AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: SEDONIA GUILLONE
Getting entrepreneur Sedonia Guillone to stand still long enough to interview, and learn about her latest novel…..
Fallon’s Jewel, Ai Press, (M/M; sci-fi, adventure) – www.ai-press.net
Q: Tell us a little about Fallon’s Jewel. What inspired you to write Fallon’s Jewel?
A: Truthfully when I think about it, the release of the new StarTrek film was the inspiration. Of course, my characters are not the characters from Star Trek, but the whole sci-fi adventure through space and the devotion and loyalty they have to each other inspired me. Captain Kirk has to be my favorite fiction hero in existence and to write male characters that have some of his qualities is a lot of fun!
Q: What made you decide to start your own press?
A: Well, part of the decision comes from my own entrepreneurial tendencies. I’ve wanted to have my own business for years and now that I have experience and a base of readers, who are familiar with my work and, much to my joy and gratitude, want to read it, now seemed a good time. It’s really a new beginning for me and has gotten my enthusiasm and creative juice flowing. I guess you could say it was a surge of personal growth. My boyfriend had been encouraging me for years to publish on my own but I didn’t have the confidence or experience until now.
Q: What does the name Ai Press come from?
A: Ai (pronounced “eye”) is the word “love” in Japanese. I find that a beautiful word and expresses what my stories are about. It seemed the perfect name.
Q: When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A: Usually when I start writing, I have a basic idea of what I want to write and as I work, the story unfolds and develops. When that happens, I take some time to do research and write a basic outline as well as character sketches. However, the characters do end up dictating much of what happens. They cannot be forced to be a way that’s not natural for them. If I allow them to speak through me rather than trying too hard to mould them, the story is always much better.
Q: What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
A: I’ve always wanted to write in the romance genre and I’ve always tended toward erotica, so it’s the perfect combination. When I first wrote to get published however, I was writing more “literary” stuff and getting nowhere. One day a woman at the pool in my neighborhood was chatting with me and told me how her sister-in-law used to support herself and her husband after World War II by writing romance stories for magazines. When I told my boyfriend about it, he said, “That’s what you should do. You know about sex. Write about sex.” lol. So I pulled out a sweet romance I’d written and stuck in a file, reworked it into something more erotic and voila! The Maiden’s Voyage was born and was my first release ever at eXtasy Books under my former pen name, Vivian Hart. I’ve been writing erotic romance ever since.
Q: Do you have a favorite character you have written?
A: I have a few favorites but my foremost favorite is Kikuchiya Fujimara from my White Tigers series at Total-E-Bound. Kiku is a former yakuza (Japanese mobster) who is highly psychic and left the organization in order to save the life of a young man he loves. It’s a whole epic thing that spans the series and I spend as much time as I can with Kiku. He’s hot, gorgeous, loving, and tough when he needs to be, but he’s more complex and edgy than many of my other characters and that’s what keeps me coming back. If you want a visual of what he looks like, think Ken Watanabe and put full body tattoos on him. Hello!
Q: Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
A: Not really. Sometimes I have a character that I look back on and see how I could have made that person more interesting or complex but since I need to love my characters in order to write them (including the bad guys like Taro Suzuki, also from my White Tigers series), then I don’t end up not liking the character later on.
Q: Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
A: I definitely draw inspiration for my characters from real life. The main inspiration for all my heroes is the man in my life. He provides the core driving forces of the men in the books I write. But I also draw on other people for names, occupations, personality traits, looks, all kinds of things. One fun story that inspired a scene occurs in my short story Hummingbird II: Getting Behind on the Job. My two heroes are in Caluctta using a public toilet when they end up having a lover’s spat and Liam takes Kit’s notebook and throws it into the cesspool that’s used as the toilet. The real inspiration for this came when my stepdaughter was traveling and studying in India. She dropped her cell phone in the public toilet in Calcutta. A man fished it out for her but she thanked him and told him he could keep the phone. She didn’t want it anymore. I love that story!
Q: Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
A: They might be surprised to know that I once studied in Israel to be a cantor in the Jewish temple.
Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
A: lol. I don’t know if it’s guilty but I love to read my favorite authors while having a nice cup of coffee or tea. I’m sorry I don’t have anything more naughty to tell you. <g>
Q: What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
A: I must have some quiet first and some time to let my stories develop in my mind. Without that, I can’t get any writing done. If I’m under any stress, my creative flow usually cuts right off.
Q: Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
A: Oh, yes! Music is an influence. While writing I like to listen to gentle music like Zen spa kind of stuff. But a bunch of the romantic couples in my books have theme songs. For example, Damien and Kaz from “Barely Covered” and “Barely Undercover” (Ellora’s Cave) have Far Away by Nickelback. Meg and Jie from “Kiss of the Werewolves” (Ellora’s Cave) have You and Me by Lifehouse. The White Tigers characters have lots of songs including Good Riddance by Green Day.
Q: If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
A: Ohhh, how I dream and fantasize about this happening! If Fallon’s Jewel were optioned for a movie, I would have John Enos play Jake Fallon and Daniel Henney would play Kenji Shimizu.
Q: Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
A: I was at my boyfriend’s house using my stepdaughter’s computer. I looked at my e-mail, found the acceptance for The Maiden’s Voyage and started jumping up and down screaming for joy. Sarah and Mitch were the first.
Q: What are you currently working on?
A: I’m currently working on two m/f/m ménages for Ai Press entitled Delicious Love (contemporary set in Tokyo) and She Belongs to Them All (set in the same world as Fallon’s Jewel.)
Q: Where can readers find you, Sedonia?
A: I can be found in many places, lol.
Q: And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
A: Hands down- Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups and Hershey’s with almonds. I can’t resist them no matter what.