DONNA DARLING – Mystery in Puerto Rico
Donna Darling writes short stories and novels for readers of all ages. Her debut novel, an historical fiction titled The Three Marias, is inspired by her Puerto Rican roots. When not writing, she enjoys sketching her characters or drawing a scene from her story.
She is a member of the California Writers Club and belongs to a writer’s group of published authors who meet weekly.
Donna lives in Northern California with her family. She enjoys traveling and weaving stories with history.
Puerto Rico, 1895. Three sisters are embroiled in rebellion, betrayal, and lost love. A secret threatens their bond when caught in a web of murder during the Spanish American War. After the massive hurricane of 1899, the three Marias are faced with the difficult choice to stay and rebuild or leave their home and their land.
Answering a few of George’s questions:
I write short stories, flash fiction, and novels. I’ve tried poems and children’s, but it’s not my “thing.” I started writing when my children were small. I remember writing a story for each one to match their personality and age.
My son cried when he heard The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein, then saw a gray hair on my head. He thought it was all over. I wrote an additional page for him, with an illustration at the end. Sorry Mr. Silverstein—Then I started coloring my hair.
Subplots are fun for me, and I think they keep the reader interested. Too many, and you lose them. It’s a balance, and you do have to keep the thread going. Remember to tie it all together at the end for a satisfying finish, and it’s a winner in my mind.
Although I do steal ideas from real life, I do not use real people in my stories. In The Three Marias, the characters are fictional, set against a backdrop of actual historical events in Puerto Rico during the Spanish American War.
Research is important, and sometimes I get lost in it. I’m fascinated by history and envision my characters living through historical events. I place them in the setting. What is going on around them? What trees or plants are native to their area? Wildlife? I think about my character’s daily life. What do they eat? What music do they listen to? How do they hear it? Live, or is there a phonograph, radio, or other? How do they speak? Formal or slang? Is there an accent? I research fashion, hair, and anything that might influence my character. What is happening in the world during that time? It takes time, but everything adds to the story.
It took me about ten years to write The Three Marias. Life happened. I took breaks and returned to the project that captured my heart. I hope you enjoy reading The Three Marias, available on Amazon.
Here’s a link to my book, available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0BKXRZH4J/ref=cm_cr_arp_mb_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8
Link to my Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/
Has all the elements – Machetes and pistols, strong women in a patriarchy that tests them, civil war and a love story to boot! Telemundo are you listening?
Congratulations Donna. Now onto the sequel. 😆
Donna bring life on the plantation to life. We feel the loss her family suffers both emotionally and financially during the revolution. It’s a story of family, determination, and courage. We cheer on the three Marias and hope for the best.
Highly recommended! Donna’s family is so well characterized you’ll think they’re your neighbors. A great story.
Thank you Donna for taking the time over the years to write your book. I didn’t really know much about the history of PR but with all the details page by page it really transported you to that time. You can definitely tell alot of research went into Three Maria’s. Can’t wait for more to come!
It is so easy to get lost in research. Love the hair dye story!!
Good for you for amending The Giving Tree for your son. I hope you gave it a happy ending. You sound like you do a lot of research for your books. Best of luck to you with your writing.
I feel so good when I hear another author say their novel took many years to write. My first novel took ten years, also! And very good point about too many subplots and you lose the reader. And about the importance of tying it all together at the end for a satisfying finish.