Tuesday, 26 July 2011

My first guest blogger

I'm sure that most of you are bored with my aimless ramblings so I've been lucky enough to secure a guest for today's entry.  Have a look; it's one of my favourites.

1. What particular area of women's fiction do you write? And which work of your own is your favourite?
I write detailed emotional encounters and in-depth relationships, which makes my work different from romance novels.  I delve into the ups and downs of life and love.  My twist on women’s fiction is that my stories inter-mix New Age with the story line.  My favorite novel is ‘Always.’  It is the first in a series of novels, so it’s important I do it right.

2. Which writer has directly or indirectly influenced your work the most, and why?
Although I admire many writers, I have to say Edgar Allan Poe has influenced me the most because of his eye for detail and for leading the reader on a ride through the story.  He once said before he wrote, he thought about what his readers would want.  That became his goal.  I’ve tried to adopt that idea in my works.

3. If you made a deal with a publisher, would the prospect of a deadline threaten or thrill you?
I am such a non-conformist who likes doing things my way with me as the boss.  I would feel threatened, because I would want the time to make the novel perfect.

4. Which writer have you always wanted to meet, and what would you ask him/her?
Tough question.  I guess I’d have to go with Shakespeare.  I would ask him if he ever worried that one of his plays would be unsuccessful.  To me, Shakespeare is a genius.  People today are afraid to read him, but I say let his story carry you.  I wouldn’t feel complete without ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.’

5. Are you worried that electronic readers will dilute or destroy the market or do you welcome them?
I welcome electronic readers.  Now I can carry my favorite books with me where-ever I go.  What I do worry about is the bad writers who are flooding the market with their ‘literary works.’  Eventually, controls will be set up, and new authors will not have much of a chance selling their works.

  Thank you, Roger, for inviting me to guest blog. 
I am a researcher whose hobbies include history, languages, and linguistics.  When I write, I do volumes of research first.  My information must be accurate.  I also base my characters from people I’ve met in real life.  I am a serious person, so my writings are quite dramatic.  Here are some excerpts from ‘Always’:
o       He turned to look at the woman, his thumb still trembled, his jaw set tight, his breaths short and quick.  She was crouched behind two crates, terrified.  He relaxed his stance, smiled down at her, shrugged, and walked away.

o       In the autumn of 1665, the Black Death returned to the Isles and stayed into 1666.  It spread rapidly and left death in its tracks.  The mortality rate was seventy five percent, and thus its name - The Great Plague.  It was the last major outbreak in the Isles and before it ceased killing, an estimated 100,000 had perished.

o       Jesse talked above April’s screams.  “Yes, your baby is dead.  It is sad.  He will not share in your loving home.   Now, you realize you still have your family.  You are a mother with responsibilities, yes?  You must stop!  Your husband is filled with this pain too.  He is a man.  He blames himself, so much guilt.   We all feel this pain for you.  You think I do not understand?  I know.  Your Uncle Dixon and I, we have shared this pain too.  You believe only you have lost a baby?”

I do have a quirky side of me, and it shows up in the character of Geraldina Pottwatts.  She is an older woman from a small Midwest town, who is quite a know-it-all.  Here is an excerpt from her encounter with a vampire:
o       At that, Victor dramatically drew his cloak down and showed his teeth.
     Gerri jumped in her seat.  A look of fright on her face, she patted her heart several times.  “Oh, my.  Oh, my, my.”
     “Now, you are afraid!”
     “Oh, yes.  Such awful teeth.  My, my, my.  What kind of mother did you have?  No wonder you keep your mouth covered.  Poor hon.  You embarrassed by those two oversized canine teeth?  I know a good dentist.  He can fix those for you.  Oh, no.”  Gerri stared at his gums.  “No wonder you are so thin and white.  You’re sick, Sweetie.  You got blood around your gums.  You poor thing.  I had a friend once with that Gingy-itus and she died.  You best see my dentist right away.  I better have the pastor help you with all this.  You need too much help.”  She wrote another post-it-note and stuck it on top of the others.
     Dees is not my blood.”
     Gerri chuckled.  “Oh, don’t be silly.  Whose blood would it be?  You don’t have to be embarrassed.  I’m just trying to help you.”

This is an excerpt from another Gerri story where she is a volunteer English teacher who has a young Frenchman in her class:
o       “Are you stupid or you just insult me?  I am French, not Chinese.”  Using his hand to help illustrate, he said, “Michel” slowly, elongating the word and drawing his hand from his mouth out in front of him.   “Michel.  Michel.  It is a male name, I assure you.”
     “You feriner.”  Gerri chuckled.  “You made a funny. You know, I can speak some French.”
     Oh, oui?  Bien sur, then, let’s hear your French.”
     Gerri cleared her throat.  “Oui oui and Ooh-la-la.  Voile.” (which she sounded as voil).
Michel creased his brow and looked at her for a moment.  “What is this voil?”
     “Oh, you know,” said Gerri.  “Voile, like, so there.”
     “Voila?! You make a mockery of French?”
     “Now, I ain’t mockin’ no-one.  Why, my daddy taught me those French words.  He was in World War II.  That’s where he learned them.  Fought in the Philippines, he did.”
     “He learned French in the Philippines?  In the War?  I don’t think so.”
     “Silly young ‘un.  The Philippines ain’t that far from France, you know.”
     “Mon Dieu!”  He stood up and marched to the map again.  “Here, show me France.”
     Geraldina peered at the map of the world.  “Well, it’s got to be close.”  “Voile!”  She yelled, pointing at Russia.
     You are being funny, yes?”  He asked. 
     Gerri slammed her hand on Russia again.  “Yep, that’s France.”
     “Oh.  I see our country has changed its name from France to Russia and someone has moved it too, like China.  No, wait.  I think you might be wrong. A first time for you, I think.”  Taking her finger, he traced from Russia to France.  “Yes, here it is.  I was afraid for a moment that it had been moved.  Mais non, it is where it has always been.  See?” 
     “Oh, how silly of me.  Of course.”  She said.  “It must be my glasses.”
     “Must be.”  He said.  Russia.”  He pointed at it.  France.”  He pointed at it.
     “Yep, I see you are neighbors.”

I'd like to thank Donna for her time.
Here's the address again.


  1. Thank you for this opportunity, Roger. I was honored to guest blog.

  2. Great post, Donna. Love the excerpts!

  3. Geraldina's a lot of fun to read, Donna. She's a one of a kind character. And I like what you have to say about Shakespeare and Poe too.

  4. I love Gerri, especially! She deserves her own novel...or better yet, series.

    And I love you, too, Donna.

  5. Po rocks! I used to work with someone who is a descendant of his. Awesome blog!

  6. Thank all of you for your supportive comments. And again, a huge thank you to our friend Roger for giving me this chance.