SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH DONNA KAUFFMAN
Donna Kauffman is a wildly popular USA Today bestselling author. She is best known for her deliciously sweet Cupcake Club romance series. The author brings to life joyous and charming characters that have readers coming back for second helpings!
Last year she stared a new series called the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove. It is set in a small town in Maine where I am sure there will but much mischief and meddling!
I was excited to have the opportunity to get a sneak peak in this series, her past writing and exciting new projects!
1) Did you always want to be a writer? Can you tell us about your very first story?!
Donna Kauffman: I’ve always been a storyteller. (My mom would say “teller of tall tales” but that’s just semantics, really, isn’t it? :) My love of books and reading is also a lifelong passion, but writing them was something I didn’t actively start pursuing until I was a mother of two.
My very first story… I guess I was about seven or eight. Actually, it was more of an ongoing series based on the imagined antics of my family pets, which I named The Hamster Chronicles. (See, I knew all about the popularity of series, even then!) Multiple copies were carefully hand printed (and illustrated!) for each member of my family. Whether they wanted one or not.
2) Writing can be solitary and intense! How do you deal with deadlines and/or writer's block?
Donna Kauffman: Deadlines are really all about time management and putting your backside in a chair (or a picnic table by the river, the front seat of my car, the back of a plane/train/automobile…) as often as necessary to make the pages happen. We all learn what our pace is, some of us write faster, some slower, so you set your schedule accordingly, all while trying as best you can to factor in some flexibility to manage all the unforeseen things that will undoubtedly happen to screw up even the most dedicated amongst us
As to writer’s block…I don’t know that I really give that any more credence than I do the “writer’s muse.” I do think it’s important to understand what kind of environment you need, in order to be able to sink into the story, and it’s important to do the best you can to give yourself that space so you can create freely. As to the work itself…well, there are days when figuring out what happens next comes easily and you’re immensely proud of yourself for being so clever and witty. Then there are the other days where there is a lot of pondering, staring, and in my case, sock folding, to help you work through whatever scene you’re in, in rapidly dwindling hope you’ll ever get to the scene that comes after it. It’s not being “blocked” -- which sounds to me as if you’ve lost faith in your ability to write, or have some kind of writer’s stage fright of some kind that makes you incapable of working.
To me, you just have to accept the time it takes to figure out what happens next. Stories don’t come in an even flow of thoughts and ideas. I think as you complete multiple novels over time, you also start to understand what your rhythm is. For me, the beginning goes relatively fast, then gets rewritten a million times before I can move on, the middle goes painfully slow and I wonder what the heck I was thinking, coming up with this obviously stupid plot idea, then by the end I generally can’t write fast enough because I finally know what’s going to happen and hooray, it’s all exactly how I wanted it to be! I’m still not quite sure how that happens, but it seems to, every time. So that gives you confidence that it will next time, too. Once you understand that, then panic or anxiety on a slow day doesn’t set you back.
3) Your characters are so appealing. How do you get your inspiration to write them!?
Donna Kauffman: I don’t base my characters on anyone I know, or anyone I’d like to know (though, admittedly, a brief tete a’ tete with, oh, Hugh Jackman, say, would have to be inspiring, don’t you think?) I think of my characters as new people I’ve just met and can’t wait to get to know. It takes the entirety of the book for that to happen, but by the end, they are each dear friends and feel like extended family to me.
4) I especially love that you write Christmas romances. What makes them so special for you as an author? Do you try to have a 'theme'?
Donna Kauffman: I love the holidays and I’ve never met a Hallmark Christmas movie that I didn’t have to record. (My DVR has a folder set up just for them. Yes, it’s like that.) So it’s great fun to think that maybe I can bring the same kind of holiday romance joy that those movies give to me, in a story for my readers. I don’t have any particular themes in mind going in. I let the plot dictate the course of the story. A lot depends on whether it’s a full length novel or one of the many holiday novella’s that I’ve written over the years. In those, the development of the relationship has to be more immediate, so I plot accordingly. In a full length novel, the holidays can take on a deeper, richer meaning, so it’s fun to play with that and dig a little more.
