I first got talking to Sondi Warner from Wrought Iron Reads after she read Little Girl Dead for their sunday reviews. I admire the work that she does and how passionate she is about helping Indie authors and wanted to ask her a few questions here on the blog.
What were you like at school?
I was a bit of a smug little know‐it‐all. I say that with a smile, but it’s the unpretty truth. I was a
part of the gifted program for students with exceptional IQs, the talented arts program for visual
artists and the talented theater program for aspiring thesbians. I was so smart that I was able to
skip the sixth grade entirely and go straight to middle school. I’ve always had an avid interest in
learning as much as possible about a diverse array of topics, and of course, as children, we don’t
have the tact not to show off. So, I guess you could say I was unpopular. Thankfully, I evolved
into a better person! *Sheepishly Laughing*
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since early childhood, but when I reached adulthood, I chose a regular nine‐to‐
five to be able to support my family. It wasn’t until a crisis of finances that I made the decision
to write as a side hustle. I enjoyed it so much and made more money writing, so I ditched my
nine‐to‐five and took on writing full time.
What genre is your book?
My book, Jonquille, is a contemporary romance in the interracial romance niche. I hate genres,
though. Like most labels, they rarely tell the whole story. I encourage readers to give it a try,
even if they aren’t into contemporary romance or interracial books because most books don’t fit
such rigid roles.
What, if any research did you do for your book?
My main character is a tarot reader, and I didn’t know much about reading the cards. I had to
research the process, the meanings, the different interpretations. It was fun! I’ve always been
interested in tarot, and writing this book gave me an excuse to learn something new.
Did you have a plan when writing your book?
I always work with some form of outline—whether loosely delineated beats or pages and pages
of detailed notes—but for this book, I actually married parts of an old manuscript with new
ideas and came up with a unique story. My notes were sparse for this one. I kind of just went
with the flow.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Years ago I met a tarot reader in New Orleans who told me I had a very fortuitous future. Some
of her premonitions came true, but of particular interest was how quickly she read the
relationship between me and my sister, who was with me at the time. Audrey, the tarot reader,
said, “You two are best friends, aren’t you? No! You’re sisters! How uncanny. I see your
friendship much stronger than your familial relationship.” I’m a born skeptic, but the way she
saw us was exactly right, and it stuck with me through the years. So, when I set out to write a
book about New Orleans, it seemed only natural that my main character be someone as awe
inspiring as Audrey.
What is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing for me is that it’s my full‐time job. I am always working on
something, which takes away from time I get to spend with my family, and often the writing is
for someone else. I’m a ghostwriter, and I sell the rights to 98% of my work to publishing houses
and authors; so, I get no credit for the writing. It can be frustrating, but for now it pays the bills. I
look forward to the day I have the time to write and publish more under my own name to build
my resume. Some of my best work is floating around out in the world under a different author’s
Do you prefer eBooks or paperbacks? Why?
I prefer paperbacks but only because I don’t have an e‐reader. When I get a great book from
author friends, I’m stuck reading it at home on my laptop. I like to take my books with me
wherever I go.
If you could meet anyone, who would it be?
That’s a tough one! I’ve never been celebrity‐struck. I wouldn’t be too wowed to meet a famous
actor or performer. I guess I’d be more interested in meeting in real life some of the wonderful
people I’ve met on Facebook from all over the world. I have a diverse network of friends I can’t
wait to see one‐on‐one.
What do you do for fun?
Fun? What is that? *Laughing* I don’t have much free time. When I am free, my partner and I
enjoy traveling. We went on a cruise to Mexico last year and had the time of our lives, and then
we took a trip with our kids to stay two weeks in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. I love
seeing new places, and family vacations give me life.
What else do you do besides write?
Most of what I do is write. I’m a poet, a songwriter, screenplay writer (with two indie movies
produced), visual artist, graphic designer, amateur video editor, marketing enthusiast, former
choreographer by hobby, and I even used to make board games for my friends and I to play. I
love creating. It’s what I do.
How important are covers?
