Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Walnut Springs Press Month: Interview with Donna Hatch

                   About Donna Hatch
Author of Historical Romance and Fantasy, award-winning author Donna Hatch is a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter. Her writing awards include the Golden Rose and the prestigious Golden Quill. Her passion for writing began at age 8 she wrote her first short story, and she wrote her first full-length novel during her sophomore year in high school, a fantasy which was later published. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, her work as a freelance editor and copywriter, and her many volunteer positions, she still makes time to write. After all, writing IS an obsession. All of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 20 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.

Donna is the author of 3 full length novels including the Walnut Springs Press release, Queen in Exile (2010), The Stranger She Married (Rogue Hearts #1) (2008), and The Guise of a Gentleman (Rogue Hearts #2) (2010) as well as 4 Regency novellas including Troubled Hearts (2008), Constant Hearts (2011), The Reluctant Bride (2011), and Mistletoe Magic (2011). The Guise of a Gentleman won a Golden Quill and a Golden Rose Award in 2011. Queen in Exile was also nominated for a Golden Quill Award in 2011.


Book Bug: Welcome to The Book Bug, Donna!

When and why did you begin writing?

Donna: I started writing little short stories when I was about eight years old. I write because I have this insane need to write. It’s more than just a creative outlet—I get cranky if I can’t write too many days in a row. And the voices in my head get louder if I don’t put them down on paper.

Book Bug: What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Donna: I grew up on historical novels such as the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and A Little Princess and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’m sure they instilled in me a love for historical books. I also really adore the Anne of Green Gables series. So beautifully written and such wonderful characters!

Book Bug: I LOVE Anne of Green Gables! Totally classic!

What is your favorite genre to read/write? 

Donna: Hands down, my favorite is romance, in all its forms, but particularly historical romance. I also enjoy fantasy and suspense.

Book Bug: That is mine as well! You can't beat a good clean romance!

What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?

Donna: I have learned to write when ever I have time. I usually write most in the mornings after my children leave for school and before I leave for work. Sometimes I write at night after they’re in bed, too, but my husband feels neglected if I do that too often. I’ve even written in the dentist office waiting for a child, or in between shuttling my children around. I can’t wait for my muse to appear—I get to work and hope she joins me soon. Some days I don’t appear to have time, so I have to get creative and make time.

Book Bug: Kids and husbands sure get in the way, don't they? Haha! Just kidding!

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? 

Donna: Sometimes I take a break and read or do other things I enjoy, but usually I just push through it and give myself permission to write worthless dribble. Worthless dribble is easier to fix than a blank page. If I’m really stuck, I either skip ahead to the next scene or I call a critique partner and brainstorm with her.

Book Bug: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Donna: There are so many hard things about writing that I often wonder why I do it. Then I remind myself I can’t not write. Anyway, probably the hardest is knowing when a book is finished. I could have edited my first book for the rest of my life and not known when to let go.

Book Bug: I'm impressed by anyone who can finish an entire novel!

What do you think are the most important elements of good writing? 

Donna: Great characters are crucial. If I don’t root for a hero(ine), no matter how compelling the plot, I won’t really care if he/she wins or loses. The characters need to be believable, complex and heroic or I’m just not on board. When I think of my favorite books, I sometimes think of great plots, but usually it’s the characters who were unforgettable. The few time I re-read a book, it’s because I love the characters.

An often overlooked element is a passion for excellence. I can’t tell you how many mediocre books there are out there where the writer just seemed to throw out the story without really polishing it. I’m not talking about cleaning up spelling and punctuation errors, I’m talking about lazy writing with lots of author intrusive narrative and no real vivid imagery. A book should be emotional, vivid, powerful—the kind of book that sweeps me along so quickly that I can’t stand to put it down. I don’t find books that often, so when I do, I want to throw a party.

Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Donna: My family consumes most of my time, but I also enjoy reading, playing the harp, singing, ballroom dancing. 

Book Bug: Wow! You are a woman of many talents!

What book are you reading now?

Donna: I’m in between books right now but next on my “to be read pile” is Austenland by Shannon Hale. I love her work and I’m a total Austen fan so I’m sure it will be great.

Book Bug: That one is at the top of my TBR pile as well!

What are your current/future projects? 

Donna: I just finished a new Christmas Regency romance novella for a winter romance anthology and am polishing a Halloween Regency romance short story. Soon I will begin revisions on the third book in my Regency series. I’m also brewing a new fantasy. 

Book Bug: Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Donna: Write what you love, never stop honing the craft of writing, and be persistent.

Book Bug: Thanks so much for the interview, Donna! Looking forward to your next books!

Walnut Springs Press Book

Title: Queen in Exile
Author: Donna Hatch
Release Date: March 2010
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (Facebook | Twitter)
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Rumors of War hang over Princess Jeniah's peaceful country of Arden, a land that shuns both magic and warfare. Following a lifelong dream, Jeniah forms a telepahtic bond with a revered creature called a chayim, who is prophesied to save her kingdom. But when a Darborian knight comes upon Jeniah with her chayim, he sees only a vicious monster about to devour a maiden, and he slays the beast.

Devastated by the loss of her chayim, and fearing that her own magic is evil, Jeniah doubts her destiny. When an enemy invades Arden City, they slaughter the people, storm the castle, and execute the entire royal family except the princess. Rescued by the knight who slew her chayim, Jeniah is now heir to the throne of Arden and the only hope for freeing her people from tyranny.

On the run and hunted by enemy soldiers, Jeniah must place her life and the fate of her kingdom in the hands of this trained killer. Torn between embracing her destiny as queen af Arden, and her love for a mere knight, she must ultimately rely on her magic to save herself and her people from death and tyranny.
Purchase the Book


  1. I recently read Queen in Exile and loved it! I'm hoping to read more of Donna's works in the future. Thanks for a great interview!

  2. I LOVE Queen in Exile, and I love Donna Hatch! What a great interview!

  3. I TOTALLY want to read this book! Haha but great interview! :D Her books look great.