Interview with Donna Kaufman

Snowflake Bay_MM[1]What inspired your latest book?

Donna: I love the time I’ve spent on the coast of Maine, especially in the more sparsely populated areas downeast, so it’s been a personal joy to get to write about a place that’s so dear to me.  In SNOWFLAKE BAY, I got to bring another part of my life into the books, too, which was an extra treat.  The hero in this book, Ben Campbell, runs his family-owned Christmas tree farm.  I know a little something about that as my family had a Christmas tree farm when I was younger.  It was great fun getting to think back on those family memories and blend that part of my past with the present storyline of the book.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

Donna: There is one McCrae sister left in the fold!  Kerry McCrae gets her happily ever after in STARFISH MOON, which comes out spring of 2016.  It was fun getting to not only tell her story, but to wrap up the Blueberry Cove series and give readers one last update on their favorite characters.

How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

Donna: Not likely at all.  I don’t write about any one real person, or even parts of real people.  It’s true that the cumulative knowledge gained from meeting all kinds of people, of all ages, from all walks of life, helps to inform me about what makes a person tick, or what inspires someone to do what they do, but all that is funneled into the big pool of knowledge I draw from when creating characters.  They are simply more people I come to know and love, just like meeting new people in real life.  The real people in our lives are each unique and unlike anyone else we already know.  My characters are the same.  So, you’re safe with me!  I promise! J

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?

Donna: I was very fortunate.  I joined a great local writer’s group – the Washington Romance Writers, my local RWA chapter – and jumped right in and got involved with them as I was writing my first book.  I made a lot of industry contacts, and learned a little bit on how to polish my work.  I was lucky in that the group had a lot of published authors who shared not only their invaluable insight, but also helped guide me on where to pitch my work.  I did a lot of networking and through that found my agent, and pitched the first book I finished – and it sold!  That was more than twenty years ago now (my how time flies!) and I’ve been under contract ever since.

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like? 

Donna:  I live in the Blue Ridge mountains in the western part of Virginia, between the Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, just a hop and skip from West Virginia.  It’s beautiful up here in all seasons, peaceful, lots of wild birds, deer, and yes, bears.  The view is always inspiring.  I moved here for exactly that reason and it hasn’t disappointed me yet!

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

Donna: Always.  I read all kinds of fiction, but my favorites always have a satisfying relationship in them.  I’m a happily ever after kind of girl, no matter if it’s solving the crime or saving the world, but it’s so much more fun when there’s romance involved!  So, there was never any doubt about what kinds of stories I would tell.  Fortunately, that muse is still just as strong today as it ever was.  And, even better, I’ve been able to tell stories that incorporate mystery, suspense, paranormal elements, all under the bigger umbrella of romance.  Win-win, really!

What do you have planned for the future?

Donna:  With STARFISH MOON, the last Brides of Blueberry Cove novel, completed and coming out next spring, I am now getting started on a book set here in the Blue Ridge mountains.  BLUE HOLLOW FALLS is a story I’ve been waiting to tell and I’m beyond excited to finally get to sink into it and get to know a new town, new people, new friends.

How far do you plan ahead?

Donna:  I have been writing small town mini-series for some time now, and usually have an idea for each group as I start planning each trilogy.  Beyond that, I have more future ideas than I can count, all of which I’m excited to tell.  Usually it’s the one that is making the most noise while I’m trying to focus on the current works in progress, that eventually wins out and becomes the new series or stand alone book.


Excerpt…Snowflake Bay by Donna Kauffman

“Did you sign the papers?  Dot every i, cross every t?”  Kerry asked the moment Fiona entered the Rusty Puffin, not pausing as she continued to wipe down the bar.

“I did,” Fiona told her.  “As of this morning at about ten, Beanie’s Fat Quarters is all mine.” She hiked herself up on a stool and leaned her elbows on the freshly gleaming cypress bar.  “I even had the chance to go by and talk to Eula.”

And, actually, her visit to Eula’s was every bit as much the reason for her giddy mood, thanks to the moment she’d had in Eula’s shop with Ben Campbell.  Specifically the moment she’d taken off her coat and glanced at him in time to catch that rather pole-axed look on his face.  It was quite possible it hadn’t meant that he’d just looked at her as a woman for the very first time, rather than a short, plump annoying kid sister, but she was going to choose to believe that’s exactly what had happened.  And she was going to wrap up that moment in a shiny gold bow, and pull it out and open it up every time she needed a little boost.  Because that look on his handsome face had made it almost worth—almost—every single moment of adolescent torment he’d put her through.

