Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I write stories because I love to see characters come to life and deal with problems, discover joy, and overcome obstacles. I like to see the way they think and feel and strive. I like identifying what they are striving for and why. I had an impractical desire as a kid to have hundreds of children. Now I have hundreds of characters and they touch the lives of thousands of children.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I think the days when my children got married. The family was together and the ceremonies were just right. We’d planned to have a joyous celebration and both fulfilled the promise. I gained a lovely daughter-in-law and a wonderful son-in-law.
How has being published changed your life?
I am busier than I have ever been. Even when teaching younger kids in elementary school, I was never this engaged. I’ve had demanding jobs, but this is more like a lifestyle than a nine to five job.
What are you reading right now?
Imagination Station, book one, Voyage with the Vikings, by Marianne Hering and Paul McCuster. And I am reading From Cover to Cover, a book about reviewing children’s books, and Reading Magic by Mem Fox.
What is your current work in progress?
I am finishing Dragons of the Watch. And then I am going to write another Christmas Novella with the same wizards on Sage Street.
What would be your dream vacation?
A cabin in the mountains or a beach house, with lots of time to just look at God’s world and soak in His Majesty.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I know there are a lot of people who don’t understand this and a few who think it’s natural, but scenes and characters pop into my head unbidden.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I’d probably pick one of my kids. They’re grown and have busy lives. To go out to eat and sit and listen to them relate what is important to them now, on this day, would be wonderful. I do communicate with them often, but I’d like to give them my undivided attention and get in touch with who they are now. I’m sure I’d have plenty of praise to give God and some focused prayer to lift up as well.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Right now I am designing jewelry and will have two lines to sell on my website. One is Cranberry Fall and the other is Winter Warmth. Just in time for Christmas.
Cool. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Lack of focus. I am very easily distracted. I write alone, without music, and try to avoid the telephone and life.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. You need to read to ingrain story into your very being. You need to write just like an Olympic swimmer must swim for hours each day. The act of writing becomes a part of your makeup just like typing becomes automatic.
Tell us about the featured book?
This book was a joy to write. I loved the characters from the start and writing it was like a mini-vacation from the job of writing long fantasy novels. Those are fun in their own way, but this book did not require as much depth and layers. The story still has spiritual truth learned by the main characters. But it has a gentle, Hallmark made for TV feeling to it. I imagined the snow, the Christmas lights, and the delightful people on Sage Street. Before I finished the book, I had all my Christmas shopping done.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Christmas. Cora had been trying to catch it for four years. She scurried down the sidewalk, thankful that streetlights and brightly-lit storefronts counteracted the gloom of early nightfall. Somewhere, sometime, she’d get a hold of how to celebrate Christmas. Maybe tonight.
With snowflakes sticking to her black coat, Christmas lights blinking around shop windows, and incessant bells jingling, Cora should have felt some holiday cheer.
And she did.
Just not much.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://www.donitakpaul.com/ and http://www.dragonandturtle.com/
Thank you for coming back to see us again, Donita.
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