Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Interview: Donna Del Oro
Good Tuesday to you! I'm glad you've come to my blog. As part of this fun blog tour, I'm interviewing Donna Del Oro today. Donna, I thank you for answering my questions. It's always fun to get to know an author.
First off, tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I retired from high school teaching in 2003, got bored playing golf and tending the garden, then decided it was now or never to pursue my childhood passion, writing fiction. I sold my first completed manuscript, OPERATION FAMILIA, to Floricanto Press. That book won an award, “Latino Books into Movies Award, 2010” for the Romantic Comedy category; the judges were from the Hollywood film industry and it’s being shopped around screenwriters and directors, as we speak.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
Since 2007, I’ve sold six books to three different publishers, one print and two eBook pubs. The first four were humorous women’s fiction, and my last two, A BODYGUARD OF LIES and THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, are romantic thrillers.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
I love my two genres, women’s fiction and romantic thrillers. For the present, I’ll stay with the two genres I love to both read and write.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I confess I’m a plotter but I’m flexible enough to change plans as I go along. The important thing is the verisimilitude of the story and characters.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I like to write in the morning when I’m fresh and am drinking coffee. There’s something soothing and energizing about starting the day with storytelling and a cup of good, strong coffee. I’ll try to finish a 10-page chapter before I get up. Then I have to exercise in the garden or go to the gym. If it’s hot, I’ll jump in my pool and swim laps. This business, sitting down and writing, is not conducive to staying healthy and slim. I struggle constantly against gaining weight.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I love to read thrillers by male authors like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, Alex Berenson, Daniel Silva, James Rollins and Steve Berry. I fell in love with spy thriller authors Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follett. Because of them, I write thrillers, my alltime favorite genre. All kinds of thrillers, from spy to science to cop dramas to legal thrillers.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I’d like to finish the sequel to A BODYGUARD OF LIES, which I’m researching now. For me, the most enjoyable part is the research. I’m learning a smattering of Arabic and all about Islam in order for my FBI agent character, Jake Bernstein, to go undercover in a Silicon Valley mosque and ferret out a jihadi sleeper cell. Did you know that the FBI has uncovered and stopped HUNDREDS of jihadi terrorist plots since 9-11? You rarely read about them in the newspapers but guess what, folks, they’re out there, plotting away.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I’d love to have what my protagonist, Athena Butler in THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, has—clairvoyance, the ability to read minds and the gift of healing.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
I haven’t a clue. The only pets I like are dogs.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
Coming out on May 25 (Musa Publishing), THE DELPHI BLOODLINE is about a powerful and ancient bloodline of psychic women whose modern-day descendant, Athena Butler, has to fight to stay alive and free.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
Coffee. I’m addicted to Starbucks coffee drinks. Fortunately, it’s my only addiction.
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
No, absolutely not. Although a friend of mine, who contracted HIV from her scumbag husband when she was 50, has wanted me to co-author her memoir. I don’t know if it’ll ever happen but her story is amazing.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I’d love to ask Margaret Sanger, who was a pioneer in birth control back in the 1910’s, how she had the courage to do what she did. She spent time in jail for promoting birth control, can you imagine that? I wonder how many young women know about her. If it weren’t for women like her, most of us would still be “pregnant and barefoot”.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I paint landscapes, play golf badly and love to spend time with my two grandsons.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
One of my books? Or any book? IF it were one of mine, I’d have to choose my two thrillers and my first one, OPERATION FAMILIA.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish I could play a musical instrument. My father was talented musically and taught himself to play piano, violin, acoustic guitar and steel guitar. What a shame that his talent skipped a generation. My sisters and I sing but don’t play instruments.
Green, all shades.
Weather: Hot or cold?
I melt in hot weather. I should be living in San Diego rather than Sacramento.
Favorite place to read?
My wing chair with a matching hassock.
Chicken salads of all kinds.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Coffee and iced tea in the summer.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I’ve traveled all over the world and my favorite places are Italy and Switzerland. I’d spend every summer there if I could afford it.
BLURB: When artist Athena Butler, the modern-day descendant of a powerful, ancient bloodline of psychic women, realizes she's the target of mysterious and dangerous kidnappers, she gets help from strange sources--the spirit of an ancient ancestor and a handsome man who claims to be one of her bloodline's Guardians. Her mental powers and his brawny skills keep them one step ahead of the mastermind behind these kidnappers. Until the time when an FBI task force decides to use Athena as bait.
The Delphi Bloodline On Amazon
The Delphi Blood Line on Barnes & Noble