Monday, December 3, 2012

TBR welcomes Sonya Clark

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Sonya. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Sonya: I grew up an Army brat and now live in Tennessee with my husband and baby. I love to write paranormals with an emphasis on magic and my writing is always influenced by the music I love.

TBR: Tell us about RED HOUSE and where it's available.
Sonya: RED HOUSE is the second in the Mojo series, the follow-up to MOJO QUEEN. It's available from Lyrical Press and other online retailers.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Sonya: Here's the blurb:

There's high water everywhere and she's about to drown on dry land.

Roxie Mathis lost her home and her livelihood to a devastating flood. She's lucky to be staying with her vampire ancestor Daniel but she wants to put the pieces of her life back together. Trouble is, Roxie's lost her mojo. The trauma of almost drowning and losing her home left a deep mark on her.

Blake Harvill left a mark on her too and she's been missing him in the four months since he left town. Now he's back with plans to stay. Roxie wants him like she's never wanted anyone else but can she trust the sexy sorcerer with her guarded heart?

Hired to evict ghosts from the bed and breakfast called Maple Hill, her confidence takes another hit when she encounters a violent spirit she's crossed paths with in the past. When the spirit traps innocent people in the house Roxie's going to have to tap reservoirs of magic she's never touched before. Like physics, everything in magic has an equal and opposite reaction, and Roxie can only hope her desperate spellwork won't kill her--or conjure up something even more dangerous.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Sonya: In May of 2010, Middle and West Tennessee experienced what was called a 500 Year Flood. Nashville was the largest city to suffer major damage from it. Having already set Mojo Queen in Nashville, I had two choices for my fictional world: pretend it didn't happen, or see how it affected my characters. My main character Roxie has lost her house in the flood and is now living with her vampire ancestor Daniel. She's dealing with a lot of trauma, even though she knows she's lucky to have a place to stay. When I was brainstorming for a plot I started to wonder how entities on the spirit plane would react to that much natural energy being unleashed. Would an event like that create chaos for ghosts and spirits just like it did for people? I decided the answer was yes and cooked up a plot about a house experiencing a sudden haunting thanks to dispossessed ghosts.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Sonya: I pantsed Red House and it took three forevers to write. Had a lot of trouble with it. The next book I wrote with an outline and the process went much smoother. I think every book is different though. Some need an outline, some don't. Sometimes a story might even resist the process of outlining and you have to write it by the seat of your pants.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Sonya: I've tried character charts and while they help me pin down a few details, the only way for me to really develop a character is to write that character. Their voice will start to form and after a while - unfortunately there's no set number of scenes it takes for this to happen - something will happen in the story that provides that click, and I know who the character is. Sometimes that can mean going back and making changes, but that's okay. It's worth it.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Sonya: For the Mojo books I listen to a lot of blues, soul, even some classic country. In short, Southern music. Roxie is a paranormal investigator but she's also a witch who practices hoodoo, a type of folk magic (not to be confused with Voodoo or Vodou, a religion.) After I made that decision I gave her my fondness for blues, some of which is full of hoodoo references. Her vampire ancestor Daniel is the one who likes classic country. He loves to belt out Harper Valley PTA on karaoke night.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Sonya: Roxie and I would have a lot to talk about. Her boyfriend, a sexy sorcerer named Blake, has revealed layers I didn't know he had. But I think my choice would have to be Daniel. He's not your typical vampire and he still has a lot of secrets. He needs to share those secrets!

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Sonya: I didn't want Roxie to practice a generic form of magic. While writing the first book, Mojo Queen, I was listening to a lot of old blues. At some point I decided to make her a hoodoo practitioner and that changed the tone of the world and her character. I don't know if there are other urban fantasy/paranormal romance books that feature hoodoo, but if there are I don't think there are many. So that's something a little different.

TBR: What's next for you?
Sonya: I am very slowly working on another book. Right now I'm trying to work out how and when to write while taking care of my new baby daughter. There's a lot of trial and error to it, but I'll work it out. J

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Sonya:  My home base on the web is at Readers can find out more about my books and find links to me on social networks.

I'm giving away a digital copy of Red House to one lucky commenter. Please leave your email address so I can contact you. If you'd like, share some of your own favorite blues or soul songs. The winner will be announced on Friday, December 7. 

Second chance to win!
I'm throwing a Twitter release party Wednesday, Dec 5 from 8 to 10 PM central time. I'm going to play songs from the book's playlist, talk about the book a little, answer any questions if I get any, and give away a copy - using the hashtag #redhouse. Join me @sonyabclark!

Cate, thank you so much for hosting me!

TBR: Thanks so much for being a guest, Sonya! Best of luck to you.


  1. Welcome Sonya! Can't wait to read The Red House. I loved Mojo Queen. :) Congrats on the Carina contract - very exciting!

  2. Hi Sonya. Your book does sound a bit different. I've never heard of hoodoo. Of course I'm not very worldy. lol.

    I'm going to have to try one of these out. The premise is intriguing.

    Good luck with the sales.

  3. Okay first off thank you Sonya for hosting this great author and second is WOW! These two books sound wonderful !!! Great success with the sales and love your choice of music for the writing of these two books . Daniel and Blake sound yummy . Can't wait to read both books even if I don't win will pick them up. Again Thank you both. great interview .oh and p.s. good luck everyone.

    1. is my email sorry .

  4. Hi everybody! Thanks for commenting and Cate, thanks for hosting! :)

  5. Hi Sonya your book sounds great and I love the cover its gorgeous .Have an amazing week.

  6. Hi Sonya. Love, love, love the cover and your reason for writing Red House. Congrats.

  7. Thanks to everyone who commented! The winner is Cathy Wellman. I'll be emailing the book to you right away. :)


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