Interview & Giveaway with Donya Lynne

I’d like to introduce another great writer. Donya Lynne is the author of the series All the King’s Men. She has kindly joined me to share with us about her books and writing career. You won’t want to miss it!

What’s one habit you have while writing? 

I listen to music. Usually one of about thirty Pandora stations I’ve created. I’m into odd, eclectic music more than mainstream, so I’ve created stations named after artists such as Kaskade, Enigma, Jens Gad, Behold, and others. The right song helps me to create the right mood for various scenes in my stories, and I’ve found a lot of wonderful songs by simply “surfing” through random artists and playlists. I also drink tea. My favorite is English Teatime mixed with French Vanilla creamer and a touch of Stevia.

What made you want to be a writer?

Birth. Okay, ha ha! But seriously, now that I’m all grown up and know I was meant to be a writer, the signs are easy to see from my youth that this was what I was meant to be. I mean, I was writing poetry before I was even in first grade. And not silly, little girl poetry. I’m talking serious stuff. My first poem was:

Together we can conquer the unconquerable.

Tall buildings, mountains, and skyscrapers will fall to our mercy.

But why destroy such beauty?

As long as we have each other, that is all that matters.

Not the typical five-year-old writing, is it? And I won my first writing contest in fourth grade. My prize? A pack of Hubba-Bubba bubble gum. And in junior high, I started writing erotic romance, and I worked on my first paranormal story by the time I was twenty years old. It wasn’t until after I saw Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, that an idea for a story gripped me so powerfully, though, that I got the idea that I could write for a living. That was when I got serious and started taking extensive writing courses and began pouring myself into learning all I could about writing, editing, and publishing.

Tell us about your series, All the King’s Men. What’s the series about?

All the King’s Men is my take on the vampire community. The series started out as one book. Micah Black developed in my mind, and he demanded that his story be told, so I began to write it. Then an interesting thing happened. More vampires stepped up, all with their own problems and conflicts, and each one began clamoring inside my mind to have his or her story told, too. Suddenly, I went from one book to six. And now I think I’m up to ten.  But the series doesn’t want to stop there. The next generation is stepping up, and I think it’s only a matter of time before those vampires begin knocking on my brain to have their stories told, too.

These vampires live in the modern world, but some of them, such as Micah and Malek, have been around for centuries. As a result, they carry a lot of baggage. Throughout the series, we see Micah transform from the damaged character he is in Rise of the Fallen to the resurrected leader he was always meant to be before tragedy struck his life. And really, the entire series is about him, but we see him grow and watch his story evolve through the stories of his friends and teammates, who work for an agency called All the King’s Men as enforcers who maintain an unsteady truce between the vampires and their nemeses, the drecks. And if you thought Apostle was bad in Rise of the Fallen, wait until you meet Bishop. Bishop makes Apostle look like a gnat in a swarm of mosquitoes. The dreck activity definitely heats up in Rebel Obsession, and we see that things aren’t as rosy as the AKM vamps thought they were.

The first book in the series, Rise of the Fallen, features Micah. Did you model him after anyone in particular or how did he come into your imagination?

Micah’s creation was an accident. I used to roleplay on Facebook and created Micah to be an independent character. I wanted a character who was tragic, raw, damaged, and lethal, and so did a lot of people, because Micah became an instant hit with roleplay fans. The more damaged he was, the more they loved him. So, Micah was simply supposed to be a roleplay character. Oh, but Micah, true to his nature, was having none of that. Once he was created, he made it clear he wanted his story to be told, so I began writing it. At any rate, I saw a few pictures of the model, Andrei Andrei, when he had long hair, and I just knew. That was Micah. Micah looked like that. Dark, shrewd , seductive eyes that see everything, dashing good looks that could stop any woman in her tracks, sexy, seductive, quiet, powerful, lethal, and confident. Andrei’s image was everything Micah was. So when you read Micah, it’s Andrei who I was seeing when I wrote him. I was fortunate that Andrei allowed me to use his picture on the cover, because I don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t.

Heart of the Warrior is the sequel to Rise of the Fallen and the second book in the series. How is it different from the first book and was it challenging writing a m/m romance?

It’s different because it’s M/M, whereas Rise was M/F. Since I’d been writing M/M storylines previously, writing Heart as a M/M romance wasn’t a challenge for me. In fact, Arion and Severin were so unbelievably forthcoming that Heart was extremely easy to write. They both were very clear in my mind about what they wanted and about what would happen, and both readily spilled their stories. So much so, in fact, that at times I couldn’t keep up. The other nice thing about Arion and Severin was how unbelievably tragic they both were. This made for a fast-paced story throughout, full of conflict and emotion that broke me down into tears more than once as I drafted it. This has probably been my favorite story to write to date.

What are you working on now and when can we expect to see it?

I’m working on the edits for Rebel Obsession, which is the next book in the AKM series, and is due out in January. This one doesn’t have the super-fast pace from start to finish that Heart had, but it’s deep and introduces a few new characters who become big players in Traceon’s ongoing story, and everyone seems to want to know what happens to Trace. He is slowly revealing his story to me, and we learn a little more about him in RO, but oooohhhh, what we learn is good. Even I gaped when he showed me. And we begin to see Malek’s story begin to unfold in RO, as well. So, Rebel Obsession feels to me like a transitory story. It’s been hard to write, but now that I’m editing it, I’m very pleased with where it’s going. Lots of seeds were planted in Rebel Obsession.

I’m also working on a semi-autobiographical work called One Night that is causing a lot of painful scars from my past to open, and I hope to have that one out by next summer. I have also started the next AKM novel, Return of the Assassin, which is Malek’s story. I hope to have that one out by the end of next summer, but I’ve learned not to rush the AKM novels. They’re too precious, so I need to make sure they’re right before I put them in the public’s hands. I also have two M/M pieces I’m working on for release in 2013, probably closer to the holidays.

Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself and your books with us. It sounds like a really emotional and exciting series!

Learn more about Donya’s books at her blog or on Facebook.

Find her books at: Amazon   –  Barnes & Noble  –  Smashwords


Donya has kindly offered to give away 3 copies of Rise of the Fallen. All you have to do  is leave a comment about the interview with your email address! She will choose 3 random winners on Monday the 12th.  

Thanks everyone!

14 thoughts on “Interview & Giveaway with Donya Lynne

  1. Truthfully, I’m not into reading M/M romances (such as for a book in Donya’s series), but this series does sound interesting enough that I’d love to give it a try with book one. Will these books be available in print in the future? (I’m a huge print fan.)

    Lea-Ellen {night owl in IL}

  2. Donna I very much enjoyed reading about you writing career fro the very beginning (5 yrs old my goodness) to how your characters speak to you and then their development. I will be checking my NOOK for your books. Best wishes with your latest book.

  3. Hi, everybody. I’m so happy to be here today. As far as your comments and questions so far: I would like these books to come out in print, and have started looking into that option for 2013. Right now, they’re only available as ebooks.

    I have had readers who didn’t like M/M give Heart of the Warrior a shot, and they loved it. My goal was to write the story first, and get into the erotic component as icing to the cake, but not make it the cake. Heart had one of my fans crying so hard, her lip was trembling, which is probably one of the best compliments I’ve received to date.

    I take the characters down a dark path…or rather, they take me down one. LOL. They seem to love punishment, and they’re all what I would call alpha males, so there’s a lot of angst and aggression with them, but I have a new character being introduced soon who, while being extremely powerful, is a romantic at heart. His story will likely be a true love story, and I can’t wait to get to writing that one. I hope you all enjoy the books. I enjoy writing them and have many more planned.

    Good luck in the drawing! 🙂

  4. I have to admit i had never heard of you. I am trying knew authors instead of the same old same old. Now i can not wait to read about Micah. I wonder if she now regrets taking all those courses it sounds to me as if she really did not need them.
    I too find inspiration in my graphic arts through songs. I can always tell what kind of music i was listening to when i look at the art.
    You must have been very grown at the age of 5 those are some mighty big words for a little one.

    Once you tell one of your characters story do they hush or do they keep roaring in your head? do they beg to be mentioned in the next book?

    What kind of advice can you give me for my son who is 13. He loves writing.

    One of my biggest questions is how would you know about erotic in junior high school????? you should have been playing with jump ropes not erotic things. But in today’s world i understand. my first child came at age 15.
    cant wait to read your first book!!!
    Larina B

  5. wow, i really liked this interview and look into this series. these books sound like something right up my alley. so excited to have found another series 🙂 i look forward to discovering them and the men they tell of 🙂

  6. Larina, you asked a lot of questions, so I’ll try to answer them. 🙂

    I don’t regret taking the writing courses. They made me a better writer. I love learning about writing, and with each class, I learn something more.

    I was very mature for a young’n. I had to grow up fast when my parents got divorced when I was in third grade, I think it was. My mom was like a big kid, and my older brother became a mess after the divorce, which left me to take care of everybody. I was always the adult in the house, even when I was still just a kid myself.

    When I say I wrote erotic romance in junior high, we’re talking such tame erotic romance, it barely matched the definition. But for a seventh grader, it was pretty bold stuff: “She straddled him.” Ooooo, I was such a vixen. LOL. I couldn’t even write the word nipple back then. It just felt too “dirty.” But my parents never hid sexual images from me. I saw A Clockwork Orange when I was like two. I was born in 1969 and it came out in 1971. And my dad had a couple of nudie magazines I found in my parents’ bedroom one day. I had started learning how to read already and found myself reading the erotic stories in them. I even remember reading the phrase, “As if on cue…” and didn’t know what cue meant and thought it was a dirty word. LOL.

    So, I guess you could say I was destined to be an erotic romance author because I had been exposed to those kinds of images at such a young age. But I’m really quite tame in real life. I don’t have any sexual addictions or hangups, and I don’t have whips and handcuffs in my bedroom. I’m a pretty normal person, actually. LOL. Some might even say boring.

    Advice for budding authors: Learn to write as if you want to get a big publication contract with a big six publisher. Do NOT take shortcuts. Take writing seriously and pay attention in ALL English classes (including Mythology) and History class. I wish I had paid better attention in both, even though I was an exceptional English student. My writing would be better served today if I had, because now I’m having to re-teach myself things I could have learned in school. Otherwise, write about that which interests you. And don’t worry if you find yourself not wanting to write when you HAVE to. That’s normal.

    As far as my characters are concerned, they never shut up. LOL. Micah still talks to me all the time, even though his story has long since been written. But he is so integral to the entire series, I doubt he’ll ever shut his yap. I don’t want him to, either. 🙂 Some characters make me work for their information, and sometimes I find out they do that because they’re ashamed or even confused about it themselves. Trace is one of those characters. He gives me snippets of his story a little at a time, and he carries around a lot of guilt and shame, so he doesn’t talk much unless I make him. He only just revealed something that I’ve wondered about since I wrote book one, and now I’m starting to understand him. Arion and Severin have already told me they want a novella, but they are willing to wait until the time is right, so I’m not getting any major yakkity-yak from them right now. The long and short is that my characters are always talking, and if I’d been paying attention, I would have seen that even at a young age, I had characters talking to me.

    Okay…time to pick the winners. Will let you know shortly. 🙂

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