When I’m buying a book, I don’t necessarily buy a book based on the cover. I read the blurb. I
gravitate towards authors I know or genres I love—and I read a lot—so any book is liable to be
purchased on the merits of much more than the book cover. However, as an indie author, I
understand that everyone isn’t as indiscriminate in their reading tastes. The book cover is the
hook. It’s probably one of the most important selling points for an indie author/indie publisher.
How has having children influenced you?
Children are amazing blessings. I say that, and I’m not very religious, but being a parent just feels
like such a divine gift. My kids inspire me to write because it’s my way of providing for them, and
they also give me great ideas for stories.
Do you have any pets?
I do! My partner is a cat person, and my kids love animals. We have two cats named Se7en and
Winter Wardrobe. Winter is a nickname because each of our children came up with different
names for her: “Mittens,” “Boots” and “Footies.” So, I started calling her Winter Wardrobe. It’s a
running joke in the family, and I’m afraid the poor cat has no idea who she really is. *Smiling*
Do you believe in love?
What are you working on at the moment?
Everything. My blog, my vlog scripts, book reviews, edits to a book I wrote for a client, short
stories for my website, articles for my LinkedIn, a book idea that germinated in December and
the outline a novel I plan to actually begin this month. When I say I’m busy, I mean it. I write
nearly every hour of every day.
Why do you write?
For a living. Not just for the money, although that’s a major motivator. But, I mean really for a
living. I have this one life, and the only things I get to take with me are my thoughts, and the
only things I get to leave behind are my thoughts. Writing is how I think best. I can’t picture life
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest thing about the process, itself, is making sure I say just enough as concisely as
possible. The mark of a brilliant writer isn’t what he or she says, but what isn’t said, what the
reader must come to on their own.
What social media do you use to promote your books?
There’s a running list that I add to or take away from, depending on what is working best. I use
Facebook because I’ve always used Facebook for everything. I use Twitter, LinkedIn, Wordpress,
Stumble Upon, Wattpad and a host of others. I don’t use Instagram because I’m one of the rare
people in the world without a cellphone. I’ve been trying to figure out Snapchat, but I honestly
don’t have the time. Maybe in the future.
What’s next in your writing career?
My short term goal is to finish my next novel, tentatively titled The King of the Union. My stepfather gave me the idea for the story, and, because of that, it’s priority numero uno in terms of what I write next. Meanwhile, I plan to continue promoting Jonquille, which is a book
I personally love. Long term, as with many writers, I hope to reach national success, become a bestseller, see my books turned to movies. It all hinges upon having a supportive network and the funds to make the dream happen.
There’s hard, steady work ahead for the foreseeable future; I have no illusions that this will be in any
way easy. But, I’ve been fighting for what I believe in my whole life. I believe in myself. There’s no way I’ll give up.
Thirty‐year‐old Sondi Warner is an indie author and cofounder of small press, Wrought Iron Reads, out
of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. After nearly a decade spent ghostwriting as a secondary source of
income, Sondi recently made the transition to writing full‐time and hasn’t looked back since publishing
her first book, Jonquille, in September 2015. Now she runs a blog called “Writer People Problems” and
juggles writing books for W.I.R. as well as ghostwriting for others. You can follow this writer at
www.wroughtironreads.org as well as across the following platforms:
by Sondi Warner
Available only on Amazon, $0.99
Buy Link: www.amazon.com/dp/B015QMQ5LY
A tarot reader and a poker player walk into a bar.
Jonquille is just out to have a little fun and get over her cheating ex, but the sexy gambler, Pierce
Princeton, has something more serious on his agenda—striking it rich. Different cards, different
games, but the same high stakes. The unlikely players throw caution to the wind and have a one
night stand, despite uncertain futures and undisclosed pasts. It’s the secrets they hide that may
Pierce is betting against time, and the odds aren’t good. When the two find themselves running from
Jonquille’s jilted ex-lover, death is in the forecast. But whose? And, who can win the game when love
and lust are two sides of the same card?
Emotion-driven from beginning to end. Brace yourself for an engrossing love story.