Donna Alward has the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mother and romance novelist. In 2001 she penned her first novel, and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and now writes heartwarming Romances from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at www.donnaalward.com or through her publisher.
Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink? Mimosas! And sadly, yes. I am old enough.
We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…) I’m a last minute shopper…I’m still waiting on some lovely new artwork!
The last thing she needs is a hero…
First Responders, Book 1
Paramedic Gabe Brennan’s job is saving lives. When he witnesses an accident and rushes in to help, the victim brings back memories of the night that marked him forever. The night he almost couldn’t save his best friend, Brandon. Brandon’s sister is in the car. She’s pregnant. And his longing for her is just as sharp as ever.
Carly’s never been so glad to see a friendly face. Gabe’s gallant rescue—and the gentle kiss he bestows upon her at the hospital—resurrect feelings she buried long ago. Having just closed the book on a crumbling marriage, she’s not too keen on opening herself up to hurt again. Not even for the one man who’s always seemed to be there when she needed him most.
Gabe knows he shouldn’t be falling for Carly, especially since she insists she’s off the market. But the chemistry still simmering between them after all these years is no accident. Now all he has to do is convince her she belongs in the empty space he’s always held open for her. The one next to his heart…
Please enter. Drinks are served by the elves in the corner.
What’s your favorite holiday and why? Christmas. It’s happy, it’s colourful. I get downtime with my family that is longer than a long weekend. Plus there’s all the food and good music. What’s not to love?
Did you ask Santa for anything good? I’m not very adventurous – I asked for a new can opener. An electric one. J
What’s your favorite place to spend the holidays? HOME! No question. We’re spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s hanging with a few friends, but mostly laying around in our sleep pants playing rock band and eating turkey leftovers. It’s perfect.
What is your favorite Christmas memory? There are lots so I probably don’t come up with the same one twice, but right now I’m remembering the first Christmas I spent with my husband (who was then my boyfriend). He gave me a little ring and a tin of pecan caramel clusters. The tin had tigers on it. It was an important time, that first Christmas! This year is our 21st!
Do you have personal resolutions for the New Years? Anything interesting? I do, actually. I’ve spent the last several years with a huge TBR and a sense of dissatisfaction because I don’t often get to read the books I REALLY want to read. So in 2011 I’m being utterly selfish in my reading and catching up on series I’ve been dying to get into. I’ve got The Hunger Games trilogy ready to go as well as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series AND the Game of Thrones series. I have a bunch of Sherryl Woods books too…I am dying to finish her Chesapeake Shores series.
Why do you write romance? For the happy endings. Because in a world where I’m in control (the book) people may suffer but they triumph in the end. They WIN. They lay their inner demons to rest and find happiness and I think that’s awesome.
How long have you been writing for? And how would you describe your publication journey? I’ve been writing just over 10 years. Five of that was unpublished, but I loved it so I kept writing and submitting. Since 2006 I’ve sold 21 books and I’m working on my 22nd.
Are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine? Pantser. I discover things as I go along, and I often know my characters but other than a few key scenes I don’t know how the story is going to unfold. Sometimes what I think about characters sounds good in the beginning but doesn’t hold up in the writing and I have to explore a different angle. It can be a bit of trial and error, and I know people will say that pre-planning takes that trial and error step out, but for me it doesn’t work. I’ve learned to trust my process because it works for me, and that’s all that really matters.
What characteristics do all your heroes/heroines have in all your stories? My heroes tend to be a bit brooding, and might be a bit damaged too – either physically or emotionally. And they’re pretty much all tall, virile men. I like tall men. I’m 5’8” so a good pair of heels puts me close to six feet. I like that my husband is 6’1” and I’m never taller than he is. LOL! My heroines are generally nurturers and looking for a place where they belong.
What writing resources do you abide by as a writer? I’m horribly bad at this. I read a book on craft, and then absorb the inspiration and put it back on the shelf. I think it’s the pantser part of me. I don’t use One Note or Scrivener or any of those tools. I sit down, open a document, type Chapter One and go from there.
What advice would you give aspiring authors? Keep writing, full stop. You can take all the workshops in the world but unless you’re applying them to manuscripts (yes, plural!), it won’t matter a damn. Write, submit, write another, submit…It’s the only way to really develop your voice and skills.
What are you working on right now? I’m winding up a holiday story that will be coming from Harlequin Romance next November. It’s the middle book in a trilogy by Fiona Harper, me, and Shirley Jump.
What news would you like to share with your readers? My next release is a reprint – Marriage at Circle M is out in March in THEN AND NOW which is a reprint of Linda Lael Miller’s. They’ve paired me up with her as part of the HQ Bestselling Author Collection. Naturally once I stopped hyperventilating about that, I was (and am) thrilled! It’s a bit of a wait for new books, but that’s because I have 2 coming out back to back in May and June of 2012 that I think readers are going to love. The duet is called Cadence Creek Cowboys and they were 2 of my favourite books to write!
Where can readers find you?
List other books you have out:
Breathe – just released in print on Dec 6/11
Off the Clock – e-book novella out now
How A Cowboy Stole Her Heart – October 2011
For a full listing of titles you can check out my website.
Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!
Prize: Choice of backlist book