Interview with Donna Alward

When did you first start writing?
I've always been writing, I think! Writing was my outlet in high school, along with being a band geek, and I kept it up while I did my degree in English Lit. But then I kind of forgot about it for a while when "real life" happened. I got back to it when I was in my late twenties, when I wrote my first full-length fiction book. It took just under five years of my "internship" to get that first contract.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I believe in reaching all sorts of readers in all sorts of ways. When the rights to my first book became eligible for reversion, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to dip my toes in the indie waters. It's been great. I had the book re-edited, and worked with a cover artist on the cover. Creative control is really cool!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Happy endings! I love creating my characters and putting them through the wringer, and then giving them the happy ending that they've worked so hard for throughout the story. I think I'm addicted to hope. :)
What do your fans mean to you?
EVERYTHING! The readers are who I write for! There is nothing better, as an author, than getting that e-mail in my inbox saying that one of my stories touched a reader or that they enjoyed the story and went back and glommed my other books.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Necessity. LOL. No, truly, I'm a morning person and I love my job. So getting up in the morning and getting the family on the go and then sitting down at my desk to work is a routine that is pure pleasure.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing chauffeur to my kids, reading, watching TV, knitting, enjoying the outdoors. Basically taking a deep breath and enjoying some downtime with the family.
What is your writing process?
Pantser! I usually have characters in my head, basic conflict, a few key scenes so I know WHAT the story is about, but I don't outline or plan. I've tried it - and it's generally a disaster. So I open my document, start at Chapter One, and just go. I write linearly so I don't jump around to different parts of the book. I go over the previous day's work when I start in the morning, make adjustments, and carry on. Then at the end I can see the story as a whole and work on revising it.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first Romance I ever read: Vows, by LaVyrle Spencer. I got hooked on her books AND the genre. Clearly, as a romance author, that was a big moment for me.
What do you read for pleasure?
A lot of Romance - it's my thing, after all, and I like some thriller/mystery, some non-fiction (like biographies) and the odd literary fiction.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My kindle app. I have a tablet which allows me a lot of flexibility, and my kindle app lets me one click buy for instant gratification.
Describe your desk
Tidy. I think because my brain is messy with all that story and creative stuff floating around, I like my environment to be clean. So I have my to-do list, some post-it notes, a container with pens, and a few odd things but it's not cluttered with a bunch of stuff. I have shelves on the top of it, which is where I keep my filing and odds and ends like business cards, etc. When my desk is messy, I have a hard time focusing! Plus cleaning it is a great procrastination technique. :)
Published 2014-04-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.