I have been blessed with many good author friends. This lady is another I am happy and proud to know. She is super talented and lots of fun. If you haven’t read anything of hers you are missing out on quite and adventure! It is my pleasure to introduce you to Donelle…..
1. How old were you when you wrote your first story?
My first recollection of writing anything outside of the classroom was when I was 9 after Star Wars: A New Hope came out. I sat with a pad of paper and wrote stories using those characters and telling their adventures the way I thought they should continue. I would introduce new challenges, new characters, and new outcomes. Eventually, I started coming up with ideas of my own. Eventually I began creating my own worlds, my own characters. I never showed anyone those stories, and I would be scared to read them now. Think Twilight was written by a 10-12 year old. No offense to any Twilight fans, but those were not my “cup of tea.”
2. How many books have you written?
I have two so far, co-written with Michael Freeman, Strychnine and Strigoi: The First Family.
3. Anything you won’t write about?
I do not do straight up romance books. As for any taboo topics, I can say any kind of child abuse will not figure prominently. It may be a motivation for a character to do what he/she does, but it is something that will not get much read time. It is a subject that would have to be ancillary or peripheral and not in the forefront.
4. Tell me about you. Age (if you don’t mind answering), married, kids, do you have another job, etc.
I have no problem sharing my age. I am proud of every year, and firmly believe I am only getting older not old. We are only old when we are no longer capable of having fun and laughing. I am 48. I have been married for twenty-six and a half years to Christian. He is my anchor. He never tells me I can’t accomplish something, and he won’t let me tell myself that either. We have one son, Sebastian, who married his high school sweetheart and gave us three (soon to be four) grandchildren, two granddogs, several grandchickens. I have a “day job” working with my husband on an internet sales business. It allows me the flexibility to work with all the fantastic people at Stitched.
5. What is your favorite book you have written?
That’s tough because there are only two, and both have their own merits. Strychnine is an apocalyptic werewolf story, and Strigoi: The First Family is a historical fiction story that re-imagines the Dracula origin mythos. I love both werewolves and vampires; although, my favorite creature is a hybrid of the two. But if I had to choose one, I would go with Strigoi because of the historical element. The way Michael and I set it up incorporates historical facts we know meshed with fictional elements.
6. Who or what inspired you to write?
Tough question because no one really. My mom supported and encouraged me to read, but as for the writing I just started to. I did, however, have friends who would tell me I should be an editor, and I had an English teacher who inspired me decide to go into journalism.
7. What do you like to do for fun?
Lots. I love riding on my husband’s Harley, hiking, being with my kid and his family, camping, snorkling, however the spirit moves me. I also enjoy being quiet and reading. I enjoy travelling. My mom and I go on mother-daughter trips, she loves to tell people I am her sherpa. Thanks to her, Christian and I were able to go to China where my favorite part was seeing pandas and climbing The Great Wall. I’ve climbed Machu Pichu, been white water rafting and saw whales in Alaska, got to see wild animals in the Kapama Game Reserve in South Africa, saw Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and was able to spend time with Sebastian and his family in Hawaii where he is stationed with the Navy. Oh, and I like working with Stitched because what could be more fun than that?
8. Any traditions you do when you finish a book?
Heave a sigh of relief once it is in Lisa Vasquez’s (CEO of Stitched Smile Publications) excellent hands for formatting and release. And, of course, party of the Facebook release party.
9. Where do you write? Quiet of music?
I don’t have a set place, I am learning that while it is a good idea to have a routine time to write every day, inspiration can strike at any time. I have a Bluetooth keyboard with three “channels” so it is paired with my phone, Samsung tablet, and my iPad, and I can switch back and forth, if I need to, between the three. I save the documents in my Dropbox so if I am at my desk with the laptop, I can still access them. As for music or quiet. Sometimes quiet, sometimes music. Same goes for when I edit. I prefer the music on the YouTube channel/station Pandora Journey and others like it. It is mainly the kind of music you hear in video games, such as Halo. I don’t play them, but the music touches my soul.
10. Anything you would change about your writing?
Can’t really answer that because in my mind it is a living, breathing entity that is ever growing.
11. What is your dream? Famous writer?
I am living it. Each decision, every event in my life shapes me and leads me to the next step. I understand a need to remember the past and plan for the future. However, I prefer to focus on the now. I tend to obsess, so it is better for me to keep both feet in the present and not get caught up in the what ifs. Been there, done that. I do not always succeed, but I try. Do I want to be a famous writer? I don’t know about if I really want fame. If it happens I won’t say no. I want to be able to share what I can with as many people as possible, to take them on the journey with me. And making enough money to be able to treat my mom to a mother/daughter trip like she does for me would of course be most excellent.
12. Where do you live?
I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago, but I live in a small town in central Illinois. Have been here for twenty-four years now.
We had ferrets from the time my son was born until after he left for the Navy, so eighteen years. When the last one died we decided no more. We got our dog Polly almost four years ago. She is a whippet/lab mix.
14. What is your favorite thing about writing?
Let’s see. I would have to say the freedom of expression, to create art with words, and then to be able to share them. Then when seeing something I wrote in print, be it when I worked in newspapers or now, and being able to say I did that. Stephen King one time said writers don’t like to write, they like having written. The actual act of sitting down and putting words into sentences that coherently, and eloquently, express something is work. The true joy is when it is done, and I can say look what I created.
You can connect with Donelle here:
Instagram as dpardeewhiting_author
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pardeewhiting/
On Twitter: @pardeetime
The SSP blog: https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/
The SSP website: http://www.stitchedsmilepublications.com/
You can get her books at these links:
Strychnine on Amazon:
Strigoi: The First Family on Amazon:
As always Donelle, thank you for letting us get to know you better and I wish you loads of success and happiness my friend!