I have the great pleasure of asking Donna King Weaver, the author of A Change of Plans, a few questions while she's out on her book tour. I'm sure she must be tired from all her blog hopping, so I won't take up too much of her time.
Debra: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Donna: I’m still not sure I do—this is a scary business. But seriously, a few years ago I decided to get back to my personal history which I’d begun some years prior. I thought I should learn a bit about writing so it wouldn’t be a cure for insomnia for my descendants and decided to see if I could write a full-length novel.
Debra: What makes you passionate about writing?
Donna: I love seeing the story snippets comes to life, richer, and fully developed. And finished.
Debra: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Donna: No. And it’s because I’ve never looked at this as a career. At my age, I’m too close to retirement to quit my day job (as tempting as it can seem at times). I wanted to experience it all, including querying (I know, that’s just insane). Even as I received rejections and a few requests, I knew if nothing came of those, that I would self-publish.
Debra: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Donna: A Change of Plans is my first book. I was 55 when I wrote it. It was my learning project, and I’m excited with how it’s grown as a story as I’ve grown as a writer. I’m all about life-long learning, so I’m like a sponge.
Debra: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Donna: Ideas are everywhere. A Change of Plans began as a dream that had lingered with me. When I decided to try writing a book, I chose the idea from it—then I had to figure out how to get the characters where they were in my dream, which is the middle of the book.
Debra: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Donna: I used to think that I was a pantster, but I recently realized that I just write a really long outline—usually around 50,000 words. That’s what my first rough draft is. Editing, for me, is when the real writing happens.
Here is the blurb for A Change of Plans.
When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship's make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.
However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he's navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship--on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn's painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.
Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise's snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn's fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.