The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Sonya Jesus! Author of Thirty-One Kissesand her newly released book, Shook which released on September 30th 2020.
How long have you been writing?
I started off writing poetry in my pre-teen years, ventured into songwriting, and then expanded into novels. In 2006, I wrote my first full length (which has not been published yet). Eleven years later, I published the Knights Series. There’s about fifteen books in between, which will one day come to the public. It took me a long time to get the courage to publish. My friend, Cam Johns, showed me the ropes.
Describe a typical writing day.
I get my best writing down in the mornings. When I start my day, I sit at my desk in silence and do some morning pages, where I write down every thought that pops into my head for one or two pages. This is the brain dump to get the real world down on paper. After, I do my writing warm-ups (these often lead to some of my favorite chapters in books). Then I get into the fictional world of whatever project I am working on.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Oh, good question. It’s different for each one. Like for The Bullet Theory, it started with those three words and a theory. I sat with the idea for a few months before Nolan Mills and Eleanor Devero formed in my mind. For Brutal and Raw, I wanted to do a Mafia book and add psychological elements to it. The point was to be dark; I didn’t intend for it to come out quite so dark. But I love it. It’s emotional, twisted, and touches on some horrible things that happen in the world.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.
HAWK! Because his profile captures the evolution of a stalker into a serial killer. He’s the ultimate bad guy: manipulative, cute, secretive. You don’t see it coming. To be honest, I really enjoy writing my villains. Their desires drive my plots. The love comes in between.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
My favorite scenes are the emotional ones. This is where I connect to my characters at a cellular level. I feel their pain, their loss, their hate. I get so wrapped up in their world that it usually ends up with a lot of empty tissue boxes in the real world. Aside from some unreleased books (the tear jerkers I have saved for a later time), “Brutal and Raw” made me cry the most. It’s probably why book two has taken me awhile to write. It’s dark and devastating.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Unicorn, Strong, and Stubborn.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
The suspense… But it takes me a bit to think of innovating twists (those are my thing). Unless it’s on purpose and essential to the plot, I try not create characters with similar characteristics and back stories. I rather have characters cross over between seires. To me, my characters all exist in the same world at the same time. So, for example, Kelsie from “31 Kisses” crosses over into “Six Deadly Steps”. Dr. Nolan Mills hints about Breaker’s world in “The Bullet Theory”. You don’t need to read these books to enjoy the story, but it helps me keep my characters fresh on my mind.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
Hmm. TZE. Is all I can say for now. The second instalment to Dr. Nolan Mills.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Don’t get bogged down with social media and stop comparing yourself to other authors. It holds you back.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
That I appreciate the people who read my books and/or follow me online. I check in often and love to get to know new readers
Thank you Sonya Jesus for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out Thirty-One Kisses today!
After his right-hand man, my father, was murdered, Costa Beneventi took me in and adopted me. He gave me a home when my life was falling apart and promised me vengeance when my heart was breaking. I’m not the little mafia princess my dad raised anymore. I’m the assassin the Beneventis created. The mafia might have saved my life, but it sacrificed my heart. With every life I take, there’s a little less of me left… The only thing keeping me from losing all of myself is #31 on the Beneventi hit list.
The Beneventi family killed my mother in front of me, put a hit on us and savagely killed my father, incriminating me. They orphaned me, tore me away from my life, and forced me into an endless lifetime of pretending to be everything I’m not. After all the fake identities and countless friends I never made, I’ve finally set down roots. Now, I’ve grown attached to this new life—to these new people—but I messed up. As long as I have the one thing that can bring the Beneventis down and clear my father’s name, no one is safe around me, especially not the girl I have fallen for.
Sonya’s a science nerd who decided to give into her creative fictional side in order to balance out the non-fictional scientific side of her PhD. She doesn´t have much free time, but she spends it enjoying her family and friends, watching Netflix and playing with her dogs.