Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
Shadow Journey is a novella told from the perspective of Mrs. Vera Blackstone, a well-loved character from my novel Deadly Memories. It’s about the time in her life that her husband developed a brain tumor and her struggles with that experience and loss.
Mrs. Blackstone’s daughter Alice shows up in my next novel, Deadly Bayou, and I wanted a way to explain the rift between the two of them. As a thriller author, I don’t get much time to tell backstory or develop character in direct ways. You can read the novel without reading the novella but Shadow Journey will help the reader understand that relationship better.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
If I have a few days, I go to the mountains. I can feel stress leaving my body the higher in altitude we get. We live about 90 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. This park is a vacation destination for people from all over the world. And it’s close enough for us to make it a day trip. We have a favorite set of condos we stay at, right on Fall River and half a mile from the park boundary.
If I don’t have time for a mountain trip, I like to take walks. We live by a lake with a bit of open space around it. Or just sit on my deck and drink wine.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I go to my home office every day of the week and many times on Saturday. I do try to take Sunday off. I’m not always writing when I work. I also spend alot of time studying marketing, making marketing plans, and implementing them.
What’s your favorite meal?
I love good food of any kind. The Steve that Shadow Journey is dedicated to was my brother-in-law. He was a professional chef and taught us how to eat with gusto. My father’s family is Cajun and I want my food to be spicy. I make a very mean Jambalaya and Gumbo. In fact, if you keep an eye on my website, www.sdodonnell.com, or sign up for my mailing list there, you’ll know when my next short project is complete. That will be instructions for how to make my famous Jambalaya and Gumbo. It’s worth cooking. And eating. I hope you find your way over there to get a copy. (I’m not promising a time table. I’d say it’ll be up and ready to download within a few months.)
What movie do you love to watch?
I like Jane Austin movies, even thought they’re the one thing my husband doesn’t like watching with me. That’s okay. I don’t like watching war movies with him. When I need to reconnect with my spiritual side, I like to watch Thunder Heart. Since I grew up in the southwest (New Mexico), I’m comfortable with American Indian spiritual activities.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
I was never involved in social media before I started promoting my books. Then I joined Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads because the experts told me to. I keep up with them on a bare-minimum basis and it is not my favorite part of the day. On the other hand, I’ve connected with some very interesting people and learned alot of good information about marketing through these efforts. I’m not sure the activity has actually sold any books for me so sometimes I wonder why do I bother? On the other hand, I think it’s a positive thing to be available in multiple ways to anyone who might want to contact me as a fan.
Are you a city slicker or a country lover?
I’m both. I love going up to the mountains to hike, camp, or stay in a condo. I like sitting alone with nature and listening to only natural noises, especially the water flowing in a stream or creek. And then I like living in the city, where great restaurants and bookstores are only a short drive away.
How important are friends in your life?
My husband and I have what we call our extended family. This is a large group of friends that we are so close to we think we’re related. We act like a family and get together like a family. They are the foundation of our lives, along with our own small families.
What social issues interest you the most?
Being a liberal American, I am rabidly supportive of my country finding a way to provide all citizens with quality health care. I have also been involved in environmental issues for many years. I am politically active and have tried to pass that passion on to my children. I tell them I don’t care if they vote the same way I do, as long as they vote. Their viewpoint will change many times as they age. Their commitment to being a part of the process never should.
When you get free time on the internet or you go to the library – what do you want to read about?
I spend much of my “free” time, meaning time when I’m not writing, reading about marketing. So it isn’t really time off, just time spent with a different focus. When I do actually get around to reading for fun, I like mysteries and thrillers and hard-to-categorize books that are just good stories that are well written.
Do you find the time to read?
Reading is one of my favorite past times. Unfortunately, when I’ve spent the day working with words, I don’t always want to do anything that involves words in my spare time. I prefer gardening, watching TV or movies with my husband, cooking, or sitting around on my deck, talking with friends and drinking wine.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don’t have writer’s block nearly as often as I get sidetracked from the task at hand. I sit down to write but first read my email. I get something from one of my marketing email lists. I intend to glance at it but there’s a link that looks very promising. I follow the link.
You get the idea.
But when I do have writer’s block, I decide what it is I’m trying to do (create a mood, advance the plot, etc.) and then go watch a movie that is similar in nature. Or maybe several movies. I also grab books I know are similar and go to the passages in them that I think might light my creative spark.
This process is helped by the fact that my husband and I have never met a book we didn’t keep. We have a library of around 15,000 books. We also collect movies.
Love ... Loss ... Secrets
A Haunting Psychological Read
"I SIT IN THE GAZEBO, alone. No cup of tea. No neighborly conversation to help fill the silence. Haunted by 85 years worth of musings, I watch the sun set and feel my age."
She ends alone.
And exposes a closely-guarded secret of 35 years in between.
˃˃˃ Meet Mrs. Vera Blackstone
Buy Now @ Amazon