Today’s sexy scribe spends a lot of ink weaving tales about princesses, superheroes, sorceresses, and a little bit of sex. Sonya Lano writes ‘for love, for lovers, for anyone who loves romance and the bond between one living, breathing human and another’. Her erotic fantasy writing career began in 2012 with the novel Never Trust a Prince. Since then, she’s added nine more novels to her roster – including her latest, The Ever Spirits.
Read on as Sonya dishes on how she avoids writers’ block, parallel universes, and why most of her male characters are virgins.
In a few sentences, tell us a little about yourself.
When I was twenty-two, I left home to live in a city of spires. I’ve danced at glittering balls and had my heart broken in a foreign country. I found love on cobblestone streets, married in a fairy-tale castle, and divorced in a court of tears. Been celibate ever since. Oh, and I want to save the world 🙂
What do you love most about the craft of writing?
When it’s like stepping off the top of a building and soaring. When it takes my breath away and makes another world come alive in a heartbeat. When the characters race down dark corridors fleeing a shadowy foe or climb onto silken sheets with a shady lover, no thought of regret.
In short: the stories, the excitement, the adventure and the love!
Tell us about your latest project.
I’m exploring a descent story of an angry girl and her romance with a psychotic guy in a world that’s falling apart. It’s inspired by (but definitely NOT based on) the relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker. The story swings between achingly romantic and crazy action (or at least that’s what it feels like when I’m inside it!)
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was twelve, I read this book. The details are faded, but from what I recall of the story, teens were being possessed by spirits of long-dead artists and were forced to paint or compose masterpieces while the souls of the masters feverishly poured out their genius through these kids. I realized these characters chose me to tell their tales, like the souls of the masters in that book I read when I was twelve. I’m a writer sooner than I’m a person.
What drew you to writing romance/erotica?
I guess the reason I started was wish-fulfilment. However, the reason I write it now is because it’s just so much fun watching the interaction: the heated arguments, the banter, the fight, the play, just all of it.
Which book(s) have influenced your writing style the most?
The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and Unteachable by Leah Raeder (now Elliot Wake). Elliot Wake and Laini Taylor are masterful wordsmiths. Seriously. I bang my head on the wall when I even think of selling books in the same market as they do!
Share a piece of your work that showcases your writing style best.
This scene is from I, Ruin, set in a fiberglass forest in the future. My heroine, Cascade, and her guy, Lunar (who has wings that turn into knife blades), are about to break into a secret facility with a trapdoor entrance hidden on the forest floor. Cascade has just said that the door has no outer handles because it’s only meant to be opened from the inside:
Lunar rocks back, arms crossed over his open jacket. “How you gonna open it then?”
“I’m not going to.” I eye him up and down, loving his sly smile under that gleaming black hair. “My knight in knife wings is going to hook his wing blades under the door and open it.”
“Yeah?” He lifts an eyebrow. “Only one problem with that. I’m not up for free use.”
“Oh, so what’s your fee?”
He flicks his eyes up and down my body. “Too high for you to pay in one go. But we can agree to a payment plan. Small installments at regular intervals.” He lets a lazy grin curve his lips. “’Cause I like you.”
I smother a laugh. “Fine, extortionist.” I move to hunker down, but his next words stop me.
“You would like paying it.” He steps close, his boots stirring the plants and whirling up the scents of lemon and sage. His hands slip over my shoulders, his mouth by my ear. “Every day, every night… I’d make sure you paid every bit.”
“Greedy bastard.” It’s not an insult, though, because my words come without bite, without power, as I turn and face him, my fingers grasping his leather jacket.
“Patient bastard, you mean. I remember this outfit, you know.” He fingers the sash dangling around my waist. “The way you walked in it, those tassels like teases close to your hips. I imagined teaching them a lesson, though, by doing this.” He tugs on the sash’s ties and it slips off in a quiet rustle over his fingers. He holds my gaze as he winds their flutter around his palm, then lifts the soft threads to my wrist and slides them up my arm in a silken caress. “I wanted to unwrap the untouchable.”
“I was never untouchable for you.”
His knuckles pause near my shoulder. “Unreachable then. Every time I got close to actually talking to you, you would turn away, look down, talk to Anza, raise your hand to offer some tidbit to an eager professor.”
“You were afraid.”
“Of what? Why would I be afraid?”
“You tell me.” His breath grazes my brow. “You were the one running.”
“I’m not afraid now.” But my caged heartbeat thumping against my ribs refutes that, as well as the shiver under the sun-warmed threads tickling my shoulder.
My shaking hands slip the sash from his. “I’m not running anymore.” I half embrace him, my exhalations erratic near his neck while my unsteady fingers knot the sash around his waist. “I can’t run anymore.” My next words whisper up against his pulse: “You’ve got me wrapped around you.”
~’I’m a writer sooner than I’m a person.’~
Name three of your best writing tips.
No one can write your story, so don’t give up.
If you’ve hit a block in your story and don’t know what next, add ninjas.
The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the you of yesterday.
Dead or alive, name the writer you wish were your mentor and why.
Hard choice! I love Laini Taylor, but I’d have to say Elliot Wake (formerly Leah Raeder) would be a better mentor – for me in particular – because his stories address pretty dark themes, which my stories often do, too.
What would you say is your own interesting writing quirk?
I got so sick while growing up of reading about men who screw like they have no self-control that I make almost all my main male love interests virgins. I figure if a girl can think ‘I haven’t met the right guy yet, so why should I screw just anyone?’, why couldn’t a guy think the same?
Shout out an indie writer whose work you love.
I honestly really, really love my co-author Iris Ng-Bakalar’s writing style (she co-authored No One to Save Her with me). Her writing is fantastic. I also fell wildly in love with Tanaquill by Akalle and it’s free on Amazon.
Do you have any specific writing goals in your radar?
Improve enough to become a bestselling author and save the world! And thanks so much for having me here!
Thanks for joining us today. Readers, feel free to stalk this sexy author at the following links:
Website & Blog: https://sonyalano.com/