Hi Donna!!! Thanks for answering some questions for the followers.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and about your latest release, Midnight's Lover....
I've been writing for over 13 years, and I seem to have a thing about writing books in a series. :) Which leads me to MIDNIGHT'S LOVER. It's the second book in the Dark Warriors series, which is a continuation of the Dark Sword series.
MIDNIGHT'S LOVER features one of my favorite Highland Warriors - Ian Kerr. I knew when I was writing about Ian in Quinn's book (WICKED HIGHLANDER) that Ian was going to be so much fun to write. And he didn't disappoint. I had no idea he'd go through so much between Quinn's book and his own, but he got a great heroine in Danielle, I think. :)
2. What was your motivation for taking your historical paranormal series into the present day?
It wasn't just my idea. I have the most fabulous editor, and it was while we were chatting about the guys and what I had planned that I mentioned wanting to do some back to back releases. The next day, she comes back and says they'd love to, but...I'd have to do something different with the series. My amazing, gorgeous editor already had something in mind, too. She suggested I time travel my guys to present day.
Needless to say, I was speechless (which for those that know me know is a pretty rare thing!). There was no pressure from my editor. She said it was all my choice. So, I chewed that over for a day and then called her back. We spent the next two hours talking about the pros and cons of me doing such a move and what I could do with the series. Since I had only dipped my toe in contemporary with a bit of time travel in a series, I wasn't sure how things would go to set an entire book in present day. But, I took a deep breath, tossed aside Logan's book that I had completed, and rewrote it - in present day Scotland.
I would spend on day smiling at how much fun I was having, and then the next wondering what the hell I was doing. It wasn't until I read over the entire book that I found I quite liked being in modern day with my guys. The ultimate test was my editor. I was fully prepared for her to tell me I needed extensive revisions. Imagine my surprise when I got the phone call that she loved it. My husband took me out celebrating that night. lol
So, while I love historicals (and always will), I've found that time traveling my Warriors to present day Scotland seems to have fit the series perfectly and opened up so much more trouble for the guys to get into (and the Druids/heroines to get them out of. lol).
3. Have you enjoyed this journey?
Ah...I think I answered this above, but "yes!" :D It's caused me sleepless nights, incredible stress wondering how readers would receive such a change, and amazing highs from reader emails/reviews.
4. What is the toughest aspect about the literary world for you?
Besides the rejections? :) Hmm...hateful/rude reviews is one that ranks pretty high up there. I get that not everyone is going to like an author's book, but to be so cruel is too much, IMO. I, myself, tend to stay away from searching out reviews for that reason alone. If a reader/reviewer sends me a review, I'll read it, but I certainly don't go looking for them.
5.When did you first become interested in writing?
I've always had stories running through my mind, but it wasn't until 1999 when I was pregnant with my oldest that my husband told me he thought I might want to give writing a try since I was always telling him how I'd have changed a book i was reading. So, I thought, "what the hell?" and promptly began writing during my lunch break. Four months later and I had my first completed manuscript. And I knew there was no turning back for me.
6. What's the most difficult part of writing?
For me its the synopsis. I'm a panster (meaning I have no idea what's going to happen from one day to the next when I sit down to write) so for me to have to write a synopsis and give to my editor so she knows what the book is going to be about is difficult. I'm very vague in my synopsis, and fortunately for me, my editor is okay with that. :)
7. Your new covers for this series are fabulous.. are you happy with them and are they accurate description of the books?
I love the new covers! I find it difficult not to see the "Highlander" in the titles or see the hunks in kilts, but who's going to complain about seeing all those muscles? The one thing I love about these new covers is that most of them were taken in photo shoots where I had to supply a description of the characters and what they'd be wearing.
I tried to say "nothing" for the guys, but that didn't go over too well. lol
8. Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
Being in the romance community, we authors tend to stick together. The St. Martin's authors have a private loop where we chat and support each other. Between them, various other author loops, and just around the romance community, I'm always hearing about fabulous new authors.
And going to RWA conferences (national as well as local), I get to meet new authors, connect with authors who are my friends, and of course, be a fan girl to the authors I read. :)
9. How do you come up with the character's names? Do you use family and friends?
lol. I'm pretty particular about my character's names. I have a character naming source book and several generators I use online. I go through and write down names that appeal to me. I then think about the character(s) I'll be writing about and search until I find the name that fits them.
There have been instances where a few pages into the book I realize there's something wrong. Normally, its a character name, and once I change it, I'm good to go. ;)
10. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas. I love the decorating, the parties, the family get-togethers that make us cringe, the joy, the rushing around, wrapping all the presents - just everything! I go all out during Christmas.
11. Favorite TV show? Movie?
Favorite TV show, not sure I can narrow it down to one. Supernatural (of course), Spartacus, Haven, Once Upon a Time, Burn Notice, Vampire Diaries, Tru Blood, and so, so, soooooo many more. :)
Movies: Lord of the Rings, Serenity, Clash of the Titans, Immortals, Pride & Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes (both), Underworlds, and again, soooooo many more.
12. Do you have any mentors?
My editor is the closest thing I'd have to a mentor. I know lots of authors have critique groups and a big named author helping them out, but I've always kinda went it alone. Not on purpose. Had I found RWA before I started writing things might have been different, but I'd written four complete books before ever even discovering RWA. :S
13. How helpful is your family when you are writing?
Extremely. I wouldn't be able to do the things I do without the aid of my family. My husband reads everything I write, and we can often be found discussing fight/battle scenes or an idea I need fleshed out. My kids get into it now as well. They love the "idea sessions" they call them.
My husband is really good about cooking if I'm still writing or I'm mentally checked out after a hard day. (Sometimes (read: most times) after a full day of writing, I've used up all my decisions. lol). I've been writing since my first was born, so they know what it means when I have my music on. And if my door is shut, don't come in my office unless their bleeding or something's broken. :D
14. Do they read your books?
My husband, of course. My parents, definitely. My brother, not so much. But he does go buy them and put them on his shelves for his friends to see. :)
My kids - not until they're at least 50. (kidding. I'm thinking more like 45)
15. Do you have any last words of wisdom for your fans?
I know from reading my favorite authors' that sometimes a book/series doesn't go the way we want it to or think it should, but its how the characters talk to us authors. We follow them, and sometimes things happen that aren't good and leave the characters, readers - and even authors writing the books - reeling.
For me, I won't make sense of out something until several books later when it all comes together. There's an ah, ha! moment.
And authors love hearing from readers. If you've ever hesitated in sending your favorite author an email, posting something on FB or Twitter, don't be. That's what helps get us through some days after bad reviews, harsh edits, or our characters won't talk to us. :)