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.
Today I am interviewing author Lo-Arna Green from Perth, Australia. She is the author of All The Colours and the newly released All The Darkness. She lives with her husband, two boys and a playful cat named Evie—she's also my little sister.
What were you like at school?
Of course you would ask that! Naughty. For a little while and then I pulled my socks up. Apart from the one class I had with my best friend, we didn’t really do well in maths. I was pretty thrilled to receive an award as a senior in high school—it was for the most improved student in our year level. That was probably my proudest moment in my whole high school career. I loved acting, so drama was my favourite class.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I started writing poems when I was eight and then moved on to short stories and even a series at one point—spanning 12 notebooks. I actually wanted to be an actor and was going to apply for Victorian College of The Arts in Melbourne. Writing was always my first love though. I’ve only recently started calling myself a writer, I always felt too shy to say that’s what I am.
What genre are your books?
New Adult romance. I do like to shake the romance up with a different element though. All The Colours had a mystery in the background, All The Darkness is a darker romance with the violence and the inner turmoils of the MC’S.
What, if any research did you do for your novels?
Google is my friend. I relied on my memory for places in my books where I’ve lived before as well.
Do you have a plan when writing?
Not usually. I tend to rebel against plans.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Life. Mundane things in life, news articles, observations, air.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Writer’s block! I try to get around that by writing in segments and then stringing it all together at the end. I also try not to beat myself up if I don’t write a single word for the day. It’s ok to not write sometimes.
What is the best thing about writing?
Everything. Emptying my mind. The rush.
Do you prefer to read ebooks or traditional paperback books?
I was always a paperback girl. I used to borrow 10+ books weekly from the library. I love the smell. Then I realised how many ebooks you can store on your device and sort of converted. Now though I am swinging between both. I like the light on my phone, I don’t need the lamp on and it doesn’t smack me in the face as much as paperbacks do when I am laying in bed. But then, you can’t beat the feel of a book can you?
How important do you think covers are?
As a reader, I don’t care… but as a writer trying to market your book? Very.
How has having children changed your life?
In every way. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you could meet anyone who would it be?
Male? Angus Stone because, yum.
Female? Sarah Michelle Gellar because, awesome role model.
Share something embarrassing with us.
I once shoved my licence into the ATM machine at the pub mistaking it for my keycard. Clearly I was too drunk to be getting out money to buy more booze.
Have you ever had an animal that changed your life?
Yes my girl Evie. She is a lilac burmese and she’s our little fur daughter. My husband was anti-cat before we got her and he is in love too.
Do you believe in true love?
I can’t really stomach romance but true love I do believe in. I believe in a form of true love with friends too. Love to me, is souls connecting. I remarried last year and I have experienced the extreme differences through both my marriages. My husband doesn't believe in soul mates and all that stuff, but yet, we work because he believes in me and I believe in him.
What are your fears?
Spiders and the snake that is most likely still chilling out in my roof.
What is your favourite TV show?
The Walking Dead. Buffy The Vampire Slayer still holds a place in my heart too.
How has your relationship with your family influenced your writing?
My family is supportive. When I met my husband I told him I like to write—at the time I was studying a bachelor of arts and majoring in creative writing and journalism. He asked if I would ever write a book, I said I hoped to and he never let up until I did. If it wasn’t for him I still wouldn’t have published a book. My kids love it and want to write their own books. We have writing sessions together. Mum encouraged me from a young age, always joking I would send her broke with all the pens and notebooks she had to keep buying for me. My sister is an author too so it’s pretty cool to go through it together. ;-)
What character of yours do you identify with the most?
Some parts of Jazz and some parts of Edie. Sheri reminds me of my best friend, she’s pretty much my inspiration for her.
What’s next for you in your writing career?
I am currently working on All The Games and a standalone, they will both be out this year. I have others in the pipeline which I will update the progress on those on my blog.
Where you can get in touch with Lo-arna online
website Facebook Twitter Goodreads
Well, it’s a new year and the tradition is to make a New Year’s Eve resolution, something that you’re supposed to keep all year long. So many people fall off the wagon within the first few months of the new year.
I am one of those people, so I have decided to do something different this year.
I purchased a glass jar the other day, a pack of aqua sticky notes and a nice pen. So what I’m doing is making an accomplishment jar. Each time that something good happens to me, I’ll write it on the sticky note then put it in the jar.
On New Year’s Eve this year, I will open the jar and read all the wonderful things that have happened to me over the past year.
That’s my non-New Year’s resolution.