WELCOME AUTHOR OF: Starfish Moon – Donna Kauffman

Welcome
Donna Kauffman

Author of:


Rad-Reader:  How did you come to write about this storyline?

Donna:  This is the final story in a six book series, so although it stands alone and can be read and enjoyed by itself, I also wanted to give readers of the entire Blueberry Cove series a real “finale” and touch base with their favorite characters as well.  It wasn’t a stretch, given most of them are related to each other.  Kerry is the baby sister of the McCrae clan and I’d known all along that her story would tie in to her last job before coming home to Maine, the mysterious one that kept her in Australia far longer than any previous job, the one that she never talked about.  I was excited to finally get to tell it!

Rad-Reader:  I have to know are you the wanderer or someone you know?

Donna:  I am both wanderer and homebody, so I think I connected to Kerry on both of those levels, as I did with Cooper and his connection to family. I’ve wandered a good bit of the world, and I’ve happily stayed home and raised a family.  I am a hiker who needs to get lost in the woods on a regular basis…that’s how I wander and still stay put.
Rad-Reader:  This family saga comes with a lot of true feelings and emotions.  Yet, a bit of the blarney.  What gave you the idea to mix it together?

Donna:  All of my books tug at the heart (I hope!) as my characters grapple with real life situations and obstacles.  But my characters also view life (and each other) with a large dose of humor and dogged optimism, because that’s a big part of getting through whatever lays in store.  My family is very much like that. I can’t imagine one without the other.
Rad-Reader:  Kerry kept being the one that felt like she was missing out on something that she wasn’t…What was it really?  Did it all really stem from losing her parents so young that she was fearful of bonds so it was better to be a moving target?

Donna:  Yes, absolutely.  She may not have consciously made her choices for that reason, but it was definitely a motivator.  As was the realization, at a very young age, that life hands you no guarantees.  So she also was strongly motivated to grab as much life as possible, see it all, do it all, while she could.  Because you just never know what can happen.  It didn’t negate her love of her family or her love of being home, it just made it hard to stay put when there was so much out there still calling to her. In fact, it was her strong family ties that made it possible for her to do what she did.

Rad-Reader:  What was Kerry looking for on her travels?  Cooper said she had kept to herself until Sadie broke her down over helping her with her homework.  So what, she just liked working in different countries?  Just seeing how they worked?

Donna:  It was the experience of it all.  To do, to see, to dive in, and get involved in something she’d never done before.  She made contacts and friendships along the way, but not the kind of tight bonds that made it harder to move on when the itch came to go see some new place, try some new thing.  I think, though, specifically when it came to Sadie, she resisted more than usual, because she saw herself in Sadie, and knew she was already risking her heart with the Jax family.
Rad-Reader:  Cooper was in his thirties and had never married.  Why?  He never really dated either correct?

Donna:  Well, he couldn’t “date” like a normal person, given his living situation, but he wasn’t a monk.  He had opportunities here and there, for sure.  He was a healthy, normal guy and all.  But given his situation, and where he lived, what he was responsible for, he simply never found someone who wanted to dedicate their life to the one he loved.  It’s not all that unusual, really.

Rad-Reader:  Cooper waited a year to come to the cove and only by his dad’s making it easy for him to make the decision.  Would he have gone to her otherwise?

Donna:  Hard to say if he would. His responsibility to his family was all consuming.  I’m not sure he would have put his own interests in front of theirs without his father’s urging.

Rad-Reader:  Big Jake seemed to almost dislike his younger son.  Was that the case or was something else going on?

