This week I’ve been chosen Member of the Week at the National Association of Women Writers. See my interview on their blog, or read my answers to their questions below.
Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
A: I’ve always wanted to have “important stuff” to write, but never
really thought I’d ever be a writer. When I was a kid, I’d copy down
information from the encyclopedia because I thought it was so much more
important and official than anything I could ever write. I had always
admired others who wrote well, but never thought I was a particularly
good writer because I had nothing original to say.
Q: How and when did you make this dream a reality?
A: I’ve been complimented on my writing ability my entire life. Quite
frankly, the act of writing, while I was skilled at it, always gave me
a massive headache. As I began to take a long, hard look at why writing
was so painful, it occurred to me that I was always writing to adhere
to someone else’s rules—the rules of an English teacher, the rules of a
college professor, the rules of my boss, the rules of a client. It
wasn’t until I made up my own rules—and started writing for me, in my
own voice—that writing became a joy, rather than a chore.
Q: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned so far in your writing career?
A: To let your own voice and own personality and own experiences shine
through your writing. I write only non-fiction/how-to type information,
which can be extraordinarily dry and boring. As a native Texan, I tend
to weave my unique East Texan colloquialisms and stories into my
writing. If that amuses you, you like me. If it bugs you, you go away
and I never hear from you again. Either decision is okay with me.
Fortunately, there are enough people out there who like what I do so
I’m able to stay in business—LOL. As you relate your stories and your
personality through your writing, you begin to connect emotionally with
your readers—and it’s via that emotional connection that reader loyalty
and appreciation develop—and remain.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: I’m working on two how-to projects: one on article marketing as a
website traffic-generation strategy and another on how to organize your
Q: Name some authors or books that have influenced your writing life in a positive way.
A: For works of fiction, there’s nothing like a great southern female
writer—I love Fannie Flagg, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Texas author Lisa
Wingate. All have managed to take the southern (or Texan) experience
and translate that in an understandable way to non-southerners. I
become very nostalgic for the “good old days” when I read their works.
For humor, I love Janet Evanovich’s murder by numbers series and her
bounty-hunter character, Stephanie Plum. Evanovich is one of the few
authors who can make me laugh out loud while reading. For
non-fiction/self-help books, Life Coach Cheryl Richardson and her Life
Makeover series of books has served as a model of how to incorporate
story telling into non-fiction writing.
Q: What have you recently read or what are you reading right now that you would consider an outstanding work?
A: I just finished Evanovich’s Lean Mean 13 and Flagg’s Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven. Lean Mean 13
had me in stitches and Flagg’s book made me cry and caused me to think
about my mom and what she’s thinking about her life and her mortality
in her mid-70s. See what I mean about that emotional connection?
Q: What excites or ignites your soul?
A: Writers who have the ability to touch the emotions of readers and
paint a vivid picture through words really ignite my soul. I recall
having to write an essay in 10th grade about the importance of reading
and books in my life. I wrote something along the lines that a good
book could easily transport me to another life and another existence
and make me feel that I had actually been there and lived that life,
even though it had really only been in my head. What more could an
author hope for?
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.