Today we welcome Donna Schlachter to my blog. Donna is very graciously giving away a copy of her book The Physics of Love. Leave a comment with contact information to be entered in the drawing!
Donna, glad to have you! Where do you get your inspiration for your books? Inspiration comes from all around me. A song lyric. A line from a movie. A news headline. A picture in a museum. A premise from a history book. A photograph. A snippet of conversation. An epitaph on a headstone in a cemetery. I think the reason I see inspiration and ideas for books in all of these things is because I’m looking for inspiration and ideas for books.
What's your key environment that helps you get to writing? Do you have a writer’s nook, corner, getaway? Where do you do your most productive writing? I write from two main places: my office and a local coffeeshop. I think my most productive writing is in the coffeeshop, because I purposefully turn off my Internet connection there. However, most of my words are written in my office because that’s where I spend most of my time. I would encourage writers to write where they are. Don’t look for a retreat weekend or a huge block of time. Sit. Write. Repeat. That’s the only way books get written.
What are you saying in your book(s) that will encourage Christians today? We serve a second--and third--and fourth chance God. The Bible is filled with stories of flawed characters making bad choices and then making good choices. I hope readers will see that our God is bigger than our past, bigger than any mistake we can ever make, and well able to restore and reshape our future.
How do you pick names for your characters? I wander cemeteries. Seriously. I wander through cemeteries and look at headstones. Take pictures. And then when I’m trying to figure out a first and last name, I go through the pictures, taking into account the age of the person when they died so you can do the rough math and see what names were popular in the area at the time your story is set. This is one reason why visiting the area you want to set your story is so important--you get a feel for the setting, but also for the people who lived there.
How important are reviews to you? So at first I used to fret I had no reviews. Then I fretted if it wasn’t a 4 or a 5. Then I had to stop looking at reviews, which is sort of where I am right now. Although, I will say, I had a 2 on one of my books, which hurt, but when I read the review, the person was honest and said there were timeline flaws and editing problems in my book. So I went back and looked at it, and they were right. I went back and fixed the problems and republished the book (one of the many benefits of CreateSpace publishing). I finally had to accept that more people like my books than will ever leave a review, because no matter how many times you ask, readers don’t take the time to post a review.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What genre is your favorite? What books have you enjoyed lately? Mysteries are my favorite genre, so Agatha Christie is my all-time favorite author. She had a mastery over the genre that I always feel other authors try to emulate, and never very well. In contemporary mysteries, I love series, because when I find an author I like, I want to read everything they wrote. Lillian Jackson Braun is a fave, and I also enjoy the Bed and breakfast series, the birdwatching series, the catering series, the knitting series, and the mystery bookstore series.
Donna Schlachter, Canadian by birth, American by choice, weaves a compelling and engaging story based partly in truth, partly in her imagination. Her father’s family hails from Carbonear, Newfoundland, the setting of this story of longing, lies, and a love which surely covers a multitude of sin.
Growing up in Newfoundland has never been easy, and all the more difficult for a motherless girl. Laura looks for love in all the wrong places and finds little but disappointment.
Richard is a happy child, secure in the love of his parents, but always sensing that something is missing.
When Laura and Richard’s stories collide, will they both find what they’re looking for?
Donna lives in
with her husband Patrick, who is her first-line editor and biggest fan. She
writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under
her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She has published four cozy mysteries and a devotional
for accountants under her pen name, and a collection of short stories, a book
on writing tips, and several devotionals under her own name. She is currently
under contract with Barbour Books in a novella collection on the Pony Express.
Donna is a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a
number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American
Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t
let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and
travels extensively for both. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and
online at: www.HiStoryThruTheAges.wordpress.com
Her most recent release is They Physics
of Love. All books are available at Amazon.com in digital and print.