I read and reviewed author Donna Sigger’s book, Broken in 2018. I loved the novel and her writing. That is why she is one of my favorite authors and has earned a position on my Author Spotlight page! Please see her interview and upcoming work below:
1. What inspired you to write a book?
Writing has always been a hobby, but after acquiring a head injury I needed something to focus on to help me create a new memory system because I was struggling to remember what I’d done five minutes ago. One of my closest friends (who was dying) suggested I picked up a project I’d started a few years earlier and used it to help me and I’ve not looked back. My debut novel enabled me to create a memory palace and, therefore, begin remembering new information: I have a short-term memory because I began to write my novel. In memory of my friend, Tracey, I dedicated Broken to her.
2. What does your typical writing day look like?
Writing isn’t only focussed on the act of placing words into a manuscript for me: its also about interaction with other authors, my readers and other networking. This is done via social media, through video links and messenger. Then there’s the marketing, because without that there’s not going to be any sales! Typically, my working day begins at nine, but my actual writing does not start until mid-day. I’m very driven and often don’t stop for six hours after that. Once I’ve spent time with my family, I’m usually back at the laptop tapping away again into the small hours – I just can’t help myself!
3. Do you have a favorite book you have written?
Broken will always be incredibly special to me, simply because it has opened so many doors and provided so much scope for the future. Through writing a few words and having them published this book has enabled me to change my perspective on my capabilities since my injury, given me hope and renewed determination to succeed. It truly is an important part of my recovery and, therefore, treasured.
4. What advice would you give to a new writer just starting out?
Reaching out to other authors helped me in so many ways in the beginning, and still does now. Many of us are more than willing to share our journeys and give positive advice, share where we went wrong while we were learning the process of publishing. It also helps to get to know other like-minded folk, too. As far as the actual writing process is concerned, we all work differently but I recommend that they keep all their notes in one place, that they write their idea down rather than relying on their memory because life has a habit of taking over and just get that first draft down without fussing over editing as you go – editing comes later!
5. Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Of course, social media is very much part of my writing day.
6. How do you handle literary criticism?
Criticism in any area of life, including literary, should be taken positively and it’s an opportunity for you to grow as a person. It’s important to stop your first reaction and to remember the benefits of reflecting on the feedback – it will help you understand the minds of other people at a deeper level and that not everyone is going to like what you write. Something I always say to authors who messages me to complain they’ve received negative feedback is this: ‘just imagine for a minute how boring the world would be if we all liked the same foods, the same clothes and the same TV programmes and the same books. Say thank you for their feedback and move on with your day’.
7. Please describe your writing space?
When the weather allows I write outside, for to be stuck indoors goes against everything I’ve ever done in my life. Location writing is something I do often – I love embedding myself into the scene of my story-line, taking in the atmosphere and really feeling the moment as the words flow from my pen. Travelling on the train (sometimes for twelve-hour stints) brings out my creativity too; there are also three spaces in my garden that I use specifically for writing. When forced to, I obviously write indoors. For that, I have collected a few desks as I don’t like sitting in one place – they range in age from very modern to 1920s and are located all over my home. I guess I’m a complex person, who’s created a world in which her very muddled brain can function under very difficult circumstances. It seems to be working.
8. Who is your own favorite author? Dead or alive.
Pinpointing one author is hugely difficult for me. I’ll say, Patricia Cornwall because her novels grabbed my attention and got me interested in the world of crime initially.
9. What is the most helpful thing to you in this industry?
In a virtual world where most of us will never meet (and some of us have) we tweet, we Facebook and Instagram (some of us are on LinkedIn too); we support one another with marketing; we network and encourage; we have a laugh; we stand together! That lifts a person. That lifts this industry! For me, this reaches far beyond other authors.
10. If you had to describe yourself in 3 words…what would they be?
Driven. Determined. Competitive.
Latest and Upcoming Work:
(The sequel to BROKEN) has been released! Here is an extract from that, exclusively for this interview:
‘Firing a single shot that reverberates through the house, Shadow hits her mother between the eyes. Slumping backwards the woman goes limp and falls away from her husband. Her fingers uncurling, with his refusing to let go.’
LOST SOUL: Poetry From A Broken Mind and Journal Notes
This book will give you an insight into my journey of my injury and recovery – I wish it to help others to understand the impact of forced change; to give those experiencing something similar a little hope; and, in all honesty, it has been tremendous therapy to write it all down! I’ve decided that an appropriate release date for this book would be on the fifth anniversary of my assault (April 2019).
Here is an extract from one of the poems from Lost Soul:
Wings of change, in a torrent of torment
When light meets dark. Clouds forming.
A mind of possibility, sudden self-doubt
When darkness begins swarming.
STALKED: No Place To Hide
This is a stand-alone psychological thriller based on true life events. I’ve had the idea for this novel for some years now and its time this story was told. It will shock!
Teaming up with an actress, I am co-writing a screenplay with her, aimed at the film festival scene. This will be our first project together and she will be taking on a joint directorship role. After that, we set the wheels in motion to get Broken on the screen. There are no guarantees, except for the determination we both have to succeed.
OTHER WRITING PROJECTS
The Warwick Cooper Thrillers is a trilogy, the final installment has already been planned.
In addition to the above I also have ten novels mapped out, so I have plenty to keep me occupied.
About the Author:
Born in rural Essex, UK I grew up in the very competitive world of equine eventing. Sport, in general, grabbed my attention: I’ve climbed mountains, sailed at sea, run marathons and canoed rapids. What can I say? I like to challenge myself, and I certainly sought adrenaline fueled thrills. However, times change. Due to a serious head injury (not sport related) I’m temporarily unable to do these activities. Finding myself unable to continue my chosen career path linking psychology, criminology and behaviour adjustment I’ve taken a different turn. Writing has enabled me to regain focus during my recovery and the journey in becoming an author has opened so many opportunities for me. BROKEN, I’m humbled to say is in the early stages being turned into a movie and its sequel.