Welcome back, Donna. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
As a writer, I learned early on that I was not capable of writing secular romances. My internal values and my Christian faith had to come through in stories that I would share with readers, stories that would be appropriate for ages 12 and up and would resonate with multiple generations (daughters, mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers).
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I was really elated to learn that the novel I wrote as a cultural legacy to my hometown’s
history had been the subject of a proclamation by the village council. On March
12, 2013, the mayor and the four village trustees of Brockport, New York,
proclaimed April 2013 Bluebird of
Brockport month and encouraged all citizens of Brockport to read the book.
It’s a great honor to have my historical novel recognized by my hometown’s
That is wonderful. How has being published changed your life?
Being published has given me recognition among readers, the opportunity for sharing a moral message with thousands, and most important, positive feedback that keeps me going.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Spirit of the North by Tyler Tichelaar (Tyler is the editor of Saving Mossy Point), The ESV Study Bible, James—Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore, How to Hear God’s Voice by Mark and Patti Virkler, and God Heard Their Cry by Ray Vander Laan. I just finished reading The Promise of Palm Grove, Book One in the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series by Shelley Shepard Gray, a very good story.
Yes, it is. I recently featured Shelley’s story on this blog. What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is the revisions for the early titles in my Great Lakes Romances© series. I am leaving the plots the same, but improving the reader experience by eliminating head-hopping and deepening the third person point-of-view. As each title is revised, I give it a new cover and make it available as both a Kindle and a paperback.
What would be your dream vacation?
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I choose settings that either I or my readers are interested in. My series started with the setting most visited in
Mackinac Island. The two titles that followed
included other Great Lakes ports or regions
that I thought readers would enjoy. By the fourth title, several readers had
asked for stories about lighthouses, so I wrote a mini-series set at
lighthouses for titles four, five, and six. Then a reader asked for a story set
in Traverse City, a great Northern
Michigan town, so I wrote that as a spin-off of the lighthouse
stories based on a one-sentence plot suggestion. In Saving Mossy Point—In the
Fifty-First State of Superior, I wanted to write
about the Upper Peninsula culture I have been experiencing for the last twelve
years without calling it the Upper Peninsula.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My husband, because he is the one I love above all others on earth and the one whose company I enjoy most. This question begs for a more diverse answer, but I really can’t name anyone else with whom I’d rather spend time.
I understand. I love spending time with my husband, too. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Walking the dogs and taking motor home trips with my husband and the canines.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Short-term memory loss as I age is making book-length writing more and more challenging. I compensate for it by setting my work aside for a period of time and then coming back to it and rereading it quickly to find inconsistencies. Another tactic is to get others to read the draft for errors.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be persistent. Don’t give up. Join writer organizations. Read extensively in the genre you are writing. Don’t expect to get rich. Honor God with your choice of words.
Tell us about the featured book.
When retired schoolteacher and widow Betty Hanson learns that the 51st State of Superior is about to close Mossy Point State Park, she expresses her concern to Ray Engstrom, the head of the General Land Office. But Mr. Engstrom reveals a discouraging fact: Mossy Point State Park has never paid its own way since it opened back in 1959. And according to him, it “has the same chance of running in the black as a turtle has of flying.”
Determined to prove Mr. Engstrom wrong, Betty gathers help from friends and neighbors. A plan emerges to open a folk school, a place where students of all ages can come to learn a craft, and work begins to put
fiscal ground. But not everyone is on board with the plan. At times, Betty
almost finds herself sidetracked by dealing with her estranged daughter and
grandson, who suddenly appear back in her life, and then there is her close
friend Lee, who seems to want more than friendship. The State itself seems to
have alternative plans for the park, and when an accident threatens to destroy
both Betty and the park’s finances, all of her plans could fall apart. What can
possibly turn their fortunes around and make a turtle fly? Mossy Point
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Mr. Engstrom, you can’t sell
!” Betty Hanson
slid to the edge of her chair and stared straight into the pale blue eyes of
the head of the General Land Office in the recently formed State of Superior.
She’d sought this meeting with him at his office in Mossy Point
State Park ,
the new state capital, to warn him of the devastating effect a park closing
would have on the Village of Mossy Point. But convincing him wouldn’t be easy.
His gaze never seemed to meet hers for more than a nanosecond. Superior Bay
“Is that what you came here to tell me? You said you had some urgent information on a serious threat to state land. I assumed it concerned illegal activity, but selling a park? Come, now.”
“Selling the park is a serious threat.”
“Why not sell it? That park’s a real money pit.” As Mr. Engstrom leaned his bulky torso back in his creaky leather chair, Betty envisioned a button popping off his too-tight shirt and splashing in the coffee mug on the edge of his desk. Her lips twitched into a smile that she instantly suppressed.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please stop by my website where all my social media links are located in the footer:http://www.greatlakesromances.com/
Thank you, Donna, for sharing this book with us. I know my blog followers will want to read it.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Saving Mossy Point: In the Fifty-First State of Superior (Great Lakes Romances) (Volume 17) - Paperback
Saving Mossy Point: In the Fifty-First State of Superior (Great Lakes Romances Book 17) - Kindle
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