CELEBRATING What’s New In Publishing

12-15-18 – Will Dages, Findaway Voices: What’s New in Audio Books in 2019

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Donna Hatch

The last few years have brought several major changes to my family and to me. One of the biggest changes involved our family moving lock, stock, and barrel from the Phoenix area to a town outside of Seattle. Talk about a climate change! We did trade blue skies for gray, but we also traded brown and dust, to green and lush.

We do have blue skies, too. Some of the locals refer to them as Sun Breaks. They come and go, amid sunshine and rain, almost daily, providing a wonderful diverse weather all year long. We even usually get a little snow—well, it falls anyway, though it usually does not stick for more than a day or two. My children were super excited when they had their first ever Snow Day but felt a little cheated that they only got one!

Our move came as a result of a job opportunity for my husband. Four of our six children still live at home, so the drastic change has been an adjustment for everyone. However, two years later, we are all settled in quite happily with new schools, friends, and jobs
Not only has Washington been better for my husband’s career, but it has also improved my health. I enjoy the great outdoors much more now and have become an avid walker, hiker, and even camper—although I still don’t love to rough it. I suffer from fewer migraines and cluster headaches now and have even taken up a little (very little, mind you) gardening. So far, most of my plants are still alive (knock on wood).

Best of all, the move also took me away from my day job in Arizona so I decided to make a career out of writing. That was one of the best decisions of my life. Writing full time has been a rewarding experience. April 18, 2017 marked the release of my nineteenth published title, my sweet Regency Romance, The Matchmaking Game. It never ceases to amaze me that the more I write, the more my Muse talks to me.

This past weekend, I did something I’ve wanted to do for years—go on a hot air balloon ride. This all came about as a result of a scene I wrote in my current manuscript. I wanted to get the sensory details just right, which is difficult to do second-hand. So with my husband’s encouragement, I booked the flight. It was unforgettable. If you’ve never been on a hot air balloon, you’re missing out. The Puget Sound from 3000 feet in the air is one of the most awe-inspiring views I’ve ever seen. I gained a whole lot of details for my book, as well as a memorable experience.

This summer I am going to England for the very first time. Like the motive behind my hot air balloon ride, I have reached a point where I am no longer content doing second-hand research; I want the full sensory experience. In my three weeks’ there, I will visit London, Brighton, Bath, Jane Austen's Chawton Village, and the Lakes District. I can hardly wait!

Despite our new adventures, we haven’t forgotten our roots. Our family still travels back to Arizona frequently to visit family and friends. We sure wish we could see them more often! We’re always happy to return home to the good ol’ Pacific Northwest where it’s cool and green. Now, if only I could convince my son to move here with his wife and baby daughter so we could see them and our sweet little granddaughter more often!

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Judith Ashley said...

Hi Donna, So good to have you join us this month. Congratulations on publishing your 19th book and now writing full time. Your trip to England looks to be a special time. Don't forget to check out Avebury. Avebury is a stone circle where you can walk among the stones, actually reach out and touch them. Or at least you could when I was there too long ago.

Diana McCollum said...

Hi, Donna,
Wow, that is certainly a big change Arizona to outside of Seattle, WA! Congrats on the 19th book, that is a big milestone. We moved to Bend, OR about 6 years ago. I like this area but we both miss our kids and grandkids who live in California. We're leaving next Saturday for a visit and to meet our newest grandson, Able, who is 6 months old. Family is everything, isn't it?

Sarah Raplee said...

It's so good to hear how well you and your family are doing, Donna. Congratulations on becoming a full-time writer and on publishing your nineteenth book! We are transplants to the Portland, Oregon, area from Iowa. We love Iowa, but we love the Pacific Northwest as well. Such beautiful scenery!

I loved hearing about your hot air balloon ride. I've always wanted to take one myself. Hopefully that will happen before too long.