Steven Donahue

Steven Donahue was a copywriter for TV Guide magazine for 14 years. His first novel,Amanda Rio, was published in 2004. Steven currently resides in Bucks County, PA with his wife, Dawn. He released three novels in 2013: The Manila Strangler (Rainstorm Press), Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom (Hydra Publications), and Cometand Cupid’s Christmas Adventure (Createspace).

1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? As a kid, I loved the sports books by Matt Christopher. His work inspired me to write. As I grew older, I also discovered the works of Ernest Hemmingway, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell and Isaac Asimov. I tried several times through my teen and young adult years to write something of quality, but it took me until my 30’s to finish my first book,Amanda Rio (2004).

2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?  With a full-time job, it’s difficult to write every day. Still, I tried to find an hour or two when I can. I sit in the little office in my apartment, block out every distraction and try to write two to three pages per sitting. It is usually quite challenging.

3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it? I am lucky in this aspect. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. In fact, I have so many ideas for short stories and books, that it will take me the rest of my life to write them all.    

4.Are you a plotter/planner when it comes to writing a story? I start with an outline (sometimes 14 or 15 pages for a novel) and use it as a guide, making changes as needed along the way.

5.What was the publishing process like for you,& any advice to aspiring authors? Frustrating. I had two different agents for two different books early in my career, but neither agent could find me a publisher. Then I self-published Amanda Riobefore finding independent publishers for The Manila Strangler and Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom. Still, I wound up self-publishing my latest book Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure. My advice would be to shop around for an agent and hope for the best, but be prepared to look for a publisher on your own.

6.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author? I have had three books signings during my career (with various successes at each one) and I thoroughly enjoyed attending each one. I liked meeting other authors and signing copies for readers.

7.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? And any other books of yours, if you wish. My latest book is Comet and Cupid’s Christmas Adventure. It tells the exciting tale of two of Santa’s famous reindeer and their efforts to stop an evil witch from ruining Christmas. Comet and Cupid fall into a trap set by a witch named Ezrica, who abducts the reindeer and strips them of their magic powers. She then sends two trolls to Santa’s village to carry out the rest of her diabolical plan. It’s up to Comet and Cupid to stop the evildoers and save Christmas. Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom is about twelve-year-old Amy Sutter, who steals the experimental spacecraft Liberty Bell to rescue her father and his colleagues from alien captors called the Crownaxians. She is pursued by Lt. Yale Brown, the officer in charge of the ship’s security, who has orders to bring back the Liberty Bell at any cost.

8.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time? I love the NFL. I am a huge Philadelphia Eagles fan. I also read as much as I can, and watch some TV. Perhaps too much TV.

9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.) Social media is a key to any marketing plan. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other outlets helps get the word out.

10.What is the hardest thing about writing? For me, it is finding the time, the energy, and the quiet atmosphere to sit down and write. Once that hurdle is conquered, the process usually goes smoothly for me.


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