Friday, May 4, 2012
An Interview & A Giveaway with Donya Lynne
In the streets of Chicago exists an uneasy, centuries-old truce between vampires and their distant cousins, a race of shifters called drecks. Vampire enforcement agency, All the King’s Men (AKM), is charged with maintaining the truce, but when volatile enforcer Micah Black loses his mate and falls into the biological agony that results from the broken bond, he tests the boundaries of the truce by seeking out Apostle, a leader in the dreck community. Micah wants Apostle to kill him, a request Apostle is more than happy to fulfill.
When ex-Army medic Samantha Garrett inadvertently disrupts the plot and saves Micah’s life, a chain reaction sets Micah’s heart on a collision course with Sam’s, but he will have to protect her from Apostle and her obsessive ex-husband, Steve, if they will have a chance at forever. Can Micah hold his emotions together to keep Sam alive?
Welcome, Donya, how long have you been an author?
Donya: That's a tough question, because I've been writing since I was in grade school. I won my first writing contest in fourth grade for a short story about animals who rescued a kidnapped boy. My prize? A pack of Hubba Bubba bubble gum. LOL. I was on my way, I tell ya! I started writing romantic and erotic stories in junior high and high school, and developed a flair for vampires even back then. I remember a book I read called Monday's Child. I still remember the cover. I think that was my first exposure to a vampire book and it fascinated me. After I saw The Lost Boys, I became infatuated with David (Kiefer Sutherland) and started writing snippets about his character. However, it wasn't until January of this year that I officially decided I was an author. That's when I made the decision to write full time and make a career out of what I'd done for fun since I was a little girl.
Congratulations, what is your favourite genre?
Donya: Romance, in general. Within the category of romance, I tend to prefer paranormal and erotic over contemporary. However, I am branching out my reading choices to include more contemporary and literary pieces, as well as thriller, suspense, and drama, as a means to improve my own writing. I'm very excited about reading a new author (new for me, anyway), M. J. Rose, and I just bought her book, The Hypnotist. She has an amazing way of capturing the reader's attention from the first paragraph. I want to study how she writes. I also read a lot of nonfiction as research for my own books. How's that for a non-specific answer? LOL.
It's great, If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?
Donya: I would recommend they start with Rise of the Fallen, because that is my first non-anthology published piece and represents the kind of writing I prefer doing (lots of angst, conflict, tension, action, and romance). Right now, I don't have a lot published, but by the end of May, book two of the AKM series will be out, and by the end of June, my first novella will be published through Silver Publishing. By the end of the year, I will have two more short stories published in anthologies, and hopefully (fingers crossed) two more novels, one being book three of the AKM series. So, it's a busy first year as an official "author." *smile*
Congratulations again, it looks like you've got great start. What is the biggest surprise you’ve
discovered about the writing process?
Donya: I can't say I've been surprised about any of it, really. I studied with a few published authors before I made the decision to be an author, and I've also done a lot of independent research, so I had a good idea what to expect. I guess you could say I came in with a plan and awareness, so I haven't been caught off guard by much. The only thing that did throw me off a little was the overwhelming response I received after releasing Rise of the Fallen. I figured I would publish that book and be able to get back to writing the next day. Huh-uh. LOL. It was a full two weeks before things calmed down enough for me to even think about writing again, and another week after that before I actually did. That experience taught me to schedule at least a couple of weeks of not much writing after a book is released, because staying in touch with fans is super critical during that time. I loved it, don't get me wrong. It just caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting it.
Can you tell us about one of your current works in progress?
