Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blogoversary: Author Interview Donna Ball (writing as Donna Boyd)

Hi Everyone,
I am please to introduce an author whose books span a wide range of genres and readers

Please Welcome DONNA BALL writing as Donna Boyd to the blog today!!!

You have written numerous books over the years, yet you have written several of them under different pseudonyms. Why do you use several different names to publish your works?
I write in multiple and widely varied genres—everything from western adventure to supernatural suspense.  Publishers used to believe that readers wouldn’t follow a writer from one genre to the other, so when I switched genres I generally switched pen names.  These days, of course, it’s easy for anyone to Google his favorite author and find all the different pseudonyms, and I have found that there is quite a bit of cross over by readers between my different pen-names.

You write both series and stand alone novels, which do you prefer to write and Why?
That’s a difficult question.  I love writing series, because I can explore the characters’ stories in greater depth if I have several books in which to do it.  The characters really start to live and grow and become part of your everyday life in a series.  However, when the publisher inevitably cancels the series before I have finished telling the story, my heart is broken, my readers’ hearts are broken, and I am tormented by those characters’ untold stories for the rest of my life!  So while series are what I prefer, stand alone books are safer.

Do you remember the first book that you wrote? How old were you and did this inspire you to become a full time writer?
Oh my, that does take me back.  My first “book” was written when I was nine years old and it was a romance.  I suspect it was inspired by one of the soap operas my mother watched.  It received fabulous reviews from family and friends (although my mother, a Southern Baptist, found it a bit racy for her taste), and from that moment on I was hooked.  It’s worth noting that I wrote 20-30 subsequent books before finally writing one that was publishable.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think roman a clef would be the hardest for me, because anything that is tied to reality takes the adventure out of writing for me.  Half my motivation for writing is to see what happens next, and if I already know the ending… well, what’s the point?

You also have a passion for expressionistic painting and art, do you find that painting and writing complement each other when you are working on the other?
I use my painting to refuel my creative self.  Writing is enormously stressful, with an extremely long delayed gratification cycle.   I can finish a painting in a few days, or a week, and then I can step back and say “Wow!  Look at that!”  and I have something to hang on my walls.  When I’m not on a deadline (and I actually can’t remember the last time I wasn’t on a deadline) I try to make a ritual of “art Sundays”, in which I take every Sunday off to do nothing but paint.

 When you ventured into the paranormal romance genre, why did you choose werewolves? What inspired you to write about them?
I felt werewolves were the under-explored species of the paranormal genre.  Everyone was clinging to the same tired old myths—the silver bullets, the full moon, the excruciating change from human to wolf, the human-killing, ya-de-ya.  I was determined to take that worn-out construct and turn it inside out.  My inspiration was the simple arrogance of the human race.  What if we are not, in fact, the only sentient species on earth?  What if we’re not even the dominant one?

The Passion focuses on the werewolf culture, what type of research did you do to put so much detail into the werewolf culture?
To be honest, the foundation for the character of the werewolf species I created comes from a thorough understanding of canine behavior.  I had to know who they were and what they valued before I could begin to imagine their culture.  A small example:  domestic dogs value something that is stolen (taken from a human or a fellow canine without permission) far more than if the same thing were freely given.  The lie is one of the most difficult concepts for a canine to master, so it makes sense that in werewolf culture, a well-told lie would also be highly valued.  For the creation of the actual myths and legends that populate The Promise , I am eternally grateful to my former writing partner Shannon Harper  (one half of Leigh Bristol and Taylor Brady) who did all the historical research on that book.

    What was the most important aspect of this werewolf culture, within The Passion and The Promise that you wanted the readers to be aware of?
There were so many things I wanted readers to think about: the duality of our nature, the eternal battle between dark and light, savagery and restraint that exists both in us and in our mythical werewolf counterparts; the fact that the supposed “savage” werewolf actually values human life more than we ourselves do; the modern-day werewolf who has achieved global dominance by choosing, every day, not to succumb to his lower nature (I love the fact that in their culture, a child’s jumping rhyme includes the line “I shall not kill today, my friend, I shall not kill today”.)  But I think the take-away from the entire series is laid out in the prologue of The Passion:  I have known Nature, and I have known Civilization. Civilization is better.

Are you able to share any information on upcoming works or events?
I am delighted to announce, for your Blogoversary, that Renegade, the long awaited sequel to The Passion and The Promise is now ready for publication.  The circuitous (and tortuous!) route this book has taken over the past twelve years would make a book in itself, but  rest assured—every I is dotted and every T is crossed and we are a go for launch.  I will be releasing details on my web site www.donnaball.net over the next few months but this is what I can tell my beloved, faithful readers: You will be shocked.  You will be horrified.  You will want more. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new book or an old favorite).

Okay, this will sound odd given all of the above but I hate, I mean actively hate what passes for urban fantasy these days.  Having said that, I’ve recently discovered the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne, and it’s like ice cream dipped in dark chocolate coated with caramel for me: I totally can’t resist.  Hexed is on my Kindle now, and as soon as I finish all my other proper literary obligations I can’t wait to dive in.

Thank you for including me in your Blogoversary edition!  I am honored. 

I want to say thank you once again to Donna for being a part of my Blogoversary, and for sharing the news on sequel to the Passion and The Promise. I am very excited to see what happens next. You can check out my review of The Passion and stop by Donna Ball's website, for more information on her other books.



  1. I haven't read anything by this author but I will have to take a look - great interview! Oh and I am completely in agreement about the Iron Druid Chronicles - it rocks!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  2. WONDERFUL post and Interview! Donna, I love all the research you put into making The Passion and The Promise so realistic and so deep. Now that Renegade is available, Im adding the 3 to my TBB list. Cant wait to read them!

    Wishing you great Sales! Hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com