Several years ago, my brother started reading a series of books called The DragonKeeper Chronicles. And when my momma heard the author, Donita K. Paul, was signing books one weekend, she took him to have the books signed. My momma had met Miss Donita before, but this was the beginning of a deeper relationship. One meeting lead to another and soon they were good friends.
Then I decided to read The DragonKeeper Chronicles. I fell in love with them. I read them over and over again, and now I’ve read the entire series seven times with a few “re-read my favorite ones” (DragonSpell and DragonKnight, the first and third books) here and there.
Soon, Miss Donita allowed my brother and me to be early readers for her books, and—no joke or emphasis—I CAN’T wait for her next one. (Patience is not my strong suit.)
Donita K. Paul has written many books, some of which are: Taming the Wild Wind, her best-selling series The DragonKeeper Chronicles, Dragons of Chiril, Dragons of the Valley, Dragons of the Watch, Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball and her children’s series The Dragon and the Turtle, written with her daughter, Evangeline. She lives in Colorado Springs with her daughter, son-in-law, two rambunctious grandchildren and her active imagination.
Donita K. Paul is a fantabulous lady with a heart of gold. She loves helping teen writers and does many workshops on the craft of writing.
I hope you love her and her books as much as I do.
To learn more about the incredible Donita K. Paul, visit her website at:
KAYLA: How did you begin writing?
DONITA: I started writing for fun when I was a kid. Years later, my teen-aged daughter approached me and declared that she wanted to read a romance book. I considered the options from the literature available and decided that I would write her a love story. I continued to write and eventually published romance for a while, until my mother challenged me to experiment. The result was DragonSpell.
KAYLA: What was your first published book?
DONITA: My first published book was a romance novel called Escape. There is more information about it on my website at http://www.donitakpaul.com/books/romance/index.html.
KAYLA: What technique/lesson have you learned about the writing craft that has helped you the most?
DONITA: One of the best editing techniques I utilize is to read my drafts out loud. This assists me with catching simple mistakes. It also lets me hear how the words flow. This is a great tool for any kind of writing.
KAYLA: How many hours do you spend working on one novel/novella?
DONITA: This is a difficult question to answer. I try to write several hours every day, but I also spend time thinking about my characters or plot, participating in writers’ groups, and promoting my books online. Marketing is part of writing.
KAYLA: Have you ever had an experience like Writer’s Block, and if so, how did you overcome it?
DONITA: Unfortunately, yes. When I am a victim of writers’ block, I do something creative besides writing such as knitting, making jewelry, or stamping. Reading books in the same genre I am writing in can also inspire me. And silly, fun movies help me relax. However, the best way to defeat writers’ block is most likely to push through it. I write one more sentence, if I can do that, I write another sentence, and so on.
KAYLA: Do you like edits? Why or why not?
DONITA: As long as my editor or critique partner provides good quality suggestions, I consider their fixes to be extremely helpful. Although having a newly written chapter torn to pieces by my writers’ group is not pleasant, I always end up with a better story.
KAYLA: Who has helped you the most in your writing journey?
DONITA: My agents. Their advice is priceless.
KAYLA: What kind of things help you write your books (I.e. M&Ms, comical movies, hugs from a family member, lots of sleep, reading God’s Word, etc.)
DONITA: My grown children, two young grandsons, rabbit, and Pinterest all contribute in important ways to my mental health when I write.
KAYLA: What advice would you give to new authors on the subject of writing?
DONITA: Read as much as you can, find a good writers’ group, and practice!
KAYLA: What advice would you give to Tweens/Teens?
DONITA: Keep reading, find a good writers’ group, and continue to practice. Writing is like a sport—it takes time and effort to become good. Do not be discouraged by rejection, keep persevering.
Fourteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com