Monday, January 11, 2010

Meet Dana Donovan, author of the paranormal Detective Marcella series

Every month I feature a fellow author on my blog, and this month it's my great pleasure to introduce Dana Donovan, author of the paranormal Detective Marcella series.
I asked Dana a few questions about his books and writing.

Q: Dana, how long have you been writing, and do all your books fall into the paranormal fiction genre?

A: Thanks, Helena, that’s a good question. My love for writing started early. As an adolescent and more so in my teen years, I liked writing poetry, finding inspiration in the song lyrics of Lennon and McCartney. For the longest time I wanted to be a songwriter myself, but that never happened. Instead, poem writing gave way to a thirst for more full-bodied compositions. Then one day I sat down and began writing what would become the first book in the Detective Marcella series, the Witch’s Ladder. That was ten years ago. Ten books on the supernatural later, including four more in the witch’s series and yeah, I guess you can say that I have established myself as a paranormal mystery writer.

Q: You have some favorable book reviews on the Internet. One in particular is a review on Skinny. The reviewer (Michael Sorensen--Miren Publishing Group) says of the book, "This was just too out there." Do you agree with that?

A: Oh sure, and why not? I don’t see the sense of writing paranormal fiction without pushing the boundaries some. In fact, I don’t believe there should be any boundaries. I know that drama, thrillers and suspense fiction have their place. Many readers like believable scenarios that keep within the realm of real life. I understand that, but then there are a lot of us who prefer to suspend our perception of what is real. With the paranormal, it is easy to do that, and yet still somehow believe that what we are reading could happen under the right circumstances.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?

A: Funny, that’s a question I get a lot. The truth is that I don’t know where these ideas come from. As a kid, my teachers would often remark in my report cards that I was exceptionally curious. I’m still that way now. I think about parallel realms of reality and ask myself what if? Almost anyone who has ever lost someone close to them will tell you that he or she has “felt” the presence of their lost loved one in their hours of grief. So what if a spirit or ghost tries to touch our lives when we are most receptive to them? If I can entertain that possibility then I have no problem supposing that a more psychical relationship between our worlds can exist. From there the rest is easy and the story feeds on itself.

Q: Are you saying you believe in ghosts and the supernatural?

A: I am saying maybe. You know there are some very notable scientists and physicists out there promoting something called String Theory, which in essence allows for the existence of alternate universes to coexist within our own. To them it’s science. To me it sounds decisively paranormal. Who is to say? A few hundred years ago, predicting the weather three days out would get you hanged in Salem.

Q: Tell me about your protagonist in the witch’s series, Tony Marcella. What’s he like?

A: Tony is an enigma of sorts, a guy who loves his work more than anything, or at least he thinks so. The truth is he has regrets, only he doesn’t know where to place them. He is smart, if not sophisticated, sensitive and easy-going. It is his relationship with Lilith, the witch in his life, that exposes the cracks in his otherwise rock solid persona, and a relationship, which has allowed me to exploit the paranormal in a way that readers can relate.

Q: So what now? Will we see book six of the Detective Marcella witch’s series released anytime soon?

A: Yes, I’m sure we will. It might not be the next book released, but it won’t be long. Lately, I have been working on an outline to a sort of quasi Si-Fi. I know it is out of the box for me, but it will have a paranormal twist at the end, I assure you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell you a bit about myself, and as a gift to you and your readers, I would like to offer my book “Skinny” for download in any ebook reader format you choose. The link to it is - remember to use the promo code JM98M to check out. For more links to my books check out

Helena: Thank you, Dana, for such an interesting interview and your generous offer. It's been a pleasure!


  1. An excellent interview Helena, Dana sounds a very interesting writer. Loved the post.


  2. Hi, Dana, good to meet you, and Helena did a good job introducing you to us.

    Vivian Zabel
    writer, publisher, reader

  3. Great interview, Helena!

    Dana is a talented author. I've had the pleasure of reading one of his books and hope to read more soon!

  4. Great interview, Dana! I liked your line, "There are a lot of us who prefer to suspend our perception of what is real." I think this is one of the most exciting things about paranormal fiction -- the chance to expand one's mind!

    Thanks for featuring this Helena!

    All best,

  5. What a fun and informative interview ... and totally relateable. The line: "As a kid, my teachers would often remark in my report cards that I was exceptionally curious." Such a hallmark of a writer from the get-go. You can tell how much you love your work. Thanks, Dana. And thanks, Helena, for sharing!


    Debra Eckerling

  6. Great interview, Helena!

    And,I like Dana's answer to that question also. With science fiction and the paranormal there are actually no limits or boundaries. As Buzz Lightyear would say: To infinity and beyond!

    Karen Cioffi

  7. Great post. Nice to meet you Dana. My 15 yr old granddaughter is a paranormal freak. I'll haqve to get her one of your books.

  8. How interesting--I'd never thought about paranormal detectives! That might make the sleuthing a little easier?!

  9. It's always interesting to see what other authors are doing and how they get from idea to book. I particularly liked what Dana wrote about pushing the boundaries (or there not being boundaries). Of course there are some boundaries - the need to keep the reader engaged and believing (the 'normal' in paranormal!). But good characterisation and superb plot will make almost any reality possible. And paranormal is so hot right now. Best of luck Dana! Magdalena

  10. Thank you, everyone, for stopping by!


  11. Helena, great post!
    Dana, your work seems to be very interesting!
    I wish you success!

  12. Great interview - I enjoyed it. Thanks to both of you.

    Helena - Thanks for visiting Book Dreaming :-)

  13. You're welcome, Shannon. I look forward to following your reviews of picture books in particular! Are the picture book stories you've completed based on things that have happened to your own children?


  14. Thank you everyone for your kind words, and thank you, especially, Helena for hosting me. I am new to VBT and already I have met more friends here than anywhere on the web. And what special friends, too! People who I can relate to and who can relate to me. You all make me feel right at home. Also, let me say thanks to Darcia for introducing me to this group. When we are all rich and famous we will need to get together and toast these days, these Grand good old days!

  15. Helena and Dana, thanks for a most interesting blog. You will not bore your readers with a run-of-the-mill series.

    Stephen Tremp

  16. Dana, you're welcome! I look forward to that party!