Friday, August 3, 2012

TBR welcomes Donna Del Oro

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Donna. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Donna: I’m a retired high school teacher, so I’ve been around the blocks more than a few times. Since life is short and writing fiction has been a childhood dream of mine, I decided there was no more time to waste. I started writing seriously in 2003 and sold my first novel, OPERATION FAMILIA, in 2006. Since then, I’ve written six novels and am currently at work on my seventh, the sequel to A BODYGUARD OF LIES.

TBR: Tell us about THE DELPHI BLOODLINE and where it's available.
Donna: My latest, a smart romantic thriller with historical and mystical connections, is called THE DELPHI BLOODLINE. It’s available at as part of their Thalia line. Also available on Kindle/Nook/Apple and other online sites.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Donna: THE DELPHI BLOODLINE is about an ancient bloodline of powerful, psychic women. The modern-day descendant, Athena Butler, is endangered as psychics begin disappearing all over the country. When her mother suddenly vanishes off a Baltimore street, Athena knows she’s the next target. A mysterious man, Kas Skoros--who claims to be one of the bloodline’s Guardians--persuades her to link forces with him. Even so, it takes all of her mental powers and his brawn to stay one step ahead of these ruthless kidnappers. As they fight to stay alive, Athena moves ever closer to uncovering the mastermind behind these kidnappings. As the FBI gets involved and decides to set a trap, using Athena as bait, Kas suspects their plan will fail. When it does, he launches another rescue, one that uses the full power of “the Delphi bloodline.”

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Donna: My cousin is a full-time psychic (clairvoyancy is her strength) and I became intrigued with her abilities. That launched a twenty-year research hobby of mine into ESP pheomena which fascinates me to this day. In the back of my mind for years was the desire to write about people, especially women, who have this extraordinary mental power.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Donna: I’m a little of both, I think. I never begin writing until I have a very good idea or vision of the entire story and the major characters. The plot might vary a little as I write and scenes might change, but the essential theme and plot are already fixed in my mind.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Donna: As I write, they tell me what I need to know about them. Sometimes they surprise me with revelations I didn’t expect.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Donna: Yes. The bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie. I came across it as I wrote A BODYGUARD OF LIES, a story about a former Nazi spy during World War II, who hides behind sixty years of lies, until a young FBI agent uncovers the truth.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Donna: When I wrote my two BORN TO SING novels (, the appropriate music was always playing in the background. Both stories are about professional singers so their music was vital to the characters and plot.

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Donna: Athena Butler, my artistic clairvoyant, would be a daunting guest. She’d see right through me!

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Donna: I learned after writing A BODYGUARD OF LIES that I feel quite comfortable writing from a man’s POV. That surprised me a little. I just had to learn to talk like a man (Jake’s dialogue had to sound authentic) and view the world like a man. The two genders are indeed VERY DIFFERENT in worldview and problem solving. I read a lot of books by male authors like Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, James Rollins, Alex Berenson.  They helped me develop a man’s worldview.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Donna: My world is the real world that you and I experience but my FBI agent-character, Jake Bernstein, is more aware of the dangers that exist in our society and Athena, because of her clairvoyant abilities, is more aware of people’s dark sides, their hidden secrets and demons.

TBR: What's next for you?
Donna: I’m working on the sequel to A BODYGUARD OF LIES. Jake goes undercover to ferret out a jihadist terrorist plot, all the while trying to keep his romance alive with Meg (from A BODYGUARD OF LIES).

TBR: Any other published works?
Donna: My award-winning women’s fiction novel, OPERATION FAMILIA, which my first publisher put out in 2007. SONYA’S MIDLIFE CRISIS, BORN TO SING, SCHEMING AND DREAMING IN LOS ANGELES—my series about professional singers and musicians.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Donna: Find the time to write and keeping a constancy of high caliber writing is always a challenge. I’m retired but I’m as busy as I ever was. The most rewarding is hearing readers tell me that they couldn’t put my book down.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Donna: Hearing that I can think like a man and a much younger woman. Since I’ve always felt we were of two ages, the chronological one and the mental one, this was not surprising.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Donna: I love the work of Brad Thor, Daniel Silva, James Rollins, Alex Berenson, Michael Connelly, Ken Follett, Lisa Gardner and Brenda Novak. Most of these are men, which tells you something. I hate books dripping with sentimentality and predictable romantic plots.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Donna: What kinds of books make you really think and question conventional wisdom?

TBR: Readers, Donna will give away a PDF copy of one of her smart romantic thrillers, A BODYGUARD OF LIES or THE DELPHI BLOODLINE to one lucky commenter. She'll pick a winner next week and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Donna. All the best to you.


  1. Welcome to TBR, Donna. I love that cover!

  2. Wow. Thanks for stopping by TBR, Donna. I really enjoy the premise for The Delphi Bloodline. Sounds filled with suspense and intrigue.


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