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!
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.