WE SAT DOWN WITH THE LOVELY SUNNIVA DEE TO TALK ABOUT HER BEST SELLING _SHATTERING HALOS_ AND ALSO MY FAVORITE F WORD!

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“Shattering Halos, my “firstborn,” has been in the making since December 2011. I pumped out the first draft in a month. Then I spent eighteen months rewriting. Revising. Polishing—polishing—POLISHING! Long story short: if you were inside my head right now, you’d be scared because I’m all over the place. For me, to be able to see my own work published, in the hands of readers, and on a daily basis receive happy messages from someone who loves it, is just mindboggling. I love my life!” Sunniva Dee

As you all know I’ve recently branched out into interviews! I love it. People seem to enjoy my take on poking the bears—(cough) authors, so here we are again!

I know some of you are wondering, but Logan, aren’t you a horror concierge? A gun toting gangster wanna-be aficionado? Yes to all of the above, but I do enjoy reading just about everything under the sun. With only a few exceptions, I am a book lover. I luffs them like I luffs cakes and pies. Mmmmm cakes and pies….

So here we are with the current new Jenny from the block in NA and paranormal romance. That’s right folks, it’s the Hollister genre (as I lovingly call it) with a bit of spice, because…supernatural!

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Sunniva, we are so excited you came to speak with us today! I know you are a pretty energetic person so tell me, are you doing cartwheels right now?

Sunniva: Yes! Cartwheels! *glances around suspiciously*
Are there candid cameras?

*makes note to add candid cameras*

I know that Shattering Halos is what we all came to hear about, but first, have a seat, take a glass of wine and let your hair down girl!

Give us the low down on behind the scenes. What type of things, vices even, keep you ticking? Outside of writing, like, what makes you have such a gorgeous glow? And don’t tell me you are an angel for reals unless… (gasp) are you?

Sunniva: No, seriously. ARE there cameras in here? I always have my hair down and wine keeps me going. I think it’s sooo good for you. (Moderation, schmoderation.) To the angel part: let’s not ask my husband. He might mention horns. Or hissy-fits. Unless he’s trying to be diplomatic.

Hissy-fits are right up my alley! Keep things passionate I always say.

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Okay. One more thing before we jump in. Is your house filled with angel knick-knacks? And do you ever wear wings and a halo to spice things for you and Mr. Dee?

Sunniva: As soon as I get home from my day job, I change into wings and a halo. I have yet to find a good halo that doesn’t hurt after a couple of hours. Plus…on me, they tend to fall off after a while. Shatter, even. Sometimes they don’t fall off. In which cases Mr. Dee has to…uh, remove them.

*blushes* Well I did ask, didn’t I?

All-righty then! It’s on to the interest of the hour _Shattering Halos!_ Oh my-oh my-oh my (this is what I say throughout most of your scenes). I don’t know how you manage to make your male characters extra spicy, but I hear that in this first of the series you gave a lot of ladies the swoon emoticon.
First, give us a low down overall of your book!

Sunniva: OK, SPOILER ALERT! I will now go into detail on everything worth knowing in Shattering Halos. After this, you can write an essay about it in school, kids, and never have to read it. No, I’m kidding. Basically, I wanted to write a story about angels. I wanted them to be total studs who plopped into ordinary girls’ lives. I didn’t want these girls to have special powers or be descendants of something supernatural. They needed to be regular humans, like you and me. Then, I wanted them all to get into tons of trouble together and have a nice, spicy chemistry as they did. And voila, you’ve got Shattering Halos.

That makes an unusual amount of sense for my show.

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Tell us about how you come up with such hotties?

Sunniva: Oh, that was the easy part. I have lots of imagination, and like most writers, I’m big on people-watching. All I needed was to piece together the perfect guys from traits and features of people around me. There are a lot of charismatic people out there!

Charismatic…or sexy?

Sunniva: *thinks really hard* BOTH!!

Let’s say I’m looking for an angel with some snark. Where would I find such a creature?

