The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Sonya Clark!

Good morning everyone and welcome! Come in, have a seat and a cuppa of your choice. Today I have Sonya Clark who is a huge fan of all things that go bump in the dark. Being one that still sleeps with a stuff animal, I find those things to be more than a little menacing. However, Ms. Clark is fun and not the least bit scary, so maybe tonight I'll walk around my home without the lights on--maybe.

RR-What's you favorite read or series?
SC-My favorite books to read always have a mix of both action/adventure/mystery with a healthy dollop of romance. I don't really have an absolute favorite series but I read several urban fantasy and paranormal romance series that I really enjoy. The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh, The Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, The Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers - those are some of my favorites.

RR-What/who got you reading?
SC-I  don't remember not being able to read. I've always loved books. I can remember in school being excited about the Scholastic book club, going through the catalogs and picking out books. Then the even bigger excitement of having a big new stack of books to carry home when the order arrived. My parents always encouraged me to read and pretty much my only restriction was how big of a stack of books could I carry around.

RR-On your website there is a lot of music. Do you find tunes to be inspirational?
SC-I usually have music playing while I write. Figuring out the soundtrack for a story will help me find its tone, and picking a play list for a character will help me discover who they are. Music is something I connect with so it helps me to connect with my characters and stories.
I always have one or two songs that inspire my stories. I listen to them so much that by the time I'm sick of them, I'm usually done with the book. 

RR-Too organized Plotter or Maniac Panster?
SC-Definitely Maniac Pantser, though I'm trying to learn to be more organized about plotting. So far my rough outlines always fall apart once I get more than a couple of chapters into a story. After that I wind up outlining - its really more like just making notes - a chapter at a time. My notes will be questions like "why did this happen" and "how do they react to that" and "needs more cowbell." Just to kind of act as a guide for the next chapter I need to write. Then I write the chapter. Once its done I start making notes about the next chapter. Not the most efficient method, I know, but every time I've tried the snowflake method or something like that I wind up drastically changing things once I start writing.
LOL More cowbell!!

RR-Red House is the follow up to Mojo Queen. Did you know Mojo would be a series when you started it?
Mojo Queen
SC-I wanted to try writing an urban fantasy series so it was in the back of my mind. What sealed the deal was the characters - they took on a life of their own. Roxie is a paranormal investigator and hoodoo root worker who can see auras and spectral energy, but unlike a lot of UF heroines she's not the "kicka** and leather pants" type. She has a different approach to dealing with the supernatural, one much more connected to natural magic. And that really interests me, so I want to see what I can do with that. Her vampire ancestor Daniel also exerts a great pull on my imagination. I first conceived of his character as almost a joke because I was so tired of the brooding sparkly type of vampires flooding the book shelves. He is a really fun character to write, especially when he gets drunk on blood cocktails and starts singing classic country songs off-key at the top of his lungs. And then there's Blake, the sexy sorcerer who is Roxie's love interest. He appeals to Roxie's dark side and is clearly her weakness. I like the idea of seeing that relationship play out because it is definitely a struggle for Roxie to keep her head above water when it comes to Blake.
I love this cover soooo much!
RR-Is there any thing we all would be shocked to know about you? 
SC-I have a shocking addiction to the new Hawaii Five-O. Alex O'loughlin and Scott Caan just kill me. Seriously, I need a twelve step program.
*fanning myself* While I've never seen the show, I've gawked at their photos. :)

For Fun
Sexy in flannel nightwear or Hopin' to Get Lucky silk?
I'm more of a flannel girl.

Romance, comedy, or horror movies? 
Actually, sci-fi/fantasy. Or Buffy/Angel for the umpteenth time.
Thought maybe I could trick ya. :)

Paperback or ebooks?
Since I got a Kindle I have become a total ebook convert. It's so much easier to read than trying to hold a paperback.

Great cook or master at ordering take out? 
I’m not much of a cook, so…

What's your biggest pet-peeve, in the world, that makes you want to beat something/someone?
That's a tough one. I don't like for anyone to mess with my desk. It's the one part of the house that is completely and totally mine, and it's where I write. So I get twitchy if my husband forgets and starts leaving papers and stuff there, or goes digging in the shelves for something. Then we have to have a Talk. ;)

Back to Work
Bring On the NightRR-Are you insanely organized or are there note written on everything?
SC-A mix of both. On some things I am very organized, or at least I try to be. With the more creative side of writing I tend to be much less organized, with stuff spread out over notebooks and post-its and now I have one of those white board things to clutter up. :)
RR-What's the biggest misconception people have about you & your writing?
SC-I really have no idea. They don't tell me! :)

RR-Does your husband like to brag about your career as a writer?
SC-He does! He took some of my cover flats to work and he talked about it when I was in the local paper. He tells me he's proud of me and my writing, and that means the world to me.
He's a keeper!!

RR-Do you ever get so overwhelmed you want to quit?
SC-I would never quit writing but sometimes publishing is strange. I think the trick is to realize its okay to have your own career, and not someone else's. You see other writers doing things that bring them success and you think, would that work for me? And then when it doesn't, you think you're going to fail completely. But you have to find what works for you. I can't do the same things other writers are doing, and digesting that lesson has been tough.

RR-What part of writing makes you want to pull your hair out and scream like a banshee?
SC-Red House, the book I'm working on now, is trying to kill me. That makes me want to scream! My bad habit of second guessing everything can make writing difficult sometimes and with this book I'm up to about the sixth or seventh round of second guessing.
Very hard not to second guess. But, I do believe it's what makes a writer a better author--when attention is paid to the tiny details. 

RR-When writing, must you hide from the husband? (I know I have to!)
SC-Yes, because when he's around I want to focus on him and give him my attention when he says something. Unless he's telling me the latest thing he thought was funny on College Humor, which is usually my cue to leave the room. I can't write when someone is trying to talk to me. I have to have my head in that "writing space" so to speak.

RR-You're a little on the 'dark side'. Ever scare your parents, friends,or husband?
SC-My husband's not scared of me and he's the only one I worry about. I can't imagine anyone finding me scary.
My daughter loves creepy/vampire/horror/zombie stuff. She's the sweetest thing but I'm still scared of her! LOL

RR-Any advice for aspiring writers?
SC-Read a lot and write a lot, which is actually from Stephen King's On Writing. That's the only writing how-to book I have and I'd advise any aspiring writer to pick up a copy.

I love that book. It's very funny, too. Sonya Clark sharing her awesome book/blurb Mojo Queen with us. ENJOY
Hoodoo and high magic are on a collision course. Roxanne Mathis isn't like everyone else. Not only can she see auras and spectral entities, she can mix herbs and roots for spells to do good or ill. She can even light a candle without the benefit of a match. But when she’s hired to exorcise a demon from a young girl, she discovers the limits of her powers.
With her vampire cousin at her side and a sexy sorcerer chasing her on the rebound, Roxie sets out to send that evil entity back to where she came from. Nothing is as it seems and Roxie’s in over her head. It’s not going to be enough for her to just be a paranormal investigator and old school root worker – to defeat this demon, she’s going to have to be the Mojo Queen.

Have a Sparkling Day! 
Rebecca Rose

Next week I'll be sitting down with Sara Jayne Townsend.