Today we welcome Donna Fasano to Rhodes Review. Ms. Fasano is the author of The Merry Go Round.
Rhodes Review: Who are some of the writers you enjoy? Books?
Donna Fasano: I have an eclectic taste when it comes to reading. I enjoy literary authors such as Anne Tyler, Frank McCourt, Norman Mailer, Mitch Albom, and Maeve Binchy. I love mass market best-sellers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz and Jonathan Kellerman. Mid-list authors interest me, too: Judith French, Hunter Morgan, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sharyn McCrumb. I’ve been reading a lot of indie authors these days: Karen McQuestion, Scott Nicholson, L.C. Evans, Nancy Johnson…oh, and Helen Smith. And I just read a great short story by Margaret Lake. I read a lot of self-help, spiritual non-fiction, as well by teachers such as Rami Shapiro, Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Eckhart Tolle (just to name a few!). I even enjoy poetry. See? Eclectic to the extreme.
Rhodes Review: How do you come up with Story Ideas?
Donna Fasano: For me, the creative process is mystical. Ideas can come from anywhere, at any time. I might see a sight that triggers an idea, or I might overhear a snippet of conversation (yes, I eavesdrop ) that inspires me. Story ideas might come from an article I read in a newspaper or magazine, or from people I know, or from strangers I happen to meet. Or characters might just ‘show up’ in my head with a story that needs to be told. I often scramble for paper and pen to jot down something that pops into my mind. I’m sure the people around me think I’m a nut (some of them even love me for it); however, I choose to describe it as surrendering to the mystical creative process. Because I’m willing to surrender, the ideas continue to flow.
Rhodes Review: How do you get your inspiration/muse to write?
Donna Fasano: Money is great incentive. Ha! (Hey, I’m human.) Seriously, I believe people are blessed with different gifts. Some people can look at a beautiful landscape and reproduce it on canvas with brushes and paints. Some people can see a social issue and find ways to solve big problems. Some people have a knack for numbers (I’m not of that ilk, by any means). I believe I’ve been graced with a talent to put words together. Properly woven words can sound like a symphony. Just like a song-writer invokes joy or yearning, sadness or laughter, I want to write lyrical stories that strum the emotional strings of my readers.
Rhodes Review: What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Donna Fasano: The beginning. Choosing the very best place to start telling a tale is most difficult for me. If the story starts too soon, the reader will be bored; too late, and the reader will end up confused. Either way, you’ve lost your audience. For a writer that’s the ultimate sin.
Rhodes Review: What’s the best thing about being an author?
Donna Fasano: Creation. I create situations, characters, places, moods. In just one short paragraph, I can have a reader standing in the middle of a bustling city feeling excited as mobs of people jostle past her, or I can have her standing alone in a cold, dimly lit room, fearful of who might be hiding in the shadows. The fact that the stories I invent stir others to feel, to emotionally react, is very exhilarating for me.
Rhodes Review: What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Donna Fasano: Just do it. (I think someone already coined that phrase. ) Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. If you have a story to tell, tell it.
Rhodes Review: What is your current writing project?
Donna Fasano: I have several projects going on right now. I have a completed manuscript called Hindsight that I’m editing. I also just had the rights of my first eleven books reverted to me and I’d like to offer them for sale, but that’s going to take some time.
Rhodes Review: What was the writing process like for The Merry-Go Round?
Donna Fasano: I spent a lot of time getting to know my protagonist, Lauren. This was her story. Once I really got to know her—or maybe I should say, once she fully revealed herself to me—I let her have her say. Like I said before, it’s easier if I just surrender. That’s usually how it works for me. My books are character-driven novels. If I let my characters shine and don’t force myself on them, the story usually flows faster and richer and truer. (I have no idea if that will make any sense, but it does to me. Hmmm, maybe I am nuts.)
Rhodes Review: What made you want to write this book?
Donna Fasano: I had never read a novel where the characters are divorcing in the beginning, and we see the whys and hows of the situation. I knew the beginning and the ending of this book when I started, but I had no idea how the characters were going to take me there. It was a fun book to write.
Rhodes Review: Are there any appearances/conventions you’d like to announce to our readers?
Donna Fasano: I have no appearances scheduled at the moment as personal issues are keeping me close to home for now.
Donna Thank you for joining us here at Rhodes Review. You can read our review of The Merry Go Round at here.