Sunday, October 27, 2013

Interview with Donna Tellum about Debut Novel

Today we have a special guest, author Donna Tellum. Her debut novel Heart of the Assassin was released just last month. I was privileged to get a first look at the book prior to its release when Donna contacted me at WAKE Editing about an edit.  Here is my review of Heart of the Assassin:

Heart of the Assassin is a thrilling tale of one woman's troubled, murderous past and the gruesome career choice it leads her to—professional assassination. However, being a hit man, or woman, isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when Erica Drago is thrust into the difficult dilemma between seeking retribution for her family's vicious murder and keeping the man she loves.

Fans of
La Femme Nikita and The Bourne Identity will love this heart-thumping story. I look forward to reading more from Donna Tellum.

After the release I had a chance to ask Donna a few questions, and here’s what she had to say:

Weston: Thanks for giving me the chance to tell people about the new release. I’m sure readers will love it, but one question has been tickling the back of my mind. Was this always intended to be a series, or did you realize once you started writing that it needed to be one? 

Donna: By the middle of chapter 2, I realized Erica Drago’s story could go on indefinitely. The story in my head was too big for one book, and it had to be a series.

Weston: It’s always a rush when that happens, isn’t it? Kind of daunting, too. Does your inspiration ever come from people you know, and have they ever figured it out?

Donna: Yes and No. The characters are composites of people I have met and know well.  But no one has figured out who they are… so far.

Weston: Some of those characters can certainly be gruesome. Let’s hope no friends in particular see themselves in those antagonists when they read your book. Now, which authors would you say have been the biggest influence on your writing?

Donna: Arthur Conan Doyle, Poe, Hammet, Ludlum, and LaClaire.

Weston: That’s quite a list with some real hard hitters. I can certainly see A.C. Doyle’s influence. The similarities to Sherlock Holmes are evident, but Heart of the Assassin is much faster paced. So, what does a typical day of writing for you involve?

Donna: Discipline is key.  I set a time to start writing and limit the session to up to four or five hours each day with the weekends off, just like any other job.

Weston: That’s certainly the way to do it, although it can be hard finding the motivation at times I’m sure. Speaking of motivation, if interest in making Heart of the Assassin into a movie were expressed, I’m sure that would make it easier. If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you like to direct it?

Weston: I could certainly see Liman. He did a great job with The Bourne Identity and the rest of the series. While The Fifth Element was quite different, Besson did a bang-up job on it. Who do you see starring in the movie version of your book?

Weston: Those are quite the choices. I loved Morena in Serenity, and her natural look is exactly as I pictured in your book. Rooney was great in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but given the choice I’d prefer to see Morena as Erica Drago. As we’re finishing up here, if you could only give aspiring writers one piece of advice, what would it be?

Donna: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get an editor. Get some honest beta readers who will tell you the truth as to where the holes are or where your script is lacking. 

Weston: Too true. That added help is invaluable. I appreciate you taking the time to visit with us today, Donna, and I encourage everyone to grab a copy of Heart of the Assassin. It’s available on Amazon.

Weston Kincade ~ Author of the Altered Realities series, A Life of Death collection, and Strange Circumstances