Author Donna S. Frelick
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Donna S. Frelick has been a journalist, a Peace Corps Volunteer and an author of STAR TREK fan fiction. She was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her contemporary SFR Interstellar Rescue series. Book 3 in the series, Fools Rush In, launched October 18, 2016 from INK’d Press.
- How long have you been writing? Since I could hold one of those fat pencils!
- What kind(s) of writing do you do? I write contemporary science fiction romance, which means it’s set in the here and now, primarily. In my Interstellar Rescue universe, Earth is sort of a galactic backwater, not yet ready for space travel, but a source of labor for the evil alien Grays. I also blog on a weekly basis (about writing, science fiction,romance and films).
- What are your goals as a writer, both small and large? I’d like to build a faithful audience of readers, folks that would look forward to my next book. Secretly, I’d like to be nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award–wouldn’t anyone? 🙂
- What inspires you? It doesn’t take much. Stories of human triumph. Small steps into space. Fall days in the mountains. Cat videos.
- Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance. LOL! I fall in love with ALL my heroes. I think most romance writers do; it’s the essence of the fantasy we’re creating for our readers. Which is not to say my men are perfect. They have flaws or they wouldn’t be interesting. But they don’t leave the toilet seat up, either.
- How do you find or make time to write? Good question. I have no idea. I need an extra four hours a day.
- Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process. I’m a plotter, mostly. That is, I start with an outline of where the book is going and I sketch out main characters and sometimes even key scenes before I begin. But I allow plenty of room for my intuition to work. Plots can sometimes take an abrupt turn, secondary characters take over, connections reveal themselves. That’s just the way my mind works.
- Who would play you in your life story? LOL! Ashley Judd has the dark hair and the accent, but I’d need someone with a sense of humor. Is Ellen available?
- What projects are you working on at the moment? I have a novella coming out as part of the Baby, It’s Cold in Space SFR anthology November 25 (with seven other authors). And I’m almost halfway through the first draft of Book 4 in the Interstellar Rescue series, tentatively titled Follow the Sun.
- What process did you go through to get your work published? Well, first you go to a crossroads at midnight and wait until the Devil appears . . . No, not really, but it certainly was a long and winding road for me, like it is for many writers. It took about seven years from the time I “finished” my first mainstream novel Unchained Memory until I actually held the published book in my hands. My journey included joining RWA, piling up wins on the regional contest circuit and finally getting nominated for RWA’s Golden Heart award for unpublished manuscripts, querying countless agents and pitching them in person at conferences and all the while writing and revising. By the time I found my wonderful agent, I had polished Unchained Memory to perfection, and I had written two more books in the series! So my agenting deal was a three-book contract to start.
- What is the hardest part of writing for you? The first draft, no question. I actually like revisions. Other writers think I’m crazy. But that’s just the writing. Ask me what is hardest about being an author and I’ll say the business of it–promotion and sales. All of that takes way too much time away from the writing.
- What do you enjoy most about writing? Share your favorite work. I love those times when I can get totally lost in the world I’m creating–in the dialogue between characters, for example, or in setting a scene. That “flow” is familiar to all creative people; it’s what we live for. So far, I’d have to say Trouble in Mind is my favorite of the three Interstellar Rescue books. I hit flow a lot writing that one!
- If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why? Aragorn, from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, because he kicks ass, he knows how to live off the land, and he’s ever so easy on the eye.
- Which actors would you choose to play the main characters in your story? For Fools Rush In, my latest, I’d choose David Boreanaz to play Captain Sam Murphy and Zoe Saldana to play undercover Rescue agent Rayna Carver. How’s that for a pair!
- What is your favorite escape from day to day living? Reading and movies are tied because popcorn.
- What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time? I maintain a social media presence with a blog, Facebook and Twitter. Especially during a book launch, these take up a LOT of time, since I also do blog tours and interviews like this one. During the spring and summer I go to writers’ conferences like RT Booklovers and sometimes RWA National and SF cons like Shore Leave in Towson, Maryland. I LOVE meeting readers face-to-face and interacting with them on social media, but just making the rounds can take up a lot of writing time.
- Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing? I grew up reading Golden Age and New Age science fiction, especially Ursula K. Leguin, Theodore Sturgeon, Zenna Henderson, Isaac Asimov. I read Tolkien regularly every few years. I love paranormal writers Christine Feehan and J.R. Ward and SFR pioneers Linnea Sinclair and Susan Grant. From all these authors I learned how to open my mind, how to build a world, how to turn a phrase, how to reveal a character. And I’m still learning.
- Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it? Ha! This is all I know: observe the world around you, then use what you observe and what you have experienced in life and transform it into fiction. It’s the transformation process that makes your writing your own. Others may have seen the same things or experienced the same heartbreak and joy. But it is the way you transform those things into the fictional narrative–into characters and plot and dialogue and pacing–that can be unique.
- What are you currently reading? I just finished The Badass Librarians of Timbuctu, by Joshua Hammer, an account of how a small group of local scholars saved priceless ancient Islamic manuscripts from destruction by jihadists during Mali’s recent unrest. I’m getting ready to start Pets in Space, an SFR anthology by eight authors including my friends Laurie A. Green and Pauline Baird Jones, as well as the much-better-known Susan Grant.
- What do you think is the future of reading/writing? I’d love to say SFR is the next big thing, but folks have been saying that for a while with no breakthrough in sight. Erotica continues to trend big among younger readers. Audiobooks are big and getting bigger. The first two books in my Interstellar Rescue series are available now on Audible, read by the incredible Lisa Beacom. She’s working on the audiobook version of Fools Rush In as we speak.
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