This week I’m super excited about continuing one of my favorite blog features, putting authors in the hot seat for a one-on-one interview! This week I interviewed author Sienna Mynx! This Miami, Florida native has virtually blown the doors off the interracial/multicultural romance genre with her more than two dozen books published in less than a year!
Sienna Mynx’s books are well developed, over the top and downright sexy! So much so, she’s amassed a large following of readers who faithfully gobble up her books with each new release.
Never heard of Sienna Mynx? Well here’s your chance to find out more.
Sienna Mynx wrote her first book at the ripe old age of seven. “My mom still has the notebook. I even drew the bubbles out of the characters’ mouths.”
But she didn’t realize she wanted to become a fulltime author until 2009 when she launched The Divas Pen. “When I came up with the idea of The Divas Pen, a website I use to promote my own work, that’s when I knew I was serious about being a full-time writer.”
Like most writers, Sienna works full time as a Program Manager for a technology company in Atlanta, Georgia. So I wondered how was she able to keep up an active publishing schedule that would make most fulltime authors’ heads spin. “When I was focusing on one book at a time I easily managed my writing between my job. I would dedicate weekend and early morning hours to it. Now that I write several novel length stories and have self-imposed deadlines, I’m beginning to feel the strain. I write whenever I can squeeze in a moment. Soon I will have to make a decision about this being my full time commitment. Scary, because we authors don’t make a lot at this. But well worth it when you’re living your dream.”
Time management is essential for authors. If you don’t use your time efficiently, you can pretty much sabotage your career. According to Sienna she’s able to fit in her writing when others are asleep. “I work about 12 hour days. So, I usually rise around four a.m. and start writing until six. I usually write from my comfy chair in the living room. But if I have my necies (who some times live with me) I retreat to my room. I write all day on Sunday’s and nights on Saturdays. I guess my only routine is that I keep my laptop handy to write when the mood strikes me.”
And this routine seems to work for Sienna because from conceptualization to the official release of a book, it takes her anywhere from six months to a year to see a book to fruition. And that’s pretty exceptional since she’s responsible for editing, book design, and all the marketing.
If you’ve ever read one of Sienna’s books or looked at her extensive backlist you’ll see that her books are set in unusual settings and feature out of the box characters! Take for example her book Buttercup. Set in a carnival, the story feaures a smorgosborg of carny people who help bring an unusual flavor and depth to this period piece. Think I’m just blowing smoke? When was the last time you read a romance where the heroine’s guardian was a midget?
When asked about the unusal concepts found in many of her for her books, Sienna said, “I’m all over the place. I’m mostly inspired by books and film. Buttercupcame from my obsession with HBO’s show Carnivale. I started researching everything on carnivals and found out blacks during the depression joined several just to survive. My uncles ran moonshine through the country back then and an idea formed.”
In addition to her unusual plots, Sienna has also written in practically every sub genre from historical to contemporary and paranormal. And she seems to do it with such ease. So I wondered if she found any particular genre difficult to write or a genre she was dying to write.
“My favorite genre is historical. I’m an old soul and I will always gravitate more toward them. I struggle to write contemporary omances, only because I find myself writing a lot of flashbacks. My head loves to go to the past and I find it hard to stay planted in present day. That’s why I want to explore Steampunk. I would get a kick out of doing a historical with a futuristic kick to it. I’d also like to delve ino horror. I know I haven’t published much in that area, but its coming.”
The one thing I also enjoy about Sienna’s writing are her heroines. Each of my heroines have a little bit of me or someone I know in them. So of course I asked if any of her characters were based on real life people. “I think my early heroines were based on books I’ve read (the heroine formula) and not me. I have a character named Evangeline that will be released in a Mafia Series, and though I love her to pieces I can’t identify with her at all. However, I have in my most recent writing started to pull a little of myself into my characters. Though I love writing the polar opposite of myself.”
Many people might not know this, but Sienna Mynx wasn’t the author’s first pen name. “I started publishing TA Ford. I tried to publish my first interracial novel mainstream (Zoe). After several rejections a friend told me about self-publishing through Amazon. I quickly jumped on it. And then released my second novel. There was no plan on how to market myself. I just wanted to be published. At the same time I was writing free fiction on my blog and blog sites under the name Minx. Those stories were far more popular than TA Ford. They were also a lot edgier. I like edgier. Now my family and friends all read TA Ford. People at my job owned books by TA Ford. The books I published under that author name were very mainstream. I wanted to do some sensual romances that crossed boundaries, so I decided to pull my free stories under the name ‘Minx’ and created Sienna Mynx. Sienna – for brown, and Mynx a spin off of Minx. Now I’m considering doing non-romance under TA Ford again. I like having the options.”
