Recently, I decided that I would like to feature interviews with other writing parents. When I mentioned the idea to some members of my writing group (Heart of Carolina Romance Writers), did I ever luck out! Author Donna Steele agreed to be my first interviewee!

Author Donna Steele, writer of eco-friendly fiction

Donna Steele, Author of Learning Trust, Rth Rising, Wraith’s Heart (out May 17 with Rebel Ink!), Homecoming, and Welcome Home.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee (or a glass of Sundrop!), and see what she has to say.

How many children do you have, and what are their ages?
I have 2, a boy – 30 this week and a girl – 23

If your children are at home, how do you find time to write? If they have moved away, how did you write when they were home?
They’re both gone – him in Kentucky, her in New York.  I really didn’t get to write much when he was still home. After it got down to one, it was a little easier. She understood this was my time and if she wasn’t on fire, it wasn’t an emergency.  I think she also saw how I needed to write and gave me the time to do it (most of the time).

What do your children think of your writing?
I think she’s a little sick of hearing about it <g> and as far as I know hasn’t read much of it. She does advertise for me a little and seemed very proud to tell the people at the theater where she works that I am published.

He called me awhile back and said, “Hey, Joe called and read me this really blue passage from a book, then asked me if I knew the author.  It was my MOM!” So I was outed at the fraternities at UK…. Sigh.

In which genre do you write?
I write science fiction and paranormal romance usually, though I have delved into woman’s fiction some. I’m above spicy but not erotic [in the romances].

How does your writing affect your family life?
Well they all know it’s a top priority and if I say I’m writing when they call, they ask when to call back unless they are on fire.  Hubby can look at me and tell when I haven’t written and sends me off to get some done.

What is your typical writing pace?
Since I work full time, I write like a demon on weekends when I have time. I try to write during the week and when it’s flowing that works pretty well. I had three books published in 2012, but two of them were things that I had sent out before.  Finally hit paydirt!

Beginning, middle, or end? Which part of a book/story do you most like to write?
The beginning – the characters are fresh and new, the idea is pulling me. That’s the best time for me.

Where do you write?
I have a ‘nest’ at the house. It’s a big overstuffed chair with my notes and stuff around me.  I do now have custody of a real office and I’m making the transition, but it’s not complete yet.  I want the laptop in my lap, not sitting at a desk like I do 5 days a week.

Do you write with background music? A soundtrack?
Actually I want silence.  If hubby is watching the TV, I go in the office and shut the door. I do best when he’s in his office or out of the house.

What inspires you?
I’m always surprised. Ideas come out of nowhere.  The Saturdays I sit in HCRW with all of those writers really gets my juices flowing.  I’ve been known to make notes for an idea during a meeting.

What is your beverage of choice when writing?
Sundrop – it’s my beverage of choice for everything!

What’s next for you?
I have a science fiction work out that I haven’t heard back on, I’m working on it’s sequel and another woman’s fiction reared it’s head last weekend, so I’ve been working a little on that.  My paranormal Wraith’s Heart will be released May 17.

Is there a story you think ought to be written, but not by you?
Tons of them. I have read some great historicals and occasionally get an idea, but that’s not my time period – not competing with those ladies at HCRW!

What are you reading?
I’m almost finished with Infamous by Suzanne Brockman and I’m listening to the final book of the Wheel of Time – A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan (I have a long commute)

Who are some authors who inspire you?
Sheri Tepper, Suzanne Brockman, Larry Niven, Stephen King – how much space do you have??

Which books have stayed with you long after you’ve read them?
Anything by Stephen King – can still get nightmares of some of his from college, Niven’s also stay with me, his characters could walk in the door any time and I’d know them.

Do you have a favorite color or palette that shows up in your writing?
Green, I always seem to find some eco in my work, saving the planet kind of thing.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?
That nest for now, but soon the office.

What’s your background? How does it play into your writing?
Strong family support – both the one I came from and the one I made – and Daddy’s side was just busting with talent – art, wood carving, cake decorating and I’m not the only author.  I have a degree in office administration (secretary in the old term) so you’d think I’d be organized. You’d be wrong, but when we get together at reunions the talents fly and you’ll definitely see these people in my stories.

Where can we find you on the web?
My webpage is www.steelestories.com
I’m at Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DonnaSteeleAuthor
And twitter – steele_donna

Thank you for sharing your process with us, Donna! I hope that you are blessed with magical unicorn level publishing success. (My children are still very little, as you can see by my superlatives.)

Readers, please visit Donna’s sites to learn more about her writing.

If you are a writing parent with a blog or publication who would like to be interviewed, email me at summerkinard {at} gmail {dot} com.

Make sure to come back next week for an exciting new giveaway!