Author Interview with Sonya Solomonovich

Last summer, I ran a promotion for The Eye-Dancers.  During that promo, Sonya Solomonovich purchased a copy of the book.  Later that fall, she took the time to interview me on her website.  It was a fun interview, as she aimed several of her questions at the main characters of The Eye-DancersMitchell, Joe, Ryan, and Marc had a great time answering her questions, and so did I.

So when she announced the release of her new novel, Dryad, it was an easy decision for me.  I purchased a copy, and genuinely enjoyed the book.  I also wanted to reciprocate and interview her–along with several characters in her book.

dryad

 

What follows is my interview with Sonya, and Solena, and Tyler, and . . . well, you get the idea.

I hope you enjoy the interview!

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1.  The main character of Dryad is, well, a dryad!  Have you always been interested in dryads?  Or is it something that you’ve recently discovered and wanted to write about?

I’ve always been interested in Greek Mythology but not so much in dryads.  The idea for Dryad emerged when a friend of mine suggested I should write about a dryad from the Amazon rainforest climbing the corporate ladder.

2. As a writer myself, I am always fascinated by ideas–how they strike, when they hit, and how complete they are when they do come.  With Dryad, did the idea hit you all at once?  Or was it gradual–a scenario here, a character there, a scene there, and you had to build it slowly, over time?

I’m so bad at coming up with ideas for my own books.  It was really a friend of mine who came up with this idea–and wrote it down on a napkin for me–but then gradually I started building on it.  For a while I was considering the main character to be a male dryad, but then I changed it to a female.  Then I decided to add a time travel element and the talking alligator.  Then I forgot all about it for a couple of years.  Finally, it all came together when I realized I wanted to write an adventure that would be both silly and epic, and by that time most of the characters were already in place.

3.  Solena, the main character of Dryad, is a dryad who sympathizes with humans and who takes on the appearance and identity of a human for the majority of the novel.  How much of yourself would you say is a part of her?  Are you a lot like Solena?  Or is she the polar opposite of you?

I have to admit I’m a lot like her.  Sometimes I think I’m a different species and I’m still trying to figure out what humans are all about 🙂  Also, like Solena, I’m a romantic and I enjoy all the superficial glamour and glitz of Hollywood and pop culture.  I think it’s okay to do that in moderation.

4.  The character of Teddy Goldman intrigued me–a self-help guru who, for years, even as a best-selling writer, had his better-looking brother pose for him in PR photographs.  Did any real-life self-help or celebrity personality serve as an inspiration for Teddy Goldman?

I’m glad you asked this question because I love self-help books.  Some are funny and ridiculous, while some are really helpful.  Teddy Goldman is mostly based on fitness guru Matt Furey, who calls himself “Zen Master of the Internet.”  There are a lot of similarities there because Matt Furey is a martial artist who also writes on other diverse self-help topics.  Initially it was meant to be just a small joke, but then he became a more and more important part of the plot.  Then there came a moment when I thought, wait a minute, this character is too perfect.  So that was when I decided he is actually not hunky and has a limp and a better-looking brother.

5.  One of the central themes of Dryad is respecting the environment.  Is this something you have always been passionate about, and do you often incorporate this into your fiction?

I didn’t really become interested in the environment until about two years ago, when I moved to the west coast of Canada.  Everyone here is so environmentally conscious that I couldn’t help but get into the spirit.  And of course, I love animals so it finally dawned on me that animals can’t survive without a habitat!

 

And now, here are questions for the characters themselves!

1.  Tyler–you are quite the unique character–a talking alligator!  Do the alligators who cannot talk resent you?  Do you have trouble “fitting in” with other alligators?  And do you feel more “at home” with humans than with alligators?

Man, I don’t want to fit in with those yokels, the other alligators.  I’m sure they resent me, and I just love being resented: it means I’ve made it big!  I’m a hotshot executive now, and I’m much happier with my human friends and frenemies.  My life is like some sort of crazy reality show.

2.  Solena–you of course are a dryad.  But over the course of the novel, you take on the appearance and identity of a human and spend a lot of time with other humans.  You even have a romantic relationship with one.  What do you feel are the main differences between humans and dryads?  And what can we teach each other and learn from each other?

That’s a really good question, Mike.  Humans have so many different arts and sciences that there is almost no limit on what they can do!  They could certainly teach dryads to be more innovative.  On the other hand, dryads are good at being happy with what they have.  They inhabit the natural world and are in harmony with it.  (Some) humans could learn from us to connect with nature and enjoy life!

3.  Roger St, Amour, as a seventeenth-century pirate transported to the twenty-first century, what are your thoughts of our way of life today?  We’ve progressed a great deal as a society in terms of knowledge and technology.  But, in your eyes, have we lost anything precious along the way?

Aye, we have lost much of what makes a man feel alive.  How is it that you ride about in magical carriages and yet do not feel a sense of freedom?  A man cannot go anywhere without everyone knowing where he is and sending him those blasted emails.  I’m setting a course back to the seventeenth century as soon as I can!

4.  Sir Lancelot and Gawaine!  Knights of the round table, and, along with St. Amour and others, time travelers from the distant past.  The two of you are the epitome of chivalry.  Based on your observations, is chivalry still alive in the twenty-first century?

Aye and nay…  There is much amiss in this world, and chivalry does not rule the day.  Yet we have seen many ladies and gentlemen fighting against injustice, and that is the most important part of chivalry, methinks.

And, we will finish with Sonya–one last question!

Do you have a sequel for Dryad planned?  What are some of the writing projects you will work on next?

As a matter of fact I do!  I’d like to write a sequel with the knights and Jackson (St. Amour’s lieutenant) as the main characters.  So far they have been minor characters, but maybe they should go on their own time-travel adventure.  Right now, I’m taking a break from writing but I’m sure I’ll come up with a new novel or screenplay one of these days.

 

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Sonya Solomonovich has been a journalist, a teacher, and an editor. She briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a fitness instructor, but then realized that what she enjoys most is writing novels. Sonya is passionate about all things swashbuckling and seafaring. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

You can connect with Sonya on her website and Goodreads.

If you’d like to buy a copy of Dryad, please click here.

Thanks so much to Sonya (and Tyler, and Solena, and . . .) for doing this interview, and thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

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