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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Author Interview & Signed “Mona Lisa Eclipsing” Giveaway w/ Sunny!

56 Lovely Comments!

*so sorry, I had made a mistake. The giveaway is US & Canada Only! I’ve fixed it now!

Sunny author title

I am so happy to have here today the author of one of my favorite series ever!

Let’s give a warm welcome to Sunny, author of the Monere series.Don;t forget to check out the awesome giveaway at the end of the post =)

Enjoy!

fans-flames-and-swirls (1)

- When did you first start writing?

I think the very first time I tried to write a story was when I was 16 or 17, for an English 101 assignment in college. I wanted to write a short love story, but procrastinated until the last minute (which I had the bad habit of doing then) and gushed out 30 horribly written pages the night before the assignment was due. Needless to say, it totally sucked. Really cringe-worthy; part of why I thought I had no real writing talent, per se, outside of classroom stuff. Nothing, at least, that would allow me to write a publishable book. 41EhAOk8S-L

Before I forget, I wanted to invite readers to drop by my website at www.sunnyauthor.com. Lots of contests coming up this next week, with opportunity to win major prizes including a $100 Amazon Gift Card to launch my eSpecial MONA LISA THREE novella release tomorrow and my next novel, MONA LISA ECLIPSING, coming out April 5th.

- Have you always been interested in Romance?

Absolutely. I started reading as soon as I got my library card, somewhere around 7 or 8 years old. By age 9, I was walking one mile to the library by myself and carrying back an armload full of books each week. I think I stumbled across romance when I was 12 or 13 and was instantly smitten. An avid reader, I devoured a book every 1 or 2 days.

- What about in the Paranormal?

Paranormal came later, something I gradually got drawn into by following my favorite authors into that genre. I read a little SciFi—totally loved Anne McCaffrey—but romance was my bread-and-butter, nourish-the-soul everyday reading. It wasn’t until the last twelve years—5 or 6 years before wrote Mona Lisa Awakening—that I became a dedicated reader in the paranormal genre.

- Why writing Paranormal Romance?

  Well, that just happened to be the story idea that really struck a chord within me. My husband, Da Chen, is an author, and we were tossing story ideas during a long 1-1/2 hour drive from New York to Connecticut we made weekly for our kids’ kungfu lessons (did that only for about one year before it became too much) in the summer of 2003. He came up with the idea about a supernatural race that originated from the moon. I tossed in a suggestion, further fleshing out the idea, he added to that, and so on and so forth. By the end of the trip, we had developed the basic framework of a possible young adult fantasy he was interested in writing—that was only one of many storylines we conceived during those long drives that year. But my husband never used the idea.

mona lisa 3Two years later, when events precipitated me to once again try my hand at writing after a 4-day screenwriting seminar that taught me the nuts-and-bolts on how to write a story, this is the idea I used, not to write a screenplay but a romance novel that just happened to be paranormal, which then accidentally became an erotic paranormal romance.

- Were there any Books, Movies or Writers that have inspired you?

Yes, I loved Jayne Castle’s books (Jayne Anne Krentz’s pseudonym for her paranormal series); she’s one of my must-read authors that I followed from  the Harlequin and Silhouette category romances I loved to read over into the paranormal genre. For me, once I found an author I adored, it didn’t matter what genre they wrote: everything I could lay my hands on of theirs, I would read, be it historical, western, or SciFi—as long as it had a strong main character and was imbued with rich emotion. Iris Johansen is another crossover author I followed, and Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series helped cement my love for the new genre. Once hooked, I discovered other influential authors like Anne Bishop and Laurell K. Hamilton.

- What is your favorite subject in the Paranormal Romance Realm?

Everything, for me, is always about love: finding it and keeping it; meeting hardships and overcoming them. The central component of love is what nourishes my soul and satisfies me. I don’t really have a favorite subject, per se, like vampires or werewolves. Just good writing is what matters to me.

- The sex scenes in your books are amazingly hot. Where do you get your inspiration?

I don’t know, LOL. All the hundreds or thousands of romances I read, I guess. It started out real tame—Harlequin and Silhouette category romances—41FY2jVw4CLand then gradually got spicier as I delved into their Silhouette Desire line. I began with Nora Roberts and expanded to more sensual writers like Lori Foster and found I liked these stories even better. From there, I further expanded to authors like Robin Schone, Emma Holly, and Susan Johnson. The credit, or blame, goes to all these talented ladies :)

- Do you find it hard to write them?

