Mystery We Write Tour: Joyce Lavene

Joyce Lavene writes bestselling mysteries with her husband/partner Jim. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley and Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. She lives in rural North Carolina with her family, her cat, Quincy, and her rescue dog, Rudi. For more about Joyce and her books, visit

Do you have a writing routine or ritual?
I guess the only routine I have for writing, is writing as much as I can. My husband, Jim, and I write together. We get up five days a week and write 10 pages of rough draft. After lunch, we work on revisions or promote what we’ve already published. We have a ritual for signing book contracts which includes drinking champagne out of special, engraved flutes. We also have a pen we only use to sign contracts.

What’s on your writing desk right now?
Right now, we’re working on revisions for our first Pie in the Sky mystery from Simon and Schuster, Plum Deadly, which will be out in September 2013. On rough draft, we’re working on the first book in our food truck mysteries, Biscuits and Bullets, from Berkley Prime Crime.

What's the best advice you've been given as a writer?
Author Janet Daily once told me that to get published, and stay published, you have to put real effort into your work. You have to write every day, even if that means getting up early, and choose to write even when it’s not convenient.

About A Haunting Dream
The mayor of Duck, North Carolina, Dae O’Donnell, is a woman with a gift for finding lost things. When her boyfriend Kevin’s ex-fiancĂ©e, Ann, arrives in Duck looking for a second chance, Dae suddenly finds herself facing certain heartache. And while her romantic life is in shambles, she’s even more concerned by the sudden change in her gift. After touching a medallion owned by a local named Chuck Sparks, Dae is shocked when her vision reveals his murder—and a cry for help. Dae doesn’t know what to make of the dead man’s plea to “Help her,” until she has another vision about a kidnapped girl—Chuck’s daughter, Betsy. With a child missing, the FBI steps in to take over the case. But Dae can’t ignore her visions of Betsy, or the fact that Kevin’s psychic ex-fiancĂ© might be the only person who can help find her.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Joyce Lavene's A Haunting Dream. Be sure to visit M.M. Gornell's blog to read my essay about how my writing life truly began in 1995 after a memorable trip to London and Paris. 


Joyce Lavene said…
Thanks for hosting me today, Collin!
Patricia Gligor said…
That's quite a schedule you adhere to! But I notice that you take weekends off. It's so easy for writers to get so caught up in what we do - because we LOVE what we do - that we forget to take time for ourselves. Sounds like you've got a handle on that.
Jean Henry Mead said…
I love your signing ritual. A new contract is reason to celebrate!
M.M. Gornell said…
Joyce, you and your husband are soooo disciplined. I'm going to keep your work schedule, rituals, and advice in mind, when my next "Just don't feel like it" rolls around.

cmgren said…
The schedule makes me tired. Thanks for having this contest.
WS Gager said…
Joyce: It is great that you have each other to keep you on track. I would be more productive if someone was watching. I wouldn't sneak down and throw in a load of laundry.
W.S. Gager on Writing
Jake said…
Seems you have a better schedule than most rail lines. Thanks for another blog of interest.

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