The Whitmere Legacy: Inheritance by Donna White
My next Indie Author interview is with the beautiful Donna White. Inheritance is the first novel in the Whitmere Legacy Series. This book has everything from Southern charm, an aristocratic homestead, secret caverns, vampires and evil spirits!
Before we chat, let’s read the synopsis for Inheritance:
In this fantasy story Grace White inherits more than just a house after her relative passes! Designated as the new heir to her affluent Uncle Archie’s manor, she must return to a house that taunted her as a child.
It isn’t long after her return that the house begins to speak to her. Grace learns there is more than art and precious heirlooms to look after in the family’s extravagant mansion. Generation after generation, one ancestor has been chosen to safeguard a hidden sanctuary of artifacts full of supernatural powers. This responsibility now falls on Grace’s shoulders. Mistakes are made and Grace finds herself battling the paranormal while helping one of her deceased successor’s find a safe, eternal resting place.
J.C. - Welcome Donna! Thank you so much for joining me. Before we start can you take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers?
D.W - Hi Jess and Fellow Book Lovers! Thank you for reaching out to me for an interview. I’m Donna White and I write paranormal, epic, and sword and sorcery stories. I’m married to the Man of my Dreams, we have many wonderful children together, and a pack of spunky dogs. I’m just living life in sunny, Southern California. I love reading books by J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, and Robert Howard. I also enjoy cookbooks, architecture and interior design books, and my new favorite, indie books.
J.C. - The Whitmere Legacy: Inheritance is your debut novel. What made you come up with the idea?
D.W. - I didn’t realize this, but I came across a notebook from 2014 with my first chapter written. So I was just writing scenes that flowed through my head without planning a book. At some point I read Stephan King’s book “On Writing” and the part about writing about your own unique experiences resonated with me. I had all these beautiful scenes, so I put in some of my real experiences and I came up with the Whitmere Legacy.
J.C. - Grace is hesitant to return to her family’s home and after reading I can see why! Do you believe in ghosts?
D.W. - Ghosts? I’m not sure. Evil Spirits? Unfortunately, yes. The beauty of writing fantasy, especially paranormal, is that you can take your horrors, wrap ‘em up, and deliver them to your characters. Your audience will be entertained, your closest pals will see it in a new light and think you’re a genius, You, the writer, just shared with the world your experiences without talking about it, because you don’t want to talk about it, but you want that handful of readers out there that have experienced evil spirits to know there are others like themselves out in the world.
J.C. - Now I need to sit down with you with a glass of wine and hear your experience!
J.C. - There are some pretty intense fighting scenes in the book. A subject you have a lot of background in. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your training and how translates into those combat scenes?
D.W. - I was a climber as a kid and as a young teen I came across a book of The Art of Ninja. I learned about ninja hiding, stealth, climbing walls, and since I lived in the country, I had a lot of time to practice these techniques. My dad built our house, and for some reason, he left an access that lead behind our kitchen sink to our fenced in garden. Well we had a storage shed outside that had a decorative, piece of wood inside the shed that I could move, it had an open access hole I would climb through, and land in the garden. Then I could walk up to the house, remove more decorative wood, crawl under the the kitchen sink and enter the house. I could climb up the walls in hallways and press my back to the ceiling and be able to drop on someone if they walked through the door. As I got older, I started dating a boy who practiced Japanese martial arts. That fit in well with our many interests that we shared and we ended up married, and working out at the same dojo. We worked with Japanese weapons like the jo staff and bokken at home. The most important thing that I learned was to avoid a confrontation and not underestimate ANYBODY, and to not be afraid of death in a fight. It saved my life and my son’s life one night. I left the dojo with my first pregnancy, but I taught my kids to climb the walls. My oldest boys went into kendo, each had varying degrees of MCMAP. One had boxing and wrestling. At this point I’m relearning the shorter jo staff strikes. I work out as many fight scenes as I can simply because it’s fun.
J.C. - Okay, now I want to live in your childhood house! It's just as magical as your book! And never get in a fight with you!
J.C. - Like most other Indie Authors, you’ve got quite a full plate. How do you balance writing and life? When do you take time for yourself to get the words down and what is your writing process?
D.W. - Writing stories is one of my many happy places. I spend time in gratitude when I wake up in the morning. Then, I grab my notebook and write long-hand while I’m still in bed. I like to start my day in a great mood before my children are up for the day. Some people say you shouldn’t work in bed, but this is what I love. It’s my passion and it doesn’t feel like work. It just makes me happy! I will get out of bed and squeeze between some dogs on the couch when it is time to type my book for publication. As for the writing process, I write about what I know and my experiences, and then I swirl that into my created world. I grab hold of the images that keep returning to my mind, and scrawl them over paper. Sometimes it’s vivid dreams. Research on time periods, historical figures, gemstones, the shipping empire, architecture, etc. is helpful in boosting the fascination factor of the story. At some point, I skim through what I’ve written, and make a plan for where I want to go with the story, along with the rest of the scenes in my head. It never works out because I imagine more twists, more action, and a different direction as I write. So, I just go with what makes me happy.
J.C. - I always tease that people should not read this book while hungry! You have an assortment of delectable dishes that sound so mouthwatering I could practically taste them. You often post photos of your own masterpieces on Instagram. Do you think you will ever write a cookbook?
D.W. - I’m in the process of taking photos for my cookbook now. What you see on my Instagram page could end up in my book. It’s going to be several years because I want to get as many delicious goodies from The Whitmere Legacy series as possible.
J.C. - YUM! I can't wait!
J.C. - Who has been your biggest support system while on this writing adventure?
D.W. - The Man of my Dreams, my husband, has believed in my ‘imagination’, he’s helped me with the technology of publishing, beta-read with some important insights, edited, and kept our home library stocked with fantastic reading material. One of the best things he did for my writing was to give me Stephen King’s book, ‘On Writing.’ Others are my mom for reading to me and cheering me on. My homegirls for being with me through the process and supporting my work. Paranormal Romance author, Rachel Stanley, and you. I love my Instagram friends who continually like and comment on my posts, and I like and comment on their interesting and inspiring work, hobbies, and lifestyles. It’s great to have a core of diverse people around the world cheering each other on!
J.C. - I couldn't agree more! I am so thankful to have met you, Rachel and the other amazing Indie Author's that are out there. It is a wealth of knowledge and support that I didn't have when I first started writing.
J.C. - Finish the sentence. In ten years I’d like to…
D.W. - Be a grandma, write more books including a cookbook, write a spin-off series for one of my fav characters, Mercury Dawn Walker. I’d like to drive my car on a race track, so I can go faster than the speed limit. I’ll continue to boost Indie Authors and bring joy to other’s lives in some way.
J.C. - When can we expect book two?
D.W. - Book 2, The Whitmere Legacy-Heritage, is coming out in Summer 2021!
J.C. - Lastly, where can readers find you and your work?
D.W. - My book is available on Amazon. You can also find me on Instagram. There you can check out my nature, food, and bookstagrams for Indie Authors. I enjoy chatting with readers about books, animals, cooking, and nature. Hugs Everyone and thanks for reading!
Thank you for reading about Donna White and Inheritance! For me, this story had a very chilling Haunting of Hill House vibe. Not only is Donna a supportive, talented writer she is also quite the photographer. The cover of the book features one of her beautiful photos. Follow her on Instagram to see more!