Sunday, January 30, 2011

Interview of Author and SNSD co-owner Tina Donahue

Welcome again to 20 Questions. Today, I have my SNSD partner and fellow author Tina Donahue in my sites. So, let's get going!

1.    Since you usually write straight contemporary novels, what made you decide to scribe a paranormal with The Yearning?

I’m always trying to challenge myself with my writing. I began in romance by writing romantic comedies for Zebra. Since I have an irreverent sense of humor (or so my friends tell me), I found those novels extremely easy to write. One of my editors suggested I try my hand at erotic romance, since my romantic comedies did have some pretty steamy scenes. So, I then moved into that. After reading the reviews of numerous paranormals, I thought the plots sounded so interesting that I’d try something like that for myself.

2.   As you were creating Mike, the hero, did you find it difficult to match his strength to that of Jasmine?  What were the characteristics you wanted to instill in him to make him a challenge for the heroine?

No, I had no difficulty matching his strength to Jasmine’s. Although she’s driven by lust because of the curse, in reality she’s always been shy and uncertain of herself around men. Before she was cursed, she wouldn’t have hoped an Alpha male like Mike would have even noticed her.

Even though Mike’s an Alpha male, he’s also a nice guy with tons of integrity and character. Because of his inherent honor, Jasmine struggled with the thought of imprisoning him. The part of her unaffected by the curse likes – then loves him – as the man he is. Strong, yet kind. Commanding but tender.

From the get-go Mike is a challenge for Jasmine – the best kind. J

3.   In the excerpt depicting their first kiss, Mike knows that Jasmine has chosen him from outside her ordinary world.  What is Jasmine’s “ordinary” world like?  Is it a place she wants to be or a place from which to escape?

With her sisters, Jasmine owns and operates a dress design business. Her sisters are involved in the artistic aspects (dress design/fabric, etc.), while Jasmine is the business manager. Before Desiree cursed her, Jasmine accepted her world for what it was…she wasn’t a babe, she wasn’t sexy, men didn’t find her particularly alluring. But once she meets Mike, once she falls in love with him, she fears what the end of the curse will mean. Will Mike find her attractive when he sees the real Jasmine – what she considers to be a plain Jane?

4.   You mentioned the element of danger in Jasmine choosing a man from an unaccustomed haunt.  What do you think are three things a woman should always keep in mind when choosing a strange man for a bed companion?

That’s impossible to answer. For myself, I wouldn’t choose a stranger. And if not for the curse, Jasmine wouldn’t have either. That’s what I wanted to convey in The Yearning, her conflict about choosing a man she doesn’t know, coupled with her growing attraction to him.

5.    What is your favorite line from The Yearning?

Whenever Mike says to Jasmine (especially at the end) “Tell me about you.”  He asked it in the beginning and she was afraid to tell him about the curse. At the end, after everything they’d been through, after he convinced her she is the type of woman he can love, he asks her again to tell him everything about herself. Very sweet. Tender.

6.   Will you write more paranormals in the future or is The Yearning going to be the only one?  In either case, why?

Oh yeah, I intend to keep writing paranormals, along with erotic contemporaries.

Why? ‘Cause I have to.  J  Writing is my life force. Without it, I wouldn’t exist. Just love it too much.

7.   The intensity that took place in your previous novel, In His Arms, both between the characters and in the subject matter was astounding.  Do you feel the same intensity comes across the pages of  The Yearning?  Explain what elements made different in this respect or the same.

In His Arms was unique given its subject matter. It’s impossible to compare it to The Yearning – like apples and oranges. However, The Yearning does have mainstream elements in it – particularly the guilt Mike feels over his partner’s death – a death he feels responsible for. And, both Jasmine and Mike feel as though they have never belonged – though in different ways. Jasmine never considered herself all that attractive to men. And Mike, because of his telekinetic gift (or curse, if you will) has always felt like an anomaly.  In The Yearning I explored what it’s like to be different…not to fit in.

8.   Is there a particular message you want to get across to the reader with The Yearning?

I hadn’t really thought about it, but if I did, it would be in reference to Desiree, the character who curses Jasmine. Desiree felt that Jasmine stole the man Desiree loved. (not true, btw) So Desiree takes out her anger on Jasmine. Too often women fight other women for a man. In my opinion, that’s counterproductive. A guy who cheats does so all on his own. No one puts a gun to his head. If the woman is mad at anyone, it should be the cheating guy.

9.   What genre have you not written that you would like to try? Why? 

Since I’ve written historical, contemporary, paranormal, erotic and romantic comedies, I’ve just about covered most of it. So for now, I think I’m good.  However, a romantic suspense may be in the offing someday. J

10. How much time do you allocate to writing each day?

I write for four hours before I begin my EDJ on the weekdays, and during those days I frequently come back to the work…so I would say 7-8 hours total. On the weekends, I just write until I finish the number of pages I’m set to finish (again, 7-8 hours).

11.  What other career would you choose other than writing?  Why?

I wouldn’t. If I couldn’t write, I’d die.

12. Is there an adventure you would like to have before die?  What is it?  What is it about this adventure that you think you would find so fulfilling?

I’d like to travel the world. I enjoy seeing new things and meeting new people.

