Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Meet my New Friend,
Donna Winters

Want to win Donna's
LIGHTHOUSE COLLECTION Books?

Wondering how?
  • Leave a comment telling Donna and me why YOU should win her four books
  • Make sure to include your email address so we can contact the person who wins

Thanks for stopping by. Now read on to learn a little about Donna and her writing life:


How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

First, thanks so much for your interest in my writing and for giving me this opportunity to meet your readers!

I enjoyed writing as a child. I wrote letters to friends and family and would be disappointed if they didn’t write back right away. Even so, I didn’t consider becoming a writer until well into adulthood. The call came in the form of a deep desire to change jobs rather than the voice of God luring me to serve Him. I began writing romances in 1982 and was able to go fulltime in 1984 when Thomas Nelson offered me a contract for my first book.

What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I write historical romances set in the Great Lakes Region. The eras of my stories span the years from 1837 to 1906. The 1890’s forward are my favorite years because I’m more familiar with that time period.

In the mid-1980’s, inspirational romance lines by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan were new on the market. By the end of the 1980’s they had closed down leaving me no market for my work. Then my husband and I, after much prayer and research, decided to start our own trademark series, Great Lakes Romances®. Since 1989 I have been both publisher and author for this series, which in addition to my own work, has produced a limited number of titles by other authors who wrote during the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

When I am developing a story I spend about two to three hours in the morning, five or six days per week, working on research or writing. If I’m adding to the story, I try to finish two pages, or about 500 words per day. I complete a 55,000 word romance in about a year. It’s a comfortable pace for me since we’re retired and interested in a wide variety of activities.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

  • I live in a recreational area and love to kayak and snow ski.
  • We also spend a lot of time walking the woodland trails accessible from our backyard.
  • In winter I cross-country ski on the trails, or head to a ski slope about 90 miles away and downhill ski the easiest trail there. I learned how to ski when I was 58 and this was only my third season so I’m a novice but enjoy the challenge when conditions are right. 
  • Another interest we have is our dogs. Right now we have a retired racing greyhound and a chow/bearded collie mix. We’ve always had rescued dogs, two of them greyhounds and the rest, mixed breeds.
I love to travel, and have been to Europe twice. I’ve seen much of the East Coast and many places that surround the Great Lakes. I grew up in Western New York State, attended college in the northern part of that state, taught near the Pennsylvania border in the Catskill Mountains, and traveled just about all the other areas of NY. Then I moved to Michigan and began visiting the various historical places here. I’ve been to Arizona a couple of times, but I’d like to travel to the West Coast and see it from top to bottom. I’m also interested in touring Alaska and Hawaii. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to!

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

My books are available at my website, http://www.greatlakesromances.com/. There you will find a downloadable order form along with links to Amazon where you can purchase all but one of the titles. Also, you can enter a drawing for a free book at any time! I offer a different title every two weeks and try to give a book to approximately one of every five people who enter.

I have a blog at http://greatlakesromances.blogspot.com/ where I explore Great Lakes subjects.

Thanks, readers, for visiting! Leave your comment if you'd like to own four of Donna's romance books.

Blessings!

17 comments:

Holly said...

Wow!! What a great interview! I think I should win these books because I am a young aspiring author who is trying to figure out the best setting for my books and I need to be able to read books varying in settings to that i can choose the best one for my book. :) Wasn't that a good reason? Yes? That's what I thought too!! :) smile Thanks for having this Carole! You're awesome! And the "authoress" is simply amazing!!

Cindy W. said...

The reason I would like Donna's LIghthouse Collection is because I have a passion for Lighthouses and for reading so together it would be perfect bliss. Please enter me and thank you so much for the opportunity.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

MoziEsmé said...

This looks like a sweet set of books! Thanks for the interview - I love reading the background of the author...

We posted about this giveaway at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2010/04/lighthouse-collection-books.html

Janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Marjorie said...

I would just love to win these books because they are good clean reads and it is hard nowadays to fine books like this.
I also love the storylines.
cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Patricia said...

Wow,you are so inspirational. I am impressed that you started your own publishing when the "market" for your work dried up. I am an unpublished author (from MI) working on a historical romance set in the 1930s. I would love to win and read your books to learn from your example. pgrau (dot) ggi (at) gmail (dot) com

Lisa Lickel said...

Hi, Donna! Nice to see you here. Thank you for sharing your story. Continued best wishes with your work.

Donna Alice said...

I'd love to win Donna's books because I love that era of history AND the Great Lakes Region. If it even hints at having a lighthouse or a rocky shore, I'm hooked!
donnaalice540@msn.com

Nancye said...

Why should I win these books? I'm not sure. One reason is that I am in the hospital right now and it would cheer me up. I love to read and these books likk and sound great. Thanks for the chance!
Nancye

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Arlene said...

I thank the bookes look like some good reading. I hope I am the lucky one. I enjoy your blig. Arlene

Linda Kish said...

That's the area my mom came from and her parents lived there during that time period. I would enjoy reading them as would my mom.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Abi said...

I would love to win these books. My teen daughters and I love reading historical fiction. These look right down our ally. Reading about lighthouses would be fun. Thanks for the book offer. I do wish you well.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Great Lakes Romances said...

I'm thrilled to read so many wonderful comments and learn that there is some passion for reading my stories about lighthouses. Thanks to all who have responded to this interview, and God bless!

Donna Winters

Sandra Heska King said...

As a new ACFW member and fellow Michigander, I'm excited to discover Donna and her books. I'm working on fictionalizing a story about my great-great grandfather who was a northern Michigan lumberjack in the late 1800's.

Carmen7351 said...

I would love to win your four books, as I love the time era. Times were rustic then, and these would fill in information I am not as familiar with. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot

misskallie2000 said...

What an awesome interview Donna. Thank your for stopping by to chat. I love to find out little things about the authors and you have had a wonderful and adventurous life. I wish I had your energy. I have not read any of your books but I love historical romances and I would
I love to win this set of your books. I have just discovered Christian romance books and they are so great to read. None of the ugly stuff to try and filter out.
Thanks for this opportunity to enter. I have been an avid reader for over 55 yrs and still read as much as possible and work in my flower beds and yards.
Thanks again for the awesome interview and come back again.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Great Lakes Romances said...

Miss Kallie,
Thanks for your lovely comment! I have been blessed throughout my writing and publishing years, that is for sure! You're way ahead of me in the gardening area. Even though I grew up the daughter of a florist, my father's talent did not pass on to me. Now I live in the north woods where God provides the flowers. Right now we're experiencing the trillium garden and it is glorious!
Blessings!
Donna Winters

Annette W. said...

Great interview!

The next book's location should be in Pennsylvania. PA is great...small towns, farm land, and cities too. AND the characters would have to say Pee-Aye when referring to PA. Because it's the only state that is known by its initials. :)

I would love to win these books...and share them with the library after reading them. They don't have any of Teresa's work.

Thank you! derekannette at gmail dot com