Tell us a little about how you came to be a writer.
For as long as I can remember, I always found pleasure in making up stories and writing. As a teenager my best friend Nathalie and I used to have a lot of fun writing romances, mystery short stories, songs or even scripts that we acted afterwards. I carried on writing during my university studies and later when I came to live in England.
I never thought I could write in English, however, and one of the best days of my life was when one of my short stories was selected in an anthology by Manchester Publisher Commonword. I attended the launch at the Cornerhouse in Manchester – which sadly doesn’t exist any longer – and I even had a short mention in the Manchester Evening News. I was very pregnant with my first child at the time and the photo did me no favour whatsoever!
After that, there was no stopping me. A couple of my short stories won prizes in local competitions and after attending a inspiring romance writing workshop organised by Calderdale Libraries, I decided to be more ambitious and write a whole novel in English. It’s how A Spell in Provence, my first contemporary romance was born. Of course, it wasn’t quite as easy as that. It took me years, and lot of tears, dashed hopes and hard work to get published and I am so glad I didn’t give up when people around me told me it was never going to work.
Do you plan before you start writing, or just get straight into the story?
I dive straight in! I have the main lines of a plot in my mind, as well as the characters’ personalities and motivations. For some reason I also know what the last scene of the story is going to be, but other than that, I don’t plan. I would like to be more organised and methodical in my writing, and perhaps do more thinking before starting writing, but it doesn’t work for me. Once I have an idea for a story, I have to start straight away. There’s nothing I love more than getting to grips with the characters, and listening to them as they talk to me and to one another.
The title of your book made me smile. Where did the idea for Little Pink Taxi come from?
I love this title, but had nothing to do with it! It’s the Choc Lit team who came up with it. Rosalie, the heroine, set up a taxi company called Love Taxis to serve her local community and to cheer local people up, she decided that her taxis should be pink and her staff should wear pink too! So the title Little Pink Taxi is absolutely perfect for the story.
The idea for the story came first of all from the setting – the Cairngorms in Scotland, and the old castle which has become Rosalie’s home. Years ago I used to watch a TV programme called Monarch of the Glen, which I loved. I knew then that I wanted to write about a very similar place one day: a beautiful castle, a village with a strong sense of community, and breathtaking scenery. So I invented Raventhorn, the village of Irlwick, and my lovely heroine Rosalie, and the story evolved from there.
When you were writing the book, did you visualise your heroine, Rosalie, and hero, Marc, as any particular famous actors?
In my mind, Marc definitely was very much like a Daniel Craig lookalike – ruggedly handsome, quite stern looking at times and with a formidable presence and charisma. Rosalie only existed in my imagination. It’s often the case that my heroines are very much alive in my mind, but I need to find photos of my heroes and I spend ages on the internet, or flicking through sports magazines, looking at handsome men. There are of course more unpleasant ways to spend time!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I am working on two further romantic novels featuring Marc Petersen’s childhood friends. One story is a romantic suspense set in Paris and features a daredevil journalist and workaholic medieval art historian. The other, still at an embryonic stage, is set in Bordeaux and will be more of a romcom.
I am also contributing to an anthology of romantic short stories set in the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, where a group of author friends and I have been meeting regularly for the past five years. The anthology doesn’t have a name yet but should be released in June.
More About Marie Laval
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the beautiful Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for a number of years. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors, she writes contemporary and historical romance. Her native France very much influences her writing, and all her novels have what she likes to call ‘a French twist’!
About Little Pink Taxi by Marie Laval
Take a ride with Love Taxis, the cab company with a Heart …
Rosalie Heart is a well-known face in Irlwick – well, if you drive a bright pink taxi and your signature style is a pink anorak, you’re going to draw a bit of attention! But Rosalie’s company Love Taxis is more than just a gimmick – for many people in the remote Scottish village, it’s a lifeline.
Which is something that Marc Petersen will never understand. Marc’s ruthless approach to business doesn’t extend to pink taxi companies running at a loss. When he arrives in Irlwick to see to a new acquisition – Raventhorn, a rundown castle – it’s apparent he poses a threat to Rosalie’s entire existence; not just her business, but her childhood home too.
On the face of it Marc and Rosalie should loathe each other, but what they didn’t count on was somebody playing cupid …
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.