The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Donna Dalton!

 Hi Donna! Great to have you come visit with me and my readers again. How are you? I hope you are out of the path of hurricane Sandy. All our thoughts are with our US friends right now. So terrifying... Anyway, let's talk about happier things like you and your latest release!

1)    What is your writing routine?  Sometimes I start with a plot idea and other times, I have specific characters in mind. It’s been different with each story. But generally, I create a basic list of “what needs to happen” for the story and for the romance. Then I spec out a basic plot that includes external and internal GMC’s (Goal, Motivation, and Conflict) for the main characters. On my “crappy first draft”, I’m mostly discovering my characters and getting down the bare bones of the story. On subsequent edits, I begin layering, adding details and emotion and going deeper into the character’s point of view. I have a wonderful critique partner, Mary Ann Clark, who helps keep me on track with deep POV.
2)    Which author/s inspire you to write?  I’m most inspired by Joanne Bourne and Lisa Gardner. Two totally different genres, yet both write simple and powerful prose.
A passage from Joanna Bourne’s THE FORBIDDEN ROSE:  
Then, from beneath the rustle of rain, voices slid like snakes. Men’s voices. She grabbed up her skirts and ran.
How powerful is that. The voices sliding like snakes. Conjures up an immediate picture doesn’t it? Who doesn’t run from snakes?

Now from Lisa Gardner’s CATCH ME:
In four days, I believe someone’s going to try to kill me. But the son of a bitch has gotta catch me first.
Now doesn’t that just grab you around the throat and squeeze? Woowee.

3)    Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write? 
I have always loved reading historical romances.  Getting immersed in worlds and characters from the past.  Very fascinating.  And that’s the genre I prefer to write in. I enjoy researching the past and finding real situations and people for my characters to encounter.

4)    How do you deal with criticism/rejection? Just like all human beings, any type of criticism or rejection, whether well-meaning or not, hurts. I let myself feel those emotions. Then after the pain subsides, I evaluate what was said in a more objective light. In most cases, I’ve found the criticism was right on the money (probably explains the pain J ).  I then work to fix the issues that were pointed out.

5)    What do you expect from an editor? First and foremost, I expect honesty from an editor. If something isn’t working with my story, then I want to know.  I don’t just want line edits to fix spelling and punctuation. I want to know when there are problems, so I can fix them. I know for me, I’m so close to the story, sometimes I can’t see the forest for the trees. I think I’ve conveyed something, but  in reality I haven’t. I want this pointed out  when it happens so I can address it. Everyone wants to be told how wonderful a writer they are. I want to know the areas I can improve on, so I CAN feel like a wonderful writer.

6)    Tell me about your latest release:  My latest release with The Wild Rose Press is titled THE REBEL WIFE. The idea for the story evolved from our current-day reporters chronicling the Iraq War.  I wondered about the “embeds” of the past and decided to research the newspapermen of the American Civil War.  From this emerged the character of Jackson Porter, a physically and emotionally scarred Yankee journalist on his way to the federal prison in Maryland to gather information for a news article.  I immediately hit upon the perfect foil for such a hero – a dyslexic, Southern Rebel willing to use any means to free her brother from prison.  Jack is all about words, a seeker of truth, while Louisa sees everything in a distorted light.  The story of these two people coming together can’t help but be filled with emotion and conflict.

7)    Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt

Hardness replaced the sadness on her face. “With the soldiers looking for me, I need another way to get to Point Lookout.”

“You have something in mind?”

“Sure do.”

“And, pray tell, what is that?”

Her almond-shaped eyes gleamed like a cat with a fresh kill. “Apparently we’re married, so I’ll travel with you, Mr. Porter.”

8)    Which is your favorite character in the book?  Why? Louisa is my favorite character in THE REBEL WIFE.  She’s very family oriented and will do anything for the people she loves, even if that means sacrificing her own well-being. I’m much like that, so I can relate to her.

9) What are you working on right now? Right now, I’m working on a sequel to THE REBEL WIFE.  It’s Louisa’s brother’s story. Lance has returned to the estate where they grew up and where he accidentally killed the owner’s son. He’s there to pay his respects to his father’s grave and then leave for a job offer in Chicago. Yet, his plans are disrupted when he discovers the owner’s daughter trying to restore the plantation on her own. Guilt for robbing Beth of a brother weighs heavily on him. Despite her hatred for him, he offers to stay and help her with the estate. It’s a very emotional story where each has to decide whether the past will defeat them, or make them stronger.

10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists? Read, read, read. When you come across a story that grabs you, dissect it. What has the author done that keeps you reading? The converse is true as well. If you find yourself putting down a book after the first few chapters, delve into it and find out why.

11) Where can readers find you? Readers can reach me at my website , on facebook at DonnaDaltonBooks, and on twitter at DonnaDaltonbks.

Love, love, love the sound of this book, Donna! What an original idea - off to download my copy right now - I'll let you know how I get on :)


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Rachel, and thanks for having me as a guest. I really appreciate it.