Interview with Donna Woolam

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Honestly, I'm just thankful to be alive, in my home with my things.
My husband Richard has battled cancer and the after-effects of treatment for the last 2 years. We've spent a lot of time in hospitals and doctors offices. I've slept on couches for weeks on end. We had to travel over 500 miles to go to the hospital so when we weren't in the hospital we spent a lot of time in hotels - and not the Sheraton!
Each day that I can wake up in my own bed,next to my husband is a good day!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I'm sure it wasn't the first story, but one of the earliest I remember was about a nun.
I wasn't raised Catholic, but I had a close friend who was.
Something about the Catholic church intrigued me so I found a book about a woman who was becoming a nun and devoured the book. I even thought I'd become a nun! Again, not Catholic.
From that point on, anything about nuns has fascinated me and I've watched most classic movies about the subject more than once. Of course, there was Sally Field as "The Flying Nun" and that kept me enthralled as well.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing when I was about 10 or so. Life was pretty complicated then and it was a way for me to express my innermost feelings. I often felt like no one heard my voice or saw me. It was my safe place.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I do. I was a big poetry writer and so my early stories were poems.
I felt very dramatic (and probably was) and would write out all of the stories and drama of my life.
I plan to pull all of those out to compile and perhaps publish one day.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Amarillo, Texas - in the Panhandle.
We took pride in the fact that our weather was ever-changing and that our city was a city on the move. Still today I admire the city leaders that diversified the economy so that it could grow no matter the tide of industry that was popular at the time.
It is a larger city, surrounded by wide, open spaces.
I love seeing the sky to the horizon and the feel of limitless possibilities. I can remember the warm summer nights and the neighborhood full of kids playing 'Gray Wolf' - a sort of tag game and Marco Polo mixed together. The stars were so close you could nearly touch them and I spent a lot of time on the hood of the car watching the night sky.
Thunderstorms are fierce and tornadoes common in that part of Texas. The hot summer wind and the frigid winters made me appreciate the diversity of weather and to appreciate it in all it's nuance.
Independence, freedom, traditional values and family were the cornerstone of my growing up - and I guess they remain a large part of my core values.
Describe your desk
My desk can sometimes be a little scary!
Right now I have notes all over it from thoughts about titles or book sections. I find that if I write things down when they run through my mind, then the thoughts don't overrun me.
I have speakers playing 'classical music for work or study' from my Pandora station.
My iPad and notebooks along with a delicious cup of coffee round out the major part.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a TV junkie!
I enjoy old movies and old TV series.

MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC!
Just almost any type of music inspires me and I love to sit and listen to music.

We have a quiet life, but when I travel I love to travel to the ocean. I recently developed a love for whales! I would travel the world over and follow them if I could. I hope to do so one day.
What is your writing process?
Often a phrase will float through my mind. Maybe I'll hear something in a song or catch a phrase in the news. I'll grab those words and write them down in my iPhone notes section.
I'll ponder the thoughts, sometimes for days. They will play around in my conscious and subconscious mind until the time I sit down to write. Once I begin that process I typically write bare bones thoughts. When a particular section is sharper in my mind I'll go back to it and 'fill it out.'
I love that I can cut and paste and move things around in my word processor.
How do you approach cover design?
I want the readers to FEEL the inside of the book when they look at the cover. Cover Design is the calling card. I want the reader to feel compelled to open the cover and feel that they are just taking the next step into the story.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read all types of things for pleasure. It really depends on where I am in life at the time.
I do have a tendency to read non-fiction books more often than not. When I do read fiction, I want it to inform me about a time or place or culture. In my younger days I devoured historical romance. Today, it typically is something to help me learn more about my passion or project. I may read 2 or 3 books at a time.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I am an information gatherer.
When something captures my attention, I want to learn more. I am a self-proclaimed 'Google Queen.' When I see a book that addresses a question, I'll head on over to the online store and buy it.
My reader is full of all kinds of books, fiction and non-fiction alike.
Published 2014-06-10.
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