Speaking of publishing options, I asked Sienna how she felt about digital publishing/ebooks since her first two books, Zoe and Aaren were initially published in print. “E-books are liberating. I can be free to do and create as I please. I love the new medium. I adore my e-reader. I’m really excited about the opportunities I have. I’m even considering publishing more with e-houses. I am currently signed to Decadent Publishing. My books have not released under their house yet but I’m learning a lot about writing from their author loop.”
Sienna has also learned alot about the various publishing choices available to unpublished writers. She started out self-publishing, then decided to test the waters by releasing a few of her titles through a smaller press. But she’s not giving up self-publishing altogether, which is smart move considering many authors are self-publishing by the shipload. Even though she’s done quite well publishing her own titles, Sienna recommends unpublished authors seek out either a large or smaller press.
“I’ve had some hard lessons. I’ve been scammed out of money, I’ve had people abuse my trust, overpaid for services, I’ve really struggled. Even now I stumble. It’s all on me, and to be honest all I want to do is write. But that being said, you can’t begin to imagine the empowerment you have when you own your rights and can predict, track, and monitor your sales. So there is plenty of freedom in being in charge of your brand. I’m considering doing a workshop for those that want to self publish. I really would like to share some if not all of what I’ve learned.”
And Sienna’s learned quite a bit about the publishing industry and she’s used this knowledge to her advantage by putting out no less than a book every month and three this month alone with Whispers in the Dark, Taming the Scotsman and an Illegal Affair.
Whispers in the Dark is a spin on Phantom of Opera. “I did a little research on the opera world and I think the sexy and scary times Christine and her best friend Taj have will be an interesting read.”
Taming the Scotsmanis a throwback to the old Harlequin style romances. Where the hero is a bastard and the heroine fights to change him. “I know many don’t love those type of alpha’s, but I adore those characters in moderate doses. LOL. I have a good friend who is Hatian and lives in Scotland with her Scottish bad boy husband. The stories she shares inspired this one. The recipes and customs in the book all come from her. I hope I made her proud.”
An Illegal Affair is a prelude to a current work in progress. “I’m working on releasing a bunch of short steamy tales with each book release. It’s a short read that you’ll have to read yourself to understand!”
In five years, Sienna would like to have fifty titles under her belt. And if a movie company were to come calling she would love to see Zoe developed into a movie. “Then I’d love to see Buttercup, Daisy’s Choice, On the Wings of Love, Accidental Mistress turned into film. Those are very picturesque stories with sharply drawn characters. But I don’t think I could ever trust a film company with my babies and turn over my rights. Nope. Can’t do it.”
Finally, the Fast Five! This is the point in the interview where I get to have a little fun authors and get them thinking outside of the box.
Flea Market or Saks Fifth Avenue? – Saks!
Caribbean Cruise or Safari in Africa? Safari!
Johanna Lindsey or Anne Rice? Ann Rice!
Brian White or Chris Evans? Chris Evans
Jay-Z or Drake? Neither
Buttercup or Zoe? Buttercup – She’s a helluva lot more fun!
Daisy’s Choice by Sienna Mynxx
Genre: Romantic / Drama (Multicultural BW/WM)
Publisher: The Divas Pen LLC
Release: March 25, 2011
In the game of hearts there can be more than one loser…
Take Daisy Johnson, for starters. She came from nothing but now she has it all: a thriving business, a beautiful daughter, and the financial security that makes her the master of her own destiny. Yet the memories of two very different loves cast a shadow of doubt and fear that keeps her trapped in self-imposed isolation.
Aiden Keane has wealth, power, and control. However, despite years of claiming the fortunes of others, he is still haunted by the woman who robbed him of his heart. Her rejection and disappearance have fueled his obsession over the years. If he doesn’t find her soon it will be his undoing.
Peter Doyle wants a fresh start. He’s sure as hell earned it. It’s taken him five years to get over his first love and the role he played in destroying it. But with a new girlfriend and business opportunity of his own, he is ready to begin again. He’s gambled on love before and lost big. Pete wants closure, or maybe something more. Until he answers which of the two is most important, he won’t be able to close the door on Daisy Johnson, his past, and their heartbreak.
Tragedy strikes, and the paths of all three collide in the most unexpected of ways. Daisy had her reasons to remain hidden from both of the men in her past. When all her secrets are uncovered Daisy is faced with one question: does she have any choices left?
Publisher’s Note: Not your typical romance. Strong language, sexual content, adult theme’s, and plenty of drama.
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