30 Authors in 31 Days: Donna Marie West

Day 29 of our 31 Authors features Donna Marie West

DONNA MARIE WEST with a series of upcoming works and her never ending editing work she does with BWP, we are certain she will be interesting to interview. Enjoy!

The Burning Willow Press authors wish to help you celebrate the best month of the year, October. How you may ask? By giving you a different author from the ranks each day with in depth answers to questions that our staff have decided to ask them. Many will be generic, others not so much. Let’s get to know the authors of BWP! Oh, and did we forget to mention… the staff there are all authors too so they have decided to chime in with some answers of their own.

So first, when did you realize that the voices in your head were telling you to write stories or go mad with all that stuck in your head?

I guess I was around 15. That was when I wrote my first novel (which ended up in the garbage).


I know many writers who jump in all different genres, so what is your favorite to write?

Alternative history or anything paranormal or mysterious.


When the muse is off doing their own thing instead of pushing you to write, albeit by gunpoint at times, what is your favorite time-waster?

Reading or watching TV.


Is editing your story just part of the job or does it literally kill a part of you to “kill your children” as it has been said? What about making revisions?

I actually really enjoy the revision and editing process. Maybe I’m strange that way, but it sure helps in my work as an editor.


Beach, Mountains, Country, City? And follow up… favorite season… just a hint here… you should say Autumn.

Country. And any season except winter so sure, autumn.


I know my “To Be Read” list is never ending and grows daily… how is yours? And do you prefer paperbacks or e-books? Notice I did not ask about audio?

I prefer an actual paper book that I can hold in my hands and read in bed.


Cats, dogs, both, other?

Cats and horses.


Most newbie authors are told to write emotional state in what they already know… so how did you break away from that newbie status of writing what you know in the beginning?

No idea, but I do tend to write sad stuff when I’m sad and scenes of angst and frustration when I’m frustrated, etc.


Advice in one sentence to a new author who is not published yet?

Write for yourself first and foremost, before writing for anyone else.


Do your siblings or other family members support your choice to write horror? Fantasy? Erotica… if you do? SCIFI? Other genres?

I don’t have much as far as family members go, and unfortunately my partner isn’t very interested in reading my work.


Beta Readers, Proofers, Editors… all are important to produce a better work of literature. So, who would you say is the most important in your team? Or do you not have those in place and are working on that?

I have several great critique partners who are invaluable to me: John, Chuck, and Mary. They’ve definitely made me a better writer.


In your day of writing… do you push through it all day or do you take mental breaks?

Who has a whole day to write?


What do you have coming out in the next year and who is producing it?

My first novel, entitled “Next in Line” will be coming out in September 2019 with Burning Willow Press. Also a couple of short stories coming out in various anthologies, including one entitled “Saving Grace” in BWP’s Crossroads in the Dark IV.


Are there any horror or thriller novelist that you admired when you were younger?

Stephen King, of course.


While writing, has any of your own stories given you nightmares?

Not that I can think of. I rarely dream or at least, rarely remember if I’ve dreamed.


Have you ever had any supernatural experiences? If so, have you ever used it as source material?

Yes. And yes.


Do you ever base characters on people that you know? If so, do you ever kill said characters and feel bad?

Not really but I do use bits and pieces of people I know.


I cannot live without Chapstick. What is one comfort item that you must have?

My cat Belle.


What is your actual role at BWP? Okay now that you have answered that… what else does Edd make you do daily?

I’m an editor. So far that’s it. I think.


How did you get your position there? Is it worth it? (Realistically, we are not going to tell them. Ha ha.)

I’d replied to a post on Facebook where they were looking for translators. When they decided against going that route, Edd contacted me after I’d subbed a short story and asked me if I would be interested in becoming an editor for them. And it’s definitely worth it.


Not only a staff member at BWP but also an author yourself, so can you tell me what books you have released or plan to release soon?

See question no. 26.


We hear that Edd can be a pain in the ass at times, so that being said, he treats us pretty good but what’s he really like?

He’s been a sweetheart to me (but he tells me not to tell anyone that).


Does he bug you with changes, process or otherwise, new schedule updates, calls when you wish to not talk, email overload like he does us?

Not really, except for when he sends me an email asking, “Did I send you (name of book) and I’m like, “Um . . . no, never heard of it.”


When not slaving for BWP and your other projects, what else do you like to do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies?

Free time? What’s that?


What is your favorite genre to read?

Anything intelligent and intriguing, non-fiction or fiction. I like to learn stuff as I read.


What future works are you doing for BWP that you are really enjoying? (We checked with Edd it is safe to name them here).

I enjoy pretty much everything I work on.


Where do you see the position you have at BWP leading you to in let’s say five to ten years?

Hopefully being a valued member of their publishing family, as both an editor and an author.


We know that BWP has staff members all over the world so we want to know, where are you located in the world?

Quebec, Canada.


Would you ever want to take over if Edd and Kindra decided to retire to an island in the middle of nowhere?

I don’t think I could do one-tenth of the great job they do. So no.


So, when the post was made about doing this interview, you wanted in. Can we ask why you wanted to do it?

Firstly, because Edd proposed it to me and secondly, it seems like a great way to get my name out there.


What is the best part about this interview… (we will accept that it is over as an answer)?

It got me thinking about some things.

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