Where did you grow up? Do you thing your childhood impacts your writing?
I grew up in a suburb of Indianapolis, IN, called Greenwood. So far my childhood hasn't impacted my writing, but that's about to change with a semi-autobiographical contemporary romance I'm working on that my childhood partly inspired. I was the geeky, gawky, awkward kid who got made fun of by the popular kids. My female protagonist in an upcoming book had a similar childhood.
Do your siblings if you have any, find their way into your stories?
Nope. As yet, no one in my family has made an appearance through my characters.
Growing up were you considered a “bookish person”?
Absolutely. I was often called a bookworm or a "librarian" type. I was perceived as very studious.
Are you married, single? Children?
I'm married. We decided not to have kids, but we do have four cats and two dogs. That's enough children for us.
Who do you read? What genres do you enjoy? Can you list 5 that you think we would enjoy?
I have historically enjoyed paranormal romance, but have started reading more contemporary pieces lately and really enjoy them. I also enjoy well-written male/male romance, but I find this genre hit and miss. Damon Suede's Hot Head is the best male/male book I've read so far.
I've read enough that I know which genres I enjoy and which I don't, and I'm basically a romance girl. Romantic suspense, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, or erotic romance are my favorites. I'm not a humongous fan of strict erotica, because I like sinking into an actual story with an HEA, and with straight erotica, it's more about the sex and an HFN, which leaves me a bit unsatisfied as a reader.
Who is your all time favorite author and why?
J.R. Ward, because she was the author that taught me that my natural, angst-riddled and brazen writing style was okay. Until her, I thought romances had to be all honey-sweet and flowery. She showed authors they could be gritty and use strong vernacular, and readers would love it.
Ebook or paperback? Why?
I’m a paperback person. I just love the feel of a book in my hands.
How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?
Not as many as I would like. With a full-time day job and a full-time writing career, I don't get nearly enough time to read. Right now I'm reading Gayle Forman's Just One Day, and recently started reading Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed series and just finished book two, Kiss of Crimson. Can you believe I've never read the OMB?
What's your favorite way to relax and recharge? Hobbies?
Writing is my way to relax. It's my life. So many stories jostle around in my mind on a daily basis that it's relaxing to get what's floating around up there out on the page. Otherwise, I love going to movies by myself. I consider trips to the theater mini-vacations. Two hour vacas from life. So refreshing. Talk about a recharge. If I didn't have a day job, I'd go to the $5 matinee at least twice a month. Maybe even once a week.
Do you have a favorite quote? Does it have a special meaning to you?
I have two favorite quotes: "If you want to change some things in your life, you have to change some things in your life." In other words, you can't keep doing what you've always done and expect different results. If you aren't where you want to be in life, then you need to do something else to get where you want to go. I live this ideal every day. I've learned to embrace change and influence it to occur so that I can break through barriers and get out of my comfort zone. As my boss says, the magic happens when you're outside your comfort zone.
My other favorite quote is, "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." This is so true. People who gossip about others and talk about them behind their back more often than not think on a small scale, aren't going anywhere in their lives, and suffer from what I call stinkin' thinkin'. People don't trust them, they are seen as two-faced, and trouble seems to follow them around. On the other hand, those who discuss ideas are usually ones in executive positions or who are seen as people of influence. They are the successful ones, the people others turn to when they need to solve a problem, the ones making the big bucks who are going places and seem to have a balanced life. My boss is like that, and he's a mover and a shaker. Brilliant guy, and I never hear him talking about others in a derogatory fashion.
Where do you get your story ideas from? Does your environment, mood play a part in what you write?
I get ideas from everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Songs, pictures, TV shows, books, magazines, commercials, conversations, news stories. I get ideas while on long road trips or taking showers. And, yes, my mood can also inspire what I write. I don't think it was a coincidence that Micah and I were both severely depressed at the same time. LOL.
How long have you been writing?
All my life. As far back as I can remember, I was writing or conjuring stories in my mind. I remember lying in bed at night, building stories. I was writing poetry before I was even in first grade, and I won my first writing contest in fourth grade, for a short story I wrote about animals rescuing a kidnapped child. By the time I reached eighth grade, I was writing erotica, and was writing about vampires before it was vogue to do so.
Do you have a writing “ritual”? Where, music, etc. If you use music can you share a few of the titles so we may check them out?
I always drink hot tea while I'm writing. I prefer English Teatime by Bigelow, with French vanilla creamer, sweetened with stevia. Also, I always listen to music when I'm writing. Here are some of the songs that have been extremely inspiring for scenes or even whole novels:
"Hollow Life" by Korn
"Gun Song" by Alphawezen
"Consequences" (Late Night Remix) by Blank & Jones with Vanessa Daou
"With You Forever" by Chris Wonderful
"Evenstar" from Lord of the Rings
"The Perfect Match" by Aligator
"Fallen" by Blank & Jones (I'm working on a couple of stories this song has influenced)
"Autumn" by Ryan Stewart (the version I have is very hard to find)
"Steppin Out" by Kaskade
"Eyes" by Kaskade
"Under My Skin" by Sarah Connor (great for hardcore erotic scenes or BDSM)
"Guilt" by Nero (stripper song)
"Merlins Magic" by Heart of Reiki
…just to name a few. J
How do you do your research? Ahead of time or do you “drop ship” it as needed.
