Recently, I was able to get in touch with fellow author, Donna Walo-Clancy. She’s the author of works such as The Baby Factory and Keep the Faith, Ellen McGuire. To find out more about her life and her work, check out what she had to say.
Are there specific books or authors who have influenced your writing?
I have always loved Stephen King. His way of delivering fear has always amazed me. But, the author who influenced me the most was Carolyn Keene. She wrote the Nancy Drew mystery series and I owned every one of them as a kid. It’s because of those books that I wanted to be an author.
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
When I was eight years old I wrote my first picture book. It was called A Day in the Life of a Quarter. That was back in 1967. My mom kept that book all these years and gave it back to me when I published my first book The Baby Factory. She said even back then I wanted to be a writer.
Keep the Faith, Ellen McGuire was just released; what can you tell us about this project?
This book is loosely based on my own life. Many of the events that happen to Ellen in the book happened to me and my children. We lived in a tent for six months, lost all our possessions twice, and many nights there was nothing to eat. Of course, I never had an angel like Maggie and I never found a rich “Mr. Right”. But it’s fiction, right?
After going through the publication process a second time, is there anything you wish you had done differently the first time?
When I published The Baby Factory back in April 2013, I didn’t have the book edited. That was my first major mistake.
I never formatted the book to a six by nine size and left it at eight by eleven. Second major mistake.
You learn by doing. I found myself a great editor, Emma Mack, who catches all the little things I miss even though I have read the book through a hundred times. Bookstores and libraries don’t like the eight by eleven size because it takes up too much shelf space. I learned that I needed to edit my book and format it properly and put that to use when I published my second book.
Are there any specific types of scenes you find difficult to write? If yes, what type and why?
I don’t like to write love scenes. I don’t have a romantic bone left in my body and it shows when I attempt to write love scenes. I have lived through a twenty-five year failed marriage and a six year relationship when my fiance decided one month before the wedding to back out. Romance is not my favorite topic.
What do you do outside of writing?
I work full-time as a cook. I read a lot. There are so many great authors out there and just not enough time to read them all. I paint and do all kinds of crafts including scrap-booking. My favorite activity would have to be walking the beaches of Cape Cod with my metal detector. I only do that in the spring and fall as the beaches are too crowded during the summer.
What advice do you have for new authors just starting out?
My best advice to new authors is ask questions. There are many good people out there in the writing world that will help you. Join writing groups on Facebook and other social media. Participate in the group discussions and don’t be afraid you will sound dumb when asking those questions. Everyone was new to the craft at one time and had to go through the learning process.
The other piece of advice I would give is that you can’t please everyone. There will be great reviews of your work and there will be bad reviews. Don’t let the bad reviews get you down. Read them, learn from them, and let them go.
Where can we find out more about your published works?
Both my books are available on Amazon.com and Createspace.com. I have an author page on Facebook under Author Donna Walo Clancy.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Rueful Wishes is the sequel to Keep the Faith, Ellen McGuire which should be released in the spring of 2015.
I am currently working on a new series called Ghostly Women. The first book is called The Possession of Emma Sprague. A vacationing author is haunted by an Irish barmaid, Marcella, who was kidnapped, killed and later framed by her killers for the murder of the bar owner. It is the story of two women, one dead and one alive, working together to prove the dead women’s innocence one hundred and fifty years later.
The Ghosts of Brattlebell Cove is the second in the series and is a story of the murders of mail order brides and their fight to have the truth told and the man brought to justice who did the killings.
I have many other projects in the beginning stages that will be released in the next year or two.