Check out this author spotlight for Elizabeth Lavender!
You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
I’m the author of the Sunspear series. The first book in the sci-fi series is called The Spinning of Deception, the second book is Deception’s Hold, and the third book is Shadowed Bonds. Originally from the Alabama coast, I currently live in the Dallas area with my husband, Jeff, and my two children. I have a Master’s degree in counseling, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and a minor in English. I enjoy science fiction and fantasy, and hope to bring some of that same enjoyment to others. I also enjoy suspense novels. However, as long as the storyline is intriguing, I’ll give other genres a try. My reading spans from Les Miserables to Shakespeare to the Percy Jackson series to anything written by Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti. I work full-time and have been at the same company for over twenty years happily. I’m a huge football fan and have a decent throwing arm, despite what my oldest son says when he practices throwing the football with me. Although I enjoy Texas, I love going home to Alabama to visit. Besides visiting family and friends, it’s nice to be back near the water again and enjoy the amazing seafood.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
Summer for sure, because I was born on the Alabama coast, so summer holds the best memories.
Tea or coffee?
No coffee. Something in it triggers my migraines. Tea definitely, but I prefer a glass of sweet tea. That’s what I grew up on in Alabama. Honestly if I’m going for a hot drink, it’s going to be hot chocolate. LOL.
Morning or evening?
Not a morning person at any point and shall never be one. I get up because I must for work and to take my kids to school. I love the evening. I’m a night owl through and through. The evening is the best inspiration for so many things, including writing between the hours of 9:00 PM -3:00 AM and beyond. Saturday is made for sleeping in and I will never believe differently.
Mountains or beaches?
The beach always. I lived on the Alabama coast for my childhood and there’s no comparison. You haven’t truly seen a sunset, until you’re seen one over the water and the evening sky surrounding it. Then there’s something about the water. No matter what troubles you, there’s calm from it. There’s just something about being near it.
Plotter or pantser?
I would be called a pantser as it’s defined. However, I do know how things will end for my characters and know there are certain events that have to happen to get there. There’s definitely no outline or strict plotting that happens. Many times I don’t even feel like I’m doing the writing anymore. I’ve been with my characters so long, it seems like they do more directing than I do.
Standalone or series?
Series. I think it’s more due to the genre I normally find myself reading in, rather than preference. I tend to read quite a bit of fantasy or closely related subgenres, like sci-fi/fantasy (like I write in) and find they naturally tend towards series, rathe than standalone. It seems to need a series set up to tell the whole story and put your characters through their entire torturous journey, so they emerge refined. However, my reading is pretty broad, so I enjoy psychological thrillers too, and a lot of times those are standalones. Honestly, if you can get me wrapped up in the story, I’m there.
Hero or anti-hero?
I love the hero. I love watching them struggling, fighting, beaten, almost killed, and then somehow making it alive at the last second. I like to delve into their emotions and their minds as they struggle with whatever they get thrown. I think too we can identify in real life with the hero, the challenges they face, and how they struggle with them So, heroes are my favorite, as I think they inspire us to see that no matter how hard it gets or imperfect we are in our struggle, we can emerge victorious. We may have our body battered, our heart broken, and our face streaming with tears, but we come through. We need our heroes.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
The epic battle between good vs evil; darkness vs. light. That trope encompasses so many types of stories too, from the fantasy to space opera to mythology tales to suspense thrillers. There’s always a hero, someone who is willing to stand up against the darkness and inspire others to do the same, in order to save the world. Sometimes that means defeating their own demons first. The heroes look a little different, as do their worlds, in each story. Some have to sacrifice more than others too. Still, it’s the same epic battle seen through a different view.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I write a sci-fi/fantasy series, the Sunspear Series. I am told it has more of a YA adult feel. However, my readers are not contained to that group. There are currently three books in the series, which include The Spinning of Deception, Deception’s Hold, and Shadowed Bonds. I am literally just starting on the 4th book in the series; I’ve written under 1,000 words on it. That’s because the 3rd book, Shadowed Bonds, just released a couple of weeks ago. However, the series starts with The Spinning of Deception. We meet our two main characters, our two spearbearers who will be the inspiration to stand against the Dark Lord’s army that means to crush countless galaxies, one colony at a time, in a bloodbath. Dante stands on one side, determined to stop the threat, even as his father commands the Dark Lord’s army. Across the galaxy, a mysterious young girl, trained in secret, fights against the threat as well. Her gift of visions reveals the truth of a tragedy of the past, and it could be the key to stopping the Dark Lord.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
My most recent release is Shadowed Bonds, the third book in my Sunspear Series. It was released on October 23, 2021. Victory is buried under the trail of Black Dragon destruction. Can two spear-bearers’ unshakeable connection reignite the flame against Black Dragon?
As the long-anticipated meeting between Dante and the Girl finally arrives, it’s bittersweet.
It’s overshadowed by a shared grief and the anguish that their sacrifice was for nothing as the Black Dragon continues to silently march forth with its ultimatum. Serve them or die. Then comes the terrifying realization that the Black Dragon now possesses the means to make such bondage reality. The two spear-bearers must see beyond the ashes left behind and move forward to face the Black Dragon again.
Yet another battlefield rages, one nearer to their hearts. Dante and the Girl promised their bond would not be broken, that it would see them through whatever lies ahead. However, the Girl is forced to keep her world hidden from Dante, and her tortured past threatens to overwhelm her. Those bindings entice her like never before, dragging her closer to the edge of a black abyss determined to make her its own. Dante, though, is equally relentless in his pursuit to keep his beautiful sunspear-bearer safe from the shadows that threaten to take her.
In the end, will she succumb to the tendrils of Darkness coiling around her, or will Dante’s bond be the stronger claim? Or does it only mark the beginning of the Black Dragon’s galactic conquest turning from a mere shadow to a deadly certainty?
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
I love Star Wars, specifically the original trilogy (New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi). On the fantasy side, Tolkien has to be one of my favorites, with the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Also, there’s the Narnia series by CS Lewis. I enjoy the suspense/thriller element that explores the more unseen, but equally powerful battleground, which is why I’m a big fan of anything from Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. Also, one of my favorite fictional characters is Jean Valjean from Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I think I’ve seen it done on stage about three times now, and it still brings me to tears. One of my other all time favorite books is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and I always loved the main character Edmond Dantes from it.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
If only I had a nice organized one. LOL. I work fulltime, so everything with the books is done in the evenings after work or on the weekends. So that includes writing, revising, marketing, etc. Generally, when I’m in the writing stage of the book, I just write. I don’t try to revise or edit or stop for spelling or anything like that. I can work with multiple distractions when I’m in the writing phase because I’m in a zone with my characters when I’m in that part of the process. Once I actually get the entire book written, then I start the editing/revising process. I need to get a first draft down and generally my first drafts are good starting points for me. I don’t feel the need to burn them like I’ve heard from some authors.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
I wish I had been more prepared for the other hats I would be wearing, the editor, marketing specialist, graphic artist… So, I believe I would have taken steps to learn the business part of being an author as well as the writing part. I think it would make things easier and less frustrating at times.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!