Three weeks ago, historical and fantasy author Donna Hatch hosted me on her blog. Many of you learned that I discovered romance reading while helping Afghan orphans (read the blog!). Today, it is my pleasure to host Donna so we can learn about her! From her bio,
Donna Hatch's passion for writing began at age 8 she wrote her first short story. During her sophomore year in high school, she wrote her first full-length novel. Her writing has won or been nominated as a finalist in many writing awards including Golden Quill and SARA Merrit. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, and her many volunteer positions, she manages to carve out time to indulge in her writing obsession. A native of Arizona, she writes Regency Romance and Fantasy. And yes, all of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 21 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.
Kim: Tell us about your high school novel. Now that you are a published author, can you doctor it to make it publishable?
Donna: Yes, actually I have. After probably a hundred revisions over a 20 year period--the most extensive of which happened over the last three years or so--I finally got it published by Walnut Springs Press. They even kept the name. It's called QUEEN IN EXILE.
Kim: What do your six children (plus hubby) think of your writing career? Have any expressed an interest to follow in your footsteps?
Donna: At first they vacillated between resigned tolerance and impatience, depending on how much time I spent and when I did my writing. Once I got published, though, their attitude really changed. Now they proudly tell everyone. As far as any of them wanting to write, my oldest daughter and my middle son both like to write stories but haven't made any declarations about wanting to get published. They also don't appear to be as obsessed as I am, which is a good thing.
Kim: What attracted you to Regency? What are some of your sources for research?
Donna: I love historicals! I grew up classics such as Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden. It's really all about escapism, and historicals are a totally new world. I sooo don't have servants to wait on me hand and foot or wear beautiful ball gowns and attend lavish parties. I made a methodical choice when I decided to set my stories in the Regency Era because it has a clear market niche. But once I really delved into the research, I fell in love with the era. Jane Austen novels all take place in the Regency Era which are wildly popular. It's also a great time in history because it is during and just after the Napoleonic War which is the perfect producer of the wounded heroes I love so much. I also love the manners and mores of society, as well as the fashions. And seriously, what's not to love about a man on horseback?
As far as sources, any books written by Jane Austen work because they were written and take place around that time period. Also, The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency, Our Tempestuous Day: History of Regency England, Georgette Heyer's Regency World, Dee Hendrickson's Regency World, and Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England are all excellent sources. But my favorite source is the Beau Monde, a Regency/Georgian Chapter of Romance Writers of America. A collection of knowledgeable and generous history buffs gather and share tips and sources for any question I can think of. They even know stuff it never occurred to me to ask.
Kim: Tell us about The Rogue Heart Series and The Guise of a Gentleman.
Donna: The THE STRANGER SHE MARRIED and THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN are books one and two of the Rogue Hearts Series. They are a familial series with one book about each brother of an aristocratic family and the women they fall in love with. There are two more books in the series planned.
THE STRANGER SHE MARRIED: When her parents and only brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor's prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose.
THE GUISE OF A GENTLEMAN: A young widow longing for adventure rescues an impulsive gentleman with dark secrets. When she is dragged into his world of violence and deceit, she may not survive the revelation of his past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.
Here's the link for purchasing both of the Regencies, which are available in both paperback and ebook.
Kim: What attracted you to Fantasy? Do you still research to build your world?
Donna: I like fantasy for the same reason I like historical -- a totally new world. Fantasy is fun because you have magic and a lot more freedom to play and create new places, customs, creatures, etc. I love books by Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Sharon Shinn and others. Yes, I do still research. For Queen in Exile, I did a lot of research on knights, Japanese Samurai, weapons, and the medieval world so I could create a believable warrior in my hero and a world that would have a fun fantasy feel but still based on something familiar enough that people could identify with it.
Kim: Tell us about QUEEN IN EXILE - the cover is gorgeous.
Donna: The last surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life, and the fate of her kingdom, into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting her destiny, and her own dark powers, will mean losing the man she loves.
The cover is fun, isn't it? I can't take credit for it of course, but I proudly show it off. It won a couple of cover awards in its category.
Here's the link to buy QUEEN IN EXILE in paperback from Amazon.
|Lord Byron - the ultimate rogue|
Kim: What's next for Donna Hatch?
Donna: Too much! I need more hours in the day!!! I'm revamping the plot of book 3 of the Rogue Hearts Series, plotting book 4, trying in to finish a YA Regency paranormal and I just started the rough draft of a new YA dystopian which, really, is odd, because I don't even like dystopians but this just wouldn't leave me alone! Maybe it'll be the next best-seller and then I'll have to figure out how to balance all my split personalities. Yes, I am totally crazy. But you got that, right?
Kim: No, you are not crazy! You just have muses competing for your attention! Mahalo, Donna, for joining us! You, hubby, and all six children are welcome to visit us again in Hawaii! To learn more about Donna, log onto:
In honor of Donna's visit, I am giving away a Regency Gift Pack - Pride and Prejudice DVD (with Keira Knightly) and other Regency trinkets. To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Donna, if you still have any school-age projects, and/or what you like about Regency or Fantasy.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers. Comments are open through Saturday, February 26, 10 pm.
3. If you are new to SOS Aloha, please make sure I know how to contact you. If you Blogger profile does not include your email address, please send it to email@example.com (I have several unclaimed prizes because I do not know how to contact winners).
Kim in Hawaii
Both Donna and I are members of the Beau Monde - RWA's Regency chapter:
So what is a Regency novel? A traditional Regency focuses primarily on the social strictures of the time period and often is described as a comedy of manners. Traditional Regencies range in tone, but the sexual tension in these books is usually more muted than in other romances. A historical set during the Regency period is almost always longer, and the sexual tension is much more a focus of the story.
The Beau Monde offers a free Regency Reader to "anyone interested in Regency romances. This free monthly publication features a listing of new and upcoming titles, author interviews and tidbits about the Regency era."
The Beau Monde sponsors a one day conference in advance of RWA's National Convention. The conference includes workshops, guest speaker, and afternoon tea. The conference ends with an evening soiree, including Regency dancing and period music. Most members dress up in Regency gowns and engage in fan flirting. I attended my first soiree in 2009. During the dancing, I could hear Janet Mullany saying in her native British accent, "Mr. Collins, please", referring to a dancing partner's misstep (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice).
I will be writing more about Regency authors on Monday in honor of a special anniversary.