Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…
- What is your name and do you write under a pen name?
My name is Luv Lubker. (I go by Luvy on Facebook)
- Where do you call home?
I live in Central Texas.
- Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I am a Raw Food chef (for my own family) and am teaching myself German so I can translate books.
- Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?
I always loved animals. As a child, I researched all sorts of animals and had many pets. I also love reading, Raw Food preparation, bicycling (I learned to unicycle when I was 7 but only learned to bike when I was about to turn 25).
- Not to pry too much, but do you remember your first love?
I haven’t had one.
- What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
My parents and friends always said “You should write a book” since I started my historical research, but I always said I didn’t know how to describe things. Reading Clare McHugh’s book A Most English Princess inspired me to start writing my own interpretation of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Vicky’s story.
- What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
I always imagined I would like to do something about animals as a child. I had many pets as I said, but when I was 12 my chickens got massacred by dogs. I stopped getting the huge bags of animal books from the library that I had always gotten. I just couldn’t read them anymore.
- Who is your role model?
I have many.
- What is your greatest fear?
Being alone I think.
- Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?
I like them all for different reasons. I like ebooks for when I want to be able to get something immediately, but I like getting the physical books of books I want lots of book marks in, and also I like them because I can resell them. Audio is great too, I love the really good readers, and music when audio has that. It is fun to listen while doing other things. I also get more out of some books listening than reading, and also often hear more at a time than I read so I get more in context.
- Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Lots! I read or listen to my favorites over and over again. I researched Charlotte Bronte for a few years and read or listened to Jane Eyre and Villette a dozen time each (literally) within 3 years. They were so good I could read them that many times that close together and always find new meaning.
- What is your opinion of novellas?
I don’t really have one.
- Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Not that I can think of.
- What is your favorite film based on a book?
I don’t usually like movies based on books much. The books are usually so much better! I like the Thornfield part of Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson.
- What is your favorite book genre at the moment?
Biography and memoirs and letters.
- What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
Becoming Queen Mary by Kori Roff Lawrence, because I am interviewing other Victorian era authors and researchers and reading their books if I haven’t already.
- What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading Dearest Mama, the second volume of Queen Victoria’s letters with her eldest daughter, Vicky, for research for my next book. Also, Tagebucher 1848-66, a German book of the diary of Friedrich III (Vicky’s husband) – “Fritz”, the father of Kaiser Wilhelm II. These are book hardback books I’ve bought.
I am listening to Rilla of Ingleside, the last book of the Anne of Green Gables series, and The Mysterious Benedict Society.
- If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Queen Victoria, Friedrich “Fritz” III, Charlotte Bronte, Brian Jacques. They are people and authors I greatly admire.
Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.
- What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?
Under His Spell. A lonely young man visits the first World’s Fair – the Great Exhibition of 1851 – and meets a family who changes his life forever.
- Is the above book part of a series?
I am planning a series – The Rival Courts.
- How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?
I was making a design for Facebook posts and banners and liked the color scheme. I designed my own cover.
- Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?
Only You from the movie The Young Victoria makes me think of things Fritz wrote to Vicky.
- How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
My Mom and I were talking about my book and she thought of it. I had just written a part the night before where a character says “I was under his spell”, and I thought it was perfect. When I was almost done writing, I was finishing translating the part of Fritz’s diary from the last year my first book covers. I didn’t do it all in order, I had already done the end of the year, I was just in the middle, but the last page I translated mentioned a poem Vicky quoted on the anniversary of their engagement which translates as “I love you as one under a spell” – it just seemed like confirmation that it was the perfect title.
- Do you have a book trailer? If so, where can we watch it?
I read the prologue here. I might come across a little nervous.
- In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?
Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Vicky, and her husband, Fritz, later Friedrich III, German Emperor and King of Prussia. They are the parents of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
- What is your character’s greatest strengths?
Fritz’s strengths I would say were his kindness and humanity in the midst of a very difficult, dysfunctional family and negative environment. Vicky (and Fritz too) were able to stand an incredible amount of difficulties (and difficulties is underestimating) and she still kept her comical point of view (she makes lots of puns in her letters and makes light of her difficulties a lot of the time) and her sweet expression.
- And what are his/her greatest weaknesses?
Fritz was easily depressed – but that wasn’t surprising with all he went through. Vicky often didn’t tell him or her mother about bad things that happened which they might of protected her from because she didn’t want them to worry about her. Vicky could also be a bit too honest in her opinions – either hurting people’s feelings or getting herself or her family into trouble.
- What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Fritz was extremely modest – was often bullied as a child and as an adult – and didn’t think much of his talents. Vicky was very pretty I think, but she was often critical of her appearance. She was a wonderful writer, her letters are fascinating, but she said she didn’t like her own writing style.
- Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
I think they are very likable, and I have written much about their good qualities.
- What first gave you the idea for your latest book?
I have read about Queen Victoria’s family for over 7 years, and always go back to Vicky and the Queen’s letters when I get to the end of another line of research. Now that I am reading Fritz’s diaries, I am learning more new information which I don’t often see in English books. I have my own perspectives on the Prussian Royals which I wanted to share. I also wanted to tell the story more from Fritz’s point of view, which I haven’t seen done before.
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
- What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
I am writing a story that is already there, just making my own version of it. I write out my table of contents and let the story “download” itself as I write.
- Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?
Promoting without a publisher.
- Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?
- If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?
I wanted to get it out there.
- How do you get out of writing block?
A few times when I got stuck or felt critical of my work when I reread it, I started reading it but imagining it in the voice of one of my favorite audiobook readers. That helped me get “out of myself”, and I kept going.
- Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.
https://therivalcourts.com – my book (and some author interviews) is available here, and is on sale during May 2021.