5) Will you write anymore Cupcake Club books?! How did you get inspired to write this series? Do you enjoying baking or just eating cupcakes?!
Donna Kauffman: My grandmother taught me to bake at an early age and I’ve loved it ever since. Holiday cookie baking has always been a very big thing in my family, both growing up and with my own kids. So, The Cupcake Club books were an extension of that love and it’s been an absolute joy writing them. I only wish my grandmother was still here so she could enjoy them, too. They owe a lot to her. I do plan to add to the series. Emmaline Sweet, introduced in the most recent Cupcake Club book, HONEY PIE, needs her story told. And I can’t leave Alva unattended for too awful long or goodness knows what kind of trouble she’ll get into! The Blueberry Cove series is also dear to my heart, and that’s been taking center stage for now, but I will return to Sugarberry Island! I’ll be sure to blab everywhere when there’s a date set!
6) I noticed that you have written many Scottish themed romance books, what makes a Scotsman such a sexy hero for you? Will you ever write another Scottish series?
Donna Kauffman: My heritage is English and Scot, so it was in doing research on my family history that I got caught up in the spell of the western Highlands and all things Scotland. I was really intrigued by the idea of getting to set romances in contemporary Scotland, as most are historical. As to what makes a Scots hero sexy? Well, what’s not to love about a man with a brogue who can do justice to a nice plaid? I loved getting to start out by writing some contemporary paranormal Scottish romances and have written numerous regular contemporary Scottish romances since. I don’t have a particular series planned at the moment, but I can’t imagine not going back there again. We can never have too many Hot Scots.
7) Speaking of your prior books, I have to admit I still have your paranormal books from the 90s. Do you plan to write more someday? Or any books with a 'magical' twist in the works?
Donna Kauffman: I had a blast with those books, but they were admittedly a wee bit before their time. No one knew exactly what to do with them then, and by the time they became a huge market in the romance world, I’d already moved on to other established series. (Just my luck!) I’ve woven in a hint of magic here and there since then. SOME LIKE IT SCOT and HONEY PIE both have what I call a bit of “woo woo” in them. And then there’s Eula March and her whispered about faery oak tree and elf-staffed workshop in the current Blueberry Cove series.
Also recently, I’ve contributed two fully paranormal short stories to the Mammoth Books series. One can be found in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF FUTURISTIC ROMANCE and the other in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF SCOTTISH ROMANCE. It was great fun getting to flex those particular imagination muscles again.
8) Great! You have been a successful author for quite a while, how do you think your writing has changed since you started your career?
Donna Kauffman: I think (hope!) I’ve learned a great deal since my first book. Not just in discovering ways to express the stories I want to tell in a more entertaining fashion, but also as life experience accumulates, in finding ways to imbue my stories with all that collective life wisdom and experience.
9) I have to ask about your latest series, the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove. Why did you choose a sleepy town in Maine for your backdrop? What makes your latest book so special? How many books do you have planned for the series?
Donna Kauffman: I have always loved coastal Maine and this gave me the perfect opportunity to revisit a much loved locale and create a series to (hopefully) bring to readers the same feelings being there evokes in me. I have had a wonderful time immersing myself in this fictional cove town and have been back to Maine numerous times while writing them to learn more, research more, soak up more. I can only hope the stories reflect how personal and loved this place is to me.
As for planned books…well, there will definitely be at least six! There are three books in the current Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series: PELICAN POINT, HALF MOON HARBOR, and most recently, SANDPIPER ISLAND. In 2015, Logan McCrae’s sisters, first mentioned in PELICAN POINT, will get their own series in The Brides of Blueberry Cove. Hannah’s story is first in SEA GLASS SUNRISE, out in May 2015, followed by Fiona’s story (a Christmas story!) SNOWFLAKE BAY, coming in November 2015, and Kerry’s story, STARFISH MOON, coming in early 2016.
