Interview with Kit Donner

Jen: Today we welcome debut author Kit Donner to the blog. Kit, will you please share a short bio with us?
Kit: Thanks Jen, glad to. I’m a twin and one of five siblings who grew up on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania. I graduated from WMC with a BA in English Lit and became a Meeting Planner, which has nothing to do with writing or English lit! I finally came to my senses about writing fiction and poetry in the early 90’s and wrote a book and several poems. Then life intervened. Jobs, moving, family, husband. Two years ago, my writing came back with a force that has totally changed my life in many ways, all for the better.

Jen: Tell us about The Notorious Bridegroom and where it’s available.
Kit: My very first novel is part of the Zebra debut author program from Kensington and takes place prior to the Regency period. The heroine, Patience, believes the hero, Lord Londringham, is a French spy and has accused her brother of treason to cover his own sins. What else is a girl to do but spy on the handsome earl and discover his secrets? It won’t be easy to spy on the very attractive Lord Londringham, but Patience is determined to save her brother- even if it means seducing the enemy, but somebody’s got to do it.

It will be sold in Borders stores/online, Barnes & Noble stores/online, most independent bookstores, and online at Amazon, Booksamillion, and many more.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Kit: At age ten and heavily influenced by Agatha Christie, I wrote “The Mystery of the China Cat.” It was a tidy little mystery solved in twenty pages, each page was a chapter. Did I mention I wrote it in one night at the kitchen table? (Close to finishing, my margins were wider than when I began.) But the actual publishing part happened last fall when I received a call from Kensington and was offered a 2-book contract. My editor called me on the phone, and we discussed all the details while I sat in my hot car, sweating. I wasn’t sweating because of the call; it was the heat, even with the windows rolled down. Did you think I was going to wait until I got home and have her call me back?

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Kit: Indeed. My twin sister, Kim, is a writer/producer for a film production company and actually created my book trailer for me. She has written a few romances but is now concentrating on a woman reporter’s story, who goes to Africa during the Boer War. Then there’s my younger sister, Jill, who has started writing several books, and completed a couple. She’s trying to get her writing career started. My younger brother, Lee, who, when he isn’t working, acting, singing, or playing in his band, is writing stories about growing up on the farm. And finally, my brother, Todd, is a Sports Writer for a newspaper in central Pennsylvania. Apparently, it’s in the genes because my grandmother wrote short stories, and I also have an aunt who has co-written a book with a friend and has started another. (You probably weren’t expecting such a long answer!)

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Kit: They couldn’t be more proud or supportive! We’re very close and keep in touch often. My success is their success because I couldn’t have become the writer I am without them (and my husband, Frank, my aunts, many friends, – I have a large network of supporters, as you can see.)

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Kit: Putting the first words down on paper is the most challenging. The easiest part of writing for me is the rewriting, when my voice comes through, and I can play with scenes, and word choice, and hear my characters talking to me.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Kit: Finishing a manuscript and seeing my name on a book cover. That can never get old!

Jen: What five authors or people, from the past or present, have been important to you as an author? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?
Kit: That’s a tough one. Let’s see, for romance writing, it’s Amanda Quick and Teresa Mederios, hands down. Through their books, I learned everything I needed to know about building a world of love, passion, adventure, and humor. For literature, there is none other than Jane Austen and Shakespeare, (as an English lit major, you’re required to say that), Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein, and Wordsworth and Keats’ poetry. And I can’t forget Stephen King’s On Writing, which taught me the basics. One more, already mentioned, Agatha Christie. Oh, and, my sister, Kim, my most important influence of all. One question for Mary Shelley: What was Percy really like and did you really have a dream about the monster? One question for Shakespeare: Did you have any idea that your writings and influence would last for centuries? One comment for Stephen King: Thank you for writing On Writing (I’m sure I’ll think of some other terribly intelligent answers later, after this appears on your blog.)

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Kit: After receiving the news that my book was to be published, my sister-in-law, Alice, my mother-in-law, Margaret, and my husband, Frank all went to the Yardley Inn for dinner and champagne.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Kit: I was reading The Reader by Bernhard Schlink until I left it at my brother’s when visiting. I’m reading Sally MacKenzie’s The Naked Baron, along with Janet Evanovich’s How I Write, which is basic but lots of fun to read. I’ve always loved Helen MacInnes (I have a love affair with spies), Sue Grafton, Willa Cather, F.Scott Fitzergerald- The Great Gatsby, one of the best books ever written. I weaned my teeth on Kathleen Woodiwiss and wish I could have met her. (I would add more here but we had to box my books in my library since we’re moving, so I don’t have anything handy to reference.)

Jen: What’s next for you?
Kit: “The Vengeful Bridegroom” is due from Zebra next fall, 2010. I’ve just finished “The Wrong Bridegroom,” about love and body snatchers, which I hope Zebra will want. Then, onto love and white slavery. (I like to add a little intrigue to every story.)

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Kit: www.kitdonner.com or Facebook or Twitter or YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNn0LBj966g

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Kit: Is there any type of historical romance book that you’d like to read but it hasn’t been written yet? What would it include and what time period?

Jen: Thank you Kit for stopping by our blog. Readers, Kit is giving away a signed copy of The Notorious Bridegroom to a random commenter. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment either asking a question of Kit or answering her question. Then you must either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to admin.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner of the contest will be chosen on Friday, August 14.