We did it before and we may do it again. First, it was Lindzee Armstrong. This time we ask Donna K. Weaver, author of our upcoming audiobook, Second Chances 101 and the Safe Harbor Series, some RiDONKulous questions. Donna's bio states that she is a grandmother, a Harry Potter geek, and an Army veteran with a Black Belt in Karate. But we want to delve deeper and see if Donna is willing to embrace the RiDONK. Just know that there are no stupid answers, just really stupid and somewhat pointless questions.
Second Chances 101 deals with the struggles of a University in the face of budget cuts and the difficult decisions made by school officials, in this case the Dean, to survive these economically challenging times. Why was there so much focus on Francesca and Alexis’ relationship?
Because it’s a romance. ;)
(Editor's Note: I stand by my initial assessment!)
I have extended family all over North Carolina, Fayetteville in particular, and even though this takes place in North Carolina, not one person said “Bless her heart” or drank sweet tea. How did that get overlooked?
Probably because I was obsessing about the garden and the eggplant recipes rather than on what anyone drank. I had a whole list of possible recipes, in spite of not being a fan of eggplant. *gag*
As for things like “Bless her heart,” the original version of the book included the expression “lordy, lordy.” All my life I’ve never considered that a reference toward Jesus Christ or the use of it to be profanity. However, I discovered that many people do. Since that’s something that’s important to me, I asked my publisher to make a change. Francie now thinks “heavens” when she remembers the bruise on Alex’s chest.
Can you give us the recipe for Cheberry Jam or is this one of those “Creative License” sorts of things where it doesn’t really exist. That would seem a bit cruel don’t ya think? Especially since Tiffany LOVES food with a little spicy kick to it and has been talking about how good that jam would taste.
I wish there really was one. Believe it or not, I was inspired by some Ginger Snaps my son-in-law makes, using jalapeños—just enough for a little kick (I’m not really into spicy hot foods). As I was researching recipes, I wanted to find something that could be unique to Francie. I liked the idea of triple berry jam recipes, and I wondered what she could do to give it an edge … and I remembered those Ginger Snaps. I know there are jams made with jalapeños and decided that would be the perfect addition.
Would a rose by any other name be called Sam?
Of course not. :D
You are a self-proclaimed ‘Harry Potter’ fan. So… what would your Patronus be? Would it also have a black belt in Karate?
I’m more than a fan. Harry helped me embrace my inner geek. Big time. I spent five years as a moderator on the Harry Potter forum, The Leaky Cauldron (The Leaky Lounge). I really should have a t-shirt that says “I survived the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
(Editor's Note: I used to frequent that site and lurk around the forums.)
I’ve often wondered what my Patronus might be. Jo Rowling said the person doesn’t get to choose their own, that their personality dictates what animal best reflects their personality. My guess is that I’d could be a Schnauzer. They’re alert, intelligent, friendly, and playful.
Who makes better sweets, the House Elves at Hogwarts or the Keebler Elves? Who would win in a bake off?
The House Elves, hands down. They have a dedication built into their psyches that the Keebler Elves can’t compete with. And their magic is better.
Which professor is slimier, Kevin Eldred or Gilderoy Lockhart?
What a choice. Lockhart (the only character Jo based on a real person) had a disarming innocence. His sense of self-importance seemed harmless. But it hid an unexpectedly ugly disregard for how his choices impacted others—as he stole their memories from them. Like Eldred, Lockhart was also a predator, but he hid his better. Is it worse to steel someone’s innocence or their memories?
As a Grandmother, how much pleasure do you get when your Grandchildren drive their parents crazy by acting just like them at that age?
I’ve really lightened up as I’ve gotten older. I’m a firm believer that grandchildren are your reward for not having killed your children. If I’d known grandkids could be so fun, I’d have started with them first.
You’re an Army Veteran and have a black belt in Karate. Is that why your harbors are so safe?
Haha Since most of the books in the Safe Harbors series are different genres (though they have the same circle of characters), I needed something to represent the theme. In fact, there’s a Safe Harbors character who makes a cameo appearance in Second Chances 101. Sam will eventually get her own book (he will be the love interest), and it will draw the Boone family into the Lewistown clan.
How much of your Army Training inspired Sam’s Covert Operations to nab Professor Eldred? Was Sam’s choice in black clothing a metaphor for undertaking her own Black Op? Will there be a book about this sting operation called Sam Team 6?
I love the image of Sam—in all her Goth glory--being the leader of a Sam Sting Team.
Thank you for answering our RiDONKUlous Questions!