Donise Sheppard and I took some time this week, to discuss her many writing successes. A natural born storyteller, she began writing for fun when she was eleven, and professionally when she was eighteen.
A native of Ohio, Donise now lives in Southern West Virginia with her husband and their family.
As the mother of four boisterous children, Donise runs a tight ship to ensure her numerous goals are achieved. You have to when you’re raising little ones, writing, editing and co-running a publishing company.
When she isn’t writing, you can find Donise curled up with a good book or bustling about her kitchen baking her newest favorite recipe.
Now that you’ve been introduced to Donise, let’s get to know a little more about this industrious woman.
Hello, Donise, and welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
What inspired you to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and making up stories. My passion for writing grew as a teenager. It wasn’t good writing, but it was an escape.
A way to become someone new for awhile. I was in college to be an English teacher when I realized I couldn’t be happy doing anything but writing.
Writing is in my blood. My mom wanted to write picture books. My grandmother was an amazing poet. My aunt writes horror. My sisters write. My niece wants to write. It’s just a part of all of us.
Is writing your full-time profession?
Professionally, I am a writer and a publisher. I write short stories and novels. I am a co-owner of Pixie Forest Publishing and publish anthologies, hoping to one day publish novels.
I probably should dedicate more time to writing, but I’m a full-time mom to four, so time is limited.
Have you won any awards?
I have won one award for a short story contest, (which I am still over the moon about), I was a runner up in a poetry contest, and won second place in a flash fiction contest.
How long have you been writing?
Professionally writing? Since I was eighteen. Nine years ago. Whoa! I’m older than I remembered. Writing in general? Probably since I was eleven or twelve. Telling stories? As long as I can remember. Books and stories have always been my favorite.
How many books have you written?
Six. I have three young adult dystopian novels (a series), two science fiction novels (sequel), and a romance novel. I would have more, but I swear I waste too much time on social media;)
Which genres do you write for?
My novels are romance, science fiction, dystopia, (as I mentioned before). My short stories are horror, dark romance, and historical romance (my new fave).
Which genre is the easiest to write for? Which one is the most challenging?
I’m assuming romance is my easiest. Everything I write has a lot of romance involved. I just love love I suppose.
Most difficult is definitely fantasy. I find it so difficult to write in new worlds with new creatures. I did write a fantasy middle-grade fiction, but writing fantasy for adults is so hard for me.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I am writing a new romance novel. I am also editing a young adult dystpoia. And soon I’ll be working on my short story for Pixie Forest’s new modern fantasy anthology (still open for submissions).
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
Ooo. This is so hard. So many good things have happened to me. From my first anthology acceptance, which took my breath away and made me cry, to the compliments I get on my work, which also makes me cry. (Yes, I cry too much.)
I think my publishing company is my most rewarding. Seeing authors so happy too have their name in print is so rewarding. It’s the best decision I’ve made in my career in a while.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Write every single day. Even when you’re busy or depressed. Write something. Write a sentence, or a paragraph, or ten thousand words.
And remember the first draft always sucks. Editing isn’t a personal attack. There is always room for improvement.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I like coffee and feedback. Follow me, read my stuff, and reach out to me! And always invite me for coffee.
Do you have a website/facebook page?
I do! My website is donisesite.wordpress.com
From there, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Thank you, Donise, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you lots of luck and continued success in the future!