Sunniva: *raises hand and jerks it in the air* Oh-oh! I know! Pick me!!
That would be my Cassiel. He’s snarky, hot as hell, and absolutely impossible to resist. Ask Gaia.

Since I have a no abs policy, can you give us a brief descript for all our potential future Sunniva-lovers out there? Neck up! (I know, I know ladies, sorry.)

Sunniva: Oh, goody! Well, both of Cassiel’s ba… Sorry. Neck and up, you said. Rewinding.
The Shattering Halos’ boys are fallen and celestial angels. Cassiel (even from the neck and up) is sex personified and the devil in one hell of a stunning package, while Gabriel is eerily beautiful with a disturbingly perfect personality. One of them loooves to drive girls crazy. (Guess who?) The other can’t begin to fathom the reactions he draws.

And yep: together they’re dynamite.

Ok-so. Gabriel: good guy

Cassiel: fallen angel

And me

If there was a broadcast warning for this book, what would it be? Warning this book:

Sunniva: Watch out for… uh… stuff…coming your way in this…book here!

From zero to Fifty Shades how hot would you say the steamy scenes in your book are?

Sunniva: Now that I’ve finished the sequel, Stargazer? Probably at Forty. God, I don’t know. I’m actually number dyslexic, so I might be wrong. Maybe it’s Five??!

Question, can I borrow a halo for my weekend out?

Sunniva: Yes, but as I mentioned, they’re not all that comfortable. I’m actually acquiring a small factory in the Netherlands where they’re already working on much better prototypes. I’ll keep you posted—I’m definitely in need of venture capital for “Halos-R-Us” anyway, and I know you’re dying to get rid of some cash.

This sounds like the type of thing I need to buy stock in ASAP!

Characters. Do they take on a life of their own, or do you orchestrate and really guide them along?

Sunniva: Every time I think I can tell them what to do. It doesn’t last long, though, for them to do their own thing and even shock me. I’ve had readers tell me that no, what the characters are up to is my fault, but really that’s not true! Sometimes they just use me. Use me, I say! *sniffs loudly*

*hands tissues out* What? I’m not crying. I’m just allergic to this…laptop.

Now that I think about it though, mine seem to need an extra amount of guiding. Maybe that’s my problem, hmm?

This is me and mine…

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Where did you get the idea for this story?

Sunniva: I wanted to recreate exactly what Stephenie Meyer did in Twilight but with angels. Bwhaha! Sorry. I have to stop messing around. The truth is, though, that Twilight inspired me to start writing it. Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens fueled me in the revision stages for the hot chemistry and the unpredictable, flawed nature of her “heroine.” My stories come as I go. It’s like telling a fairy tale to a child on the fly. Then comes the hard work of going back and rewriting it into something that actually makes sense.

High-five!
Closet Twilight lover right here! While I’d never try and write something like it I wish I could. Don’t hate…besides, I’d have like… guns…blood and stuff.

Sunniva: Oh, I am picturing your version. So. Vividly… *muffles a shriek*

For people out there just starting out in this author gig, do you have any advice?

Sunniva: Like my old high school teacher wrote once as a comment on an essay I turned in (free translation from Norwegian:) “It’s a long, hard road to become an author. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it. Just don’t give up.” On a side note, I didn’t know I wanted to become a writer at the time. Needless to say, Mr. Rydning pops into my head quite a bit these days.

Some seriously great advice!

Give me a link to your fabulous book!

Sunniva: Oh well…since you insist:Click HERE!

Do you blog yo?

Sunniva: On Goodreads, I do:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191170.Sunniva_Dee/blog

And I love-love-love new friends on Goodreads as well as Facebook and Twitter. Find me, lovely people!
https://www.facebook.com/sunniva.dee

Sunniva, it’s rocked having you. Guys, don’t walk—run to get your paws on this one! Also, any fallen angels out there reading this, gimme a call.

Anything special going on?

Sunniva: FREE-TO-KINDLE DATES FOR SHATTERING HALOS!

Yep, your timing for this interview, Logan, is straight-out Celestial. For 5 days only—April 15th-19th, any reader with a Kindle app downloaded to any device, Kindle or not, can get it for free.

