Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interview with Donna Grant about her newest Dark Warriors release Midnight's Kiss––..."Agents repeatedly told me I would never sell because I was writing two genres that just didn’t go together – historical and paranormal. I didn’t give up though. It was very natural in my writing, so I kept plugging away at it."

New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories.  She's the author of more than thirty novels spanning multiple genres of romance.  Her acclaimed series, Dark Warriors, feature a thrilling combination of Druids, primeval gods, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her husband, two children, a dog, and four cats in Texas.  

Donna, welcome to my blog.
Thanks so much for having me!

Please tell us about your latest release Midnight’s Kiss.
Midnight’s Kiss is the Warrior Arran’s story as he helps to search for the spell that will bind the gods inside the Warriors.  His quest takes him to an archeological dig where he meets Dr. Veronica Reid aka Ronnie.  Their attraction is instant, but both try hard to deny it.
Ronnie is a Druid who uses her magic to help her find magical objects long buried, and it’s her ability that has evil hunting her for its own uses.  The only one who can protect her is Arran, and the closer they get, the more their attraction is harder to ignore.

Tell us about your Dark Warrior series.
Should we start from the beginning or do they all stand on their own?
What most people don’t realize is that the Dark Warriors doesn’t begin with Midnight’s Master (May 2012).  The series begins with the Dark Sword book, which consists of 6 books and is set in medieval Scotland.  The series jumps forward in time – due to magic used – and therefore turns into the Dark Warriors series.
Though I write the books so they can be read as stand alones, I urge everyone to read in order to fully understand the overall story arcs for each of the series.  Some people have been fine by skipping the Dark Sword series because they don’t like historicals and following along.  Others have asked if they missed books, so I point them to the DS series.
I also urge people to read the series in order because of the spin off series the Dark Kings, which is heavily connected to the DW series.  The Dragon Kings play a huge part in the DW series, and in turn, the Warriors will play a big part in the DK series.

You have more than one paranormal/fantasy series.
Are they related at all?
Lol.  I get asked this a lot, mostly because I have been known to connect several series.  Earlier in my career I had the Fae show up in three different series – Druids Glen, The Shields, and the Royal Chronicles – before giving the main Fae his own book – Dragonfyre (no connection to my Dark Kings).
None of my earlier works are in anyway connected to the Dark Sword, Dark Warrior, or Dark King book, which are all connected.

What made you choose this genre to write?
When I began reading romance, the historical genre was the biggest.  Everything I read was historical.  I didn’t pick up any type of contemporary books, but I did find it difficult to write anything that didn’t involve some type of paranormal/fantasy aspect.
Agents repeatedly told me I would never sell because I was writing two genres that just didn’t go together – historical and paranormal.  I didn’t give up though.  It was very natural in my writing, so I kept plugging away at it.  I was fortunate enough to find an agent who was willing to give my unconventional books a try.  I’d had some success in the ebook market and had published a couple of novellas with a NY publisher at the time.
I had written a proposal for a new historical paranormal series in the vein of the big, sweeping contemporary paranormals because the historical genre didn’t have anything. My agent loved the idea, and the next thing I knew I had an offer for the Dark Sword series.  The next day I had three more offers.  Five days later I accepted St. Martin’s offer.
Six books later my amazing editor called to suggest I move my beloved characters out of medieval Scotland into modern day.  I was aghast.  I didn’t write contemporary.  I wasn’t even sure if I could.  But I trusted her vision for the series and my career and gave it a shot.  The next thing I know I’m writing contemporary paranormal. Lol.
I still have readers waiting on my next historical, and hopefully they won’t have to wait too long. :)

Can you tell us your own author story?
I was always a reader, even when I was very little.  At 12 I discovered a romance book while at my mom’s office waiting to go to the dentist.  Five pages in I was hooked. I only read romance after that, gobbling up anything I could get my hands on.
I would often find myself thinking of ways the characters’ stories could go while reading, but it never entered my mind to try and write until my senior year in high school and my AP English teacher told me after reading one of my term papers to give it a shot.  So I did.
Then went to college and focused on my studies, but I hated college.  I hated the classes, the tests, the lectures.  I hated all of it.  The only good part is that I met my husband during one of the summer courses.   He was a big reader as well, and had even penned several short stories.
During my last year of college I couldn’t take it anymore and I quite to work full time as a bookkeeper at a property management company.  A few months later my hubby and I got married, and that’s when he urged me to try writing a book again.  Since I knew I didn’t want to be a bookkeeper forever I decided to write again.
I was pregnant with my first child at the time and spent my lunch times with my office door closed writing that first book.  Four months later and I knew I wanted to be a writer.  I wrote another book before our daughter was born and I became a stay at home mom who was pounding away at the computer every chance I got.
Two kids later while we were displaced after Hurricane Rita I sent off a proposal to an epublisher. A week later they asked for the full, and a month after that I had my first contract.
I sold several books to multiple epublishers before I sold a couple of novellas to Kensington Publishing.  All the while I was querying agents. My big break came when one agent finally said yes! J  And the rest I told y’all above.