Donna:  No, of course not. Big Jake loves all of his children, deeply.  It’s a case of the youngest heading out into the big world and coming back full of ideas on how things should be, butting up against a stubborn father who has been in the trenches all that time, doing the work, and knowing what he knows about how things get done, being very resistant to those new ideas.  I come from a family who owned their own business and married someone who was in the same situation.  It can be a very tough thing for the older generation to accept new ideas from the younger generation, especially when they haven’t been battle-tested as yet, out in the actual work world.  But that doesn’t at all negate the love that is there, or the strength of the family bond. 
RR: Same with aging parents who have always been the ones to call all the shots and now have aged and still want to call the shots but those shots may not be wise for them, their health or their living environment. So that does make perfect sense that Big Jake would be weary of that new and quick think when I am sure his father and grandfather have done it that same way for years.
  
Rad-Reader:  Sadie was a wise young lady you find out later in the book.  Will we see her own book?

Donna:  Never count Sadie Jax out!  Her story will find its way.
Rad-Reader:  How did you go about developing the characters?  Or did they just start coming along as the storyline progressed?

Donna:  I spend a lot of time plotting and planning, getting to know my characters before I start, but naturally, as the book develops, I get to know them even better, and that can change their course as well.

Rad-Reader:  Maddie seemed like an interesting character as well as Hardy will they get their own books?

Donna:  Maddie was inspired by a lovely young woman who is making her mark on the world.  She was a tribute to the real Maddy.  And Hardy is definitely a character all right!  But no, I have no plans to give either a separate story.


Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Kerry: Hayden Panettiere
http://www.gotceleb.com/wp-content/uploads/celebrities/hayden-panettiere/wearing-jeans-and-boots-at-lax-airport/Hayden-Panettiere---Wearing-Jeans--03.jpg

Cooper: Justin Joslin
 http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTY1MDc5OTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzgxOTQ0NTE@._V1._SX290_SY408_.jpg

Sadie: Lennon Stella                                            
http://cdn02.cdn.justjaredjr.com/wp-content/uploads/pictures/2015/02/kendall-lennon/kendall-schmidt-fangirl-lennon-maisy-stella-nyfw-10.JPG 


Donna:  It’s funny, but I never visualize my characters as any particular actor or actress.  I like to let my readers picture them however they do, and I don’t want to frame that vision for them in any way, even in movie speculation. I am fascinated by who readers think would be perfect for this character or that – the wide variety of choices for any given character just goes to prove how vastly differently any given reader visualizes any given character. I love that!

Rad-Reader:  When did you know wanted to be a writer?  When did you write your first story?

Donna:  I started with The Hamster Chronicles when I was eight or nine.  Stories about my pet hamsters, complete with illustrations!  Which my family was fortunate enough to get to read on a regular basis.  Whether they wanted to or not.


Rad-Reader:  What is your next project?  When is it due out?

Donna:  My next series is set in my home area, the Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of Virginia.  I’ve been so excited to start this series and I’m thrilled to finally be diving in. Blue Hollow Falls is the first, and it will be out June 2017.
Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Donna:  My books are available (either on the shelf or by order) at all bookstores, as well as all online booksellers.  (Or online at Walmart, Target…I’m everywhere! J ) And your local library should have a good stock of my titles as well.  That’s a great way to try out new authors if you haven’t tried my books yet.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our reader find you on the Web?


Donna:  My website is www.donnakauffman.com or you can hang out with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/donna.kauffman1/  Or on Instagram at @writerchick  Love connecting with readers!  I do regular book giveaways and post photos of my travels as well as my mountain life.  Drop by, hang out, have fun!

Donna,
     I can't thank you enough for indulging my inner FANGIRL.  I loved all your answers they hit the mark as a reader wondering Hmm?  I really enjoyed this book especially since my 15 year old had just traveled to Australia 2 summers ago with People to People so it was a fun read.  Thanks again and now you too are now a Rad-Reader Misfit only you can decide if that is a good thing or a bad one. :)  Come back and visit anytime. 
Char


Ellen C.




Will win a signed copy of Starfish Moon & specially designed Blueberry Cove bookmark charm.

Starts Now!
Answer this question in the comments and Donna will pick the most whimsical answer.
 Do you have wanderlust like Kerry, or are you more like Cooper, where being home on the range (or cattle station J) provides more than enough adventure for you? 

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