All of the above. If a book will take a lot of research, I do most of it before, but will continue researching as I write to make sure details are accurate.
Do you set daily or weekly writing goals? What are they word count? Chapters?
When I'm writing, I set daily goals of 1,000 words or more per day. I can crank out a thousand words in about an hour. When I'm editing, I don't have any daily goals.
Do you get a chance to write every day? If so do you prefer to write during the day or at night?
I make time to write every day, at least when I'm writing a story. Once I finish a story, I usually take a week or so off to let my mind clear of the previous story so that another story can move to the forefront. I need this adjustment period to put one manuscript away mentally so that another can take over my thoughts. But writing is my career. Yes, I have a day job, but writing is my profession. As such, it requires the discipline to commit time to it on a daily basis. I treat this like a business, because that's what it is to me.
What do you hope your Books bring to readers?
I hope my books give readers an escape and an experience. I want readers to finish the last page and feel sad that the journey into their imagination is over, because that means I will have done my job as an author. I want them seeped into the minds of my characters, to experience the story through them.
Where do you see yourself in your career in 5 years, 10?
In five years, I see myself retired from my day job, with at least twenty-five books published. In ten years, I see myself on the New York Times Best Seller list with at least fifty books published, including three series, a few trilogies, and a gaggle of stand-alones.
Would you like to tell us what you're working on now?
I just finished the draft for the next book in the AKM series and have started my first trilogy. Book one is coming along nicely, but I've had to take a short break to work on my anniversary celebration, so the characters are eager for me to get through all this administrative stuff so I can get back to telling their stories. I'm also planning the prequel for AKM, as well as two novellas and Trace's book, which fans have been itching for since I published Rise of the Fallen last March. I've also got a couple of contemporary romances and a holiday story in the works.
What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Learn how to write and edit for fiction before trying to publish your first book, make quality your number one priority, and never underestimate the value of continuing education when it comes to writing.
Black, deep red, or dark blue
Favorite time of year and why?
Spring, because I love the days getting longer and all the bright colors
3 things you want us to know but we did not cover above!
Getting fired because a coworker was lying about me was the best thing that could have happened to me to push me to publish my first book; a blown back was the difference between me becoming a personal trainer or an author; I am fascinated by spiders, especially those big, grey "Charlotte" spiders that build the huge webs in the fall.
Tell us about your latest release.
Rebel Obsession was released on January 1:
Former cobalt addict and AKM drug counselor, Io is a male vampire known as much for his abrasive personality as for his playboy lifestyle. Life on the edge suits him, and he lives full throttle, making his own rules, damn the consequences. What he wants, he takes, and what he wants now is Miriam. If only he can find a way to see her again without getting himself killed, but her father stands in the way.
Miriam is the daughter of the king. Strong-willed and defiant, she feels like a prisoner in her own home and struggles to break free from under her father’s oppressive hold. The king’s law surrounding Miriam is explicitly clear: No one touches her. Period. It's a sentence that has left Miriam to suffer from loneliness and resentment.
In a fit of rebellion, Miriam has turned to cobalt to find relief and freedom, but now she’s a prisoner to addiction as much as to her father’s strict control. What's more, she can’t get sexy Io, who gently tended to her at the AKM facility as she recovered from her first overdose, off her mind. Will she ever see him again?
When Miriam overdoses a second time, she and Io are thrust back together, and all bets are off. Seeing each other was the one thing both wanted, and not even the king’s laws and threats of punishment will be enough to defuse their rebellious obsession with one another now that they’ve found each other again, even if the consequences are death.
She swallowed heavily. His gaze drifted down her body then back up to her face. Before, his scrutiny would have made her self-conscious, but not anymore. She wanted him to look at her, because the way his eyes glazed and he rubbed his lips together—slowly, thoughtfully…hungrily—lit butterflies in her stomach. Sexy, lusty, wanton butterflies.
"This is your first time." His words carried portent, a promise hidden just under the surface that tonight would forever change them. As he breathed, his gaze dropped to his fingertips as they outlined the curve of her breast, caressing her like a feather. "It should be special." His fingers skimmed down her stomach, his hands disappearing under her shirt after a moment's hesitation. He inched the fabric up to reveal her skin.
She lifted her arms, moving just as slowly, and he tugged her shirt over her head before tossing it aside. It landed on the floor with a soft thwump, and his palms slid up and over her lace-covered breasts. His fingers played with the scalloped edges of her bra as she reached around and unfastened it. The material loosened, and his hands glided underneath and over her skin. She tossed the bra so it joined her shirt on the floor.
