This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?
Think on THAT a while…
Welcome, Author Sonya Ray! You’ve just released North. Tell us a little bit about your story.
Hi Lisa! Thanks for having me. North is the second book in a seven-novel series. In Sweet Tea, Lizzie went through many changes. In hopes to put some of the madness behind her, Lizzie travels to North Dakota to attend college. While many changes occur in Lizzie’s life, some things refuse to be left behind. The darkness that has haunted her dreams has now become a reality, and more changes are up ahead for Lizzie Lancaster.
Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy or paranormal romance? What attracted you to the genre?
The Three Crowns series is paranormal romance. I am a fan of most things that go bump in the night, and who can refuse a good love story? A little bit of unexplained events and a whole lot of love makes a lot of drama!
Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels.If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?
The Three Crowns series is a vampire story, but not your typical vampires. The Lancasters are all about civility and living with humanity. But as we all know, not all vampires can have humanity or for that matter, want to have humanity. In North, such vampires are introduced—Seekers. They are vile, dirty, always in vampire form and have no humanity.
Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!
North is the second novel in a seven-book series – The Three Crowns. In order to understand North, you will need to read Sweet Tea (Vol I). All of the books are connected and each book gives clues to upcoming books. I am about to send Broken Boundaries (Vol III) to my editor, John McClain, and begin work on Absolution (Vol IV). Broken Boundaries is scheduled to come out October 2014.
What else are you working on?
Right now all my energy is being put into The Three Crowns series. I do have other books patiently waiting for me to resume and finish. Most are all paranormal with a little Chic-Lit.
Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hangout with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?
I think it would be fun to hang out with Lizzie, Peyton and Stace. I believe we could do about anything and have fun. On the flip side of that—I would gladly hang out with Rob or Cain, too.
When I wrote the character for Lizzie, I had Nina Dobrev in mind. Rob is fashioned after that hottie from Brazil, Marlon Teixeira.
Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?
My stories usually come to me at night when I’m winding down and letting the day go. I will get stuck on a story and play it over and over in my mind each night until I get the scene just like I want it. Then I move on to the next part of the story until it is done. With The Three Crowns series, I would write down the scene the next day. I didn’t do that with the last book. I rolled it around in my mind for about a year until the ending found me and that is what I typed first. So that book is waiting for some guts.
How long does it typically take for you to write a novel. Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?
When I met my editor, I had seven completed novels and several manuscripts started. It took me a year to write The Three Crowns series, but each one needed editing. Editing is the most important part and I won’t rush it just for a publishing date. My objective is to write a well written story that is a page turner. We set a goal for publishing and work very hard to try and make that goal. But sometimes working full time and other things get in the way and that goal is not attainable. I will always sacrifice a publishing date for a well written story any time.
Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?
Stay true to your writer’s voice because that makes you the unique writer that you are. Always, and I mean ALWAYS have an editor. It is very important that you have an editor that you connect with and one you can express yourself freely.
I think it is smart to have a social media platform before you even begin your project. It helps you to connect with other authors and receive helpful tips from those who have gone before you. I do not get to work the social media like I want to due to time. I miss mingling with other authors on a daily basis, but I try and stay connected on the level that my time will permit.
Can you give us a taste of what to expect?
Dark secrets continue to gather in the once-perfect world of Elizabeth Lancaster. Lizzie’s memory has returned, but remembering doesn’t help her find the answers she’s been looking for. Rob is gone. Her friends have become distant. And now, she is finding herself tempted to walk away from Cain Atchley, who holds her heart.
Hoping to put some of the previous year’s madness behind her, Lizzie travels to North Dakota to attend college. While there, she stays with old friends of her family—the Howards. She finds solace in her new relationships with most of the family, especially Nick. But she has history with one Howard in particular that she would soon rather forget.
The annual Lancaster Harvest is being held in December this year, so Lizzie can remain involved. A masquerade Christmas ball will be the main event at the Lancaster manor. With guests dressed in Victorian attire and masks to hide identities, Lizzie will make acquaintances that will impact her future, and she will unknowingly come face to face with her past.
While many changes occur in Lizzie’s life, some things refuse to be left behind. The darkness that has haunted her dreams has now become a reality. An apparition in the form of Rob Jacobs comes to her each night, causing Lizzie to question what is real. She even starts to wonder about the truth behind her daddy’s story of The Three Crowns. What will fate reveal to Elizabeth Lancaster? And will she be able to face what lies ahead of her, or will she become lost in the shadows once more?
Where can we find you and your books online?
Sweet Tea and North available:
About the author:
Sonya currently works full-time as an accounting clerk. Every free moment is dedicated to her family and her current project, The Three Crowns series, a seven-novel paranormal romance. The first installment, Sweet Tea, was published in October 2013.
Sonya is a member of the Ozark Romance Authors Association, Springfield, Missouri. Her books are in several libraries in Southeast Missouri and are carried by The Book Rack and Hastings in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.