Not at all. Actually, that was where my writing really took off. I hit the first love scene, expecting it to be something simple and brief, but instead it was like my pen—and imagination—took on a life of its own. The writing just flowed, and kept on flowing, and I was blushing while I was writing it; but I was also jazzed and excited because I knew it was good.

Favorites:

- Favorite Paranormal themed Movie? I know I’m dating myself but Ladyhawke, with Michelle Pfieffer.

- Favorite Paranormal themed TV Show? The Vampire Diaries. There—much more current :)

- Favorite Paranormal themed Book? My hands-down absolute favorite is The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

- Favorite Author? That’s hard because I have a lot of favorites. But I’ll say Lisa Kleypas.

- Favorite Paranormal Romance Author? That’s also hard to narrow down to just one, but Laurell K. Hamilton is at the top of the list.

- Favorite Genre that is NOT your own? Historical, I guess, if you count the paranormal and romance genre as “my own.”

51uFHvQLtRL- Favorite one of your Books? Still “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer. That book simply blew me away.

- Who is your favorite of your own characters? Hah! That would be Gryphon. Why? I’m not sure. Because he came first? I don’t know. I may be more like Mona Lisa than I thought.

- Which was the hardest to write?

All of the characters in the Monère series where fairly easy for me to write, including the not-so-nice characters. I’d say I had the most difficult time with Lucinda, Prince Halcyon’s sister, when I was writing LUCINDA, DARKLY. It was hard because I was consciously trying to make her character and her voice different from Mona Lisa’s.

- What would you be if not a writer?

That’s easy. A family practice physician, which is what I’m trained to be. I practiced for 5 years before becoming a full-time mom. Becoming an author was quite accidental via the roundabout route of mother then stage mom then wife-of-an-author, finally to author herself. No one was more surprised than me when that happened.

- If you Could be a Paranormal Being, Who would you be?

I thought these last few questions would be easier, not harder! Hmmm, not a vampire because they have a taste for blood and killing. Not a werewolf for the same reason. Not a ghost because that kind of existence just plain sucks. If I had a choice, I’d choose to be someone like Wonder Woman, someone who’s powerful and wants to do good . . . yes, yes, I know I’m dating myself again.

Quickies:

- Vampires or Werewolves? A werewolf, if I had to choose.

- Monère Queens or Warrior Lords? A Monère Queen, definitely. All those luscious men—need I say more?1274345

- Angels or Demons? Okay, my bad side must be showing. Demons.

- Reading or Writing? Oh, reading, for sure!

- Print or eBook? I used to be a die-hard print reader because that has been my habit for most of my life. But now have an iPhone (just got one!) and read mostly from there; I find it even better and more convenient than my Kindle, which I only got a couple of years ago. So I have to vote for eBook.
- Hardback or Paperback? Paperback.

- Pepsi or Coke? Coke—I’m a classic kind of gal.

- YA novels or Adult novels? Adult novels, although I’m fast becoming a fan of some YA authors and series, including Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Game” series.

- Library or Bookstore? Bookstore.

- The Movie or The Book? Also a tough choice. Book, as my first love, then Movie as a fabulous but secondary form of entertainment.

- PNR or UF? Urban Fantasy. I like the grittier edge to those novels.

41lbnlbulnL- Romance or Action? Can I have both? That’s my true favorite: when they are combined together, like in Suzanne Brockmann’s stories.

- What is your favorite part of the writing process? Coming up with that first opening scene.

- What is your least favorite part? Writing on the days when the words are not flowing and each sentence feels like you’re trying to out obstinate teeth.

- The Monère series in your own words? It’s about a lonely, gifted woman, who by accident discovers others like her, and in doing so, finally finds what had always eluded her before—love.

- What is coming up next for you? My thoughts are turning next to Mona Lisa F—, the next book in the Monère series. I’ve named the series alphabetically: Mona Lisa A, B, C, D, and now E, which is MONA LISA ECLIPSING). Am trying to think of a title and am leaning toward MONA LISA FALLING, but would welcome any other suggestions.

- What are you working on right now? I’m helping edit my husband’s next novel and taking a breather before diving into the next Monère novel.

- Do you have any advice or tip to those like me that want to become a published Author someday?