“You’re looking rather cat and canary,” Kerry said.  “More cat, less canary.” She pulled two wine glasses out from under the bar and filled them with champagne.  “So, what’s going on with you and Ben Campbell?”

Fiona wanted to rush in and deny, deny, deny, but she’d watched their older sister Hannah handle Kerry over the years and was proud of herself for taking a page from the lawyer’s handbook.  “What makes you think there’s anything going on between me and Ben?”

Kerry waggled a finger.  “Don’t play cross examiner with me.  You’re no good at it.”

Fiona did the only mature thing possible, she stuck her tongue out.

“Careful where you stick that,” Kerry said, pretending to swipe and snag it. “All I know is Hannah was in here earlier and she might have said something about you being all pissy with Ben over him calling you Fireplug.  You know he doesn’t mean the nickname in a bad way.”

“Yes, yes, he’s St. Ben the Benevolent. Christmas tree farmer, rescuer of parents, all around fabulous human being, Ben Campbell.”

“Here,” Kerry said, handing her a glass.  “Drink”  She raised her own glass in salute, then tossed back the entire glass of champagne in one easy slide.

“I don’t even want to know how you can deep throat an entire glass of champagne.  It’s supposed to be sipped.”

“It’s supposed to be enjoyed,” Kerry said.  “Bottoms up, shopkeeper.”

Fiona made her way to the bottom of her glass, too, albeit in several gulps.

“Okay, so what happened at Eula’s?  Did you tell Ben what you thought of his pet name for you and chop his Campbell Christmas tree down to size?”  She poured more champagne.  “And have you ever spent any time wondering just how, um, stout and tall his pine might be?”

Fiona all but sprayed the sip of bubbly she’d just taken.  “What?”  She folded her arms on the bar, mostly so she stayed steady on the stool.  “No, I did not chop down his tree.  Also?  Ew.  Shame on you.  He’s like your brother.”

“He’s not our brother.  Not even our cousin.  And if you never looked at Ben Campbell and wondered…”  Her eyes widened with glee. “You’ve wondered about his pine.  I think you want his pine.  In fact, I think you want to—“

“Stop it,” Fiona hissed.  She’d just wanted to hold on to her Ben moment and savor it in the privacy of her rejected schoolgirl mind.  Was that too much to ask?  Her pleasant fizziness abruptly dissolved.  “I don’t want anything from Ben, least of all his—“  She broke off, refusing to take that nickname a syllable further.  “It’s true.  I didn’t like hearing that nickname again.  I hated it then, and no matter what the intent behind it, I’m not a big fan of it now.  But then anything designed to belittle someone and make them feel badly about themselves is never going to get a rousing cheer from me.”

Kerry reached her hand out toward her sister.  “Fi, don’t, he’s—“

Fiona pulled her arm out of reach.  “He’s family, I know.  And we’re all grown ups now, so you’re right, it shouldn’t matter.  It was all a long, long time ago.  We were all kids.  Blah, blah, blah.  But some things don’t have an expiration date.  And how that nickname made me feel is apparently one of them.  Especially coming from the one guy who, at the time, I wanted to see me as anything but.”  There, she’d said it.  All but shouted it, actually.  “So you’ll have to forgive me if I still don’t find being called short, fat, and red all that sweet or amusing.”

“No, Fi—wait!”  Kerry made a grab for her arm. “He’s—“

Standing right behind her.  Of course he was.

“Fiona,” was all he said, but the look on his face said a million things more.  All of them awful, because each one of them started with pity and ended with embarrassment.

She’d gotten her moment.  That victorious, full circle moment every kid who’s ever been made to feel bad wanted.  And she’d been good with that.

Unfortunately, the look she’d remember forever, was the one on his face right now.  This was to be her moment.  Why had she ever assumed it would be any different?  The joke, it seemed, was always going to be on her.

april 2015Bio:

USA Today bestselling author of the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series, DONNA KAUFFMAN has been gratified to see her books get rave reviews in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan. She lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in western Virginia, where she is presently applying her crafty DIY skills to decorating her new mountainside abode. Well, when she isn’t busy trying to keep the bears from hanging out in her flower and vegetable garden all day and night!  With her new Brides of Blueberry Cove series, Donna’s been having a blast applying those same restoration and design skills to doing some fictional wedding planning. Of course, if that means haunting all those lovely antique shops and flea markets that are so plentiful in her new neck of the woods, well, it’s a sacrifice she’s willing to make. When she’s not finding ways to take her love of all things rustic and vintage and give them a fabulous seaside, coastal Maine wedding party twist, she loves to hear from readers!  You can contact her through her website at






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