Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with Donna Fasano


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Reclaim My Heart is a stand-alone, contemporary romance. The male and female protagonists fell in love as teens and parted ways under stressful circumstances. The story begins fifteen-years later, when the teenaged son of the female lead gets himself arrested and is need of a lawyer. Here's the official "blurb" –

Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined. 

Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both--if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

Do you have a favorite character?
Many, many reviewers mention Uncle Jasper as being their favorite character. He touched my heart, too. He is a Native American Elder, wise and warm-hearted.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
My characters often change the story I'm trying to tell, but that only tells me that they have strong voices. That's a good thing. I have two minor characters in this book that touched readers: Zach, the teenaged son of Tyne and Lucas, and Uncle Jasper. I have decided to let both of these characters live in my head for a while to see if they have stories of their own to tell. Who knows? I might end up with a couple of spin-off books.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes. Many years ago, I finished my first romance novel just to prove to myself that I could take a story to completion. I had worked for 18 long months on it, so I was afraid to send it out to publishers. One little "no" from an editor and I would have been crushed. So I entered my book in an international contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America. The book won a finalist spot, and the final judge was an editor from Harlequin. I didn't win the contest, but the editor bought my manuscript and published my book.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I see an outline as a sort of roadmap. I would never set off on a journey without a map. However, I have often veered off the outline if a character needed it, or the story took an interesting turn. An author never can tell where a story might go, and the best stories, I believe, are ones that surprise me during the telling.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes, I hire and editor and a proof-reader. I also have a group of wonderful beta-readers who look for typos, missing words, and loose threads.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
My ebooks are for sale in the Kindle Store, the Nook Book Store, the Kobo Store, the iTunes iBook Store, and a few are available at Smashwords. My trade paperbacks are available at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, The Book Depository, and other retail outlets. My audio books are available at Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I'm on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Tumblr. I have a personal blog called Donna Fasano, In All Directions, and I post everything there from book news to recipes to essays on life in general. I have a romance novel blog called Awesome Romance Novels where I promote, well, romance novels. Both my blogs offer readers the opportunity to subscribe via email so they won't miss a single post.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I'm still working on balancing the writing/marketing aspect of being an Indie Author. I try to do a bit of marketing each day by finding a new blogger who might be interested in interviewing me or reading/reviewing my book or finding a new forum to visit or organizing a giveaway of some sort. I am easily sucked in by the internet. Self-discipline is key for an author who has stories to tell!

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I have so many passions, I don't have time for all of them. I love to cook and can read cookbooks as passionately as I do fiction. I have a love affair with food (and my hips are proof!). I love the outdoors and I spend lots of time walking and kayaking and riding my bicycle. I love to socialize and I have lots of friends. I've done some traveling, but I haven't done nearly enough of it. And I love to read! Books can take you places you've never been, introduce you to interesting people and cultures. Oh, yes, I love to read.