Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Gautama Buddha

Donna M. Zadunajsky Interview Published on: 12, Jun 2017

Would you mind letting us glance through the curtain separating readers and authors and tell us a little bit about your life growing up?

I grew up in a small town called Bristolville, Ohio. My parents when I was four, bought seven acres of land in the town and built our house where I lived for almost 32 years. As a teen, I babysat and mowed lawns to make money, and at 16 years old got my first real job at the local grocery store in town. The school I went to in Bristolville held K-12 in one building. There weren't a lot of kids in my town; one hundred in my graduating class. My favorite things to do when I was growing up in Ohio was reading and fishing.

Your books "HELP ME!" and "Talk to Me" both deal with the controversial and often hushed-up issues of teenage suicide and depression. What urged you to write these books? Why do you think society is still so timid and unaware when it comes to this subject?

My reason for writing my young adult series about teen suicide and bullying started because of my daughter. HELP ME! reflects on a friend of hers that has struggled with depression, bullying, suicide, and cutting. The whole book is based on him and what really happened in school that year. Which brought back memories when I was bullied in school and dealt with depression and suicide thoughts. Society, I think, doesn't want to believe that kids/their children are dealing with these issues in school. The worst is cyber bullying. I have read some of the things that are posted on my daughter's phone and how cruel and hateful these kids can be. They have no problem coming out and telling someone that they should go kill themselves because they are worthless, fat, ugly, and so on and so on. So much has changed in the time I have grown up to what life is now. My bully wanted to hurt me because she just plain didn't like me, maybe she was jealous of me, I never knew, but it was hard to want to face her every day at school. Girls are the worst when it comes to bullying. Too much competition between girls, who's prettier, skinner, has better clothes. I know schools are trying with their anti-bullying policies, but there still out there and I believe it will never stop.

How do you usually do the research for your books? Which book was the hardest to research for and write and why?

When it comes to research, I search the web and read lots of books about the subject. Depending what the subject is about, I talk to people that might work in the field of what I'm trying to write about. I search before I write about the topic and sometimes during because I'm stuck and want to know more about the issue at hand. The hardest book to write was my first book BROKEN PROMISES. The book is based on my life with an alcoholic. I wasn't sure how to write the book and some of the scenes were hard because I had to relive them all over again. The only part that isn't true are the murders I placed in the book, at least I hope they aren't, lol.

What are some of your favorite foods?

White cheddar popcorn, chicken, and steak.

What is your least favorite?

All seafood.

What do you think is more important: character descriptions or scene descriptions?

Character description is more important because you want the reader to feel that they are real life characters.

What book(s) are you currently reading? Also, are you working on anything (writing-wise) right now?

I'm listening to "THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10" on audible and reading, "THE INCIDENT ON THE BRIDGE". I just finished my online classes for freelancing at Penn Foster. I got my first job writing as a ghost writer on a ghost story, I'm also working on two new young adult books and Book 3 of my 'Secrets and Second Chance' series is with my editor right now. the book should be out this summer.

How do you handle good or bad reviews?

At first, I didn't handle them well, and now I read what they have to say and whether it's something I need to fix with my writing. Sometimes you honestly don't catch everything and it's always good to get someone else's opinion. Although, I don't believe people should be down-right cruel about someone else's writing. Writing isn't easy. It is a long process and many hours of sitting at a computer.

If you were another person, a normal reader, do you think you would enjoy your writing?

Oh, yes. If I can't sit there and write about it, then it's not interesting enough for me.

If you could have a holiday, all expenses paid, anywhere for any duration of time, where would you go?

I would like to travel around Europe, Italy, and France for a few weeks.

How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full one? What motivated you to make the switch?

Well, when I started, I guess you can say I was blessed with having a husband that made enough money for me to stay home and start my writing career. I wrote while my daughter was at school and my husband was at work, then I did what I needed to do around the house. Cooking, cleaning, and taking care of what needed done. I still put my writing job first, but I also work at a Veterinary three days a week now, just to get out of the house.

Do you ever write any small, hidden messages or secrets in your books that a lot of readers haven't caught onto as yet?

All the time...

How do you model your characters?

I try to make them strong-welled characters.

Do you like to come up with story plots and characters based on real-life or just make it up from scratch?

A little of both, but more from real life.

Describe your idea of the perfect Sunday.

Warm, blue skies and a great book to read.

What gave you the idea for your book "Broken Promises"?

Based on my life with an alcoholic.

How long would you survive and what do you think you would've done if you were in Clare's position?

Well, I was Clare and I would have to say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and that's exactly the way I am now. I'm a much stronger person because of my ex-husband and I stand up for myself.

If you could go back in time and give some advice to your younger, writing self, what would you say?

Forget about boys and just write.

How much time do you usually devote to promoting your books on social media?

Every day I try to get my book out in the world on social media.

What do you think of your experience with AllAuthor so far? Would you recommend this platform to your author friends?

I have only been on the site for a few days, and I like it. I have already emailed my friend to join. She has just published her first book.

Share Donna M. Zadunajsky's interview