Donya: I just laughed right out loud. A nice raucous laugh. LOL. Because, I have so many projects in the hopper right now, it's mind-boggling. In a good way, though. With that said, the most obvious work in progress is Heart of the Warrior, which is book two of AKM, which means it's the follow-up to Rise of the Fallen. I LOVED writing this book (it's in final edits now). This is the first book I've written that I actually enjoyed re-reading on my first edit. I NEVER enjoy reading my own work on the first edit, but I did this one. It focuses on the relationship we see hints of in Rise of the Fallen between Arion and Severin. These two are such tormented, damaged characters, who have so many secrets between them, that I found myself crying and laughing in turns as I wrote the story. I love tackling controversial subjects, and homosexuality is a huge one. And I let loose in Heart of the Warrior in this area. On one hand, I'm worried how HOTW will be received because it addresses homosexuality. Will people be turned off by the subject matter? Will they spurn the entire series because I have a couple of gay characters? I hope not, because this is what the characters wanted. This is what they showed me. I will never go against what my
characters show me they want, and I fell in love with these two characters for pouring themselves out the way they did. If there are people who will get upset by this, I can't help that. But I owed it to Sev and Ari to tell their story their way. But, if you love a good, tragic love story, and don't mind that it's about two male characters, bring your Kleenex when you buy this book. It could make you cry. Oh, and we still get a good dose of Micah and the other AKM characters, as well.
It sounds great. Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
Donya: That I used to be a body builder and was studying to be a personal trainer before blowing out my back three-and-a-half years ago. Those days are gone now, but I still have my writing.
Wow, I'm speechless. I'm sorry you thre your back, but we're certainly happy you persued your writing career Rise of the Fallen sounds like a great read. Name your top three writing goals?
Donya: In no particular order, my top three writing goals are: 1) To see the AKM novels in print someday; 2) To sell 100,000 books by the end of next year; 3) To never have to work outside the home again because my writing earns enough to pay the bills.
Those are some great goals, good luck! If you had a warning label, what would it
Donya: WARNING: Socially Awkward – LOL.
If you had the chance to meet one of your characters privately, who would it be and what would you do?
Donya: I would meet Micah, for sure, and I would have him teach me how to be a Dom. I think we'd also talk a lot. Micah is very talkative in my head. He's always got something to say. He's very quick-witted, too, which I am not. (naughty thought: I want to practice the massage techniques on him that I'm learning about as research for another character. *evil grin* -- can you see him all slicked with massage oil? *bites lip*)
LOL, What is the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?
Donya: Ooooo, hehehe. I'm not sure I should answer this one. Actually, I feel I've lived a very tame life. I did have an affair with a married man a long time ago. I can't say I regret it, because it made me who I am today, but I'm not that person, anymore. I couldn't do that now. We all make mistakes. The difference between me and some people is that I actually learn from mine. Maybe I should write about that relationship. Hmm.
Maybe, I'll leave that up to you. *grins*
I'd like to thank Donya for joining us today. For those of you who would like to learn more about Donya or her work she can be reached through these sites:
Website (still under construction): http://www.donyalynne.com
Donya has generously offered one lucky commenter an ebook copy of Rise of the Fallen. If you're a regular here you know the drill, and if you're not it's easy to enter just follow these steps below:
Leave a message with your email & be a follower of this blog. We have giveaways on a weekly basis so you won't be disappointed if you frequent here often.
The winner will be announced on Monday May 7th, 2012.
But before you rush off to do so, please enjoy this excerpt:
Micah lay on the ground, looking up at the light shining down like a mockery of the light he had hoped to see as he entered the afterlife and took his final walk into Heaven, or whatever awaited a vampire when he died.
Noooo…nooooo! He was still alive. Someone had saved him. Why? Why had someone interfered? All he wanted was to die. Just die and be done with his horrible, wretched life.
The scent of lilacs, subtle and feminine, wafted over him like angelic perfume as the woman who had saved him against his will knelt beside him.
"Hey…hey, can you hear me? Can you move? What's your name? Can you tell me your
Her intoxicating voice soothed him instantly, but Micah couldn't see her as he blinked against the bright light.
"Who are you?" He groaned, his entire body protesting his attempt to talk.
"I'm going to save you."
As she bent over him, the overhead light formed a halo around her head as it shone through her spiky blond hair and shadowed her face. The smell of lilacs grew even stronger, pleasing Micah's senses.
Whoever she was, she looked, smelled, and sounded like an angel.
~Author Jennifer Labelle~