Friday, April 30, 2010

Interview with Donna Hatch

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Donna Hatch. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called The Guise of a Gentleman. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

A young widow’s quiet world is shattered by a impulsive gentleman of many secrets. When she is dragged into his world of violence and deceit, she may not survive the revelation of his past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.

The Guise of a Gentleman is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
I wish I had an interesting story for that! I’d been pondering other titles, one of which was Beloved Pirate, but none of them seemed to fit. Then one day, as I was doing the very glamorous activity of folding laundry, it just came to me and I knew it was the right one.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I write romance because I love the happily ever after. Not only love it but I have this bizarre need for it. If a book doesn’t have a good ending, I feel like I’ve wasted my time because I read to escape my problems. I want to know good always triumphs over evil, and love conquers all, not be bummed because all was lost. I also love watching the romance unfold and, of course, the euphoria of falling in love. My husband likes to capitalize on that euphoria, too ;-)

I write historicals because I like to be transported to a totally new world and historical are completely different than my real life. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t want to have a life involving beautiful gowns, a servant to do your every bidding, and gorgeous men who do everything from recite poetry to wield a sword. And, seriously, there are few things sexier than a man on horseback.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I’ve always been fascinated by pirates and I love heroes with a secret identity, but really, the characters drove this story. This one is hard to trace because I really didn’t plot it or develop Jared’s character. I mostly just followed him around and typed everything he did and said. He was so real to me that I even dreamed about him. In my editing stage, I did have to cut a few scenes that slowed down the story, but I made very little changes to the original draft.

What are your favorite historical research books and why?

Anything by Jane Austen is great because it the books took place in that time period and the author lived at that time, too, so it’s accurate. I also did a bunch of reading about pirates. Blackbeard: America's Most Notorious Pirate by Angus Konstam gave a lot of information about pirates, sailing and nautical life.
As far as overall Regency references, here are some of the best:
Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson
The Half Mad Lord by Thomas Pitt
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World
Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces, 1811, by a Lady of Distinction
The Regency Companion, Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa L Hamlin

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Oh, Jared, for sure. He was so irrepressible and unpredictable, yet he held a secret fear that made him vulnerable.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I usually write the first few chapters organically to give my characters a chance to introduce themselves to me. Then I go back and do character interviews. But a lot of the characters unfold as the story does. Sometimes I have to go back and strengthen someone (usually the heroine, because I seem to have a harder time time with heroines than heroes, which is weird) and sometimes have to work more on developing their backstory and how it affected them.

What are some common speech terms, dress modes, transportation or housing facts that you found interesting for your time period?

What’s not unique about the Regency Era? ;-) The clothes are super fun and were drastically different than other eras. Women’s were more comfortable than both previous and future eras, and men’s clothes became much more subdued and tailored rather than just as much frills and lace as possible to flaunt their wealth.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Oh, many! I grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Little Women, and Anne of Green Gables. Hmmm, all historical. Do I sense a trend? But later I discovered fantasy and was drawn to the ones that had strong heroines with a real purpose than just to be rescued by the hero. Some of my current favorites are Lynn Kurland, Candice Hern, Julia Quinn, Jennifer Ashley, Sarah Eden, Joyce DiPastena, and many others.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I wish I knew! Most people don’t tell me where they heard about me, but I think after all the time and money we spend on social media, websites, author blogs, etc, the best is still good old-fashioned word of mouth. Not that I wouldn’t love to hire a publicity agent!!!

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m juggling way too much right now! I have two historicals I’m trying to finish, plus I’ve started a YA paranormal. And I also have a fantasy percolating in the back of my mind.

To celebrate her book release, Donna is offering a free book of The Guise of a Gentleman to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (Please check the blog Monday night to see who won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

Plus, you can earn additional chances to win by doing the following:
1. Follow my blog, at, then send me an email at, and tell me you’re now following me and put “The Guise of a Gentleman for free” in the subject line.
2. Friend me on Facebook, (!/profile.php?ref=profile&id=1053967713) then send me an email at, and tell me you’re now my friend on Face book and put “The Guise of a Gentleman for free” in the subject line.
Remember, for each thing you do, you have another chance to win. Good Luck!!!

