Name: Donya Lynne
Where are you from: Indiana
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
My dad wanted me to be an engineer or chemist. I was more artistically inclined. But I wanted to please my dad, so I spent my childhood in knots trying to reconcile my natural tendencies with what my dad wanted. I earned an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and made it to needing only 8 more classes to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management before the funds ran out. Then I enrolled in two writing courses through the Long Ridge Writer’s Group about fifteen years ago, intent on becoming an author someday. Ta-da! Thanks to those classes, I got here. I’m married and have two dogs and four cats.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m finally back to working on my All the King’s Men Series, much to my fans’ appreciation. They’ve been salivating for Trace’s book, Bound Guardian Angel for a year, but I had other projects demanding my time. Now I’m back to Trace, and I’m excited about the direction AKM is taking. Other than that, the first novel in my Hope Falls Series comes out in February, and the final book in my Strong Karma Trilogy is due out in April. I’m ready for a busy 2015.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was a little girl. I always loved to write and won my first writing contest in fourth grade. After that, I wrote stories for my friends in junior high. They couldn’t wait for my next installment.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve been writing for so long that I can’t pinpoint one moment when I didn’t consider myself a writer. Even when I was in elementary school, I carried my notebooks and pencils everywhere.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wasn’t so much inspired as highly motivated. I’d lost my job in 2010 and couldn’t find new work. As I searched for a new job, I began role playing on Facebook and ended up building a large, dedicated fan following. After a year and a half, I still hadn’t found a job and had fallen into a pretty severe depression. With money running out, I decided to turn my most popular role play story into a book. I’d been heading that way for months, anyway. Writing Rise of the Fallen, which was Micah Black’s story, proved cathartic. Micah’s life and mental state reflected my own at the time, and as he found his happily ever after, so did I. I fell in love with writing in a way I hadn’t thought possible, and I know now that this was what I was meant to do.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure how to answer this. I think every author creates their own writing style, but it’s hard to identify what exactly that style is. Each author’s voice is unique. My stories tend to be sensual and evocative, and I dive into some pretty dark and controversial subject matter. But as I continue to write, my writing has evolved. I think this will continue to be the case as I publish more books.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’m not sure which of my titles you’re referring to, so I can’t answer this. But I try to come up with active titles that play on the main elements within a story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?\
As with the above question, I’m not sure which of my titles you’re inquiring about, so I can’t answer this. But I will say, generally speaking, that I try not to make political statements in my books. I prefer to write books readers will enjoy and can escape in. If someone takes away a deeper message or changes their perspective on something because of something they read in one of my books, then that’s just icing on the cake.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My books are fiction, but there’s always a grain of truth in every book. It can be said that each book an author writes reflects something in that author’s own life, whether an experience, element, observation, or something else. This is very true.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Charlotte’s Web and J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Lara Adrian, Marie Force, Stephen King. But really, there are so many.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading several. A couple on Egypt and the Great Sphinx (for research), one on Japanese decluttering techniques (for personal and research purposes), Three A.M. by Steven John, a book by Bella Andre, and a memoir by Prissy Elrod. I plan on starting Slammed by Colleen Hoover soon.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Colleen Hoover! Loved Ugly Love.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I put each book through up to 10 rounds of edits. If it’s not ready by the end of that, it never will be. I rarely second guess the content of a published book. I realized a long time ago that every book wrote itself that way for a reason.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
No. I’ve always had a love of writing. If my parents had been paying attention, they would have seen my career path and saved everyone a lot of time and money, and I would have been writing a long time ago.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
In the reflection off the glass, she saw the light turn off in the kitchen. A moment later, he approached behind her.
“Did you make these?” She kept her eyes on his face in the reflection.
“Yes.” He stopped close enough that she felt his body heat against her back. “I used to enjoy building models when I was younger. Now…” His voice trailed off as his hands eased over her hips. His nose nuzzled her hair, and his eyes closed. “Now, I’m just too busy.” He spoke slowly, his voice breathy.
The tension that had been hanging over them all night finally broke, and Lacey swayed back as his hands crept around to the front. It was suddenly very hot inside Scott’s cabin. Blistering to the point she felt dizzy.
“Your hair’s longer,” he murmured absently, swirling his nose in a slow circle before kissing the back of her head.
She licked her lips, losing her grip on reality. Behind her, Scott was mounting an untenable offensive she had no hope of stopping, even if she wanted to. Which she didn’t. In front of her, she watched the play-by-play in their reflection.
Every sense was engaged or soon would be. She could see him, feel his touch, hear his breath whisper through her hair, smell the gentle, clean scent of his shampoo. And she knew if this kept up, she would taste him.
But for now, he seemed content to remain behind her, caressing her stomach, kissing her hair, pressing closer.
Her focus waned as her eyes closed. Somewhere in the recesses of her awareness, she felt him take her wine from her hand, heard the base of the glass clink quietly on a nearby shelf, and felt his fingers begin unfastening the buttons of her sweater.
She opened her eyes as he took a step back and slowly dragged her sweater off her arms. She didn’t care where he put it. The floor, the back of the couch, the trash. Just as long as he kept touching her, kept kissing her, kept making her feel like a treasured relic.
His nose dipped into her hair again, and his chest rose against her back as he inhaled and lay his hands on her bared shoulders, right over the straps of her camisole.