13. Is there a place that you have never been that you would like to visit?  Where?  What attracts you to this place?

I’d like to go to Southern Spain – Andalucía. My first historical novel pubbed by Zebra took place there. During the research, I fell in love with the locale.

14. If this were a perfect world and time and money were no object, where would you like to write? 

In a villa in Spain – perhaps Granada, overlooking the sea.

15.  What is your favorite charity?  Why?

Planned Parenthood. I believe every child born should be wanted.

16. If you had the time and energy to spend, what would you like to volunteer to do?

Teach young woman to succeed. To believe in themselves.

17.  Do you prefer sunsets or sunrises?

I like both equally.

18. What is the greatest achievement you would like to make with your writing?

To move my readers to laughter, tears and sighs of delight.

19. What has been the happiest moment of your life?

Impossible to pinpoint…there have been many happy moments.

20. No interview would be complete without asking what is the one thing you feel an aspiring writer should know?  

Never give up. Never.

The Yearning is available tomorrow, February 1, from Samhain: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/the-yearning-p-6248.html


Tina Donahue said...

Sarah, I survived your questions - yay!!! :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I can't help asking just one more question 'cause it's just the way I am. What about Jasmine's sisters, do you plan on writing a story for each of them? Would you consider putting each of them in a paranormal story.
Loved your answers, Tina.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Sarah - yeah, I have definitely toyed with the idea of a sequel. Given the end of The Yearning, which I can't divulge, a sequel would work just great. And Jasmine's sisters are naturals for roles in the new story or stories.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I was hoping you would say yes to that. After all, where there's sisters, there's sequels. You behave now.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hey ladies,
GREAT INTERVIEW!!! Sarah, you ask the very best questions, and Tina, I loved getting to know more about you and your writing. The Yearning looks great, so you know what THAT means...off I go to order that sucker. LOL

I enjoyed this!

Teresa K. said...

Tina, I loved learning more about you. Sarah and Tina I love chatting with you all on the yahoo groups.

You both seem to have such a good time. Tina your books always have such good meanings and great themes.


Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Cheryl and Teresa - thanks so much for your kind words. Sarah is one heck of an interviewer - don't know what we'd do w/o her. :)

Rawiya said...

Yay, AWESOME interview Sarah and Tina. Tina I will be getting my reading schedule on so I can add your books to my list.

The reading list is daunting. I just cannot add anymore yet! lol

Great interview though

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Rawiya :)

Gabrielle Lee said...

Great interview. I can't wait to get this book.

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks for dropping by, Gabrielle! :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Interview! Your book sounds soooooo YUMMY, Tina; Im adding it to my TBB list now!

Hugs, Kari Thomas

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Kari - can't wait to hear what you think of it!!

Anonymous said...

Hello SNSD Beginning Partners!
Partners in crime that is...lol.

Tina, Congratulations for surving the "hot seat" during the interview. I enjoyed getting to know you more through your answers. Enjoy your special day!

Yes I can tell you write from your heart's desire. Every story is so heart felt. I loved In His Arms and I will definitely be getting The Yearning.

Sarah, the questions you asked really let all of us get to know Tina better and "how she ticks".

Tina and Sarah I love the teamwork you bring to the SNSD blog and chat group!


Tina Donahue said...

LisaLee - I'm so glad you liked "In His Arms" - definitely a book of my heart - thanks for stopping by, hon!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Just popping in for a second to thank those of your who commented on my questions. The answers, of course, are the real essence and magic of a good interview.

Redameter said...

Hey Tina, if you go to Spain and run into Andtonio Banderas, tell him he is loved. As Zorro he is magnificent. Love his cute senee of humor.

Anyway, interesting blog there girl, some good answers too. And of course Sarah drilled you, with her questions.

She could put Hedda Hopper to shame!

Love and blessings

Judy said...

Another great interview and fantastic answers:) The Yearning looks like another great book. I am sure I am going to enjoy it just as much as all your others!! Good luck with it!!

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Rita and Judy - thanks for stopping by!! :)

Fiona McGier said...

Hey Tina, great interview. I'm with you on Planned Parenthood...every child should have the right to be born to at least one parent who thinks the sun comes up when they smile. And young women need to be supported to believe they can do anything...that's why I like songs by Pink, like Stupid Girls! For lessons in how NOT to be! Thanks for giving us some insight into the author behind such hot books.

Tina Donahue said...

Hey, Fiona!!! Thanks for coming by and supporting my first erotic paranormal!! :)

Carol L. said...

I loved the interview. Sarah, you ask the best questions. And Tina it was so exciting to learn more about the writer behind such great stories.
I look forward to reading The Yearning and I'm going to frame the cover of In His Arms. :)
Carol L

Tina Donahue said...

Carol, thanks so much for stopping by!!! Yes, Sarah does ask some of the best questions I've seen!!! :)

Paris said...

Great interview ladies! It's always fun to see what questions Sarah will come up with:)"In His Arms" has to be one of the most sensual books I've ever read and I can't wait to read "The Yearning"!

Tina Donahue said...

Thanks, Paris - I really loved writing "In His Arms" - a true book of my heart. "The Yearning" was fun and challenging at times, since it was my first paranormal. :)