I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say that Donnell Bell, the author of THE PAST CAME HUNTING, may be one of the nicest, most supportive, most positive people I’ve ever met in my life. And I’m not the only person to think this. If that’s not enough, she’s a great writer to boot. I love her debut book and can’t wait to read everything else Donnell puts on paper. I know you’ll love her and her writing, as well. Here’s the wonderful Donnell Bell in her own words:
1. Describe your writing routine and/or schedule?
My schedule varies, depending on family obligations, exercise routine, and more, but I try to get in around four to six hours a day – I work hard to treat writing as a job.
2. What do you do if you get writer’s block?
Call a cop. 😉 I’ve heard people say there’s no such thing as writer’s block, and in a sense, I think that’s true. But there is such a thing as plot development problems. I received some advice to write around it and come back to it.
That doesn’t work for me. If I write something wrong in one scene, I have found I actually create additional plot problems down the road. So, I stop and research and do my best to make sure I’ve got it right and then I can proceed with confidence.
3. Who do you read, or recommend other writer’s read, in regards to craft?
Oh gosh, so many. Here’s some I just happened to pull off a shelf that’s within arm’s reach:
Goal Motivation and Conflict by Debra Dixon. Her book is a staple of the industry!
Fearless Creating: Eric Maisel, Ph.D
Getting the Words Right, How to Rewrite Edit & Revise by Theodore A. Reese Cheney (this one is dog-eared.)
On Writing by Stephen King
Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
45 Master Characters by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins
Break into Fiction by Mary Buckham and Dianna Love
I could go on but then we’d need a two-part blog 😉
4. Who do you read for fun?
Great question. I’ll name one: Daniel Silva is on my autobuy list. There are too many others and if I listed them, we would have to make this a three-part blog.
5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Tell us about it.
When Sister Francis Louise told me I did, followed up by Sister Virginia Mary who said the same thing. They told me I was a writer. They gave me assignments much like improvisation. They fueled my love of writing in the sixth and seventh grade. That love got buried for a few years, but never my love of storytelling. In the courtroom, (former court reporter), I hung on every word. I found out I was a great listener. Later, when I went to work editing and writing for newspapers and magazines, I was reinspired.
6. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Surround yourself with positive people. If you have a passion for writing, write. Read. Become familiar with your genre. Study craft. Know that the bestsellers, unless very lucky, didn’t get there overnight. Commit yourself to becoming the best writer you can be. Listen, but discern what’s useful for the vision of your story. Have fun. When it’s not fun anymore, you know what to do . . .
7. What do you think is the most important skill to have to succeed as a writer?
What I said above, and a huge stubborn streak helps. Belief in yourself and your vision for the story is monumental. Give your work to ten editors and agents, ten editors, and agents will give you ten ways to change it. A stubborn streak isn’t just helpful, it’s required.
8. What is your favorite food and/or drink?
My Aunt Stella’s Platillo. Coffee.
9. Do you have a favorite book or movie?
Oh gosh, another test. I love “An American President,” and the movie “Dave.” Wouldn’t it be great if politics really did have a happy ending?
10. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share?
A critique partner once said to me you’ll write a million words before you’re any good. I thought she was ridiculous. Now I think she’s the most brilliant woman I know. If you’re on 100,000 now, you better get to work.
Thanks very much for the opportunity, Kristi!
Donnell Ann Bell is an award winning author whose debut book, THE PAST CAME HUNTING, recently made it into the top 100 of Amazon and stayed in the top 20 for several days. At the time she was writing this blog, she was #1 in Romantic Suspense and #2 & 3 in Suspense for the same amount of time. She is proud to be published by Bell Bridge Books. To read a chapter not used in THE PAST CAME HUNTING, check out her website at www.donnellannbell.com