Callie: It’s a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Dalton. I noticed your bookshelves are stocked with dozens of books on the War Between the States. Are you a big follower of that time period in American History?
Donna: Very much so. Being from Virginia, I’m surrounded by memorials of the Civil War - statues, battlefields, museums. It was such a tumultuous time in U.S. history. Yet through all the turmoil, the American Spirit remained steady and strong. I can’t help but admire the men and women who survived.
Callie: THE CAVALRY WIFE revolves around the Tenth Cavalry and its troopers. Are you in the military?
Donna: No, but my husband is – was – He retired a year and a half ago. I sure do miss seeing him all decked out in his dress blues. So you might say I’ve been around the military for nearly half of my life (Yeah, I’ve been married that long). I’m drawn to the silent, brave men in uniform.
Callie: Dalton. Is your husband any kin to the Daltons in Coffeyville, Kansas? They have five lovely boys, Frank, Grat, Bob, Emmett and Bill.
Donna: Not that I’m aware of, but the gang those boys formed when they got older would sure be great fodder for a story.
Callie: I’m certain it would. Speaking of new stories, do you have any books in the works?
Donna: I do. I’m working on a Civil War period story about a Virginia Rebel on her way to the Federal prison in Maryland to free her imprisoned brother. She meets up with a well-educated Yankee journalist and enlists his aid. Being dyslexic, she sees everything in a distorted light, while he, being a man of words, sees everything in black and white. As you can imagine, sparks fly between the two.
Callie: Oh my, that does sound intriguing. How much research do you put into your books?
Donna: I do basic research beforehand, just to get ideas for story scenes. Then, as I start writing, I do more specific, in-depth research, and not all of it from books. My wonderful husband chauffeured me to Point Lookout, Maryland so I could get a feel for the place. It was located at the tip end of the state, on a small strip of land surrounded by water. I took in the salty smell of the air, the crash of waves on the surf. Great sensual aids for empowering my writing. Yet, it was eerie walking over the same ground where thousands of men had been imprisoned and where many died. My arms crawled with gooseflesh.
Callie: I’ve never been to Maryland, but I’ve read about “The Old Line” state. I love to read. Do you have any favorite books or authors?
Donna: I enjoy action/adventure stories laced with lots of historical figures. Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series is one of my all-time favorites. I want to write like her when I grow up.
Donna: If a storyteller is someone who constantly has characters and plots invading in her head, then yes, I’m one. I can’t rest until I’ve gotten the stories out of my head and onto paper so I can share them with others. I hope my readers will enjoy the books I have written and those that are to come and will come back for more. Visit my website at www.donnadalton.net to read more about my books.