AUTHOR OF THE MILES STEVENS SERIES
Author Bio (Official): A dog lover, blogger and author of several novels, D.R. (Donn) Shoultz hails from a small town in central Illinois. He and his wife Claudia have called North Carolina home more than 20 years. Donn writes at their mountain retreat off the Blue Ridge Parkway where Claudia shares her editorial experience in shaping his novels.
Donn began writing in the fall of 2010 following a 32-year career in corporate America. His ongoing writing projects include posting regular thoughts to his blog, submitting short stories to competition, and completing the third novel in the Miles Stevens time-travelling action-adventure series.
Several of Donn’s short stories have received recognition in national writing competitions. Blending captivating characters with suspenseful plots, Donn strives to appeal to a broad range of readers. His books include the following (in order of publication):
Better Late Than Ever
Melting Sand – A Miles Stevens Novel #1
Cyber One – A Miles Stevens Novel #2
It Goes On – A Miles Stevens Novel #3
Most Men – A Novella & Short Story Collection #2
Today we have a double post about Donn Shoultz and his work. First off we have an Q&A Section that outlines his work, writing style/habits and his background. Then Donn has written a guest post going into detail about why he chose to include time travel in his book series. I really appreciate Donn sharing his work with us and taking the time to answer some questions for the readers here at Always Trust In Books.
Lets get to the Q&A part of the post and then I will share Donn's post afterwards. (Below are the cover images from his Miles Stevens trilogy)
Please tell us about yourself?
I’ve called North Carolina home the past 20 years, but I grew up in a small central Illinois town. It was, and still is, the kind of town where kids ride bikes, fish, and play ball with their dogs nearby. I was the first in my family to go to college, graduating in 1976 with degrees in education and mathematics. I enjoyed a storybook life with my wife and two children that included a 31-year career in sales and marketing with a Fortune 500 company, allowing me to travel the world.
When and why did you begin writing?
After an active and rewarding career, I found myself retired and widowed at 55. It was a dark period of my life. I volunteered, travelled, and even went back to work for a short time. I had always wanted to write, so I gave it a try. During this time, I met Claudia, a practising paralegal and former newspaper editor. She helped edit my early books, and she still does. We married a few years after meeting.
I threw away my first attempt at writing a novel (actually, it’s still lingering on my hard drive). I’ve since authored and self-published four novels and two short story collections.
What are your current writing projects?
I’m working on the third book in the Miles Stevens series, a CIA time travel series featuring Miles Stevens, CIA agent, who’s sent back from the year 2050 to alter historic disasters. The first two books in the series are MELTING SAND and CYBER ONE. GONE VIRAL is planned for release next year. In this book, a bio-terrorist attack targeting the 2032 Olympic Games in Sydney sends Miles and his partner Terri Stevens racing against time to discover the source of the viral outbreak.
I’ve also been writing short stories, as well as posting to my blog, “Thoughts, Stories & Novels.” I’ve published two collections of short stories, IT GOES ON and MOST MEN. Several of my short stories have been recognized in national writing contests.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I received favourable reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, it finally hit me that I might be writer. Receiving national writing awards for my short stories was also a boost to my confidence. The recognition let me know I had potential. I still have a long way to go, but the journey has been enjoyable, and I look forward to improving my writing and accomplishing much more.
What would you like to accomplish with your writing?
Like any author, I’d like to have a best-selling book someday. I’m not necessarily seeking monitory success, but I’d like to be successful enough to make meaningful contributions to my favorite charity, Save-a-Pet Foundation. I donate profits from the sale of my short story collections, IT GOES ON and MOST MEN to North Carolina animal shelters.
Do you put messages in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
My novels are not laden with messages, hidden or otherwise. I try to write entertaining books containing interesting characters who readers will what to know better. All my books contain three common elements: a male main character who is strong yet vulnerable, an accomplished female who usually becomes the main character’s partner and love interest, and a cloak of danger that quickly envelops them both. While good usually triumphs evil in my books, it doesn’t always. I guess if there’s a message in my novels, that’s it. Life is unpredictable.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All my books contain elements of my life and my experiences. I never let it get to the point of becoming autobiographical, but friends have recognised the early chapters of my first book, CORRUPT CONNECTION, as loosely paralleling parts of my life.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’d choose Vince Flynn, Michael Connelly, or John Grisham. I have read and collected dozens of their books. They all write in the genre and of the topics that interest me the most. I also like that they bring back their main characters, continuing to keep them familiar with their readers. I hope to do this with Miles Stevens.
Is there anything unique in the way you come up with your ideas or the way you write?
I often get ideas waiting to fall asleep or on my early morning walk with my dog, Milo. My thoughts range from ideas for new short stories to plot twists for my current novels. To ensure the ideas aren’t lost, I quickly jot them down on my cell phone for future use.
I’m not a good sleeper, so it’s not uncommon for me to wake at 2 to 4 a.m. and start writing. This sometimes leads to me getting out of sync with the normal world, being several hours ahead of most people’s schedule for days at a time.
What is the hardest part of writing a book?
I guess hardest part for me is knowing when my book is finally complete. Every novel can use more editing. It’s difficult deciding when to quit.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for taking the time to read my books. If you’ve read any of my books, please post a review on Amazon or Goodreads. I’d love to hear from you.
How can we find you?
You can learn more about me and my novels at the following links:
Thank you to Donn Shoultz for those insights into his work and life. I have posted Donn's guest post separately here due to space reasons so click the link to visit the post that gives us more insight into the reasons Donn Shoultz used time travel in his books. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment to let me know what you though of the interview.