Where is the most fascinating place you’ve ever gone in the name of research?
Scotland.  And I’m going back for two weeks this year. Touring the castles, the ruins, and just walking the forests have done wonders to open Scotland up to my writing. Pictures and online research are good, but there is nothing better than the real thing.

You’ve written series, stand-alones and anthologies.
Since you write more series than anything, can you tell us what it is about series that makes them the staple of your writing?
I think its creating a world that I like to come back to time and again, and I’m lucky enough that my readers enjoy it as well.  Creating such a complex world for the DS/DW series is what I truly love to do.  It’s so fun and exciting.  And when my editor asked me to create a spin off series to remain in that same world, I was ecstatic!
Not only did I get to remain in that world, but I’m getting to write something I’ve been dying to write for years – dragons!

Your bio states that your favorite place is Scotland and your favorite time period is Medieval.
My parents asked me this same thing. Growing up in Southeast Texas on the TX/LA border with half my family Cajun, I was raised with horses, cows, and spicy food.  We did a little traveling around the US, but most of my experiences came from books.  I can’t pinpoint when I found Scotland, only that I love everything about it. I love the bagpipes, I love tartans, I love their brogue, the kilts, and the rugged beauty of the land.
When I’m there its like I’ve come home.  Maybe I lived there in another life. :)  I tease my husband that I married him for his Scottish surname. He embraces his Scottish heritage as much as I do, and he loves wearing his kilt as much as I love seeing him in it.  Even our son enjoys the kilts.
But the why of it?  I have no answer.  Scotland is in my heart, and its just natural for me to set all of my books there.

Do your novels need to be on an adult only shelf?
Lol.  Yeah. I don’t write erotic, but I do write spicy. My 14 year old daughter often asks when she can read my books, and I tell her when she’s 30. J  I know some YA books have sex in them, but mine are more graphic.

For me particularly I enjoy paranormal/fantasy romance because as a woman of a “certain” age, I get tired of reading about protagonists my children’s ages and younger. Where as with this genre I can enjoy a hot romance with immortal characters.
What is the age group of your fans?
:) There’s just something so sexy about an immortal, isn’t there? Actually, I’ve seen readers as young as 15 reading my books and as old as 86.  I’ve had both men and women read them.  The men love them because of the battle scenes (which my hubby helps me craft).  I don’t know if I could pinpoint a certain age group.

Why do you think that this genre is so popular not only in romance but YA and even hard fantasy?
I think because of the possibilities.  With paranormal or fantasy, there is no box an author has to remain in.  Characters can do or say anything they want.  The sky is – quite literally – the limit.  An author is only caged by their imagination.

I see you’re a well connected author on Facebook, Twitter & Goodreads.
How much of an impact do you think social media makes on connecting with your fans?
Oh, I think it’s a huge part.  I love FB, but not so much Twitter – something about keeping my thoughts short. Lol.  I know through social media I’ve connected with readers who might not have otherwise found me/known of me.  They in turn have told friends of me, gaining me even more readers.
And my street team – Donna’s Dolls – plays a huge part in helping me spread the word about my books. 
With the self-publishing boom, there are a lot of great books out there.  Readers have a plethora of stories to choose from.  Gaining a reader’s attention is growing more and more difficult.  I feel that word of mouth is becoming an author’s biggest proponent.

Where can fans go to see you for events for this release?
I’ll be in Kansas City at the Romantic Times Convention May 1st  – 5th.  I’ll also be in Houston, TX at the Comicpalooza giving several workshops and signing all three days.  Then October 6th I’ll be in Dallas, TX at the Buns & Roses Tea with lots of other authors.

Thank you so much Donna for spending time here and spilling some of your personal beans. Good luck with this and all of your novels.
Thank you! Remember, follow the magic!

Visit the author's website here
the Dark Warrior's series is listed in order here

Barnes & Noble


  1. Great interview and I like the way the series are connected but take place in different time periods. It immediately made me think of Jayne Anne Krentz and her Arcane Society series. Thanks for sharing Debbie and it was nice getting to know Donna.

    1. Thanks Kim and that's exactly who I thought of when I interviewed Donna JAK
      take care
      I hope you're finally feeling better