10) Wow, those sound good! What other books do you have planned? Can you give fans a sneak peak?!
Donna Kauffman: I recently moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in northwestern Virginia, and am dying to set a series here. I don’t know when, but I think it’s a pretty sure bet you’ll be hearing about them someday soon!
This has been such fun! I'm glad we had the opportunity to interview you. Thank you! :)
Donna Kauffman: Thank you so much for inviting me! It’s been a pure pleasure
Interviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
For Additional Information about Donna Kauffman check her out at:
Recent and Upcoming Romances by Donna Kauffman:
Sandpiper Island Sept. 2014
Ford Maddox was running from his past when he came back to Blueberry Cove, Maine, where he’d tasted both heartache and comfort. With feisty Delia O’Reilly there to cheer him on, he couldn’t have picked a better place to start over–even if he’s determined to do it alone in his island tree house, working to save endangered seabirds…and himself. But when he finds Delia fighting to hold on to her local diner, and all that’s best about their little seaside town, Ford has to lend a hand. Suddenly two fiercely independent people are building something sweeter than they ever imagined…together.
Half Moon Harbor April 29th, 2014
Bachelors of Blueberry Cove Series,
Bold, brash, Irish–Brodie Monaghan’s been breaking hearts ever since he arrived in Maine to rebuild the family business. Still, there’s one woman he just can’t wow. Grace Maddox claims she’s now part owner of Monaghan Shipbuilders, and she has her own dreams for the weathered dockside buildings. Tiny Blueberry Cove has a way of welcoming strangers with wide open arms, but is the sleepy coastal village ready for the fireworks these two spark?
Pelican Point -Oct. 29th, 2013
Bachelors of Blueberry Cove Series,
Blueberry Cove, Maine, is as small-town as small towns get. More than a little quirky, it has sheltered generations of families. But there’s always room for a new face…
Fixing things has always been Alex McFarland’s greatest gift and keenest pleasure. But with her own life thoroughly broken, she’s signed on to renovate the dilapidated Pelican Point lighthouse, hoping to reconnect with herself. The last thing she expects is to find herself falling in love – with the glorious coastline, with age-old secrets and welcome-home smiles . . .with rugged Logan McCrae, the man she just might be able to build new hopes on.
The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap -Sept. 24th 2013
For friends Clara, Abby and Lily, only one thing is more delicious than the Pine Mountain holiday cookie exchange – finding the right man before they ring in the New Year!
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE…
USA Today bestselling author Donna Kauffman
When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky firefighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker’s rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist….
THE GINGERBREAD MAN
National bestselling author Kate Angell
Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are…impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she’s truly been longing for?
SUGAR AND SPICE
When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high—and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily’s heart—and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?
Babycakes -Oct. 30th 2012
Molten Chocolate…Cinnamon Spice…Blueberry Lemon…Old-Fashioned Vanilla…
You can’t stop at just one.
And the women of the Cupcake Club love to indulge…
Kit Bellamy was raised on pie. Mamie Sue’s Peanut Pies, to be exact, the family company her scheming brother-in-law sold out from under her. Now Kit needs a new recipe for her life””and sleepy Sugarberry Island is the first ingredient. Running mail-order cupcake business Babycakes is a chance to get her baking on again””until she meets tall, dark, and adorable lawyer Morgan Westlake. New to the island to raise his goddaughter, he’s as mouthwatering as any of Kit’s creations. It’s just her luck that he’s the spawn of the very law firm that helped crush her dreams…
Fortunately, Kit’s new friends can assure her that Morgan is no typical Westlake””and that even lawyers, not to mention single dads, need romance. If Kit can just be persuaded to follow her appetite””and set another place at her table””her sweetest dreams just might