Meet author Donna Schlachter

A hybrid author, Donna Schlachter writes squeaky clean historical and contemporary suspense. She has been published more than fifty times in books; is a member of several writers groups; facilitates a critique group; teaches writing classes; ghostwrites; edits; and judges in writing contests. She loves history and research, traveling extensively for both, and is an avid oil painter.

Tell us about your newest book.

Middle-aged widow Edith Cooper walks away from the cemetery along the Green River near Simpson’s Hollow, Utah Territory. Away from the husband buried there this morning. Away from their plans and dreams for their future. Along the way, two men offer their hand in marriage. For her protection, one says. For his children’s sake, says the second. Were any of these reasons enough to marry? She must choose one. But which?

Albert Whitt, stationmaster of the Pony Express Station, loves his independent life. Twice stood up by women, he takes the only course that ensures no more rejection: stay clear of them. But when he learns that the stoic Widow Cooper is considering two proposals from men not worthy of lacing her boots, he must do something. But what? Can Edith and Albert find a new beginning in the midst of tragedy, or will they choose the most convenient path—alone?

What inspired you to write Hollow Hearts?

I published the first book in this series as a novella in a historical romance collection, and when the rights reverted back to me, I wanted to release that first book, subsequently titled Hollenberg Hearts, as part of a series. I did that last year. For this book, I did some research, and learned of a place in Utah along the Oregon Trail, where wagon trains would stop to bury their dead. And I also read that widows in the 1860 and even later would often get a proposal for marriage as they left the cemetery. I couldn’t resist.

What genre do you focus on and why?

I love historical fiction, because I love learning and researching. I like to read historical fiction for the same reason.

Why do you write?

The stories are in there, and they have to come out. I write because I see it as a calling from God on my life, one where I can hear His voice as He transcribes the story, and where I get the privilege of sharing that with others.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

Edith Cooper is my heroine. I actually asked my newsletter subscribers to suggest old fashioned names for a strong female lead, and I liked this one the best. At least for now.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

I schedule a two-hour block each weekday to write, and I write a chapter. If I get done early, good. I have a little time to do something else. If I don’t get that chapter done—well, that puts pressure on me for the next day.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Sitting down and facing the blank screen. For me, starting the story is the hardest. It’s like I have to learn to hear from God all over again. I argue with myself about where to start the story. Which is why an outline or synopsis is my best friend.

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

When my characters say or do something I didn’t expect. I love it, because now I know for sure God is in the midst of the story.

What is your favorite pastime?

I love to binge watch British cozy mysteries, such as “Midsomer Murders”, or “Father Brown”, or “Pie in the Sky”. You get the idea.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

I have published more than fifty other books. You can check them out at my Amazon author page:

What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m writing a Contemporary Christmas Romance about two people who aren’t looking for romance, and a little boy who wants a new mommy. It’s called A Mommy by Christmas, and will release November 8th.

Thank you, Susan, for allowing me to interact with your readers. Hope to “see” you online soon!


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