Interview with Donna Hatch
Susana: What inspired you to start writing, and how long have you been doing it?
Donna: I’ve always been imaginative—as a child, I played make-believe constantly—but when I was about eight, a little voice inside my head kept nagging me until I finally wrote what it told me to write. Later, I learned people call this little voice “The Muse.” By eighth grade, after I’d written many stories both short and long, a teacher suggested I should aspire to be a published author, something that had never occurred to me to attempt. But I didn’t know how to go about it, so I was a closet writer for years until I finally found the courage and knowledge necessary to submit my novel to a publisher. It was a long path, with plenty of rejections, disappointments, learning, and revising. But three years after getting serious about writing as a career, my first book, The Stranger She Married, Book 1 of the Rogue Hearts Series, was accepted for publication.
Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Donna: I am a combination writer. I start with a concept and characters, then form a few basic plot points in the story. After that, I write more or less by the seat of my pants.
Susana: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Donna: The murder plot in my newest book, The Suspect’s Daughter, Book 4 of the Rogue Hearts Series, was inspired by a true event in England known as the Cato Street Conspiracy, which thankfully, was averted largely in part due to an undercover Bow Street Runner. This event happened in 1820, the same year my book takes place. When I read about that, I knew something like this just had to be Grant’s story.
Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
Donna: I am working on a 100-page novella for a new series, and also Book 5 of the Rogue Hearts Series about a fugitive charged with the murder of her husband. By the way, all of my books are stand-alone, so you don’t have to read the first three in the series before reading Book 4.
Susana: What author or authors have most influenced your writing?
Donna: Laura Ingalls Wilder heavily influenced me. Reading her books as a child instilled in me a love of historical novels, as well for as a romance plot. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre helped cement my love of romance. And I couldn’t be a Regency author if it weren’t for Jane Austen’s brilliance.
Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?
Donna: I write sporadically, whenever I can fit it in. With a busy family, I don’t have the luxury of sitting down to a clean desk with candles and music to inspire me. Most often, I write while waiting in a doctor’s office, or during soccer practice, or early afternoons when my children are gone, or even late at night when everyone is asleep.
Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
Donna: That’s a no-brainer—I’d want to go to England. I’ve done tons of research, but I’ve never seen it in person. Since my novels take place in England, I’m dying to go there. I could have a much better grasp on the sights and sounds and smells of England to create an even more believable setting for my books.
I’m also planning on writing a book that takes place in Italy, so I’d love to go there, too.
Susana: Who gave you the writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Donna: Marsha Ward, author of western novels, told me once that I should set a really underwhelming daily word count goal. Hers, I believe, is twenty words. It sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? And counterproductive. But I discovered the wisdom of that advice. If I think I don’t have time to write on any given day, I think, “But I only have to write twenty words.” It’s pretty easy to make time to write a mere twenty words. Usually, those twenty words turn into a hundred, or five hundred. Even if I only wrote that very small, daily minimum goal, in a year I could write a full-length novel.
Thank you so much for hosting me!
Note: The author will be giving away e-copies of The Stranger She Married to two random commenters on this blog post.
About The Suspect’s Daughter
Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love until she meets a mysterious gentleman with dangerous secrets. Working undercover, Grant’s only suspect for a murder conspiracy is the father of a lady who is getting increasingly hard to ignore. They must work together to find the assassins. England’s future hangs in the balance…and so does their love.
Smashwords • B & N • Amazon
About the Author
Donna Hatch is the award-winning author of the best-selling Rogue Hearts Series. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since. She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
A Facebook friend has recommended Donna’s books to me, so I’d love the chance to read one.
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Thanks so much for stopping by, Rose. I’m happy to hear my books get recommended to friends. Good luck!
I like that advice about only twenty words a day.I think I need to adopt it. That will get me over the hump of being too tired to write much. I envy those who manage families , jobs , and writing , though I should emulate them instead of envying. It only takes that 20 or 25 words a day. Even the idea of a book in a year can be intimidating but 25 words a day– I have written more words in this comment than that.
The Suspect’s Daughter sounds interesting . I do like stories pegged to real events.
Why did the other lady marry a stranger? Marriage is hard enough when you know your spouse.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, that low daily word goal has helped me in a lot of ways. The other lady married a stranger because she needed a husband quickly to save her family from debtor’s prison. But of course, it’s a romance, so in the end it all works out better than it probably would in real life 🙂
Donna Hatch is a new author to me. I’m going to head over to Amazon and read up on all her books and perhaps make a purchase.
Thanks, Elaine! I hope you like my sweet Regency romances.
HI Donna! You are a new author to me & i’d love to try your books *fingers crossed*. I can’t believe you started writing at such a young age.
Hi Linda. Yeah, the writing bug bit me early. Thanks so much for stopping by and good luck!
I reviewed The Suspect’s Daughter and loved it!
I love books inspired by real events. A great post thank you.
Thank so much, Deweydame!
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Hi Donna! I love reading your books, Regency romance are my “escape” from real life, lol. I also learned to love historical novels as a child from reading the Little House on The Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I absolutely loved those books and would read them over and over, and would almost feel like I was there. That is what I really enjoy about your novels, I find myself almost “being there!”
Thanks so much, Andrea. That “being there” feeling is a great one to find in a book, isn’t it? So glad you stopped by.
I loved this interview. Donna is down to Earth and captures the essence of the reader-writer! I hope she gets to England. I would love to find my way there as well.
Wow, Andrea, thanks so much! And thank you for stopping by!
I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we both get to England someday. Thank you!
I’ll have to make a 20 word goal 🙂 Last year, 800 words/day worked really well for me, but now the baby is mobile so I need to set a more reasonable goal for my next WIP 🙂 Great interview
Hi Amber. It’s been a wonderful goal for me because it’s so easy to surpass and removes all those blocks I tend to throw up when my writing fears and crazy schedule get overwhelming. I hope it helps you too. Thanks for your comment.
LOL! Thanks for the shout-out, Donna. Sometimes I only can manage to set a ten-word daily goal, but it’s like the proverbial Lay’s potato chip: I can’t stop at the minimum. Once the wheels start turning in my head, I’m off on a quest to tell the story for as long as possible!
You are a great inspiration for me, Marsha. Thank you!