Absolutely. Keep reading—that’s where it all started for me—and continue writing. Sometimes it takes maturity. Sometimes it’s just having the right concept or story or character enter your imagination and then things click and everything, including your writing, falls into place. Try different things. 7226664If something does not work for you, try something different. Since I wasn’t a natural storyteller, one of the crucial elements for me was attending Robert McGee’s 4-day screenwriting seminar to learn the simple principles of writing a story; he also wrote a book on writing craft you might want to check out.

Once a story idea sparks for you, build the world, establish the rules, set and define your characters, and then envision the first scene. Write it out and keep on going; don’t look back or stop. Once you finish, then you can go back and polish your manuscript to your heart’s content. There’s a Chinese saying that translates to: Swim the whole length in one breath. That’s what I strongly, strongly advise. You’ll find the story builds momentum that way and the characters start coming alive. If you stop to polish and re-polish the first couple of chapters, you lose momentum…and imagination.

- Anything you would like to say to your fans out there?

Hell, yes. You guys have been wonderful, truly wonderful—supportive and loving. Thanks for all the emails and postings on my website’s guestbook. Love reading the great feedback. A special shout out to two special fans, Janon Swink and Candace Clemons, whom I met at the “Authors After Dark” readers-and-writers conference. They, along with Mima, another author I met there, inspired me to write MONA LISA ECLIPSING. I dedicated the book to the three of them. So, as you see, my fans are very important to me and dear to my heart.

- Thanks so much for being here!

You are most welcome. Thank you for inviting me. I had a delightful time!

Sunny_Red

Find Sunny Online:

Website

Buy Sunny’s Books:

Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

 

Review:

My ARC Review of Mona Lisa Eclipsing

 
NEW RELEASES:

April 5, 2011

March 25, 2011

Mona Lisa Eclipsing Mona Lisa Three

MONA LISA ECLIPSING
Monère Series #7
Read More | Order

MONA LISA THREE
eSpecial novella

Read More | Order

 

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56 Responses so far.

  1. CLMcCune says:

    I WANT this SOOO bad...I adore these books HAVE them all...
    +5 subscribe to Blog
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    +2 Of course I LIKE you!
    +1 added :)
    -----
    11 for me

    cindymac52(at)copper(dot)net

  2. Vivien says:

    Her covers really are gorgeous. Thanks for the giveaway. I've been wanting to give this a try.

  3. I agree, the covers chosen are amazing. Definitely fitting for the genre of book!

    kimbers10[at]yahoo[dot]com

  4. Calliope says:

    I love the Mona Lisa series and really hope it makes it all the way to Z!

  5. Maria says:

    The books sound great! would love to win. Thanks for the giveaway.

    m.ramey2ymail.com

  6. Danielle says:

    This might reveal my own blonde stupidity, but I had no idea the Monere series was named alphabetically. LOL! I feel so dim... but I do like the sound of 'Mona Lisa Falling'. Or maybe 'Mona Lisa Fighting' (though that could be a very different book)

    GREAT interview! I can't wait for more Monere!

  7. Jessica says:

    I would so love this. I stalked I mean visited Sunny's site often. Have yet to read one of her awesome sounding books though.

  8. I've been anticipating Mona Lisa's latest book. I was happy to see an email notifying me that it was finally coming out. Then to see that there is contest to maybe get it early/free? Woohoo! I am a fan and I find the men delicious in the book. Thanks for the great interview.

    lacrimsonfemme at gmail.com

  9. mpyff says:

    What a great interview! These books sound so good! I can't wait to check them out... Adding them to my ever-growing TBR list. :)

    Mandy P.

  10. I have been waiting on this for a while! Can't wait to read it!

  11. Dana says:

    Larissa thank you so much for interviewing and Sunny for answering! This was a great post and gives great insight into one of my favorite authors :)

  12. dor says:

    Super interview. The covers are great. Now, I have to read the other one.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  13. Sunny says:

    Hi Everyone! Thanks for dropping by. This is for the 1st 12 posts. A warm nod to the first 5 early-birders who began posting last night! I agree, the covers are fab! When I sold MONA LISA AWAKENING and met my editor, the only thing I asked regarding the book covers were that they be sensual and elegant, and they’ve definitely all been so.

    I don’t know about the series making it to Z, but will give it my best try.

    Danielle: Mona Lisa Fighting…I didn’t think of that one. Thanks for the suggestion.

