I’m really excited to introduce my next interview subject(s): husband and wife writing team Joyce and Jim Lavene. Talk about a prolific pair!
They’re newest book is A Timely Vision. I think you’ll understand why it interested me based on my questions below.
For those who may not be familiar with the many series you and your husband write, can you share a little background on your books?
We are fortunate to have found publishers with eclectic tastes like our own! We have published 17 romance novels (our first book was a Silhouette romance, A family for the Sheriff). We have also written several science fiction e-books. Our first mystery series was about a woman who becomes sheriff when her father is killed. We have 12 books in the Sharyn Howard Mysteries. Each book has a past and present story that are linked together. We wrote 5 book in the Peggy Lee Garden Mysteries about a botanist who owns a bookstore and loves to solve mysteries. We have also written stand alone mysteries about NASCAR and a pet psychic in The Telltale Turtle. We now write two mysteries for Berkley – the Renaissance Faire Mysteries set in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Missing Pieces Mysteries set in Duck, North Carolina.
Speaking of the Missing Pieces Mysteries series…I clicked on the link on the main page of your site and was interested to read it was a visit to Duck, North Carolina and you all being so taken in by their legends of pirates and ghosts that inspired you to use it as the setting for a series. I’m always looking for new places to Haunt Jaunt to. Can you share some of Duck’s ghost legends?
Duck, and the rest of the Outer Banks, are filled with stories about ghost ships and pirates. This is the Graveyard of the Atlantic which kind of says it all! There are ghosts who walk the beaches, warning of storms, and ghosts who haunt the lighthouses. This would be a great place for a Haunt Jaunt! Let us know when you’re coming down and maybe we can be there too!
I’d love that. I’ve read a lot about the paranormal activity on the Outer Banks and would love to check it out some day. Did you have any paranormal experiences while you were there?
No, not there. But we have experienced paranormal events in our lives. Both of us have seen spirits of loved ones and done ghost research.
Thanks for sharing that. Not everyone does. Which brings me to my next question: Dae O’Donnell, the psychic mayor, seems like an interesting character. Some of my psychic friends, like Nathan of A State of Mind and Heart Centered Psychic Brenda Hooser, have spoken about how hard it is to be taken seriously as a psychic. Did Dae always know she was? Is it something she’s open about, or does she only reveal it if necessary to trusted people?
No, Dae is quite open about it. She’s been brought up in an area where many people take the paranormal seriously and they are comfortable with it. She’s known she had a gift since she was a child and could find things for her mother. Her grandmother had the same gift. It seems to run in the family.
Very cool! Some places are more open about it than others, just like some places are more beautiful than others. North Carolina is a beautiful state. All of your series are set somewhere there –the settings span literally from the mountains to the ocean. What are some of your favorite North Carolina jaunts? (Hauntings found within them are optional.)
We love to nose around the old Civil War and Revolutionary War sites. We are both history buffs as well. We have visited every paranormal site around us including Brown Mountain with its eerie lights dancing down the mountain side, looked for the Gray Man at Pawley’s Island, SC and seen pix of a ghost at Hampton Plantation. We spent time at the Devil’s Tramping Ground and searched through Mt. Pleasant, SC for a ghost one of our relatives saw there growing up. Wilmington is another great haunt site! North and South Carolina are full of the paranormal.
Yes, they sure are! So what’s next for Dae? Can we expect to see more Duck ghost lore seeping into further Missing Pieces Mysteries?
Dae is on to book two, A Touch of Gold, which will be out in March 2011. Her abilities continue to grow after she is injured in an explosion that kills a good friend of hers. There will always be plenty of ghost lore and legend in these books because we love it and it’s part of the story!
Jim and Joyce, thanks so much again for taking the time to talk with me about North Carolina, haunted places, and your Missing Pieces Mysteries. It has been an absolute pleasure.