Friday, May 18, 2012

Donya Lynne Author Interview and Giveaway

Rise of the Fallen

I once again have two Diva's here that have cruised by to hang out for the day. Let's give my reviewer Rachel a big warm welcome. This is her first author interview. Donya Lynne is her to answer her questions, talk about her books and give a prezzie to one lucky follower! Now I'm gonna kick back and let them take over and rule like the Diva's they are.

Rachel: Tell us about yourself?
Donya: I've been writing since before I was in grade school. When I was a kid, I always had a book or pen & paper around, so I guess you could say writing is something I've always just done. Regarding my subject matter, I've always been fascinated with vampires and paranormal subjects, and finally sat down and committed to writing and finishing a paranormal novel about some hot alpha male vampires that has now turned into a series of at least nine books. Additionally, I write all types of romance, from the soft and dreamy to BDSM (yes, I believe a beautiful romance exists even at the heart of such a relationship, maybe even more-so than in a more vanilla relationship, since the trust has to be so solid between a dom and sub). And I don't stop at strictly heterosexual. I like my stories to reflect real world, and in the real world love, can exist between two men or two women as much as it can between a man and woman. So, while most of my stories are M/F, there are some M/M, and a bit of F/F occasionally.

Rachel: When did you know that you wanted to become an author and what made you choose to write                                 this type of book?
Donya: The when is hard to pinpoint. I've been writing since I was in grade school. I always just thought of it as a hobby, though, until I saw Lord of the Rings and was inspired by the elves to start working on a piece that is, as yet, unfinished. It is a very complicated story and I'm just not ready to finish it, yet, but that was when I realized I wanted to be an author "when I grow up." Even so, I still found excuses to put it off. Not enough time, etc. When I lost my job in July of 2010, and struggled for over a year to find work, I decided it was now or never. No more excuses. As far as why I chose to write this type of book, I've always been fascinated with vampires and the paranormal, and I enjoy writing my characters to be darker and more troubled than traditional publishers seem to be comfortable with. You could say that I not only write paranormal romance, but dark fantasy, as well, because I really get into the deep and uncomfortable places of the characters and make them work through their inner conflicts. They are damaged souls that need some TLC, if you will.

Rachel: What are you currently working on and do you have an expected publication date?
Donya: Gosh. What a loaded question. I am currently working on two short stories for anthologies that will come out in the fall and winter. One of those short stories has inspired me to work on a trilogy, so I'm in early planning of that. And I was inspired by a song to write another trilogy, so that's in early planning. And, of course, I am working on books two and three of the AKM series. Heart of the Warrior is book two and I am hoping (fingers crossed) it will be ready to publish on May 25. Rebel Obsession is book three, and I'm shooting for an August release on that one. Books four (Return of the Assassin) and five (Bound Guardian Angel) are in planning, and I'm also working on a novella supplement to the AKM series to come out a couple of weeks after Rebel Obsession. So, yeah, I'm really busy. *laughs*

Rachel: What inspires you to write or where is your favorite place to write?
Donya: I find inspiration in songs, books, pictures, and by just getting in my car and driving, if you can believe that. It's amazing how open the characters in my head become when I step away from the computer and just go somewhere.

Rachel: What do you like most about writing and what do you like the least?
Donya: What I like most is when the characters take me down a path I never anticipated. I usually just let the characters write the books and I just transcribe, and as long as I'm letting the characters take the wheel, the story just flows. What I like least is when the characters go quiet, because when that happens, I know it means I have intruded too much of ME in their story and taken it where the characters didn't want it to go. When I start fighting and the story stops flowing easily, I know I became too present in what the characters wanted, which means I have to stop and find a way to get them to open up and tell me where I went wrong. And then I have to go back and fix it. This happened at the end of my draft for Rebel Obsession, and it took some major convos with the characters to get back on track.

Rachel: What is the first book or author that you remember reading and enjoying?
Donya: The first book I remember reading is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck before I was even in first grade. The first book I remember enjoying was Charlotte's Web. I read it over and over.

Rachel: Do you have any advice for aspiring/new authors?
Donya: First, develop a thick skin. Editors, reviewers, and critique partners will tell you how it is, and if you're not ready for that, don't even think about writing for public consumption. I've seen a bunch of writers walk away because they couldn't take the criticism. Beyond that, read, read, read, and read some more. Read and study what your favorite authors are doing. Ask yourself why you like it? Read every book on writing you can get your hands on, but especially read "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers" by Renni Browne and Dave King. This is the single best book I've read on the subject and it changed my style of writing from "This is really good" to "Damn, I can't put it down" (that was the feedback from a beta reader after I read that book). Know your grammar. Take an in-depth writing course that's specific to novel writing (which is different from short story or technical writing). And always write with the reader in mind. You have to remember that readers want an experience, not just a book. Anything that interferes with that experience hinders a book's effectiveness. Authors who want to sell books can't write just for themselves. They have to write with the readers' wants in mind, so knowing what readers are reading and/or wanting is key.