I’ll be posting a new, maybe too-hot? teaser on my FB page every day during that period. If you dare to share, you can get on my Rafflecopter giveaway too! *claps hands toddler-style with delight*.

Thank you so much for having me, Logan—you’re awesome! (Your “Unhinged” is still my guilty horror pleasure.)
xoxo

FREE! My favorite F word ever!
And why thank you for the compliment! But you are not getting these videos back of you cartwheeling in wings and a halo 😉

Since Logan absolutely insisted we celebrate spring, romance in the air, etc, etc with a flowers-and-Sunniva author picture, here you go.
Since Logan absolutely insisted we celebrate spring, romance in the air, etc, etc with a flowers-and-Sunniva author picture, here you go.

Insisting is the name of the game! Love the pic BTW!!!

That’s all she wrote folks. So until next time, stay armed and dangerous.

L

‘KICK’ back and relax in my fabulous interview session with John L. Monk!

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“Right now “Kick” has 65 reviews on Amazon, and a 4.7 star rating out of 5. When I first published, I’d hoped people would like the book, but I never expected the reaction I’ve gotten. I had a top 500 Hall of Fame Vine Voice reviewer say it was “one of the more entertaining and unique books” he’d read that year. Another Vine Voice reviewer also gave me a great review, and multiple reviewers made statements requesting a sequel. Over on Goodreads, I have a 4.3 rating (43 ratings/16 reviews), which is pretty good for Goodreads. I’m hugely flattered.” John L. Monk

I know I’ve whetted your appetite for this for far too long! Here it is folks,
John L. Monk rocks the house with our very first Loganesque interview.

*cue music as John enters*

So John, are you as stoked about this interview as I am?

John: Uh huh…

I’ll take that as a WAHOO!

I know you want to talk about your book Kick and we’ll get to that in a minute, but first relax man, have a seat, a drink, and tell us a little about your real life self. What cooks your noodle? Aka, what do like to do for fun, maybe tell us if you live in any special place, treehouse…what have you.

John: If I had to describe my hypothetical perfect day, it’d be coffee at 8:30am, reading 10 or so 5 star reviews on Amazon, going “wow” at the 300 or so purchases since last night, then opening my email to find notes from my author friends asking me “what’s your secret?!” Then I’d sit down and do some writing—and it’d all flow out of me like water! My wife would make me breakfast at some point (in a perfect world…), she’d feed the dogs, she’d walk the dogs, she’d yell into the room at some point, “hey you got 10 more 5 star reviews!” to which I’d reply, “Uh, yeah…kinda late, huh? Pssht…” Around Noon-thirty I’d take a nap, then wake up for more coffee and a few more emails, then I’d write some more, then play some video games, then maybe grill something outside. In other words, everything I do on Saturday, minus the reviews, sales, wife-made breakfast, and Noon-thirty nap. Man I’m boring, huh?

So what you are saying is that you want my life? *blinks*

We love your book Kick! But let me ask you a bit about your writing process. Yes, we want to know all about that too because lots of writers out there are just starting this gig and need to know what it takes. So, give us some info about how you come up with your ideas.

John: I get my best ideas usually right before I fall asleep. Then I have to get up, go downstairs and write them down or I absolutely will forget them. When I’m writing, I don’t normally get new ideas about plot changes. I just write out the events of the story as best I can (it’s usually awful), and occasionally I have little flashes of creativity that turn “awful” into “possibly fixable.” Generally, I re-read my chapters as a way of kick-starting my daily writing session, and I tweak it a little here and there, shape it. When I’m done with the first draft of the entire manuscript, I re-read it about 50000 times and cut/chop it into something hopefully better. My general philosophy is that every scene has to be interesting. If it’s not, I either fix it or nix it.

Kick-starting…? Get it? Had to point out that little pun to our readers…with a blow horn.

How do you get pumped for writing?