Io seemed fascinated with her breasts, his gaze following his hands as he massaged, squeezed, and caressed them.
"Are you okay?" she said.
Without lifting his gaze, he nodded. "Yes. I've just never seen more perfect breasts, and to think they're mine…they—you—all of you…you belong to me, and I belong to you. I just never thought…." He trailed off.
"You never thought what, Io?" She placed one of her hands over one of his.
He smiled, and this time his eyes lifted to meet hers. "I never thought I would take a mate."
"And…? How do you feel about that?" She smoothed her hand down his arm.
"I can't imagine ever going back to the way I was. You're perfect, Miri. Perfect for me, and perfect in every way."
She felt the same way. Everything about Io screamed I'm your mate. He was bold and outspoken. He took risks and went after what he wanted. He refused to be intimidated by money, titles, or even her royal blood.
"Claim me," she said, whispering.
His gaze blazed hot, and his full lips parted seductively. "Precious Miriam, make no mistake, your body will be fully and well-claimed by morning."
Where can readers find your books?
My ebooks are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance ebooks, and Smashwords, but I'm working on getting them on Apple and Kobo in the near future. Here are the Amazon buy links:
A fun fact that readers wouldn't know about you.
I have always been a Tomgirl, and when I was a kid I enjoyed doing boy stuff more than girl stuff, getting into foot races with my brother's friends, playing football, baseball, and dodge ball. I was a huge runner.
How can readers learn more about you? (website, blog, Facebook, etc?)
Web Page (being redesigned):
AKM Reader Group on Facebook:
Rise of the Fallen, book one in the All The King's Men series, is celebrating its one year anniversary. I'm so proud of my little book that could for earning the following accolades in its first year:
· * USA Today Recommended Read
· * Runner up for GraveTells' Readers Choice for favorite story
· *GraveTells' Reviewer's Choice in January
· *A finalist in Parajunkee's Best Adult Story 2012, which I'm particularly proud of because I was up against at least one NY Times bestselling author, and the other two finalists were with big publishing houses.
One winner from each blog will receive:
A set of all the AKM eBooks (if they don’t already have them) and one entry into both the Grand Prize drawing, as well as the drawing I’m holding just for blog participants
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY:
Two prizes will be given away, as follows:
A prize back worth the envy of all your friends to include:
· Autographed copies of Lover At Last and Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
· Autographed copy of Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian
· Autographed copy of Last Chance to Run by Diana Love (she co-writes with Sherrilyn Kenyon, as well)
· If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones (my favorite book from 2012)
· Primal Bonds by Jennifer Ashley
· Covet by J.R. Ward
· Bookmarks from me, Lara Adrian, Louisa Bacia, and Jeaniene Frost
· Confessions of a Naughty Nurse by Lily Harlem
· The Art of Love by Michelle Graham
· Year of Acheron ceramic travel mug from Sherrilyn Kenyon (I want this! LOL)
· And from me:
— An AKM fleece blanket
— AKM Bookmarks
— AKM keychain
— A Rebel Obsession canvas tote bag
— A Rebel Obsession notebook
— 2013 AKM desk calendar
— A set of all my AKM books in ebook format
There are two ways to enter the Grand Prize drawing: The first will guarantee you an entry. Just email a screen shot or link to a review or rating you've written for any of my AKM books (Rise of the Fallen, Heart of the Warrior, Micah's Calling, or Rebel Obsession) on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble (or any other site) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Details can be found on my fan page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DonyaLynne. The second way to enter is to leave a comment here. This does NOT guarantee you an entry, but gives you a chance, because one person who comments on this blog will gain one entry in the drawing, which will take place on April 15.
I will be giving away a smaller prize just for those who comment on the blogs I'll be guesting on during my blog tour from March 18-April 6. Details about the tour can be found on my fan page, as well. This prize package includes:
— An AKM fleece blanket
— A set of all my AKM books in ebook format
— An AKM keychain
— A set of bookmarks from me, Lara Adrian, Louisa Bacia, and Jeaniene Frost
One person who posts a comment on each blog during my tour will be entered into the drawing, which will take place after I draw for my grand prize.
Good luck and happy reading!
RISE OF THE FALLEN BLURB
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?
Donya resides in Indiana, with her husband and a small zoo of cats and dogs. In fact, her writing buddy, Lucky, might become more famous than she is, based on the feedback the ever-present feline receives on her Facebook page.
As a little girl, Donya always had a book in her hand. As she got older, the books became pens and notebooks, which she filled with stories and poetry. For as long as she remembers, she has been writing and dreaming up stories. Seems writing was her destiny.
Donya loves music and often finds inspiration for her stories in the wide range of music she listens to. Nothing like a little Korn to propel the angst in a scene, or Enya to evoke softer and more romantic storylines.