  14. Sunny says:

    Jessica: Thanks for visiting my website so regularly!

    La Crimson Femme: Love your unique ID ~ The red flame. And here because of the newsletter, how nice! Did the newsletter come through okay? Someone forwarded it to me and all you couldn't read any of the text. I hope that was just a glitch that came from forwarding and not a problem with the actual newsletter.

    Dana: A special hug for listing me as one of your favorite authors!

  15. Such a great interview! I think it's so cool that you had your husband to help you create a world and bounce ideas off of.

    And Vampire Diaries should be one of everyone's favorite shows!

    Mare

  16. Sunny says:

    Mare/Tommy Girl: I agree, my hubby's the best. And he's my only support; I don't have any beta readers. Whenever I get stuck, I ask him for for some fresh ideas. I don't always use them, LOL, but it usually stimulates some other scene or angle I can use :)

  17. Tore says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. I really want to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  18. Michelle says:

    I would imagine the medical training leaves you a nice option to go back to should you choose...and allows you to make some of your story points more realistic...

  19. Sunny says:

    Hi Tor, thanks for dropping by.

    Michelle: Yes, being a doctor is definitely a great back-up. Funny you should make that comment. I'm actually returning to practice medicine.

  20. Lisa says:

    I love learning about authors thank you for bring such a complete interview!

  21. Jenny says:

    Such a great interview! I have to agree with her on The Host, I wasn't sure I was going to like that one since I don't read too much SciFi, but the characters and story were unbelievable and I got sucked right in! I've read her story in the On The Prowl anthology, but I haven't read any of the full length ones, so yet another series to add to my list!

  22. Sunny says:

    Lisa: I love reading about other authors also and how they came to being published.

  23. Sunny says:

    Jenny: I you liked ON THE PROWL, you will absolutely luuuuvv the short novella, MONA LISA THREE. Just out to day as a $2.99 eSpecial single release. Features Mona Lisa'a first menage with Gryphon and Amber. Was previously published in the anthology, OVER THE MOON, a NYT bestseller.

  24. Tracy says:

    First, I counted my entries under my real name, Tracy Riva and under my yahoo mail account, instead of under my Google handle and mail account so I guess I have to re-do them after this comment. Sorry.

    I haven't read the Mona Lisa series yet, though it sounds like it's fascinating and it is definitely on my TBR list now. Actually, I can't wait to read it so I'll probably move the first books in the series to the top of my list so I can catch-up.

    I would love to win "Mona Lisa Eclipsing" and start from there, then go back to the beginning, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Larissa, you bring such interesting authors and books to everyone's attention. I love your blog.

    Sunny, I'm glad to see you prefer reading. I'm a writer but I read like crazy so you give unpublished writers like me a role model. You're doing so well and you still love to read. Let's me know that despite the hurdles in the road I'm on the right track.

  25. I've read the short story in On the Prowl and my goal is to have them all. Really enjoyed the short story. Thanks so much for the interview.

  26. Sunny says:

    Hi Tracy. A fellow writer--cool! I have the greatest admiration for people like you who seriously write and knew they wanted to do so early on. I strongly encourage you to continue.

    Melissa: Another On The Prowl reader. Wasn't Patricia Briggs story fabulous?

  27. Laura says:

    ohh, that sounds interesting. I haven't read most of these books but i will get to them soon
    thanks for the giveaway :)

  28. I love the Monere Series; looking forward to the newest installment. Thank you for reminding me about Lady Hawk, I love that movie and now I'm going to have to find it again.

  29. Justme39 says:

    Well this is my last time. I have tried and tried to do this blog thing. I love the Monere books, but I have to make a living in order to do my hobby, which is reading all the wonderful books out there. I am new to contests and blogging. Seems I cant get it write. Maybe this time. Work is coming up quickly. Thanks Jo

  30. i truly enjoyed the blog. I have a hard time catching up on things via the net. It truly was an awesome read. Keep up the great work!

    Thank you very much

    P.S. You got me playing catchup on all my internet reads ;D

  31. I have enjoyed all the books in this series. Interested to see what will come next.

  32. I haven't read anything yet by Sunny, but I'm always up to try something new!!

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  33. This is awesome! I can't wait to read these!

  34. Rachel says:

    I would love to win this book!

