Brief Bio: While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers.
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.
You can visit her on the web at www.DonnaAlward.com and join her mailing list at www.DonnaAlward.com/newsletter.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaAlwardAuthor Twitter: @DonnaAlward
Q: At what point did you decide to make writing a profession? What got you started in
A: Once I finished my first full-length novel, I knew writing was what I wanted to do for a job. But I didn’t know where to start, so I surfed the web and joined the Harlequin online community. There was a ton of info to get me started, and I began the process of submitting and subsequently being rejected. ☺
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: Short answer: Forever. Long answer: I seriously sat down to write a novel in October of 2001. What came out was a romance, and I never looked back. I wrote ten manuscripts before I sold, in 2006, and to date I’m creeping ever closer to that 50th book milestone. I’m contracted up to book 49…
Q: What is your genre?
A: I’m a contemporary girl all the way – and mostly small town contemporary. It’s where I feel at home.
Q: If you could write in any other genre, what would it be?
A: Hands down, Regencies. I ADORE THEM. They are my not-so-secret reading pleasure. The idea of writing one puts the fear of God in my heart. I have a ton of respect for historical authors.
Q: Where do you get your plot ideas?
A: At this point, I’m a slave to the power of suggestion. My editor can say, “Do you know what I’d love to see?” and I’ll come up with something with that trope. I love it when people give me nuggets of ideas and then I can run with them. And if I get stuck, I have some brainstorming buddies that are very entertaining and helpful.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: Oh my. I don’t know if I can name names right now. But I can tell you WHAT inspires me. Kindness. Compassion. Forgiveness. Generosity. Patience. The art of listening. Just ordinary people being good people.
Q: Do you have a favorite “brain food,” a.k.a. snack food, when writing?
A: Coffee. Wine. Depending on the time of day.
Q: How do you approach a difficult scene? Do you tackle it head on or take time to mull
A: Oh, I’m a head on girl. I just write through it…I can fix it later.
Q: In general, how many drafts and edits do you go through per novel?
A: Short answer: one. Long answer: my process is such that I edit as I go. I always go over the previous day’s work before moving forward. If I know I messed something up, I’ll flag it or fix it at the time and keep going. But when I get about ¾ of the way through, I go back to the beginning and spend some time layering and ensuring the focus is right, and then I write the ending. So when I get to the end, I’m actually DONE.
Q: Because the writing process is all-consuming, how do you re-energize yourself and
gear up for the next novel? Do you take time off?
A: *laughs maniacally* Who has time for time off? LOL. Seriously, I have to refill the well on a daily or at least weekly basis. There are usually tasks that need to be done once a book is in, so I take a few days to get those in order and then start on the next.
Q: What book(s) do you currently have for sale?
A: Right now my St. Helena Kindle Worlds novella, Last Chance Lullaby, is out, and I also have a holiday story in a print anthology with Jennifer Crusie and Mandy Baxter on the shelves.
Here’s a bit about CHRISTMAS AT SEASHELL COTTAGE, a story in my Jewell Cove series from St. Martin’s:
It’s Christmas in Jewell Cove…
And local doctor Charlie Yang finds her quiet, steady life disrupted by both an abandoned baby in the nativity manger, and a real-life mystery man. Sure, she’s always wanted a family of her own, but she didn’t imagine it coming from a baby that wasn’t hers and a man who was more interested in living day by day than making long-term plans.
Ex-SEAL Dave Ricker hadn’t planned on making Jewell Cove his forever home, but the talented and tender-hearted Charlie has him reconsidering his position on settling down. Can a beautiful woman, adorable baby and a small-town full of holiday spirit change his mind for good?
Q: What is your latest project and when can we expect its release?
A: I have a brand new series starting in February from St. Martin’s – the DARLING, VT series which launches with Somebody Like You. It’s followed in March and April by Someone to Love and Somebody’s Baby.