Jennifer Donohoe is a fellow author and blogger (A World of Writing). She does a wonderful job of also promoting her colleagues. Yesterday, she posted a summary of my new novel, Trails in the Sand, along with the first chapter. Originally, she intended to post an interview with me for her Wednesday evening author interview post, but she misplaced the interview. When I located the questions and answers, I decided not to let them go to waste.
Interview with Jennifer Donohoe
P. C. Zick – Trails in the Sand
What has been your greatest moment as a writer?
The greatest moment came when I held my first published book in my hands. That happened in 2000 when a small publisher picked up my first novel, A Victorian Justice. In the aftermath of that moment, I could finally say without hesitation or embarrassment, “I’m a writer.” Now I go further and say, “I’m an author.”
What has been your worst moment as a writer?
The day I received my first one-star review on Amazon for my novel, Live from the Road, was probably my worst day as a writer. I’d been writing and publishing novels for twelve years and had received my share of reviews. Not everyone liked what I wrote, but the majority who took the time to review did. This reviewer hadn’t even finished the book and made comments that weren’t true. For a couple of days, I hung my head and questioned my life as an author. Then I realized this was just one person who decided to write a mean review, and it should not overshadow the good comments I’ve received. But most of all, I do believe in what I write whether anyone else does or not. That is the most important thing to remember as a writer. Believe in yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
Do you write your stories from personal experiences or another source and why?
I write from both perspectives. All of my novels have some seed from my real life, but then I expand and pull in other sources, such as characters and settings. I don’t write autobiographical novels, which is an oxymoron. But I do use my real-life situations because I usually want to take what I’ve learned and share it with my readers. Also, just listening to the news and reading the newspaper gives me fodder for scenes. When I was a journalist, I kept track of a host of situations and people which occasionally made their way into my novels. There’s a wealth of stories wherever I turn.
What do you want readers to know about your book?
Trails in the Sand is about redemption and restoration. I use the environment as the backdrop to help stress the theme. As the main character, Caroline, explores the mysteries, secrets, and lies of several generations in her family, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill gushes toward the beaches of Florida, threatening the sea turtle nests. Caroline’s husband, Simon, is mourning the death of his best friend and cousin in the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster in West Virginia that killed twenty-nine miners weeks before the oil spill. Caroline is fighting to restore her family and find redemption in the process as she writes about the environmental stories in which folks are fighting to restore the environment and save the sea turtles from extinction. I want readers to walk away after reading Trails in the Sand knowing it’s never too late to restore peace and find love.
What do you believe will appeal to readers about your book?
The environmental themes will appeal to readers. I use real news releases and news stories in between the love story of Caroline and Simon. In addition, the unraveling of the family’s secrets and deceptions from generations past will keep the reader turning the page. The story involves a race to save the sea turtles and to rescue a family from destruction.