Jen: Today we welcome Donya Lynne as her blog tour makes a stop at Romancing the Book. Donya, please share a short bio with us.
Donya: I’m married and live in a northern suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana, with six furry children (two dogs and four cats). I’ve always had a knack for writing, even since I was just a kid, and had decided that once all the bills were paid, I would “retire” and write books. I took two intense writing courses and dedicated myself to learning all I could about writing novels so I could prepare, but before the bills got paid off, I lost my job. Being unemployed gave me a ton of extra time, so I decided to try my hand at publishing a little earlier than I had planned, and I’ve published three novels, two novellas, and two short stories, with more to come of all of the above.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Donya: Rebel Obsession is the third novel in my All the King’s Men (AKM) series, and tells the story of the ill-reputed playboy, Io, as he finds himself lured out of his Casanova ways into uncharted territory: monogamy. As you can imagine, for Io to discard his womanizing lifestyle, which he was quite content living, takes a pretty special female. Enter the king’s daughter, Miriam. She’s one such female, and not because of her royal connection. Io was smitten with her even before learning she was the princess. Unfortunately, her father stands in their way of being together, and when a rebel like Io goes up against the king to stake a claim to his daughter, sparks will definitely fly. But it sure makes for an entertaining story as we follow along and see how Io will overcome the adversity King Bain represents to take what’s his, Miriam.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Donya: I discovered writing before I even realized I discovered it. I was writing poetry before I was in grade school, and I carried books, notebooks, and pens with me everywhere as a kid. I was always doodling pictures and jotting down daydreams and fantasies that came to me in the middle of class, or after school while I was listening to music. Music has always evoked powerful story-type images in my mind.
In junior high, I began writing romantic stories for my friends. In the stories, we all paired up with our favorite members of Duran Duran. Torrid little tales they were. LOL.
In high school and afterward, I became more serious about the stories I wrote, and remember writing a few scenes about the vampire David, from The Lost Boys. I was always fascinated with vampires and the paranormal, and in hindsight, I wish I had explored that with more fervor. I could have been a founding mother of the vampire genre had I realized what I was capable of back then. Ah, but that’s hindsight.
It wasn’t until after I saw The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers that I was so consumed by a story that was motivated by Legolas that I actually sat down and began to write with the idea I could do this for a living. That story went through rewrite after rewrite…after rewrite, and I ended up signing up for the writing courses I mentioned in my bio earlier. I started reading everything I could get my hands on regarding how to craft a story, write fiction, edit, you name it. I was like a sponge, soaking up everything I could so I could develop this story into a series.
That first story and subsequently developed series are still in the works, and will be the next series I write, but I don’t have the skills, yet, to pull it off. It’s a pretty complicated idea, but one that I think will make a wonderful paranormal romance series.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Donya: I’m 20% plotter, 80% pantser. I develop the idea and know what I’m after in the story, but it’s not until I begin writing that the story really begins to take shape. The characters sort of materialize in my mind as I’m writing, and I let them lead me.
For example, In Rebel Obsession, a new character is introduced, but it wasn’t until I was writing until he was. I literally stopped and said, “Oh my God!” after writing the sentence. “So that’s XXX’s father! Wow.” I’m withholding the character’s name, because to reveal whose father appeared out of nowhere would be a huge spoiler. The point is, I had no plans to bring this character in and hadn’t even been thinking about him. He just appeared through the natural course of the story revealing itself through my characters. But his introduction is extremely powerful and really upped the ante for upcoming books.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Donya: I had a fan read Rise of the Fallen and tell me that for days she could only daydream about the characters. She couldn’t even do housework without fantasizing about Micah, Traceon, and the others. That was a huge compliment, because it meant that she could identify the characters as being real.
I’ve also had fans tell me they want to go to Chicago just so they can try to see the characters prowling the streets at night, and several fans have told me Heart of the Warrior made them cry. One fan even said she was crying so hard her lip and chin quivered.
I love receiving comments like those, because it means the readers are connecting with the characters and their emotions in a very real way.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Donya: I’m already working on the fourth novel of the AKM series, titled Return of the Assassin, and have four more of the AKM novels in various stages of planning. I’m also working on a moving, emotional M/M contemporary romance with the working title, Learning to Walk, as well as a M/F contemporary romance titled One Night, which is semi-autobiographical. I’m also working on a few short pieces for a couple of anthologies I’m putting together, as well as two holiday stories for next year. So I’m pretty busy.
Thank you so much for having me today. I look forward to hearing from your followers.
And if you’d like to continue to follow Donya on her tour:
01/02 – I Smell Sheep
01/03 – Ramblings From This Chick
01/04 – Romancing the Book
01/05 – Close Encounters with the Night Kind
01/06 – Bookworm 2 Bookworm
01/07 – The Reading Café
01/08 – United by Books
01/09 – Sizzling Hot Books
1/10 – Vampires, Werewolves & Faries..Oh My!
1/11 – Reading Between The Wines
1/12 – Pimpin’ Reads
1/13 – Book Monster Reviews