Shannon Donnelly

Read more about Shannon Donnelly.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: March 15, 2012

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Current Release: Paths of Desire

Describe your current release in two sentences?

From award-winning author, Shannon Donnelly comes her latest Regency Historical romance about an actress, Theodosia Newell, who wants one thing more than all else—security. But when her path crosses that of a man who tempts her to abandon caution, can she find the courage to break from her deepest fears?

What was your childhood ambition?

Well, first off I wanted to grow up to be an Indian. That didn't work out, and I was too tall to be a jockey (ambition number two), but then I saw Walt Disney's The Horsemasters and that settled me on wanting to be a riding instructor and trainer. I did that for a number of years in California -- and went broke doing that. So I started to look around for what else I could do, so I went back to telling stories, something that had always just been there.

Do you have a favorite time of the day? If so when and why

I like the transition times--dawn and sunset. The world's always magical when it's on the cusp of change.

What is the one thing you do not want to live without?


If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?

Well, obviously, Regency England holds a huge fascination for me--and if you have money in that era, you could have a great time. I'd also love to go to London in the 1920's. And I'd love to step back into the old west for a couple of weeks.

Please describe your writing environment.

At present, I'm living--and writing--in a restored 1966 Airstream travel trailer while we build an off-the-grid passive solar adobe/straw bale house in New Mexico. It's roughing it old style.

What is your favorite TV show?

Now...then? Right now it's probably Supernatural, although I'm not sure I'm going to forgive them for killing off Castiel and then Bobby! But I'm also really fond of Castle right now. For old time shows, I love Stargate, I'm a Trek fan (classic, if you please), and I loved the X-Files. You can see why I'm also drawn to writing paranormal as well as historical.

What are you working on?

A couple of different things--a new Regency set in 1815 Paris and an Urban Fantasy romance that's almost done.

What career fields have you worked in?

That's a long list. I've been a waitress. I wrote video games--my first paying writing gig was on Dragon's Lair. I've been a technical writer, and a marketing writer. For years, web production paid the bills. I've also been a horse trainer and riding instructor, and these days I'm also a volunteer EMS and Fire Fighter. There may be a few odd jobs left out -- I was a miserable Avon Lady for a very short time.

Where do you want to travel?

I've been to England and I'd love to go back. And Italy's on the list. I'd also love to go to Bali someday--and to Tibet.

How do you mesh your personal and professional life?

It's a balancing act, meaning it's usually out of balance. Meditation helps. So does a lot of laughter.

What are your plans for the summer? Any books you are looking forward to?

Well, right now, we're building a house--so the main plans are to finish the house. As to books, I've just devoured Bob Mayer's Atlantis series (very fun books), so I'm looking to dig into a few historical romances for my summer reads.

How was your road to publication? Have you every had to deal with rejection letters?

Hasn't everyone had rejections? I wrote seven books before I finally figured out what I was doing and had a book accepted for publication. I don't even know how many rejection letters came in--everything from the form letter to some nice rejections showed up. It's one reason I teach workshops now--I learned the hard way so I can pass on the stuff I learned.

What has been the best way for you to engage readers? Face to Face / Chatting Online / Twitter / Facebook / Blogging

Old fashioned email has been great -- so is blogging. I meet a lot of new readers that way.

What is the best thing about being an author?

You get to have your characters say all the great stuff that you never think up in time to say at the right moment.

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

One person--that's hard. I actually have a fantasy dinner party with a bunch of great folks (Dorothy Parker, Dorothy Sayers, Jane Austen, Stan Laurel, Fred Astaire, Edgar Allen Poe, and a few more). But if it's only one, I'd have to pick my Sammy--we always have a great time, and it would mean a romantic dinner for the two of us.

What do you feel blessed with?

So many things--great friends, family, the chance to live in New Mexico and write.

If you could live in a world created by an author, which book / world would you jump into?

Georgette Heyer's Regency world is a pure delight, with very clever folks. But there's also PG Woodhouse's world, which would also be fun, and I wouldn't mind being a house guest in any Oscar Wilde play.

I'm very much hoping readers will enjoy Paths of Desire, my latest book. It was one that got great rejections--editors love the writing, but no one really knew what to do with it. A hero who is married to someone else was just never going to sell in NY--but I felt that was a reality of life that needs to be addressed. Folks have unhappy marriages, and what do you do with something like that? And I love the characters.

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