Thursday, August 15, 2013

Interview with Author Sonia Ray

Sonia Lea Ray
Benton, MO

Welcome to Vision and Verse, Sonia.  What have you written?
Hi Carol! Thanks so much for the interview.  My first work to be published is Sweet Tea.  It is a Paranormal Romance and the first book in a seven-volume series called The Three Crowns (T3C).  Sweet Tea will be coming out October 15, 2013.  Here is the blurb:

Elizabeth Lancaster’s life appears normal.  In Lizzie’s world of horses, friends, boundaries, and sweet tea, there is no room for paranormal beliefs, though secrets loom around her in the shadows nonetheless.  But before Lizzie can begin to understand the power of these secrets, or the plan fate has in store for her, Lizzie must try and discover what lies within the mysteries of her own heart.

When a mysterious stranger comes to Fox Meadows, fate steps out of the shadows.  Unexplainable events begin to occur in Lizzie’s life, as well as in her dreams, creating fear, yet eliciting in her a strange notion of wonder at the possibilities.  But Lizzie’s eyes are unable to believe what she sees.  Her lack of experience with affairs of the heart cause her to mistrust her emotions.  She convinces herself that there is an explanation, and these bizarre, and even frightening occurrences must somehow be tied to her unexpected crush on her best friend Rob Jacobs, and her intense draw to the intoxicating stranger, Cain Atchley.

Lizzie’s path to self-discovery becomes twisted, dark, and at times, wicked.  Caught between the passions of two men, Lizzie must follow the path laid before her, and wake the mysteries sleeping in her soul.  Her journey begins with the story of The Three Crowns. 

Sounds interesting!  We'll certainly check it out.  What is your favorite genre to write?
I love writing Paranormal Romance, but I don’t want to put myself in a box when it comes to my imagination and stories that flood my mind.  I have other books that are waiting patiently for me to complete in the genres of Chic-Lit and Fantasy.  I would love to venture out and write a good mystery and it is a goal of mine to write a spine tingling horror story.  As I mentioned before, Sweet Tea is a seven-novel series in which I wrote in 2010.  Behind Sweet Tea is another four-novel series which is YA/Paranormal.  I have a Chic-Lit that was very fun to write (and sexy), behind that, I ventured back into the paranormal world with Fae.  A lot of work out there - it just needs the attention of my Editor.

Favorite food:
I can always eat pizza! A spinach salad with roasted shrimp and vinaigrette dressing is always a delight. As for desserts - anything chocolate will do, but I favor cheesecake. Oh, and of course, my favorite drink would be sweet tea.

Where would you like to visit?
I live in Missouri and have not done much travelling so I would like to visit every state.  We live in a beautiful country with each state holding its own significant beauty.  I want to also travel outside of the states.  In Sweet Tea I mention Australia, Ireland and the Bahamas--there is a big world out there.  I want to see it and experience it!

If you can, go to Venice.  It is wonderful.  Who is your favorite musical artist?
This is a difficult one for me.  I love all kinds of music and have favorites for different reasons. You have to feel music just like you have to feel the words to a good book. It would be impossible for me to pick a favorite musical artist. 

How old were you when you started writing?
I have always written in one form or another, and I did it because I enjoyed writing.  But Sweet Tea is the first work that I have considered publishing.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Life and a BIG imagination!

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
I step away from the computer, pull out some old CDs and belt out some old favorites.  I love to sing - especially with my brother, but unfortunately life is busy and we are unable to get together very often. Yeah, for me, music and writing goes hand-in-hand.  

Who is your favorite author?
Just like music, I have favorite Authors for different reasons.  It would be impossible to name just one.

Best book you ever read.
Sweet Tea :) I love reading anything paranormal and have many favorites in that genre, but I like to read all kinds of books.  I would have to say my favorite story of all time is Pride and Prejudice.  

Name the one person who has influence your personal life the most and why?
Well, I actually have two.  That would be my kids.  It becomes a different world when you have two little beings looking at you.  Although mine are not little any more, they are still my kids and I love them very much.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Hmmm.  That is a good question.  My mind first traveled to dead people and there are several that I think it would be interesting to talk to.  But I would want to talk to someone that I know who would inspire and be encouraging; especially with my aspirations on being a writer. I think I would have to go with someone living today.  Someone that I probably will never meet, but he has had a huge influence on my writing and my work becoming published.  I would like to sit down and chat with my Editor, John Cameron McClain, just to give him a sincere ‘thanks’ and buy him a Stout.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?
YOU MUST HAVE A GREAT EDITOR! Having a professional Editor is a MUST in writing a good book.  Choose one that you connect with and one you feel comfortable in expressing yourself (but for clarity, your Editor is ALWAYS right ;) The journey of being an Author is not for the faint at heart.  You have to have thick skin and believe in yourself and in your work.  And on those days when the block hits, your Editor sends back a manuscript that is solid red, and you just wonder what the hell you are doing; this is when you dig your feet in a little bit deeper and carry on.  Don’t ever, ever give up!

A special thank you to Carol Kauffman for the interview and a spot on Vision and Verse - greatly appreciated!

You are very welcome, Sonia.  It has been our pleasure.  And when the cover of Sweet Tea comes out, send it over and we'll post it.
I will.
Sonya Ray
Author of The Three Crowns series

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