Rachel: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
Donya: That I used to body build and was studying to become a personal trainer. But I found out too late I have a genetic back condition, and during a leg workout day, I blew out my lower back and that was the end of that. I couldn't walk right for about three months afterward, and I have to undergo daily physical therapy now or the pain becomes so bad I can't do even simple tasks like dishes without the threat of re-injuring myself. But, it was just a sign that personal training wasn't my future, and I was geared back toward my writing.

Rachel: What else do you enjoy in your spare time?
Donya: Writing. LOL. Well, and reading and listening to music. But really, it's all about the writing with me.

Rachel: If you could visit any time period and location (past or future) when and where would you go?
Donya: 1950s USA. No question. The music was king then. The 50s were a revolution of sorts, and I would love to experience that first-hand. Garage bands, sock hops, malt shops, poodle skirts, cruising, the hot rods, the music, all of it. And society was more "innocent" then. I'd like to have been witness to that.

I would like to acknowledge a couple of people, as well. I want to thank my cover model for Rise of the Fallen, Andrei Andrei, for his permission to use his picture for the character, Micah. He is a fashion model and web designer and anyone who is interested in seeing more of his work can view his portfolio at his website: Reese Dante is the cover artist who did such a remarkable job bringing the cover together.

Donya will be giving away an eCopy to one lucky follower. To enter just comment below with email address. I will announce the winner on Saturday May 26. 


  1. I LOVE the cover!! Sounds like a very interesting and promising series of books.

  2. Great interview.The cover is really amazing.

  3. Thanks for a great interview and giveaway! The cover is amazing! Definitely adding to my wishlist :)


  4. Thanks for the great interview. Fantastic cover. This book sounds intriguing. Can't wait to read it.


  5. Thanks for the giveaway and interview. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good.

  6. Great interview!!! The book sounds amazing!!!

  7. The cover is outstanding! This is definately an interesting book and has gone straight to my want list.

  8. I am so glad you did this interview! I read about this book somewhere and thought I saved the info to order when I next order books but I couldn't find it! Now I have it again. You can bet I won't lose it this time!


  9. Thank you for the interview and the cover is awesome! I'm so looking forward to reading this! lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

  10. I love the cover and look forward to reading, added it to my reading list!

  11. great interview
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  12. I just love this cover! Very Sexy!


  13. This sounds great! And i love the cover. Very eye catching. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win!

  14. Book sounds great can't wait to read it.

  15. WOW! I really like the cover! Definitely got my attention! Love stopping by. I know there is always something good here.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  16. I keep reading great things about this book, can't wait to check it out myself!


  17. Very nice interview. Sounds like a good book.


  18. Hi
    Thanks for the interview. You sau you writ about real life, but then why choose to write about paranormal romance then? Are the stories you write based on someone you now, but wish they were not completely human?

    dany7578 at hotmail dot com

    1. What I mean by that is that I like reflecting real life circumstances in my stories. The real world is made up of diverse personalities, and everyone is different, with different skills, gifts, talents, and desires. In real life, we're not cookie cutters of one another and we're each imperfect in our own way. I read a lot of books where the protagonists all display similar qualities or fall into a stereotypical framework. I understand in fiction, authors need to adhere to certain tried and true practices, but I like pushing the edges to make my characters faulty and imperfect in some way. I also like venturing into unconventional relationships, such as M/M, voyeurism, BDSM, and exhibitionism. In that way, I pull the variety that exists in the real world into the paranormal world I've created. I hope that helps explain.

  19. Welcome Rachel & Donya!
    Thanks for the intro on a new to me author! Sounds like she writes what I like to read, so we should get along great:)

  20. great interview
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Hi, everybody. I'm glad you all like the cover. Obtaining that hot man pic involved me going waaaaay out on a limb and out of my comfort zone to contact model and web designer, Andrei Andrei, to get his permission to use it. Thankfully, he agreed; otherwise, this cover wouldn't exist. He was a gracious and pleasant man to work with. And, um, you should have seen and heard me when I got his email. I was like, "Seriously!? OMG! He replied???" Just goes to show, if you don't ask, you'll never receive. :) Happy reading, everybody!

  22. Great cover and great interview!!