1. Tell me about your book and where you got your inspiration for it?
House of the Moon: Surviving the Sixties is a dark, disturbing, but ultimately triumphant memoir about my coming of age in Los Angeles during the decade that changed the world. I write historical fiction about women who have been marginalized throughout history, and one day realized that I am one of those women, and decided it was time to write my story.
2. How do you come up with titles for your books?
House of the Moon, is personally significant. My mother named me Donna, which means Lady, and Diane, for the goddess of the moon. This book invites readers into my house, my world. With my historical fiction books I search for the one statement that sums up the core message and makes a promise. For example, The Last Magdalene promises the reader that the protagonist will become the last Magdalene, just as the Last of the Mohicans promises to show how Chingachgook becomes the last of the Mohicans.
3. Why did you want to write this book?
We have heard from rock stars and record producers about the high life and excitement of the sixties, but we haven’t heard from the young women in the trenches; women who faced social and political repression; women who were blamed for domestic and sexual violence committed against them. I wanted people to know that the sixties were a time of social upheaval that gave birth to the women’s movement, but there were reasons for the battle to be fought in the first place. Also, that it was a hard fought battle with many causalities.
4. How do you feel about public appearances? Do you do them often?
Writing is a solitary endeavour, so I look forward to meeting both readers and writers in social venues. I love book signings, workshops, conferences and discussion groups. I attend as many as my writing schedule allows. I always leave energized and excited about my next project.
5. If you were asked to review a fellow author/friends book would you be honest?
Absolutely honest. However, I never want to discourage a writer, so my reviews are always constructive.
6. What do you plan to do next?
I’m working on the final edit of my next book, The Last Magdalene, and then it’s on to the next two books in the series, which are first drafts needing attention. When The Magdalene Chronicles are finished, I’m looking forward to writing about Siegse, circa 420CE, the Frankish queen who was a renowned battle commander and founded a dynasty that ruled for three centuries. From there I’m shifting hemispheres to Cuba, and writing about three women in different time periods who participated in revolutions on the Island from 1498 through 1959.
7. How do you motivate yourself to keep writing?
The stories themselves keep me motivated. There are so many women that have changed the course of history, and yet we know so little about them due to patriarchal paradigms. I feel a compelling need to tell their stories so they are not completely forgotten.
8. What was the last picture you took with your phone?
A stack of House of the Moon: Surviving the Sixties at an autograph party during the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference in Seattle. It is a beautiful sight to behold!
9. What question do you hate to answer?
What I write with, pen, pencil, computer…
10. Do you have anyone you go to for advice? In person or Online?
My husband, who happens to have been a magazine editor. I’m one lucky writer.
11. If you could spend the day with any character from fiction who would it be?
Eleanor of Aquitaine, the year after she married Henry Plantagenet.
12. Glass half full or half empty?
What glass? I head straight for the full bottle!
13. Where is your favourite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?
A rocky beach just north of Pacific City, Oregon, especially on a foggy day. I think I’ve watched the 1947 movie, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, too many times.
From encounters with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and other legends of rock 'n' roll, to loaded shotguns at home, sexual violence in the streets, and flying high on drugs just to get by--this fast-paced memoir brings to life Donna Conrad's quest to change the world--only to find herself changed by the times. House of the Moon is a haunting and ultimately triumphant memoir about coming of age during the decade that changed the world
Donna Conrad is an award winning author, journalist, activist, and teacher. Her core values revolve around individual empowerment, a sustaining ideal running through the books she writes, as well as her varied interest in the arts and sciences. Her memoir, House of the Moon: Surviving the Sixties was released August 1, 2016, by Cold Creek Press. Donna lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their three cats. When she's not writing, you can find her cruising the backroads in her Miata MX-5, Maya - named for one of her all-time favourite poets, Maya Angelou.