Interview with Donna Bryant Sikes

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get lost in writing. Raising grandchildren is rewarding, but when you add a job and other day-to-day stresses things can get a little tense. Writing just melts all that away.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'm very appreciative of anybody that wants to look at what I write. It warms my heart. I try to make sure that what I put out there is worth the time to read so that the reader gets as much joy out of reading it as I got in writing it.
What are you working on next?
I am now working on the second book to The Americans series. It has been so much fun writing the action scenes. I realized in my first books that when an action scene came up I was very excited. My passion has quickly grown to writing past paced books. At the same time, I am writing a book called Tooth Fairy Down. It is a comedy/action that someone gave me the idea to do. They didn't realize when they made funny gestures and comments about something that the wheels in my brain were turning to write a series about it. It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen that will probably lead to the series Jilly Bean Diaries. I'm still kicking it around, but it will gear more toward teens and above. I have read that a writer needs to limit themselves to writing a certain type book to a certain genre. My imagination won't let me do that. Hopefully, someday it will settle down and I can just write a long series about one character or a long series about one particular setting, but right now its not happening. The imagination rules.
Who are your favorite authors?
Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Janette Oke, Debbie Macomber, John Grisham, Lori Wilde - variety is the spice of life.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I just love waking up early and getting on with the day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have another job, but in the fun times we enjoy the grandchildren and really love being on the lake.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search out authors or a particular type of book.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was hilarious. I must have been twenty years old. It was a story for children. 'The Witches of Getchum'. I don't think I even have a copy of it anymore. I just made copies and passed it around.
What is your writing process?
I get an idea in my head, and then about everything I see or hear after that goes on my phone under NOTES. It can be a phrase I heard, a gesture I saw or a movie that gave me some ideas. I never know. The imagination is a wonderful thing, and mine tends to run wild.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I've read stories all my life so I doubt I remember the first one. The first one I remember with an impact on me was Jane Eyre. It was slow paced but I really got caught up in it.
How do you approach cover design?
I get a picture in my head of what the story is about and the characters in it. I lean more toward the message I want to convey. Miss Mae has done great covers. I am now learning to do my own. I am not as great as she is yet, but some day.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Gone with the Wind - I love the story around the history and the characters. My mother has told me stories of my Bigma Rutherford laughing while reading that book.
A Painted House - I really enjoyed the 'back when' country feel to the book. It reminded me of my childhood visiting the south Georgia family farms. My first two books are like that.
Twilight - I don't like vampire stuff, but I loved the love story and the action in the series.
Patriot's Dream - An amazing love story between two worlds in two different times.
Skinny Dip - The book was just plain hilarious.
What do you read for pleasure?
I never know. It depends on my mood. I may want a romance with suspense or action. I may want something slow and easy. I might have heard of an inspirational book that catches my interest. Like I said, variety is the spice of life and I never know what mine will be.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have always loved turning the page of a book. I said I would never own an electronic device to read a book. Now I love my Nook. I have two and I use them both.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word of mouth works great. I love Smashwords ebooks. The Facebook page and email address help. I am working in Goodreads now. I hope to get a website soon.
Describe your desk
Its actually a laptop and goes where I go. Wonderful invention.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Thomaston, GA. People didn't have much in material things but they had each other and they were good to each other. I remember the thing back then was to take food to anybody sick or had a death in the family. People sat on porches to visit. I grew up visiting family in Bleckley County. I always loved the farms and the down-home feel to it.
When did you first start writing?
I can't remember. I was very young.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Its patriotic. Its about a small town in West Central Georgia where the people come together to help each other out when the government has failed them. They are very brave and don't think twice about doing what needs to be done to get things back on track and to protect their neighbors.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I read about it and saw the joy in publishing where your imagination takes you.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It puts books out there for me and doesn't cost me anything to do it.
Where do you see yourself with writing in five years?
I hope to someday get my books in print, besides just the first one I published with AuthorHouse. They print on demand and I distribute.
Published 2013-09-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Finding Hope
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 55,200. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Finding Hope is a book of innocence stolen, playful days of trust snatched away. Fading memories erase the humor of life. A community that bullies leaves more questions as to why the hatred. Cyd finds company in her misery as she races through a swamp in hopes of a life with more to offer than just breathing. A swamp that brings more despair, captivity, and for some, death. Forced to question
The Americans - Rise of a Legacy
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 58,420. Language: English. Published: September 10, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Adventure » Action
Cody grew up on a ranch in Georgia, but works as a Secret Service operative in Washington, DC. Three of his men are framed while overseas, then events take a darker turn and he is the next target. Readers will be wowed by this dynamic political thriller, which pulls no punches in its believable depiction of a democracy in chaos and an American government spiraling completely out of control.
Flowers In A Mason Jar
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 50,110. Language: English. Published: November 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General, Fiction » Christian » Historical
(5.00 from 1 review)
You don't have to read Book I to enjoy Book II. Travel to South Georgia with MamaDee and Ola Mae. These hilarious characters have a superstitious nature that will make you laugh from the heart. Izzy is a precious soul, and her friend, Dawn, is out to catch herself a sheriff. This period novel follows a struggling community in the forties as they find love and adventure.
The Christmas Spirit
Price: Free! Words: 1,660. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Children’s books » Short Stories
(5.00 from 1 review)
The elves in Santa's workshop are having problems with the oven. Will they get it repaired in time for Christmas? Will they let it dampen their Christmas spirit? Read this bedtime story and find out.
Charli's Angel
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 43,560. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Christian » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Charli's Angel is a mystery/suspense/humor. Charli and other children are connected by the same date of birth and blessed with an angel. Not everybody has these children's best interest in mind. Charli finds it difficult to keep the faith as she grows into adulthood. Her quirky grandmother gives her a wolf pup that becomes more than her protector.