"What Do I Say To That?" Handling the Author Interview

Whether an author loves or dreads them, whether you consider them the best part of the job or the worst part, the fact of the matter is that author interviews are part of the job. And it’s important to make the most of every opportunity.

Today I was interviewed for The Examiner which boasts 20 million readers a month. Definitely an opportunity I didn’t want to blow. So what’s the most important thing to say at a moment like this? No matter how much we want to shout, "Buy my book! Buy my book!" We do have to be a bit subtler than that.

I firmly believe that no matter how exotic your setting or how clever, gripping, romantic (whatever) your plot, it’s your characters readers care most about. So I try to promote my characters every chance I get.

Here’s how I handled it in the Examiner interview:

Can you tell us more about Felicity? Her strengths? Her weaknesses?

Donna: I mentioned that I used my daughter's experiences for Felicity's background. The trouble came when I gave Felicity Elizabeth's personality— a perfect daughter can make a boring heroine. When Felicity became her own rash, headstrong person the book came alive. As my editor commented, "That girl does get into more trouble," and she drives poor Antony to distraction. But in her defense let me also point out that she is brilliant, energetic and loyal and is willing to learn from her mistakes. The thing is, though, she keeps making new mistakes to learn from. I do see much of the fun of this series will be growing Felicity up.

Felicity seems like a take charge kind of woman. Did you model her after anyone in real life?

Donna: Even though I started with my daughter's story, the more I work with Felicity the more I'm finding she's really her own woman. She has her own experiences and challenges and asks her own questions— even when Antony wishes she wouldn't. Antony shares my love for history and Felicity, who in the first book went cross-eyed at his accounts, is developing an appreciation for learning from the past.

You can read the entire interview here: http://ning.it/JFrwLu

A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH The Monastery Murders 2 is here: http://ning.it/IMDwXv 

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