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    hopester777 at gmail dot com

  35. meggerfly says:

    Her covers a beautiful. I'd love to win this!

    rootml1@hotmail.com

  36. Jami says:

    Hi Sunny,
    Love your books. I enjoyed your interview. Hoping to meet you if you come to California.

  37. *yadkny* says:

    Hi Sunny!
    Seriously your books have haunted me since I found them a couple of years ago and I mean that in a good way. The Monère series is just one those series that stay with you forever and I've not found anything else like it. It's unpredictable and sexy and I'm so excited about the next one and can't wait to dive back into this incredible world that you've built. You're one of my favorite authors! I am very excited to hear that there will be another Mona Lisa story (title suggestion: Mona Lisa Floating, but Falling still sounds better). I've already pre-ordered the latest, but definitely wouldn't say no to a signed copy:)

    CONGRATS on the release and best wishes on your continued success!!!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

  38. Sunny says:

    Wow, more people dropping by. Thanks and welcome!

    Stacy: Love hearing that :)

    Jami: California sounds wonderful. New York had a dreadful winter with an unusually heavy amount of snow.

  39. Sunny says:

    Yadkny: A super big smooch goes out to you for the absolutely sweetest post.

    And you absolutely MUST drop by on March 28th (this Monday) and enter my $100 Amazon Gift Card contest. You get 500 extra entry points by showing proof of your pre-order of MONA LISA ECLIPSING, which you already did :)

    And thanks for the title suggestion.

  40. OMGOMGOMG! I saw "Sunny" and flipped! I stumbled across "Mona Lisa Awakening" last April or May, bought it, and tucked it into the pile of TBR books I have. Then I finally picked it up and read it on the way to work - was blown away. Quickly went through all the other ones on offer - and now a new one is coming out! Yay! Thanks so much Larissa for posting this and thanks to you Sunny for hanging out - and for writing such blatantly awesome books! Thanks guys! :)

  41. I love everything about this series, and can't wait to read more! Sunny is definitely on my favorite list.

    I don't know if you are still answering any q's but I was wondering; When is the next Lucinda book coming out? And, was your background in medicine the inspiration behind Mona Lisa working at the hospital?

    Great interview Larissa, thanks!

  42. Pantera says:

    Thank you for the Post!!!!

    :)

  43. JMR says:

    I love Sunny's books and have read the all of the books of the series. This site is great and could become my new fave. Larissa Ione is also one of my favorites.

  44. Sunny says:

    Amy. Had to post a reply after reading your comment. Wow, you just made my night! Sending lots of hugs and kisses your way... :)

  45. Katie says:

    I have read some of her books! can't wait to read this one. Thank you!

    katie_tp(at)yahoo(dot)com

  46. Sunny says:

    Hoping4More. What a cool handle. Sorry, no more Lucinda books planned, although some of those characters may show up in future Monere books.

    No, my medical background had pretty much nothing to do with inspiring my Monere series. My hubby wanted me to write a medical thriller, but to me, medicine is boring. I liked hot romances much better :)

  47. I love Sunny's writing and Mona Lisa is a great character... love her and her men. REally intrigued with the rumor that Mona Lisa has a menage with her men in the future.



    total points on the form 17

  48. Loved the interview, the Monere Series sounds great I'll be checking for it now.

    faefever25@hotmail.com

  49. I have been looking at Sunny's books now for a while but never saw a review....yes, I'm new to the blogging world...sigh.

    I'm so interested in these books. They sound great!

    blazesandbubbles(at)gmail(dot)com

  50. lindseye says:

    I did not realize I should be waiting for the new book but now that I do know, I need to go back and get caught up. Looking forward to finding out what happens next.

  51. Lori says:

    Great Interview. I love this series and can't wait to read the new book. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.

    ladyrogue(at)ymail(dot)com

  52. winnie says:

    Thanks for the chance! I've been wanting to read these!

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

  53. Laura H. says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love these covers, especially "Mona Lisa Darkening"! I'll be adding these to my TBR list.

    BornajhawkATaolDOTcom

  54. Julie S says:

    This series sounds really interesting. Thanks for the interview.

  55. Thank you so much for this awesome giveaway. I am glad to enter in it and also thanks for the interview with Sunny. I feel I learned a lot about her and her books. I so want to read them soon.

    ChiKittie(at)gmail(dot)com

  56. Leni says:

    Your story about writing those papers for English class the night before they were due brought back so many memories. I had to smile.

    lenikaye@yahoo.com

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