Donna Steele is a really good friend of mine who's is a fantastic writer. When I first came out to her as a spanko/writer she was both accepting and amused. When I took a deep breath and sent her a story, her reply was, "Thank-you, may I have another?" That's when I knew everything would be okay. Donna can't help being vanilla, we must forgive her, and, as I said, she still writes a great story.
Today, her newest book, Nowhere for Christmas, is out. Now lets get to know her a little better.
Donna, you are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about
I've been married to my best friend
for 35 years and we have two kids who are grown and out on their own – even
mostly self-supporting! Had no idea how
much I would enjoy empty nesting <g> I'm a secretary by profession,
though we're called Executive Assistants now (remember Della Street – she knew
everything and didn't have to stand up in court and speak).
Tell us about the book that’s coming out today.
It's a Christmas novella – will there
be room at the inn for someone who has nowhere to go and no one to be with at
What started you on your love of writing?
Well, I've been writing my whole
life, but now I let people read what I write, which is a big difference. I got caught up in fanfiction for The
X-Files. I really got into that and got fans from all over the world – now
that's a rush. My specialty was AU (alternate universe) so I took known
characters and put them in very different situations. It was too much fun to quit.
I know you write in several genres – tell us a little about each one and
the books you’ve written in each.
I've been a big fan of science
fiction forever – I love the possibilities – Rth Rising was my first novel. Have another sci fi almost ready to
submit. That and X-Files led to the
paranormal – so I've written psychics and ghost stories too – Learning Trust and Wraith's Heart.
You’ve attended writing
conference and classes. Tell us about some that and some that have been
I've been lucky enough to attend two
RWA national conferences and the Moonlight and Magnolia's conference in
Atlanta. I'm also a member of Hearts of the Carolina in Raleigh, a local RWA
chapter. The inspiration from just being around these incredible authors (they
know my name!) keeps the juices stirring. Taking classes on things like
"sagging middles" and "head hopping" and stuff I never
realized happened in novels has improved my structure and made me stretch. I
really recommend them.
How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?
I know them very well – birthday,
favorite color, deepest secrets. I'm
what's known as a "pantser" which means I'm character driven rather
than plot and sometimes the characters take over and move the story in a
totally different direction. That makes it such fun.
Describe your ‘perfect’ writing day.
Home, in my chair with the laptop and
no one else there – No TV or music, just me and my imagination. Rainy and on the cool side doesn't hurt
Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your
writing and don’t forget the answer.
Can't wait to read it, where can I get it?
Book blurb: When
Jeannie’s car dies in the middle of rural Virginia, she’s just about ready to
cry uncle. That’s before Ron shows up to give her an unexpected lift in more
ways than one. A temporary job, a place to stay and a real life Mrs. Santa
Claus are a lot more than Jeannie thought possible. Maybe it will be a Merry
Christmas after all.
Ron pulled around back of the house and hauled the tree onto the work porch. "I think I can lay my hands on the stand pretty quick. The decorations are another story."
"Can I help?"
"Sure, come on up."
Jeannie followed him up to the third floor of the house. She had expected a pull down ladder, but a full set of stairs led them up. The top floor was not broken into rooms and she could see the far end of the house, but the number of boxes—all unlabeled—overwhelmed her.
"Oh," she said and Ron nodded.
"Yeah. I'm not worried about Dez coming up here. I'm worried we'd never find her again once she plunged in. It's gotten worse since she turned this place into a B&B. She didn't really get rid of anything, just added more."
"Is that a bathroom?"
"She could turn this into a large room for groups of women, like sorority get-togethers or something."
"You two are dangerous together."
She winked at him. "Point me to where you think the decorations might be."
"I put them in that general direction last year, but I'm sure they've been shoved back some."
She turned toward him when he called "Got it!" and waved the tree stand at her.
"And I found some decorations. Not all of them, I'm sure, but I can mark the spot with a flag and come back in the morning."
"Can you lift them?"
"I can. I'm going to take this box down now. It has some lovely red sparkly balls in it."
Ron tested the stand, then set up the tree in the corner Dez had designated. "Okay?"
"Turn it a little, yes, that's perfect." She hurried for some water to fill the stand as Ron made small adjustments. "I think she'll be pleased."
"I know she will. You picked a beautiful tree. Usually we have bushier ones, but this leaves a lot of room and looks kinda elegant."
Jeannie grinned. Kinda elegant, she liked that.
"Well, I better get out of here and let you get to bed. I know Dez is an early riser."
"She slept in until nearly six thirty yesterday." Jeannie reported.
"You must have really worn her out." Laughing, she accompanied him to the back door to lock up.