Donna Steele Stops By! 03/16/2012
Thank you Donna Steele for visiting with us today. We are so excited to hear about your latest release, Rth Rising.
Tell us about yourself: Well, I’ve been married to my best friend for 33 years and counting. He is a prince for putting up with the lack of cooking and housework because “I got an idea!” Both kids are grown and out of the house which can be cool – one is self-supporting and the other has a good chance at it. I’m a secretary (though that title has fallen out of favor) and am now called an Executive Assistant –think Della Street from the old Perry Mason shows. She knew everything that was going on, but didn’t have to stand up in court and talk. At work I’m highly organized and in charge, then I go home… There I have no office, just a nest around my chair. It seems to work
What television sitcom is most like your family? Why? There’s aren’t many for empty nesters without grandkids. I’ll have to think about it.
What’s your favorite thing to do to relax? Read, always has been.
Do you prefer…
Public speaking or public singing? Oh god, never singing, not in public, maybe alone in the car with the windows up. I can public speak now.
Writing in a notebook or typing on the computer? Depends on whether or not it’s flowing. I usually write on the computer but when I’m stuck, I pick up a pen and pad to feel it.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke, even though Pepsi was invented in NC.
Living without your cell phone or living without your computer? Without the cell phone – I recently got a ‘smart’ phone and it’s a lot smarter than me. I have learned to answer it now. My laptop understands me. Heaven help me if I ever have to upgrade it.
Now about you as an author…
Did you always want to be an author? Yes, I’ve been writing since I was a kid – but people will never see those early drafts.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult? Well, my earliest romance was Valley of the Dolls (and I got caught too, but that’s another story), but for characterization Larry Niven, Anne McCaffrey, for story Stephen King – he always weaves himself into my dreams, like I’m totally immersed. I love that.
Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer? (teacher, family member, friend) Friends definitely. I had someone pick up something that I had written off my desk (I’d taken it in the work during lunch hour) and read it. I was mortified, but she loved it. I had a fan base of one for ages. I credit her with giving me the courage to show someone what I’d done. Then due to a lot of luck, I fell into an incredible group of writers – The Posse – and we encourage and help each other constantly. One of them led me to RWA and
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your least favorite? Building the scene or world is my favorite. I’m a pantser with my characters full blown when they come to me – I know their grandmother’s favorite colors. Now plots are harder.
What aspect of writing would you most like to improve on? My plots, I hate it when an idea fades out on me. I’ve taking some courses, but haven’t hit the right fit yet. I will.
Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing? I keep the Chicago Manual of Style beside the chair, a place to put my feet up, and a glass of Sundrop (That’s a southern citrus drink – think yellow jolt cola).
Do you have a common theme or item that appears in each of your books? For
some reason sustainability keeps popping up. I didn’t realize it at first, but I’m big on recycling, I drive a Highlander hybrid and hubby drives a Prius. We’ve cut way down on vampire energy in the house (you know all those little green lights that are on when everything is “turned off” – really brings the bill down unplugging rather than just turning off).
What have you learned the most from being in the writing business? Patience
and perseverance, never quit writing and sending it in, and eventually you will
hear back – even if it’s not what you want to hear the first time or two or three.
Tell us about your latest release:
Kat, a headstrong girl is raised in a space colony, far from Rth. There the colonists live under the protection of Puter, a computer programmed on Rth to serve them, but also control them.
One of Puter’s controls is the testing to determine professions of every individual born in the colony. Thwarted from the area of study Kat yearned for by Puter’s increasingly puzzling decrees, nevertheless, Kat determines to excel in her assigned profession – Enforcer.
As an enforcer, Kat learns even more about the infrastructure of the arcology she inhabits and the minds of the people who try to break the rules.
She is assigned by her mentor and head of the enforcers, to hunt down and return a ‘shirker’, any colonist who tries to escape Puter’s authority. Kat sets out to make her mentor proud.
This shirker, Davd, a handsome and mysterious fellow enforcer, is more than she bargained for, and sparks fly when he turns the tables on her, capturing and kidnapping her.
Spirited away from everything she has ever known to an unknown village hidden in the wilderness, she is called upon to save his life and her feelings for him begin to change. Upon arriving at the village, she learns that these escapes have been ongoing for years. Kat decides to attempt to free her family and allow them to live in the freedom she has discovered is available without Puter’s constant control.
With Davd’s help, she returns to rescue her family, and in the attempt, discovers a conspiracy against her family going back three generations in the attempts to save the colony from the programming that would doom them all.
How did you decide on your story plot? These characters a seemed to feed it to
me. I know, there truly are no muses, but it kind of wrote itself.
How did you choose your characters names and location for your story? It’s easier when I build the world, but when I’m on Earth (Rth?) I usually pick North Carolina for the setting. It’s where I know best. The names of the characters seem to come with them when they demand to be written.
Do you have a favorite scene? Why? In this book, when she has to save his life. Everything she thought she knew is beginning to change and she has to adapt with it.
Do you have a character that you identify with? Who and why? My heroine – she makes the best of what she’s given even if she doesn’t agree.
Let our readers know how they can get a hold of you…www.steelestories.com and
Is there anything else that you want to share…feel free!! I’ve finished a second novel (mildly paranormal this time) and sent it off with a kiss, so I hope to be promoting it as well in the near future.
I wish you all the best with your new submission. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your latest release! I hope everyone gets a chance to read this wonderful new story!
Maura Troy link
Sounds like a great story. I especially like the computer angle. As a programmer, I understand that computers only do what people tell them to, so I’m already curious about who is really behind Puter’s decrees.
Donna Steele link
That may be my fears coming out – I was a programmer back in the dark ages, now I’m heading toward techno-phobe. I hope you like it!
Rebekkah N. link
Anne McCaffrey was one of my first science fiction reads! And I’m with you – I’d rather go without a phone than a computer.
Personally, I think everyone needs a copy of Rth Rising. 😉
Donna Steele link
I really like the way you think! 😉 Thanks for coming by!
Thanks Donna for coming by! Puters are so evil! I used to help my husband with his programming back an college. I loved cobal because it was more like spoken language. Thank you for sharing your latest release with us and best of luck!
Donna Steele link
Thanks so much for having me! Your questions made me think and that other story I mentioned needed to be written up. I’ll let you know what happened when I got caught reading Valley of the Dolls.