I feel blessed to have grown up on Long Island, New York and then have the chance to travel a bit around this beautiful country before settling down in Northwest Arkansas with my husband Jim, four kids(most who have left the nest), two grandchildren, five dogs, one cat, three chickens and a goat.
As the great Frank Sinatra once sang: "I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing..." Besides my family, writing has been the one constant in my life, getting me through some really trying times. I'll tell you, I've been writing as long as I can remember and I'm so thrilled to be putting my first novel out there! Enjoy, there's more to come!
Bio provided by author's site
We were very fortunate to get a chance to interview Donna and learn more about her. It was easy to see right away that Donna has a great love of family and life in general. So please sit back and grab a warm mug of your favorite beverage and give a warm welcome to Donna!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
Honestly, I just want to write an interesting story with characters I care about. My inspiration for "La Lune" actually came from a dream I had - I could even tell you what the inside of the restaurant looked like - and then I took it from there.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?Once I have the idea for the story in my head, I let it rattle around a bit, maybe write down some names and settings, maybe do a little research, and then I sit down at my laptop and start from the first sentence and keep going until I'm happy with the words and tell the story that comes through.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?Well, I work full time, but working in a school has its perks - long vacations. So I write for an hour or two when I get home from work each day and as much as I can on weekends. And then I'm posessive of my time during the summer. It can be difficult when you have family and friends who are vying for your time, too.4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?My favorite author when I was younger was Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I loved his sense of humor and unique view of the world. I know that my writing is lightyears removed from his, but one thing I learned from him was that there really are no rules when it comes down to it. You just have to write who you are. People will either get it or not.5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?I'm a little lost in the technical requirements - what it took to upload the book onto KDP, which by the way, I'm so grateful to even be able to do. But I never even had a Facebook page until a month ago and now I even have a twitter account. Though I still have no idea what to do with it yet.6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?I read every day during my lunch break. Right now I'm reading a mystery titled, "Harm Done" by Ruth Rendell. I needed a book to read and it was on my shelf. In class we're reading "The Hunger Games", which I have a really hard time not reading ahead on, but I hold myself back to keep myself as surprised as our students.7. How did you get started in writing chic lit? Is there personal life experience in the writing?Love stories just seem to be what come out of me. They always have. Back in Parochial school I used to write stories for the girls in my class. Good little Catholic girls giggling over stolen kisses. It was fun. And yes, there's always personal experience in what I write. People, experiences, feelings I had all come into play here and there. I've had some great love stories of my own and I'm still living one of them!
The publishing industry is so competitive right now and being a new author is a great disadvantage. Publishers and agents are looking for someone with a proven record, or very specific requirements. With Amazon.com and Kindle giving authors a chance to put our work out there, it gives us more of a chance to build a following. They've opened the door for books that may not have been read otherwise. Just like the movies, Titanic was great, but so was Harold and Maude(both love stories). There has to be room for many different authors to have a voice. The new technology being created is just one more way for those voices to be heard.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Not yet. As it is, I had to have my daughter set up my Facebook page. I will get there, though. And for now, "La Lune" is exclusive on Kindle since it is available for borrowing on Kindle Select. After the 90 day commitment, I'll be able to make it available elsewhere.
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I have a completed YA novel set in 1974 and based on actual events that I will release soon, and in the meantime I'm working on another love story set in Northwest Arkansas, where I live now.
11. Who would be your first choice to play Sophie McKenna from your book "La Lune"?
While writing "La Lune", I always envisioned Sophie as a younger Maggie Gylenhaal. An unconventional auburn beauty with a sassiness about her. I suppose someone like Emma Stone could play her, too. It'd be fun to see.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
I think I'd like to be able to talk to my great-grandmothers, my ancestors who came to this country from Europe. I'd love to know what it was like to live such an adventure, and what was their relationship with their husbands? Were they arranged or madly in love? It would make for a great story, I think.