‘Donna Steele’

dsToday, I’d like to welcome Donna Steele, author of “Before You” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

I’m delighted to say I’m now writing full time! Yes, I retired from the campus and now go to my own little office every morning and write! Ever since I learned to read—from Superman Comics, Dick, Jane and Sally held no appeal—I’ve wanted to write. I finally got up the courage and I’m delighted that I finally get to share it with you. I write science fiction, paranormal usually with an eco-twist, and small town romance – who knew? I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, FF&P and the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. I live in North Carolina as an empty nester now with my beloved best friend and husband, who actually encourages this mad passion of mine.


No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one?
Short answer, yes. Don’t even have to think about it. My loved ones are my reason for living-of course the law I’m breaking would take some consideration – speeding (sure!), grand theft – (I’d have to think hard).

No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
For me it’s the happiness factor. When I’m truly living I’m motivated, energetic, happy and it shows in everything I do and write. I admit I get frustrated and have to continually learn to shove that aside – this year working with the builders of my new condo (Keystone Home, Greensboro, NC) and then finding out they never intended to honor the contract we signed pulled me down, and it didn’t feel like I was truly living at all, just existing and waiting for that light at the end of the tunnel. However on the positive side it gave me writing fodder and the names of some great villains to write in the future.

No.3 What motivates you to write?
Breathing I guess – I write constantly though I don’t always have a pen and paper around. Stories flow through my head so even the most boring thing can entertain me and hopefully morph into a story – like standing in line at the grocery and wondering the motivation of why she bought that.

No.4 Why do humans want children?
For my part it’s the immortality. Of course I fall back a little on my science fiction roots here – my genes will continue to inhabit the planet or maybe be part of the expedition for the next planet. In any case, I’ll continue in some form.

No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book ”Before You” ?
Getting people to see what I want to show. I get an idea that needs to crystalize in my head before I can even begin, then I have to make sure what I see is what ends up on the page – that’s why there are so many edits and rewrites. When I succeed it’s the best feeling in the world.

No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That high school was not the peak of my existence (or any other milestone you might set). It felt like it at the time, but it was only a blip on the radar, not the end all and so many many more things were/are ahead (and better!)

No.7 How did you come up with the title “Before You” ?
Everyone has a past, some have a past that goes back before this life. That’s what I explore in this story, through the possibility of reincarnation. Just a little twist in a romance that gives it the paranormal and what-if feeling. It would certainly explain love at first sight, just recognizing the person you’ve always loved.

No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I admit, it’s tough. For me, it depends a lot on how it’s delivered – snarky, condescension doesn’t help, but mature, thoughtful feedback can make me reach and grow. I’ve been extremely lucky with my beta readers and I know I can trust them to be honest and helpful, even when they don’t like something or think it can be improved (they’re usually right).

No.9 Why should people read your book?
In the case of Before You, to explore a new idea that might be outside their reference. The idea behind the book, reincarnation, came from my father’s ideas and beliefs, which were different from most of the people I knew. I wanted to give those ideas a platform that could entertain but also make people consider other ways of looking at such a possibility.

No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
Nature (and I) abhor a vacuum. The tag line on my blog is “there’s always something” and I believe that, even if it’s only my imagination – which can lead to some really fun ideas (and books) to explore. And in the case of this book, there’s something that comes around again and again until we get it right. I like that idea, it’s somehow comforting to me.

Thank you 🙂 For taking the time to answer
my questions & the best of luck with your new book:

“Before You”

When Jocelyn decides to take a two-week vacation away from the chaos of the city and work, she expects to just relax and enjoy. Instead, after taking an impromptu exit off the highway the car quits and she’s stuck in some Podunk town in nowhere North Carolina. But the scenery is great – especially the guy who tows in her car.

Noah is helping his cousin out for the afternoon at the garage and is more than pleasantly surprised when the city girl shows up needing help.

Neither can foresee what drew her to that exit or what they will uncover trying to discover what has frightened her so. But they will do it, together.





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