Welcome back to the Colorado is for Writers interview series! Every other Tuesday, I talk to different Colorado-based authors about their work and their connections to this beautiful state. Today, I am thrilled to welcome young adult author Donna Cooner!
Donna’s widely praised debut YA novel SKINNY was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and she has another novel on the way. Let’s get to know her!
First things first: Colorado native or transplant?
I was born and raised in Texas. I moved to Colorado about fifteen years ago and feel very fortunate to be able to live where Texans go to vacation! Most of my family is still in Texas, but I don’t think I’ll ever move back. I love Colorado.
Tell us a bit about your book(s), published and/or in progress!
My debut novel, SKINNY, was published by Scholastic last October and in the UK (Egmont) in February, 2013. It’s a contemporary story set in my home state of Texas about a girl who dreams of being a singer, but is held back by her negative, self-critical inner voice she calls “Skinny.” I’m currently working on my second book, SENSATIONAL, a contemporary set in the same Texas town. It will be published by Scholastic and Egmont in 2014.
What’s the view like from your favorite writing space?
I recently remodeled my study to better fit my writing needs. One of the coolest additions was a movable scene board (see picture). I can slide scene cards up into the tracks, much like an order rack at a restaurant, and rearrange them as needed. I’m usually have great company sharing my writing space–like Stu, my cat and the star of SENSATIONAL, and Roxanne, the Goat Dog, who is featured in SKINNY. And, of course, there are lots and lots of books.
What’s the best thing about being a writer in Colorado?
The best thing about being a Colorado writer is right outside my window. There is always an opportunity to get outside and breathe in the inspiration. When I’m stuck, I head to the open spaces, look to the foothills, and walk away my story issues. Sometimes with music, sometimes without. The Colorado views never fail to deliver what I need to replenish my writing drive.
Thank you so much, Donna! I’m with you 100% about the views, and I love your new scene board!
Fellow writers: Have any of your pets snuck into your stories the way Donna’s have? Let us know in the comments!
Awesome interview! No pets have slipped into my stories yet, but that’s due to a lack of pets on my part. That scene board is fantastic 🙂 Congrats on SKINNY and SENSATIONAL!
I love this interview series, and I love Stu’s face (he seems to know it’s all about him!). Thanks for this glimpse of Donna’s working world. I’d like to see that scene board in action!