Friday, September 20, 2013

Interview with Marie Laval

Born and brought up near Lyon in France, Marie Laval moved to England a few years ago and now lives in a village in Lancashire. Her two historical romances, ANGEL HEART and THE LION'S EMBRACE are published by MuseitUp Publishing. She is currently working on her third novel. 

What is the mantra that helps you maintain faith in yourself? 

My mother used to tell my sisters and I that it was no use waiting for things to happen and that if you wanted something, you had to go out and get it. 'Take the bull by the horns', she used to say (in French, of course!).When I feel a little insecure, or overwhelmed, this is what I tell myself and it usually gets me going.

What event in history would you like to have witnessed in person?

I always dreamed of travelling back in time and being a guest at one of Louis XIV's balls or 'fêtes galantes' at the palace of Versailles, watch a play by Molière and then dance or listen to music by Lully. Versailles is such a beautiful, magical place and I would love seeing it in all its splendour.

Have you ever found yourself in an unlikely hobby or activity? 

I can think of a few, but undoubtedly the most ridiculous thing I ever attempted was to pose as a rock climber to impress a boyfriend I was very much in love with, and who was himself a seasoned climber. One weekend he suggested we went climbing together in Provence, and I found myself at the bottom of a very steep cliff, harnessed in rock climbing gear, with my boyfriend staring at me expectantly. I inserted my fingers and my toes into tiny holes, tried desperately to push myself off the ground...and failed miserably. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

Is there some treasured item from the past you've lost and still long for?

I wish I could find the novel my best friend Nathalie and I wrote when we were teenagers - a steamy story taking place in the African jungle, full of adventure and romance! To this day I can still remember the opening line. 'In the silence of the jungle, a man hurries back to his tree top hut...'

Which song most inspires you? 

I tend to listen to different kinds of music with every project I work on. For The Lion's Embrace one song in particular captured my imagination and I played it over and over again. It’s a modern song and I have no idea what it's about, but I find the melody poignant and haunting, especially the monochord violin, the imzad - a traditional Tuareg instrument - which can be heard throughout. Here is the link to the song: I also discovered the great guitarist Bombino, and the Tuareg band Tinariwen. For my current wip, I am listening to a lot of Scottish music!

Has there been a happy event that changed the course or your life? 

Yes actually, there have been three wonderful events - the birth of my children. I am actually quite bereft right now because my eldest son just moved into a shared student house. I know it's for the best and you can't keep your children at home forever, but it is hard to see his room empty and tidy (for once!) and to realise that he has now flown the nest.

Algiers, 1845 Arrogant, selfish and dangerous, Lucas Saintclair is everything Harriet Montague dislikes in a man. He is also the best guide in the whole of the Barbary States, the only man who can rescue her archaeologist father from the gang of Tuareg fighters that has kidnapped him. As they travelled across Algeria, she discovered a brutal and bewitching land where nothing is what it seems. Soon, dangerous passions, secrets of lost treasures, rebel fighters and a sinister criminal brotherhood threaten her life and the life of the man she has come to love.

The Lion’s Embrace is available from
Museitup Publishing
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

What fascinating stories, Marie. Thank you for sparing the time to talk to us today. We wish you every success with your books.
Best wishes, Freda

Find Marie at

Interviews on the RNA Blog are carried out by Freda, Henri and Livvie. They are for RNA full members only. If you are interested in an interview, please contact:


Jennifer Bohnet said...

Enjoyed your interview Marie - read here in Bretagne! Good luck with your book. Jennie

Marie Laval said...

Thank you very much for your comment, Jennie. I have never been to Bretagne but it has always been on my wish list!

Helena Fairfax said...

I loved your interview, Marie. The story of the rock-climbing boyfriend made me laugh out loud. I also enjoyed the Tuareg music. Good luck with your third novel!

Marie Laval said...

Thank you so much for your comment, Helena, and for your good wishes about my third novel. I do need them. As for the rock-climbing, to this day it still makes me cringe every time I think about it!

Suzanne de Montigny said...

Yeah, I used to try to do things to impress the guys too. Finally, I decided to just be myself - as delicate as a delicatessen.

Marie Laval said...

And you were right! There's absolutely no point pretending you are someone you're not, but try telling that to enamoured teenagers! Thank you for visiting, Suzanne.

Toni Sands said...

I couldn't follow you on to the blog and not post a comment, Marie. I've visited France many times but sadly never been to Versailles. Shocking! Must do better. Good luck with your writing.

Marie Laval said...

Thank you so much Toni for your comment and for your good wishes. I do hope you get to visit Versailles one day.