This month Romance author Jackie Braun takes the reins and turns the Spotlight on Donna Alward, whose current release is FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS.
Where do you get the ideas for your books?
Ideas are everywhere. Sometimes I’ll get the idea from a headline or another person and an experience they are going through. For this book, I had introduced the heroine (or at least the idea of her) in earlier books. I wanted to find someone for Maggie that was the exact opposite of what she’d want. And then my husband was talking to a couple of buddies that are Marshals and I asked if they’d give me information, and it all kind of generated from there. I know for my next book I got the idea from watching The Princess Diaries (One and Two, I have girls,lol). My editor called and asked if I could write a cowboy story. Then it was a matter of “marrying” the two worlds together – Alberta Ranch and Mediterranean Royalty!
When you find time to read, who are your favorite authors?
My favourite author of all time is LaVyrle Spencer. There are times I just NEED her so I pull out my very worn copies. I also recently discovered Julianne MacLean. I love her historicals, and I also like a lot of Judith McNaught’s regencies. If I’m reading category romance, Liz Fielding and Lucy Gordon are two of my absolute faves.
Do you ever use real situations or experiences from your own life in your books?
Of course I do! A shocking number of my recipes end up in my books. My characters are always eating. LOL. And little things that happen often morph their way in. I had a lot of people who know me say they saw a lot of me in The Soldier’s Homecoming, especially in the way Shannyn spoke to her daughter. And a scene in The Rancher’s Runaway Princess is straight from an experience with my husband. Only more angsty and pretty, LOL.
When you're not writing what fills up your time?
Motherhood, wifedom, and I tend to enjoy a lot of things and have trouble with the word “no”, so lord only knows where you’ll find me. I stay pretty musical, and unless I’m severely deadlined, I don’t work at night. After 8 p.m. I’m either reading or watching dvd’s. Something completely relaxing.
Okay, Donna, you've asked other spotlighted authors to imagine they are stranded and then to share where that might be and with whom. Turnabout is fair play. So, do tell.
The politically correct answer is my husband. However in the interest of fantasy, if I’m stranded I’m going to be snuggled up in a cottage in the English Countryside. Jamie Bamber will be there. I will be fifty pounds lighter and we will drink wine and talk about very interesting subjects in foreign languages. Of course I probably wouldn't understand him, but would that really matter? LOL
What are you working on now and what other books of yours can we look forward to reading in the months ahead?
January sees the release of THE RANCHER'S RUNAWAY PRINCESS, which was so much fun to write and I cried writing the last third – my husband was working in Hawaii and I was stuck in Canadian winter and typing with a cast on my arm. I absolutely loved how it all came together and wrote the last 17000 words of it in one weekend. Then in June of 09 we have HIRED: THE ITALIAN'S BRIDE which filled my desire to write an Italian hero – only I transplanted him to beautiful Banff and the Rocky Mountains and gave him a damaged heroine who is reclaiming her life.
Right now I’m working on a Christmas novella that is scheduled for the holiday season in 2009, and which will lead into a couple of linked books that I'm really excited about.
Now here's the part that's fun....for your chance to win a copy of Donna's August release, FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS, just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line DONNA and we'll draw at the end of the month!