Friday, March 21, 2014

Adventures with Vinnie | Donna Winters, Freelance Friday

Hi, and welcome to another --


Today, please welcome author Donna Winters. Hi, Donna, Tell us a bit about yourself.

Why do you write?

First, Peg, thanks so very much for the opportunity to be your guest!

I became a writer when the romance industry was exploding in the early 1980s. I saw several news reports about romance authors becoming wildly successful even though they had not been trained as writers. At that time, I was in a job I hated, so I decided to see if I could write a romance. I wrote three complete novels that didn’t sell. Then I wrote a proposal for a new line of inspirational romances Thomas Nelson was about to launch and received a contract offer. The rest is history, so they say.

What's on your nightstand?

On my nightstand are some very practical items: an eyeglasses case, three flashlights (power goes out often here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), hand cream, a bottle of water, and a box of tissues. In my nightstand (it has drawers) is a pen and a notebook in case inspiration strikes while I’m falling asleep. My reading material tends to migrate with me from room to room, and occasionally finds a resting place by my bed. I prefer Kindle books and have a really large collection on my device. One that I am reading right now is Laff if Off! by the Christian comedian, George Wallace. He is laugh-out-loud funny, and tells the truth about the human condition.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Back in the 1980s when I first started to sell my writing, I managed to sell three Christian romances, a contemporary to Thomas Nelson and two historicals to Zondervan, before both companies started shutting down their romance lines. By the end of the 1980s I had nowhere to go with my historical romances and so my husband and I decided to become publishers. We went into it with a lot of research and prayer, and a chunk of money. Nowadays, the first two are essential, and the third is optional.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Plotter. I started out too naïve to be a plotter and wrote several stories as a pantser. Then my analytical side kicked in and I now draw up lots of outline material and notes for my fiction.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. I have never consumed a cup of coffee. I think I took a swallow or two once as a teen (my mother offered me a cup to try). I decided it wasn’t for me.

Money being no object, where would be your dream writing getaway?

I’m having a little trouble putting “dream” and “getaway” in the same sentence with “writing.” I’m too easily distracted to go anyplace that fits the “dream” scenario and accomplish writing. I think I’m already in the best place for my writing, living in the middle of a scenic and remote recreational area on a peninsula surrounded by Great Lakes waters. All the money in the world would not put me in a more suitable location. However, if we take writing out of the sentence and talk about a dream getaway, I can think of several: Hawaii, Alaska, and the dozens of other states I have not yet visited.

What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale/sales?

I am definitely an in-person marketer, so if I can go out and do a public appearance, give a speech, and answer questions about my books, I can sell and come away with something much more valuable than cash—an uplifted spirit and increased energy to write on.


d-winters-300Donna Winters lives with her husband and two rescued canines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She has nineteen books in print including fifteen historical romances, one historical novel, one contemporary romance, and two nonfiction titles. Learn more about her and her books at Find her newest release, Adventures with Vinnie, on Amazon here:

Back Cover Blurb for Adventures with Vinnie

cover-vinnie-websiteHandsome. Affectionate. In need of a forever home. And we were in need of another rescue dog. Thus began our Adventures with Vinnie.

From his first day to his last, the only predictable thing about Vinnie was his unpredictability. Loving and loyal, an escape artist to rival Houdini, and a genuinely comical fellow, his antics will make you laugh, give you a fright (but only for a moment), and melt your heart.

So join us, won’t you? With Vinnie, there’s never a dull moment!


Within moments of adopting Vinnie, a black Lab/Dobie mix, he told us he loved to travel. We stepped out of the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter near Negaunee, Michigan into the cold weather of March 2012, Vinnie straining hard on his leash for our car, an old limo. The instant the door opened, he leaped inside.

All around us stood shelter workers with cameras and smartphones aimed to catch the shot. What? No one had ever taken a newly adopted shelter pet home in a limo? Someone should have called TV 6. Then viewers around the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) could have seen film at eleven of a gangly black mutt acting as if he owned the car, driver, and me, the navigator.

Babe, our tan American Staffordshire terrier mix, didn’t know what to make of this big galoot who bounded from one black leather seat to the other and back again. Would he ever settle?

Vinnie, who’d suffered through five months of shelter confinement in two states, had finally broken free, connecting with his forever family: my husband Fred, a retired teacher; me, a writer/publisher; and Babe, a nine-year-old adoptee from a county shelter who’d been with us for nearly two years.

And that’s how our adventures with Vinnie started.

Connect with Donna by visiting and scrolling to the bottom of the page where you will find her email address and links for Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


Thank you so much, Donna. Vinnie sounds like a dog I would enjoy being around. I’m going to have to get your book soon.


  1. Peg,
    Thanks for inviting me to your purely purple and beautiful blog!
    Donna Winters

    1. My pleasure, Donna. Vinnie sounds like a fun rascal.

  2. Thanks for sharing a fun and interesting interview, Peggy and Donna!

    1. Hi, Sally, thanks for stopping by. We appreciate it :)

  3. I really enjoyed the interview and Adventures with Vinnie sounds like an interesting book! And I love tea, especially Lady Grey, but I love my coffee, too.

    1. Hi, Patricia! Yes, I'm a coffee-hound's coffee-hound! Tea just doesn't appeal to me, though I'll drink it once in a rare while. Perhaps it's because that's what my mother always gave me when I was sick--hot tea and dry toast. LOL
      Thanks for dropping in.

  4. Thanks for the great interview. I met Donna Winters and she writes the way she talks - I felt like she was sitting next to me answering the questions. Also, I like your interview questions. Wonderful!

  5. Hi, Jan! Thank you so much for visiting. I'm really wanting to read this book, and soon. It is on my Want to Read list. Glad you enjoyed the interview questions, too.

  6. Sally, Patricia, and Jan,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! I really appreciate your visit here!
    Donna Winters


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