareg queen Tin Hinan and the Garamantes people and their mythical emerald mines…I got the idea for a romantic novel and the story almost wrote itself!
I love it when that happens. The story almost cries out to be told. But a book set in such a place and time… was there a lot of research that went into the writing of THE LION’S EMBRACE?
Yes there was, but I loved every minute of it. Being French, I am very lucky to be able to access a lot of material which isn’t translated into English. I came across real gems – maps, old Tuareg tales and legends, archaeologists’ journals, and even original music. It was like following a trail, each discovery leading to another, even more exciting one.
It sounds like you enjoyed writing THE LION’S EMBRACE as much as I am enjoying reading it. Talking about your writing, what is the one thing you absolutely need when you’re doing it?
Quiet. Unfortunately I very rarely get any. My house is always very busy and noisy.
Describe your writing space.
At the moment it’s my dining room, and it’s very messy, with books, papers and notebooks everywhere. I wish I had a study of my own with a lovely, inspiring view.
How did you choose the title of your novel? Do you find it easy to come up with titles?
Whilst researching for a blog post recently about titles, I realised I was doing it all wrong! My titles usually pop into my mind even before I start writing the novel and if they feel right, I keep them. Yet I realise there is a lot more I should be doing, like ‘Googling’ the titles to make sure they don’t already exist or play around with different ideas until I finish writing the novel to make sure I end up with a title that truly reflects the style and plot of the final manuscript.
Hey, if it works for you, it isn’t wrong.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a contemporary romance set in the Scottish Highlands. I hope to make the most of my Summer holidays to get the first draft finished before September.
And where can we find more about you and THE LION’S EMBRACE?
You can find me at http://marielaval.blogspot.co.uk/
You can find THE LION’S EMBRACE at
Thank you so much Hilary for giving me the opportunity to be on your blog.
You’re welcome. I enjoyed the visit. Have a great summer, and do let us know when the new book is finished.