Hello, hello! The weather has brightened up considerably here in the Midlands (I imagine ‘the Midlands’ sounds pretty *^*fantasy*^* to people from outside of the UK, but it means exactly what it sounds like, the middle section of England).
We’re just over a month away from Once Upon a Name‘s release day, so if you fancy getting 20 short fantasy stories for 0.99 and supporting Book Aid International to provide reading resources and libraries in underprivileged countries, then you can preorder the book here.
Today, I want to share a chat I had with my new Enchanted Anthologies coauthor, Donna White. Enchanted Forests comes out 1 July and we’re so excited to share this follow up to Enchanted Waters, which will be raising funds for the Rainforest Foundation, and will be fully illustrated with gorgeous artwork by our incredibly talented coauthors, Elena Shelest.
On with the show!
Hi Donna! It’s lovely to get to chat with you finally, and welcome to the Enchanted Anthologies team! First off, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in Tennessee where I started writing rock-n-roll songs about my cats and their adventures at the age of eight. My life was filled with tree climbing, playing in any source of water, reading mysteries, and exploring with my animals in tow. Fast forward a few years, I married the Man of My Dreams and we moved out west, ending up in southern California. We share four wonderful children and a pack of large, well-loved dogs. Writing brings me joy, as does being in the outdoors and driving fast cars. For the great indoors, I love cooking and interior design. My husband is the biggest supporter in my writing. He talks over my stories with me, helps me with the technology, and keeps a stocked home library for our family.
That sounds wonderful, my husband isn’t a big reader, but I’m trying to instill a love of books in our little boy. And life wouldn’t be worth living without a pack of large dogs to snuggle! Tell us a little about your favourite books to read and write.
I’m a fantasy girl. I love the action/adventure stories of Robert Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series. I’ve always been drawn to ancient cultures and different styles of fighting. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is my all-time favorite book. The forest adventures and wild creatures resonate with my imagination. I admire J.K. Rowling’s use of many legends taken from cultures throughout the world and given a new spin with stories inside stories. My first book is The Whitmere Legacy: Inheritance which deals with a middle-aged mama and her unwanted inheritance. It turns out there’s some supernatural mysteries and dangers that warrants the use of her hidden talents, alongside some pretty talented friends. One of my reviewers called me “a master of cryptic chill…” because I can put the scare factor in my tales. The second book is The Whitmere Legacy: Heritage which unravels some of the mysteries, and unlocks some scary beings. Readers are treated to mythological creatures, exotic locations, twists and turns, spine-tingling chills, lots of fighting, southern charm, friendship, humor, and gumbo. There’s always gumbo.
Here is the link to my Amazon author page.
Wow, that sounds fantastic, I love books that are inspired by mythology and folklore – especially cultures I don’t know as much about. Books that I can learn something from at the same time as being entertained are my favourite. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings?
I’m over 50, so I’ve had a lot of experiences from modeling posh clothing to practicing Japanese martial arts that make it into my stories. I also know some of the most colorful individuals on this planet whose adventures get polished and handed to my characters. Once I saw someone who looked like they just escaped from the set of The Lost Boys walking around in the searing California sun. I took it from there and created more than I expected. Most of my settings are places I’ve been, or scenes that I’ve dreamed. Nature, grand or gothic architecture make for iconic atmospheres.
Those are some interesting and diverse sources of inspiration! It’s amazing when you can take bits and pieces from a dozen different places and combine them to make a story that is completely unique and yet still relatable. Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser?
I start every story with a scene that mills around in my head for a long time. The characters start out simple. They grow with the story. My body has to be engaged with an activity, and my mind has to be working on something satisfying for my imagination to be free. I have my ideas when I’m working in the kitchen while listening to music, or driving on the freeway. After I’ve written some scenes and stitched them together, then I jot down all the other scenes in my head and put them in order. So, usually halfway through the first draft I have an outline. The story changes as I write it, but it’s good to have a list of things I don’t want to forget while in the wild stages of manic writing. I’m a plantser.
I’m somewhere between plotter and pantser too, but leaning more towards plotter. I need a framework before I can even start, or I’ll get myself into a tangled mess that no amount of editing can ever get me out of! What are you working on right now?
I’m writing the first draft of the third book in The Whitmere Legacy series.
Exciting! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors?
Read On Writing by Stephen King. It doesn’t matter what genre you write. This master of the craft can teach you how to produce compelling stories.
Thank you so much for chatting with me today Donna! It’s been a pleasure, and I can’t wait to read your story for Enchanted Forests! Before I let you go, how can we find out more about you and your books?
Donna’s story in Enchanted Forests, Dimension of the Sasquatch, is a companion story to her series The Whitmere Legacy, so you can get a taste for Donna’s writing before diving into her novels AND help us raise funds for the Rainforest Foundation at the same time!
Happy reading folks,