Thursday, October 29, 2009

Your Treat...A Sierra Donovan interview...

I'm isn't a trick...but our guest will be too busy on 'a certain day' to read her own interview, so here goes...

1-Sierra, your first romance, LOVE ON THE AIR, has a unique setting. How did you do the research?

I lived it! Well, not exactly. It's set at a radio station and I did work for 7 years at the same radio station as my husband. Some people assume LOVE ON THE AIR is based on the way we met. Nope! But my radio experience went to good use for the book.

2-MEG'S CONFESSION has a 'cute' meet. How did this idea catch your imagination?

That's tough to answer. I was finishing LOVE ON THE AIR, wondering what story to start next, and it crossed my mind that it would be fun to write a pregnant heroine. Well, I had to get rid of her husband, so I bumped him off. But she had to be able to find new love during her pregnancy, so there must have been something wrong with the relationship. Zing! Suddenly I had a guilt-ridden pregnant widow in a confessional, spilling her guts to a guy who wasn't a priest. Not Sure how I made that leap, but I loved it immediately.

3-How extensive is your character study before you write?

Usually, I have an idea first, then imagine what character would suit that premise best. What kind of construction worker would feel the urge to help a pregnant widow, and why? Once I have a basic idea, I start writing, and the characters materialize more firmly as I go. I know things are going good when the characters start following me around, having conversations when I'm in the shower.

4-Where do most of your ideas come from?

They're as individual as the stories themselves. Sometimes it's from a moment I experience, or something I see. Sometimes I have to sit down with the Muse and brainstorm.

5-What is your favorite day in October? [besides my birthday, LOL]

Halloween is a high point, ofcourse. But I love the whole Halloween season. I love the fall colors, and all things pumpkiny. And I've been fond of scary stuff ever since I started watching the old TV soap opera Dark Shadows when I was about 9. I used to think I wanted to be the next Stephen King. But I seem to be better at making people fall in love than killing them off!

6- So, your first writing goals were very different from contemporary romance. Any chance you will revert to your first love?

I think eventually I'll merge them--not into anything super-scary, but I love light paranormal themes. A supernatural force comes along and alters the characters' lives, eventually for the good. At heart, I've found I'm really much closer to Rod Sterling than Stephen King--though I could only hope to be so brilliant!

7-A little bird tells me you're knee deep into a new ms. How long will it take you to write it? Are you a 'polish as you go' type or 'rush for the end' writer?

A book takes me six months to a year. I'm definitely a polish-as-you-go gal...I can't face going back to a mountain of first draft later on. Even so, I spend about a month in the Revision Cave when a manuscript is done.

8-You have a talented family. What can you share...keeping in mind safety on the net?

My husband is a musician and songwriter in his spare time, a disc jokey for his day job. Our kids both show some interest in music and writing. Our 14-year-old son's really gotten into the guitar lately. Our 10-year-old girl makes up songs from time to time, and loves to start on stories...though she doesn't always finish.

9-Okay, enough of the serious stuff. If you could have your choice, which famous leading man in Hollywood would you want to get in the hot tube with?

I can only choose one? I'll take Priece Brosnan this week.

10-So, good news! We're going to make a movie form your book. Who would you choose to star in MEG'S CONFESSION?

Craig is tricky--dark hair and blue eyes are a hard combination to come by! But he'd be sort of a Luke Wilson type. For Meg, maybe Sandra Bullock?

11- Are you a dog person or a cat person, because I hear they're going to film a remake of THE SHAGGY DOG in your front yard. What's your response?

I wouldn't mind the dog nearly as much as the camera crew! I leaned more heavily toward 'cat' until about a year ago, when a stray Lab mix wandered onto our lawn and became our second dog. Cats are good companions, but I think dogs love you more.

12- You...Sierra Donovan...[insert spooky music here] are going to be stuck in an elevator with a famous author. Who would you pick? [well, sure we know ahead of time...this is our script!]

I'll take Jennifer Crusie. I think I could learn a lot from her.

13-You've won a trip to the moon...What would be your last meal on earth?

Mongolian Barbeque. With a side of lobster.

14-Okay time to stop being nice to you...You see an attractive male. What makes him appealing to you? [yes, you can say butt...]

Usually, dark hair and eyes. He could be tall and lanky like my husband...but sometimes shorter, compact guys can be really attractive too.

15- Sierra Donovan, reveal your inner self...what is your shoping weakness...after books?
Must be an item for Shoes? Handbags? Unmentionables? Tell all...LOL

After books, there's usually no money left! But I love cute coffee mugs, fun office products and sweaters, even though I've lived in Southern California since I was about 6 months old. And don't get me started on fall, Halloween or Christmas decor!

Thanks for the fun answers, was a treat. Now get back to decorating your spooky garage...

How about you? Who would star as your hero and heroine in your favorite book?


Jennifer Shirk said...

Great interview! I loved how Meg's Confession started out, too! So clever thinking he's a priest. Really cute.

For the book I'm editing now, my hero looks a lot like Patrick Dempsey. :)

Jane Myers Perrine said...

I loved learning about you--but, really. Mongolian barbeque and lobster?

Sandy Cody said...

Great interview. Kudos to both interviewer and interviewee Is that a word?). Your books sounds delightful, Sierra.

Sierra Donovan said...

Carol, thanks for such a fun interview!

Carol knows about my secret "dark side." She made mention of my spooky garage, and I forgot to go into that! Every Halloween my husband decks out the garage in some kind of spooky theme for the trick-or-treaters. Last year we were a creepy restaurant, serving things like "finger" sandwiches -- get it?!! This year we're going to be a prison, with a newly constructed "electric chair" made from a friend's old patio chair. We're kind of famous for Halloween in our neighborhood!

Jennifer, I loved Patrick Dempsey in ENCHANTED.

Jane, I wouldn't ordinarily eat Mongolian BBQ and lobster at one sitting ... but for my last meal on earth, I couldn't pick just one!

Sandy, thanks for the friendly words. (And I'm pretty sure "interviewee" is a word....)


Carol Hutchens said...

Whew, fanning my face, You're writing about Mr. McDreamy!!! LOL Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer.

Carol Hutchens said...

LOL, thanks for stopping by, Jane.

Carol Hutchens said...

Thanks for the kind comment, Sandy. Loved your blog.

Carol Hutchens said...

Wow! Sierra, never trust a woman who loves witches and ghosts...but you make it sound fun.

Thanks again for your time.

Stephanie Newton said...

Ha! I was actually in the elevator with Jenny Crusie at RWA this year. I was so awestruck being in her presence that I just stood staring. She had to ask me three times to press her floor because I was standing right in front of the panel. It was a great time...

Love the interview (and can't wait to get a peek at that new book!)


Sierra Donovan said...

Steph, when you get right down to it, that would probably be me, too. I'd probably stand there trying to think of something to say that wouldn't be a simpering gush ... and then the ride would be over!

Carol Hutchens said...

Hi Steph,
Thanks for posting.