Donna Cook

Get to Know Boise Book Fest Romance Author Donna Cook

Welcome to Get to know Boise Book Fest Author session!

Let’s get some basic information out of the way about author Donna, so we get to knowing her better during the interview.

Boiseimages-14Name: Donna Cook
Social media links:facebookWebsite Twitter  Goodreads  Contact

Purchase Links:
Gift of the Phoenix:
The Lost Branch:
Nashua’s Choice:
Genre: Epic fantasy adventure

Ready to get started? Alright, here we go!

BBF: To start things off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your books?
DC: People often compare my books to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Eragon. That’s kind of funny because all those books are really different (especially in terms of writing style). My books have their own flavor too, but I think people make those comparisons because, like those other books, my fantasies are BIG, FUN, MAGICAL, and ENGAGING. There’s not just the fantasy adventure, but there’s mystery and romance too. There’s a lot of great characters and surprising moments. These books are fast-paced and easy to get lost in, but they pack a punch and really give you a meaty story. The world I’ve created feels real and is fun to experience, but it isn’t so heavy on fantasy world-building that it becomes cumbersome or alienating. They’re really fun stories. I have a blast writing them and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next one. 🙂

BBF: Do you see yourself writing in the same genre? How important or not important is including romance in what you write?
DC: I plan to write across several genres eventually. In addition to my epic fantasy, I also currently write New Adult Romance under a pen name. With my fantasies, I didn’t set out to include love stories. It just sort of happened. But they’re so fun to write and add a richness to the stories they wouldn’t otherwise have. Love is an important part of our lives! It only makes sense it would be something our characters would experience too.

BBF: This is something I’m always curious about, probably because I’m so picky about it when I write, but how do you choose names for your characters? Is it whatever comes to mind, or do they have meaning?
DC: I’m picky too! I keep a binder full of ideas for names and use it frequently. I don’t usually name characters until I’ve been writing them for a bit. I have to get to know them well before I can give them a proper name. So in that first draft a character might be “wizard” or “brother” or “lady knight” or just “x.” Once I’m ready to name them, I give it a lot of thought and yes, I love it when names have hidden meaning or significance.

BBF:  How do you choose the titles for your books? And do the titles usually come before or after you’ve written the novels?
DC: It depends on the book. Sometimes I know a title right away, and sometimes the title doesn’t become clear until I’m well into the writing process. For the first few drafts, the working title for Gift of the Phoenix was “The Stones book.”

BBF: Who’s your favorite villain from your books? Who is it and why?
DC: Oooh, if I say who the villain is, that gives away a secret! But I love writing that character, I’m not sure why. I think because there’s a subtlety to this character, and as the layers are pulled back one by one, it’s so horrific to discover just how evil this person is.

BBF: Do you have a favorite character from your books? Who is it and why?
DC: Janus. She comes up as a reader favorite again and again, too. She’s the perfect character. Strong and spunky, but with a vulnerable, tender side too. She’s just fun to watch.

BBF: What has been your favorite thing about being an author?
DC: It’s a way to let my imagination run wild, so a lot of writing is playing for me. But there’s the craft involved too, so it’s very satisfying to create something believable and real out of nothing. It almost seems disingenuous to call it “nothing,” because stories can be very real for us, whether we’re the ones that created them or not.

BBF: What are you currently working on? And what can we expect from you in the future?
DC: There will be more books in both the Realm of the Phoenix series, and the Nashua series.

BBF: Before we say our goodbyes, can you tell us something random about yourself? Just for funsies. And then that favorite character you mentioned–can you tell us something random about them, too? 
DC: I’m a recent convert to The Bachelor, much to the astonishment of my husband. Janus is typically fearless, but she’s afraid of getting in the ocean. It’s not for any reason you could ever guess, but it’s all explained in The Lost Branch.  🙂

Lightening Round

Favorite thing about your genre: The only limit is my imagination.
A genre that I would love to write: Historical romance
When writing, night owl or morning person? Morning
Pantser or Plotter?  Plotter
I’m currently reading: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. (Next on my list is Wizard’s Heir by Devri Walls, a fellow BBF author!)
My favorite cover from my books: Nashua’s Choice

Thank you so, so much for dropping by, Donna! We’re super excited to have you at Boise Book Fest on October 15th, 2016.Yee-Ha!!! That’s all the time we have, folks. Be sure to check out Donna‘s BOOKS!

Signing off Until next time… *salutes*