Thanks, Donna!

Thank you for having me.

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Donna has had a passion for writing since the age of 8 when she wrote her first short story. During her sophomore year in high school, she wrote her first full-length novel, a science fiction romance. She wrote her second novel, a fantasy romance during her senior year. Needless to say, English and Creative Writing were always her favorite subjects. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband) she manages to carve out time to indulge in her writing obsession, with varying degrees of success, although she writes most often late at night instead of sleeping. A native of Arizona, she now writes Regency Romance for The Wild Rose Press and Fantasy. And yes, all of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 21 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.


Kim Watters said...

Good morning Donna. Thanks for being here with us again. I'm running a bit slow today so I'll have our coffee and chocolate ready in a minute. I love your title. I'm not very good at them so next time I need one I'll try the laundry thing or I'll come to you:). I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books too growing up. Isn't it interesting though that you close the historical route and I chose contemporary? Anyway, enjoy your day with us.

Donna Hatch said...

Thanks for having me, Kim!

Jenny Bernard said...

Donna, this book sounds wonderful, and oh boy, would I love to win a copy! ;) Very well conducted interview, I really feel like I know your writing process now. Thank you for sharing!


Anne Bradshaw said...

Great interview, Donna. Your book sounds super. Hope you get many sales.

PamelaTracy said...

Great cover. As always, your enthusiasm shows. Sounds like a great book.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Hi Donna! Your book sounds great! Best wishes on its success!

Tristi Pinkston said...

This sounds really good! I'll have to check it out.

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Wow, Donna, six children and you manage to write too. I'm in awe.

I liked your interview. And your new book sounds wonderful.

It's funny, but I also have an easier time writing my heroes than my heroines. I've heard other writers say this. Of course, we all fall in love with our heroes.

Good luck in your writing.

Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi
Another Wild Rose Press writer

Gregg A. Endless said...

Well here I am supporting a great Regency writer. Great Job Donna. The interview was very informative and will give future writers a little how-to information to write historical genre pieces. I hope the rest of your day goes great. I really enjoyed reading what you had to say. Keep up the great work!

G.A. Endless, Author

Judy said...

A very well done interview. I loved the book! Like the previous Rogue Hearts, there were unexpected twists and turns that kept me wondering. And blessedly the HEA lasted long enough for me to truly enjoy the end, as opposed to the one-two page ending. Both books stand alone, but I'm truly looking forward to the coming tales.

Marsha Ward said...

Donna, I just received my copy in the mail, and I can't wait to dive into it!

Estella said...

I enjoyed the interview.
Hope you have great success with your book.

Linda said...

Love the idea of your book, Donna. Jumped over from Goodreads. Feel free to post a link on our TreasureLine Books and Beyond The Last Page on FaceBook if you want.

Karen Dobbins said...

Donna, I enjoyed your first Regency and look forward to reading this one. I struggled with writing the heroine of my last story--dreaded writing her POV actually. I'm amazed she ended up getting any screen time at all! Maybe we are just jealous of these heroines?

Mary Keith said...

Hey Donna...great interview. I've done all three of your suggestions to win this book...looking forward to reading it.

deenar116 said...

Hi Donna! About how long do you spend researching before you begin to write your novels?

Varina M said...

Fun interview. I don't usually read stories that involve much of the sea, like the Hornblowers and Richard Bolitho and so forth, but the interview made this sound intriguing, and after all, it's a romance, not a pure sea adventure, so I may try it. It comes after THE STRANGER SHE MARRIED, right?

Cheri LaClaire said...

Many, many successes, Donna!

Gillian Layne said...

Your book looks wonderful, Donna, and I like your list of research materials as well. Good luck with all those future projects!

Calista Fox, Author said...

Sounds like a great book, Donna! And I love the cover!

Tifferz said...

Donna I love the cover of your new book. I hope I win your book.

Rachel Rager said...

Hi, Donna! Great interview!! I can't wait to read this book! It's been on my 'to read' list WAY too long!