SIX MINUTES WITH DONNA WHITE
Joining LitPick today for Six Minutes with an Author is Donna White, world traveler and teacher. Donna is also the author of the Stones Trilogy. Bullets, Blood and Stones, the first book in the trilogy, has received a Five Star Review from a LitPick student reviewer. Be sure to get your copy today! The Kindle version is FREE on Amazon through December 18th.
***How did you get started writing?
It all began when I was on a road trip with my sister, and to pass the time we started asking some very thought provoking questions. Mine was: If you had five stones that had the power to change a person and make them a better person, what five people would you choose? That conversation led to an idea, which led to starting a story, which led to a trip to Uganda to do some research, which led to finding Charlie, a former child soldier, whose story just needed to be told.
***Who/what influenced you?
If I could say it was one person, I’d say it was Charlie. But there are many others. There are the students I teach who appreciate learning about what’s going on in the world, without my holding back on what is reality. And then there’s the power of the written word that encourages me to write stories that make a difference. As for a specific author – I do like the simple, yet effective, style of Mark Twain. Sort of down-to-earth kind of guy and I like that.
***Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
No. Not really a favorite. Although I have read Lord of the Rings a few times, and I enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and The Book Thief. Why? Perhaps because I like the theme of good vs evil and the idea of the perseverance of the human spirit. If I’m going to read a book, I want to know that the good guy wins in the end. Seen enough ugly in the world, and it’s nice to be reminded that good does win – eventually.
***What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Find a few good books in the genre that you want to write and read them very, very slowly and carefully. Take note of how the author does description, action scenes, dialogue, etc. Highlight these parts in the book, write notes in the book, dog ear that book until you have a good grasp on what works to make a good story. You’ll gain this knowledge by reading it, absorbing it, and learning it. Then write.
***Where is your favorite place to write?
I’d like to say it’s someplace cool like under a tree in my backyard or in a far off villa in Spain, but no, I get most of my writing done in my office, at my desk. But my office often becomes the place that I’m writing about. Many times I’ve become so absorbed in my writing that I’ve forgotten where I am, thinking I’m actually in Uganda or Malawi or ... It’s a sad reality break for me when I type that final period for the day and then realize I’m still in my office, in my house, in Canada. Oh hum.
***What else would you like to tell us?
There are two sides to me. One, a gentle and caring mother, teacher, and person. The other, a woman who has – in the name of research - held an AK-47 and used an SKS - and a woman who has frightened would-be poachers off her property with several well selected words and gestures. A momma bear who would do anything to protect the unprotected. That’s me.
Donna, thank you for sharing your heart with us. We are so glad you explored that simple thought that came to you while on a road trip with your sister. What an incredible journey! We hope you continue to travel and meet people with amazing stories that you just have to share.