"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Mystery in Moonlight
Spotlight on Gothic and Historical Paranormal Romance
Scotland has always had a piece of Donna Grant's heart and soul. She is fascinated by the ancient land with its legends of Druids and the magic of the Fae. While she lives in Orange, Texas with her husband and three kids, she hopes to one day soon visit the land of her dreams. Until then, she uses her stories to transport her there.
Donna didn't start off wanting to be a writer. Her original plan was to be a dancer, a goal she pursued all you life. She even made it to New York City, performing in the Macy's Parade. On the verge of starting her own dance studio, marriage and kids temporarily derailed her plans. By the time she was back on track she'd discovered her true passion - writing. Donna still teaches dance, however, in between crafting new stories, raising kids, cats and running her web design business. Donna loves hearing from her readers and she can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at for newsletter, excerpts and contests.
PNR: Did you always know you wanted to write; when did you begin?
Donna G.: Actually, I didn't always know I wanted to write. I'll admit I always had stories going on in my head, but I thought that was just normal. <g> I spent the better part of my years dancing. It wasn’t until after I was married and pregnant with my first child that I started writing my first book while holed up in my office at work. After that, I knew I wanted to be a writer.
PNR: What do you enjoy most about writing? What is the most frustrating?
Donna G.: I enjoy discovering my characters and their worlds. Each character has brought something unique to the table, so to speak, and I've learned from many things from them from facing my fears to being a little more adventurous.
The most frustrating was trying to find a home for my books.
PNR: What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story?
Donna G.: Characters that come to life and a setting, whether historical or contemporary, that you feel you are there.
PNR: What is your favorite genre to read?
Donna G.: Tha'’s easy - Historical. I love anything historical.
PNR: Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced your work?
Donna G.: I have so many. <g> Johanna Lindsay was the first author I read and I was hooked from page one. I got started early, at age 12, and from then on I've gobbled up any romance I can get my hands on. Julie Garwood, Stephanie Laurens, Catherine Coulter, Suzanne Enoch, Robin T. Popp and Karen Marie Moning are a few on my long list of favorites.
PNR: Your first book, Highland Mist, was recently released; can you tell us about your journey to publication?
Donna G.: It was a long, hard road. <g> I went the traditional route, but always with an eye on e-publishing. Over the past couple of years I had seen e-publishers expand and become more popular, so I investigated. Since I’m on the computer all day it’s a comfortable medium for me. Also, I write fast and I liked the quick turn around time from acceptance to publication that e-publishers offer.
I sent a query off to New Concepts after evacuating my home because of Hurricane Rita. I assumed that it would be weeks, even months, before I'd hear back anything. Amazingly enough, that very night, safe in my brother's home, away from the storm, I logged onto the internet and found an email from NCP waiting for me. It was a request for the entire book. A month later, I was offered a contract.
PNR: Where did you get the idea for your “Druid’s Glen” series?
Donna G.: Oddly enough from a CD. I was listening to a Loreena McKennitt CD – The Book of Secrets, great music, btw, and while listening to one of the songs, I just saw this magical place with Druid’s and Fae in Scotland. I knew I had to write about it, so I looked deeper and found three unusual sisters that begged for their stories to be told. Every time I listen to that CD I’m taken to The Druid’s Glen. <g>
PNR: Conall MacInness is a complex and intriguing character; could you tell us a little about his development?
Donna G.: Ah, Conall. He was a tough character who saw honor as a way that he defined and lived his life. He had many issues with his vows and how he was going to go about getting what he wanted. <g> And, as any man who knows what he wants, he goes after Glenna intending to keep both vows, the one to the Druid’s to continue to protect and hide them, and the one to his dead mother to find his missing sister. However, Conall soon learns he must choose between his vows, a choice that if made wrong can impact all of Scotland.
All of my characters continue to change and evolve as new developments, relationship and choices are presented to them. And Conall, as with any other strong willed man, can be changed by the love of his mate.
PNR: Can you give us a sneak preview of what reader's can expect from Gregor and Dartayous' stories?
Donna G.: Gregor has a dark secret, one that could very well tear apart the fragile bond he’s formed with Conall and the Druid’s. Fortunately there’s Fiona there to straighten him out.
As for Dartayous - he is special and much more than a mere Druid Warrior. He will take you on a fantastic journey with plenty of adventure and passion.
PNR: Historical-paranormal romance seems to be experiencing a revival, what do you feel is responsible for its return to popularity? What made you choose to write in this genre?
Donna G.: I think Historical/Paranormal is experiencing a revival because of the awesome force of the paranormal market. People love anything paranormal. All you have to do is go to the movies or turn on your TV to see just how many paranormal shows are out there. It was just a matter of time before the paranormal worked its way into historicals. I wrote The Druid’s Glen series three years ago. Editors were interested, but didn't pick it up. I knew with the way Vampires and other paranormal books were selling that if I bided my time, this series just might get published.
I've always written medieval romances, and when the Druid's Glen came to me, I knew that it wouldn’t be a straight historical. I had no idea just how much paranormal elements would be in the series though.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on.
Donna G.: I'm working on several series right now. I currently have three other historical/paranormal series: The Shields, Sisters of Magic and The Royal Chronicles. Besides those, I have a straight historical series, The Knights of Legend.
PNR: Thank you Donna, for taking time out to talk with us, where can readers find your novel, and how can they contact you?
MIST (Druid's Glen: 1)
An honorable laird…
Laird Connall MacInness was born to a clan that for centuries has been charged with the guarding of the sacred Druids. 'Tis a duty he has always met with a willing heart, until the day his sister, a Druid priestess, goes missing, and the very Druids he has protected refuse to help him find the last remaining member of his family. Then a 300 year old prophecy places a Druid priestess in his hands for safekeeping. 'Tis the chance at revenge that he's been waiting for, but is he willing to pay the cost his revenge will demand--the loss of his mate and the future of Scotland?
A willing lass…
Glenna MacNeil wants only to be free, to find the purpose of her life. When she is told to look for the dark laird that would free her, she eagerly goes with the powerful laird who fights her clan, not realizing she has set in motion events that will change the course of history.
NIGHTS ~ May 2006
DAWN ~ August 2006
Featured in this Issue: