KJ ~Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Donnell ~ Hi, Kathie, thanks for inviting me to your wonderful blog. I have lived in Colorado Springs, the second time going on 30 years, but I was born in Texas and grew up in New Mexico. I’m the author of novels, Betrayed, Deadly Recall and The Past Came Hunting. I write romantic suspense and mystery.
KJ ~Of the books you have written, which one would you like to tell us about?
Donnell ~Gosh, how about the one that is coming up in Fall of 2014. It’s my fourth book from Bell Bridge Books, and the working title is Buried Agendas. The log line is: A devastating secret drove her from her lover’s arms. Will a secret equally as deadly lead her back to him?
KJ ~What was the hardest part about getting this book from the first ideas to publication?
Donnell ~ Buried Agendas is one of the first books I’ve ever wrote and it’s one I was passionate about because I was learning a great deal as I wrote it. But after so many years of having it in my files or drawer, so to speak, I found I’ve changed in style and writing knowledge, and I had a ton of updating to do. I think I’d rather start from scratch from now on because I ended up rewriting most of the book anyway. Amazingly, though, the events that happened during the time that I wrote are coming full circle in today’s economic and political climate.
KJ ~Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
Donnell ~ I definitely got this inspiration from my husband. He’s a chemical engineer and the story involves a chemical plant. He didn’t help me with it, however. When I asked him questions about processes and more, he said the last thing he wanted to do after working forty plus hours in that business was to talk to his wife about it. He wanted to come home and talk about other things. That didn’t stop me, though. I know most of his contacts, and they gladly helped me 😉
KJ ~ What books or authors have influenced you the most and why?
Donnell ~ This is a really hard question because the list is long and I leave off so many great, great authors when I answer this. Lawrence Sanders is the reason I write today. His First, Second, Third and Fourth Deadly Sin series made me fall in love with police procedurals and thriller writing. I love Sandra Brown, Daniel Silva and Robert Crais. I’ve added many more writers to this list but feel I do a disservice to them by not mentioning them. However, the ones I listed inspired me.
KJ ~What are your favorite books that you have read simply for pleasure?
Donnell ~ I love to read Mike Befeler’s Geezerlit series. He makes me laugh, and he’s a pleasure to read. Annette Dashofy is always intriguing. I love their characters and storylines. I just read a book by Eve Gaddy that hasn’t been released yet called Last Shot. I read it simply as a beta reader. I also beta read for Lois Winston and am always impressed with her work.
KJ ~What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Donnell ~ Sporadic, unfortunately. I’m trying to exercise. I’m acting as my mother’s foreman on a bathroom remodel and it’s summer and everyone seems to be coming to visit—not that I’m complaining. Life is short, come visit 😉 Last night I had ten people over for dinner. And I still managed to get a chapter in. Love the new book that I’m writing—finally now that my antagonist and I are speaking.
KJ ~Do you have strategies for getting past those days that are hard to write?
Donnell ~ Usually when I get blocked it’s because I haven’t got the plot, character or direction in a chapter figured out. I’m a linear writer. Sometimes I can’t wrap my head around a particular problem. When I figure it out, no amount of company, construction projects or whatever can stop me. I have to get the words down. This is why I don’t do Nanowrimo. I write junk when I participate. I may not be writing literally, but I am always brainstorming and working out a plot problem.
KJ ~If you took a two-week vacation in any book or story, where would you go and who would you be?
Donnell ~ Hmmm, a vacation – when I generally read mystery/thrillers? Usually when I’m reading one, something bad is happening. Perhaps I should pick up a vacation pamphlet and read one and let you know. I was in Monterey California this year and Key West Florida the year before. Do actual places count?