Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ask Five with....DONNA BIRDSELL!

What is the title of your latest release and what’s it about?

I have a novella in the Harlequin NEXT Anthology “Christmas Presence: Three Tales of Love.” My novella is “Christmas Presence,” and it’s about a young widow who wants to boycott the holidays because her husband died in a car accident the day after Christmas last year. Problem is, her husband’s ghost won’t let her. Before she knows it, she has a Christmas tree, she’s baking cookies, and she’s got a job at a wrapping booth in the mall, where she meets the man who may hold the key to her Christmas Future.

Do you like writing Christmas themed stories?

This is actually the first one I’ve written, and I absolutely loved it. It practically wrote itself. I think I outlined it in about three hours. But Christmas is my favorite time of year, so it made it easy.

How do you stay motivated?

Oh, those big checks I keep getting… snort! But seriously, it’s just the whole process of creating something (or someone) didn’t exist before you brought them to life. It’s a rush every time! That’s what brings me to my chair every day. And the threat of having to get a “real” job is what keeps me there.

Which authors have influenced you over the years, whether for their writing or for their friendship?

Oh, so many. I’ve learned something from every book I’ve ever read, good or bad. Even if it’s to say, “I would have done that differently.” On a personal level, it was a thrill for me to meet Kathleen Woodiwiss a few years ago at the New Jersey conference, because hers were the first historical romances I ever read. I was so sad to hear of her death. And my critique partners, Joy Nash and Anita Nolan, are wonderful writers who inspire me on a daily basis. Also, Jim and Nikoo McGoldrick really helped me to navigate the whole writing world after I first sold. I’ll always be in their debt.

Finally...what is coming up next from you?

Sadly, the NEXT line is shutting down. January will be the last month for the NEXT books. I was to have two more titles come out in 2008, so I’m not really sure what I’ll be doing. I’m currently working on both a screenplay and a straight historical fiction, and I’m enjoying both. So, I guess it’s all wide open, which is both scary and exciting!

Thanks, Donna!
You can learn more about Donna and her books at her website at


Jennifer Y. said...

Great interview!

I am looking forward to reading this book!

Fedora said...

Thanks for the info, Donna! I didn't know that about the NEXT line--bummers! This collection sounds wonderful though--thanks for the heads up!

Caffey said...

Hi Donna. That story sounds so emotional! I heard about the NEXT line, so sad. I hope you can keep putting your stories out, maybe under HQN or someplace. I'm looking forward to the historical fiction, I've loved your historical romance. Great to read your interview.