John: I’m very rarely pumped for writing. When I am, it’s usually after a really good movie or TV show like “Justified” where the writing is simply incredible. Good books do the same thing, but obviously they’re more of a time sink (and yet, you must dedicate time to reading good books if you want to succeed). I’m usually pumped when I first start something—the words come flying out of me. This is one of the reasons why some people have described “Kick” as episodic. It’s basically three consecutive “adventures” by the same character. Very easy to write because I got to write “something new” each time.

That’s actually quite a neat idea! An episodic market maybe?

Editing. What are a few must do’s for a writer in this portion of the craft?

John: I’m currently reading a book called “It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences” by June Casagrande. It’s dense, meticulous reading, but it’s absolutely brilliant. Before that, I read “How not to write a novel” by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. Before that, it was another book on grammar that Stephen King recommended. Before that it was a book on self-editing. I have a bunch of links on my blog to various sites that talk about editing. Whatever a writer can do to make sure their work is perfectly polished, they should. Can we break the rules? Sure, but it’s good to know the rules so that any breaking is our idea. Before I submit the sequel to “Kick” for professional editing (a must), I will re-read Casagrande’s book again, just to shore up my basics.

I think you summed that up quite nicely.

Okay, Kick it is! Go: (tell us about your awesome book!)

John: Kick is a vigilante story with a supernatural twist. It’s about Dan, a guy who commits suicide in college, who’s able to come back into the world of the living by possessing the bodies of bad people. He pops up in their body, in full control, and basically lives his life the way he pleases. He eats at restaurants, reads novels, goes to the movies, goes fishing, and when he’s not too busy, he helps people in need. After about 3 weeks, he’ll start to get kicked (kind of like a sneeze, without the tissues). Before he’s kicked completely out of the body, he makes sure his “ride” can’t hurt anyone. It’s a little like Dexter meets Quantum Leap.

If your book had a broadcast alert how would it finish? Beeeeeeep, beeeeep, beeeep, warning this book:

John: This book will make you hungry. I’m actually not kidding. The main character doesn’t have any friends, so he tends to focus on food for enjoyment. People always say, “enjoy the little things.” But for Dan, all he has is the little things.

Ok, now that I LIKE!

Any R rated parts of your book?

John: There’s bad language, but mostly by others, and not the main character. There’s gruesome murder and sexually suggestive (and dark) material, but nothing explicitly X-rated. I’m not into the “blow by blow” analysis, if you follow me…

Got it. Your answer is nearly R rated for my blog…if you follow me.

When I googled your book, it did come up first. However, there was another similar named book below it. Tell me, have you contacted them and asked them to change it?

John: Nope. There’s a book called “Kick” about a soccer player. That’s two different kinds of Kicks, which is allowed under the Geneva Convention. If it becomes an issue one day, I’ll deal with it then.

Let us know when you do! I have a new video camera.

What’s next? Besides being poised for stardom, I’d love to know what else we should expect to come our way.

John: Sometime in October I’ll be published in an anthology called “For Whom The Bell Trolls”. Other than that, I’m working on a sequel to “Kick”. I’m trying to limit any short story writing and/or excessive blogging until I’m done with the first draft, because it’s easy to get sidetracked.

Lady Gaga calls her fans “Little Monsters”, can we start calling your fans “Little Monksters”?

John: It’s funny, I had a blog post that talked about that. I wanted to call my fans “Lava Demons” but everyone thought “Monkeys” made more sense. I still like Lava Demons…just saying.

Monkeys it is!

Where is your blog?
http://john-l-monk.com

Where can we buy your book?
http://amzn.com/B00DSPPTA0

Where can we show up unexpectedly with our luggage?

John: The airport! Hah, wasn’t that a clever answer? That’s the kind of clever you can expect if you buy my book. Except in my book, everything is even more clever. But to answer your question (less cleverly): I live in Virginia.

I think you monkeys know how to do your own stalking so…now you have a reference and state!

Thanks again, John! I know I enjoyed having you and wish you luck. Let us know when the second one comes out so we can question you again, even harder 😉

John & Family!
John & Family!

So that’s all, people. Check out John’s book and stay tuned as I hunt (cough) search out my next author to put on my trophy wall!

L