Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Take Five and Meet Author Donna Schlachter

Today we get to meet one of the authors in the "Pony Express Romance Collection". 
I can't wait to see what it's all about. Come meet Donna Schlachter

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Donna.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book  Echoes of the Heart?

Thanks for having me as your guest today, L.A. I discovered since I started writing seriously that I love history. I hated it as a subject in school, where I’m from, it seemed history meant memorizing dates of reigns of Monarchs. I met up with Mary Davis at an ACFW conference (here’s a great reason to go to conferences) and asked her what she was working on. She said she and three other authors were putting together a proposal on the Pony Express. I said if there was an opening, I’d love to join. A month later, she emailed and said one of the ladies had to drop out and now there was an opening. In the meantime, I read everything I could about the Pony Express, visited a couple of stations within a day’s drive of where I live, so I was ready. I wrote about a subject I knew nothing about at the beginning, but I know a lot now! 

When you’re brainstorming for a new story, what usually comes first for you, the plot or the characters?

The plot comes for me first, and then the character to fulfill that plot. I love asking those “what if” questions.

What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions?  Why?

Emotions. Especially romance. Which is funny, since I write historical romance. I have no problem with writing conflict, bickering, fighting – which probably says a lot about me.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

Write a synopsis. Then go back and fill in the holes, add in the romance—if it’s a romance—and then make sure there is a spiritual thread. The synopsis gives me the structure for the book, keeps me on track, but gives me enough room for creativity and surprises—even for me.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

Miss Marple, Agatha Christie’s little old lady amateur detective who lives in St. Mary Mead. I’m fairly observant, and I love knowing the story behind the story. However, I’m not white haired, and I don’t knit fluffy pink baby outfits.

Give us a brief summary of Echoes of the Heart:
This is a 9-in-1 novella collection from Barbour Books centered on the Pony Express, which ran from April 1860 through November 1861. The Pony Express already seems to be a romantic snippet of Americana, and so it seemed to make sense to write a collection of historical romance set on the trail. My story, Echoes of the Heart, features a mail order bride responding under an assumed name, a crippled station master who thinks no woman will want him, and their search for a future—together or separately.

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name.

Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled "Pony Express

Romance Collection" released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. 

She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.

Find Donna:  


  1. Hi Donna, Welcome to the blog.

    The plot comes to me first as well. Those "what-ifs" that make me grab the nearest flat object to write on. Sometimes, it truly is a napkin :) I keep my phone handy and dictate into it as well.


  2. Hi Leslie Ann, thanks for hosting me today! Love connection with readers.