“Stay with me tonight,” he whispered, his warm breath filtering through her hair to her scalp.
She drew in a barely-controlled breath as his fingers hooked one strap and slid it down her shoulder. His other arm wound around her waist and pulled her snugly against him so that the hard angles of his body molded into the soft curves of hers.
“Spend the night with me, Mattie. Please.” The last he whispered while circling his nose in her hair. His fingers trembled on her shoulder as he teased the strap of her camisole. The tiny quake rippled through his whole body. Up his arm, through his torso, and down his other arm, which tensed around her waist. She felt its entire journey.
He exhaled a shuddering breath that sounded like a light attempt at a chuckle. “I can’t believe I’m so nervous.”
She found his disquiet sexy and strangely flattering. What woman didn’t want to feel as special as he was making her feel this very second? She was the first woman he’d dated in ten years. That alone was enough for her to believe she was a cherished treasure. But to witness his barely contained anxiety in the moment was extraordinarily intimate. Erotic even.
“I like it.” She spoke softly, keeping the mood intact. “It’s…charming.” She bowed her head, biting her lip as he played with her hair.
The embers in the fireplace sizzled, adding an apropos soundtrack to Scott’s intoxicating seduction.
Placing one arm over his and reaching around with the other to grip his triceps, she inhaled his clean scent then said quietly, “I like hot tea with my breakfast.”
He exhaled as if from relief then brushed her hair aside. “Is Earl Grey okay?” She heard the smile in his voice.
Butterflies lit in her stomach, and she gave a subtle nod. “It’ll work.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding time to do everything that needs to be done. It seems that there are always demands on my time pulling me away from writing. I have to shut off all social media, my phone, and my email for several hours a day if I have any hope of getting any writing done. It’s a Catch-22. Readers want more books, but they want to have access to me. I have to try and divide my time as best as I can so I can do both. Sometimes, that’s impossible. One or both usually suffer.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite author changes all the time. It used to be J.R. Ward, then Lara Adrian, then Kyra Davis and Cecilia Tan, and now it’s Colleen Hoover. And I’m really enjoying Aleatha Romig’s new Tales from the Dark Side Series and look forward to where it will go. I still love all my previous favorites, I just keep adding to the list. What strikes me about their work is that they evoke an emotional response. I like being transported by a story, and these authors generally do that.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not as much as I would like.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Reese Dante has designed all my AKM and Strong Karma covers, but Mae I Design designed the cover for Finding Lacey Moon. I like having more than one cover artist so I can give different looks to different series.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
There’s really nothing I find “hard” about the actual writing of my books. I enjoy the entire process. Certain aspects can be challenging, such as determining the best opening, how to piece the scenes together for the most effective showing of the story, and determining the best POV character for a scene (my AKM books have huge casts), but I wouldn’t describe anything as hard. I would say that if the characters shut down in my head in the middle of a story, that’s not fun. Because then I have to figure why they did. Once I do, I can get back on track.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
While writing Finding Lacey Moon, due out February 9, I learned quite a bit about snowboarding from doing the research. I also learned about the city of McCall, Idaho, which is the inspiration for Hope Falls, where the book takes place.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Study, study, study. Learn the craft. Also, build a very thick skin. And never ever never argue with your editor and/or beta readers. Never. You can discuss, but never argue.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you all. J Thank you for reading, and I hope I can continue giving you books that make you laugh, cry, and wring your hands for many years to come.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My mom said it was “Of Mice and Men” by Steinbeck. I vaguely remember attempting to read it, but the book I definitely remember was Charlotte’s Web. I read that one several times.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Witty, well-timed humor always makes me laugh. Kevin Hart is hilarious. And I love the Geico commercial where the Pillsbury Dough Boy goes through security at the airport. I laughed every time I saw that commercial. And the United Way Saturday Night Live skit with Peyton Manning. Peyton does good skits and commercials. As for what makes me cry, seeing anything that nods toward a breakdown in humanity and compassion makes me cry. Or seeing video of tragic events. I’m very empathic, and I easily absorb the emotions of those around me or feel the emotions of those involved in a tragedy. Consequently, it can be very overwhelming.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Probably Madonna. She’s truly inspirational. Looking at where she came from and where she is today, and she did it all on her own. She controlled every step of her journey. I want to exist inside her aura for a few hours and have some of that rub off on me.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I have no idea. LOL.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Writing is my hobby, my profession, and my life. Everything I do seems to revolve around writing. I would love to see a movie every week, though. At the theater, not at home. And I enjoy listening to music.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a big fan of Arrow, and I admit I’ve become addicted to The Young and the Restless, which is odd for me, because I can’t stand soap operas. But I started watching it when one of my muses, Marco Dapper, was part of the cast. I’m hoping he comes back to the show someday. My favorite TV show of all-time was La Femme Nikita, starring Peta Wilson, on the USA network. As for movies, I like a little of everything. I especially enjoy movies that go deep inside foreign cultures. Movies like Eat, Pray, Love, Joy Luck Club, and Memoirs of a Geisha. But my all-time favorite movie is probably Bladerunner. Drives my husband nuts, because he’s not a big fan of that movie.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite food would be pizza. I don’t have a favorite color. And I don’t really have a favorite type of music except to say that I like my music to be evocative.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I couldn’t be a writer, an artist would have made a good second choice.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?