As a little girl, Donya always had a book in her hand. As she got older, the books became pens and notebooks, which she filled with stories and poetry. For as long as she remembers, she has been writing and dreaming up stories. Seems writing was her destiny.
Donya loves music and often finds inspiration for her stories in the wide range of music she listens to. Nothing like a little Korn to propel the angst in a scene, or Enya to evoke softer and more romantic storylines.
Places to find Donya:
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I'm married with six furry children (two dogs and four cats), and live just north of Indianapolis, Indiana. I've always loved to write, and started writing poetry before I was in grade school. Poetry turned to short stories, and then into romance stories in junior high. By the time I graduated high school, I was seriously working on honing my writing skills. However, it took me another ten years or so before I realized I could actually be a published author. My dad had always stressed academic pursuits instead of artistic ones, and I worked very hard to please my dad at the expense of my health, giving myself ulcers and over-stressing because what made me happy wasn't what made him happy. Now I know what my calling is, and I know I have to do what I want, not him. Writing is what I was born to do, and I can see that now, so it's past time I started doing it.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes and no. Deep down I knew I wanted to be a writer. In hindsight, it's so obvious that was what I born to become, but on a conscious level, I didn't see it until I turned thirty. Once I realized that was my calling, I took some intense writing courses and started learning everything I could about getting published, how to craft story, etc., and now I'm finally living the dream.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I’m 80% pantser (I’ve seen it spelled both panster and pantser) and 20% plotter. The characters and I come up with general idea, but once I start writing is when the story begins to fill in and come to life. Revelations have hit me so hard as I write that I’ve actually stopped, slapped my hands over my mouth, and said, “Oh my God! No way!” as I re-read what I just wrote. I never fully see what’s coming until I write it, but it’s always good.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere. I could hear a song, and a new idea for a story floods my mind. I could see something on TV and within minutes have the general idea of a new story. Other books give me ideas, too, as well as everyday stuff. Used to be when I got a little blocked, if I got in my car and started driving, my characters would all open up and flood me with ideas. I love when that happens.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
AKM is a sexy world of vampires, mixed-bloods, and drecks. Losing a mate means spiritual or physical death, while taking one is the greatest ecstasy imaginable.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Romances of any kind. I also enjoy suspense.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
I don’t have a favorite book, but I recently read If I Were You, by Lisa Renee Jones and loved it. Hearts in Darkness, by Laura Kaye, was also fantastic. I’m a sucker for any of the BDB books, by J.R. Ward, too. Oh, and Hunger Games was un-put-downable, as were the Harry Potter books.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
It really depends on the book and the characters. For some characters, such as Micah and Malek, writing sex scenes is pretty easy. Granted, Malek's sex scenes are pretty depraved in Rebel Obsession, but only because he's going through a major fallout and is in self-destruct mode. However, I've already written his first love scene with the female he pairs with in Return of the Assassin (the next book), and it was an absolute dream to write. When it came to Io, though, his sex scenes were harder to write, probably because for the first time Io was truly in love with the female he was having sex with. This was all new to him, so it was hard to get a bead on him.
Other than that, transition scenes can be a challenge, because you don't want to include too much non-essential information, but just enough that the story is enriched. When I edited Rebel Obsession, I took out entire scenes and several pages of story that I realized had little bearing and only slowed down the story line.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
J.R. Ward, because…well…she’s da bomb. Stephen King, because…well…he’s the shit (can I say shit on here?). And Sherrilyn Kenyon, because I saw her at a book signing several months ago, and she was exceptionally relatable and witty. Having these three authors to myself for a couple of hours would be an incredible learning experience and an honor.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Yep. I’ve already started the next book in the series, Return of the Assassin, and it’s coming along nicely. Well, not nicely, if you want to consider that the characters are heavily seeped in despair and mental sewage so thick they might not make it back to reality. But it’s super juicy and a lot more dynamic than Rebel Obsession was. This one feels “different” to me, for some reason. But in a very excellent way.
I’m also working on a few stand-alone novels and a couple of anthologies of my shorter works.
I don’t normally work this way. I usually work on one story at a time, but so many are vying for my attention right now that I’m trying to get down a little of each so I at least get down the meat of the idea. And while the longer pieces are resting, I want to be able to work on the shorter ones.
Former cobalt addict and AKM drug counselor, Io is a male vampire known as much for his abrasive personality as for his playboy lifestyle. In other words, he's not the likeliest to make friends and settle down. Life on the edge suits him, and he lives full throttle, making his own rules, and damn the consequences. What he wants, he takes, and what he wants now is Miriam. If only he can find a way to see her again without getting himself killed, but her father stands in the way.
Miriam is the daughter of the king. Strong-willed and defiant, she feels like a prisoner in her own home and struggles to break free from under her father’s oppressive hold. The king’s law surrounding Miriam is explicitly clear: No one touches her. Period.
In a fit of rebellion, Miriam has turned to cobalt to find relief and freedom, but now she’s a prisoner to addiction as much as to her father’s strict control. What's more, she can’t get sexy Io, who tended to her so gently as she recovered from her first overdose, off her mind. Will she ever see him again?
When Miriam overdoses a second time, she and Io are thrust back together, and all bets are off. Seeing each other was the one thing both wanted, and not even the king’s laws and threats of punishment will be enough to defuse their rebellious obsession with one another now that they’ve found each other again, even if the consequences are death.
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REBEL OBSESSION BLOG TOUR
01/02 - I Smell Sheep
01/03 - Ramblings From This Chick
01/04 - Romancing the Book
01/06 - Bookworm 2 Bookworm
01/07 - The Reading Café
01/08 - United by Books
01/09 - Sizzling Hot Books
1/11 - Reading Between The Wines
1/12 - Pimpin' Reads
1/13 - Book Monster Reviews
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