Saturday, June 8, 2013

Interview with author Donna K. Weaver


When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.

Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.


Today I am delighted to have author Donna K. Weaver here with me. Donna is a navy brat and U.S. Army veteran, and has lived in a number of U.S. states as well as South Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific four times and after retiring from from Shorei Kempo Karate with a black belt, she decided it was time to put her imaginary friends and places on paper. She lives in Utah with her husband. They have six children and eight grandchildren. And right off the bat I'm dying to know the name of these six children and holy cow how did you manage six kids?!


Those six kids (all adults now) were part of a 'yours, mine, and ours' blended family--though I birthed five of them. I was widowed young and had a son and a daughter--David and Erin. My current husband brought a daughter with him from his first marriage--Shanna. Together, we had three sons: Robert, Paul, and Adam. No 'interesting' spellings for us.

I used to wonder if I could ever get caught up with the laundry, and then I realized I'd have to make everyone go naked for a day to do that. Um, no. lol  Managing? Organization and delegation. Make cleaning up fun--not with a spoonful of sugar, of course--but turning it into a game.

Well, congratulations on bringing up a tribe! I know what it’s like to belong in one and wouldn’t trade it for the world. Tell me, what does your family think about your publishing venture? 
Most of them are really excited for me. One son, though, is incredibly smug. I wrote the book just to see if I could write a full-length novel. I never dreamed of pursuing publication, but he said I should try. As I learned and edited and learned some more and edited some more, he continued to bug me about it. Now, he's pretty snarky with his arrogant "I told you so" comments. *sigh*

Heheh – sometimes kids think they’re so smart, don’t they? Speaking of your publishing venture, what has the journey been like so far?

It's a journey I didn't realize at first that I was going on. I'm a voracious learner, so I've been anxious to learn as much as I can and try to get better. Once I decided that I wanted the full experience--you know, the whole submission/rejection thing--I did further research. By this time, I had become friends online and in person with many wonderful writers and authors who were great resources. 

I took to heart a remark made at a conference by author James Dashner (Maze Runner series, etc.). He said he wanted to have something positive to look forward to, so he determined that he would take his wife out to dinner with every 10 rejections. I was so happy when my publisher, Rhemalda, wanted my story.

That must’ve made your day! Tell me about Lynn, your main character. Where did you find her?

Lyn just kind of grew. I knew she was going to be on the cruise with a friend (Elle), but I wanted Lyn not to be a huge socializer. This would give her more opportunities for alone time--and chances to interact with Braedon. Obviously, she had to be recovering from a huge hurt, so she would be vulnerable. However, I wanted her think--incorrectly--that she was handling her hurt well. And poor Braedon--completely clueless about her history--walked right into it.

And where did he come from? Did you already have someone like him in mind or did you discover him somewhere? Love the name by the way - very manly :)

The book began as a dream where a guy and a gal were marooned on an island with a tree house. I thought it would be handy, therefore, that the guy was a doctor. I wanted him to be capable yet also dealing with some of his own issues, and I wanted him to have shared interests with Lyn. It needed to be organic that they would enjoy spending time together. While I wanted the frosting of a physical attraction, I wanted it to be so much more. I wanted them to fall in love, not in lust.

That sounds like a fun dream and how cool that it grew into a story! I do like a good love story *sigh* Was there any part of the book that gave you trouble? And if so how did you work through it?

Part 2, for sure, where they are marooned. I wrote and cut and wrote and cut, depending upon what kind of approach. Was it going to be all about the survival? (I have a dear friend who wishes it was.) Was it going to be just about the love story? A combination? If I ever put together a collection of cut scenes, most of them will come from Part 2.

I noticed in your bio that you’ve lived in some far away places and I wonder if there was anything in particular you miss about any of them? Incredible beaches? Great food? Awesome beer, perhaps? You did mention Germany…

It's a very eye-opening experience to live in other countries. Some of them were extremely poor, and I learned to value the affluence we have in the U.S. It would be interesting to visit some of those countries again and see them through adult eyes. I would especially like to visit Germany again because I only had the chance to visit half of it, since I lived there before the wall came down. While I don't drink beer, those Germans sure do. Two-liter beer mugs! And their fest beer has a much higher concentration of alcohol. The Germans work hard and play hard.

I have heard that about German beer and I completely agree about spoiled Americans. My sister lived in India and Singapore and I think we don’t realize how easy life is for us. But enough reality! If you could temporarily switch places with a character from a book – yours or someone else’s - who would it be and why?

I think it would be Sara in Anne McCaffrey's "Restoree". That book has long been one of my favorites by one of my favorite authors. I love the characters and culture she created. While I wouldn't want to go through the terrible things Sara does (are we authors mean people?), I'd love to go for a visit.

Thank you, Donna, for stopping by today and answering all my questions and the best of luck with your new book. And for Donna's fans, here's the trailer... 






22 comments:

  1. Loved the interview, especially learning about Donna's family and a little about her travels. Her book sounds fantastic. So excited for her!

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  2. I can relate to Donna's overseas experiences (except that Germans now drink more wine than beer). Just bought her book!

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    1. Thanks, Kittie! I'll bet the G.I.s stationed over there still drink plenty of the beer. My favorite thing was Nurnberg's bratwurst. Like the beer, it can be unique to the city it's made in.

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  3. Great interview, ladies. You asked some great questions Marcy.
    I know most writers yearn for publication for years, but nice to know I'm not the only one who never planned on it either.
    And I'd like to go back to some of the places I lived as a military brat. I remember seeing a lot of beer drinking in England as well. Businessmen who'd have several pints for lunch and then go back to work. I'd be asleep after that!

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    1. It would be interesting, wouldn't it? Seoul is a very modern city now compared to what it was when we lived there. While we were there, the government turned over three times. Lots of upheaval.

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  4. OMG Donna has her own tribe! :)

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    1. Or maybe a basketball team? The boys are certainly tall enough. lol

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  5. Tweeted and shared! Lovely interview.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  6. Thanks so much for the interview! It was fun going back and forth with the questions.

    Alex is a military brat, too? Awesome.

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  7. I always love hearing how people came up with their stories. A lot of times people say it came to them in a dream. Fun how our subconscious supplies us with stories even when we're sleeping. :D

    Congrats, Donna. And wonderful interview, ladies.

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    1. Thanks, L.G. I've got a couple of books that are based upon a dream. I guess that means my dreams are entertaining. When I can remember them. lol

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  8. Great interview. It's always interesting to see how parts of the story evolved in the author's mind as things develop.

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    1. Yeah. Very different from the dream.

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  9. Good interview, good read!

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  10. Great interview, sounds like a good read!

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  11. Congrats to Donna. Six kids: Yowza! I can only manage my two :-)

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  12. Way to go, Donna! Great interview. Good on you for sticking with it, and on your son for bugging you all the way.

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  13. Great interview. Loved reading it.

    Congratulations Donna! The story premise sound interesting!

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  14. Sounds interesting and romantic! The cover is lovely. Thanks for the interview! LOL, love James Dashner's take on rejections. :) Congrats on persevering with your writing!

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