Monday, February 6, 2017

Meet the Blogger with Donna Volkenannt




As you might have guessed, Donna Volkenannt and I met through blogging. She's a gifted writer, with stories appearing in Chicken Soup for the Soul and numerous other publications. Her blog, Donna's Book Pub, offers a host of goodies from writing advice and publication opportunities to thoughts on language and books. She's friendly, helpful, and I suspect, just as kind and sweet in real life as she is online. It's always fun to hop over and see what's happening at her place. 

Welcome, Donna! It's good to have you visit. Why did you start blogging? How long have you had your current blog? 

At a writing conference several years ago, a speaker talked about the importance of building a platform and networking. I was unsure what the terms platform and networking meant, so I flashed back to my younger years. Back in the 1970s I wore platform shoes and owned a pair of fishnet stockings, but when the speaker mentioned blogs and blogging, I realized she wasn’t talking about vintage fashion attire. (Just kidding.)

In reality, in 2008, a techno-savvy member of my critique group told me how easy it was to start a blog. With a burst of enthusiasm, I rolled out two of them concurrently. One was my personal blog, Donna’s Book Pub. The second focused on book reviews. Updating and maintaining two blogs left little time for other writing, so I let the second one fade away to focus on Donna’s Book Pub.


Platforms - Lol! I never thought of it like that. And I owned quite a few pairs of platform shoes myself. I guess we had a head start on the whole marketing thing after all! :D Tell us, what is your blog about?


My intent for Donna’s Book Pub is to be a friendly place for visitors to drop in and chat about writing, publishing, books, and thoughts on life in general. Over the years I’ve shared submission opportunities, tips on writing, conference notes, author interviews, personal stories, and a potpourri of thoughts and observations.  

Well, I'd say you've succeeded in making it a friendly place. It is indeed that and a whole lot more. What benefits have you gained through blogging? 

I’ve gained discipline with writing and self-editing and have come to realize that ideas and plans need to be adjusted to fit time constraints. 

The greatest benefit has been connecting with so many amazing writers who share a passion for the written word. I’ve met talented and generous bloggers who have given me a glimpse into their lives and have helped me learn about the art, craft, and business of writing. 

I agree. The benefits, friends in particular, are great. It's a great community. What projects are you working on now? 

A few years ago I started a novel during National Novel Writing Month. I crossed the word-count finish line, but the novel wasn’t complete and wasn’t very good. Since then, in between writing shorter works, I’ve been plugging away on the novel.

The second project I’m excited about is a volunteer project -- a short script that will be performed during our parish’s cemetery walk in the fall. I’m looking forward to receiving research material from our parish heritage committee so I can start writing the script. 

Both projects sound interesting. Will look forward to hearing more about them in the future. What might people be surprised to learn about you? 

A pleasant writing surprise occurred in 2012 when my essay, “Honey, Can I Borrow Your Garter Belt?” won first place in the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Award. As part of the award, I received a generous check and was a guest at the Erma Bombeck workshop at the University of Dayton. It was an unexpected honor and a delightful experience! 

Congratulations! How exciting. Those kinds of surprises are nice! What advice would you share with a newbie blogger? 

Take risks and explore new ideas, but be prepared to change or adjust as needed. Also, take time to visit other blogs and leave comments. 

Good advice. Blogging is a lot like real life, isn't it? Thanks so much for joining us this week, Donna! It's been a pleasure. :) Wishing you much success with your writing.

Thank you, Karen!


More About Donna 

Donna Duly Volkenannt got her first byline as a high school reporter for “Prom,” a St. Louis-area magazine for teens. She is a former president of the Missouri Writers’ Guild and has presented creative writing workshops in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. Her work has appeared in: Chicken Soup for the Soul, Spirits of St. Louis, Irish Inspirations, Mysteries of the Ozarks, Cup of Comfort, Sauce, Bookreporter, Storm Country, SASEE, and other publications. First-place winner of the Erma Bombeck Global Humor award, Donna lives in Missouri with her husband, grandchildren, and fourteen-year-old black Lab. In her spare time she reads, writes, and volunteers.


Visit Donna at her Blog

  
Do you have any questions for Donna? Do you concur with Donna's advice to newbie bloggers? What are you writing this week?

Happy writing,
Karen


Teacup photo credit: Free Images

23 comments :

  1. Great to meet Donna. I remember those platform shoes too. Not good for the feet. I started blogging to build my social media platform too. Agree with Donna that it's a great way to make friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie,
      Thanks for your comments. I've made some great friends through my blog.

      Delete
  2. That's cool your essay won.
    Connecting is the reason I blog now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alex,
      Thanks. I've visited your blog and you have a lot of connections and media presence.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like she's doing a great job...congrats to her on her winning essay and her Chicken Soup publications. Those are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie,
      That's kind of you. I keep plugging away and submitting and hoping for the best.

      Delete
  4. Natalie,
    Appreciate you coming by to meet Donna! I used to wear my platform shoes to work (I stood all day) when I was a teen. Not smart. :)

    Alex,
    The connections are the best, aren't they? Thanks for coming over to see us! :)

    Stephanie,
    I agree, Donna's on the right track! She's an inspiration. Good to see you, as always. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Karen. Thanks for the interview with Donna. She's a super blogger whose visits I always love. She is, indeed, an inspiration. Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for the kind words. I always enjoy visiting your blog. Makes me want to kick off my shoes and go to the beach.

      Delete
  6. I can attest to the fact that Donna is as generous, kind, and talented in person as you might suspect by reading her blog. Terrific interview!

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  7. I've been blogging since 2005 and it's been quite the journey and I've made a lot of friends. There have been adjustments all right, as blogging has changed a lot in the past 13 years.

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    Replies
    1. Hi L. Diane,
      Wow! You've been blogging for a long time. I agree with you about how much blogging has changed over the years.

      Delete
  8. Very nice to meet Donna. Her blog is interesting. It has been nice to meet another blogger. Thank you, Karen for having her visit your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Quietspirit,
      Thanks for your kind words and for visiting my blog.

      Delete
  9. Susan,
    Hi! You are most welcome. Donna's a lovely guest. :) So glad you were able to come by and see us.

    Pat,
    It's nice to hear from someone who's met Donna in person! So it confirms what I thought,I'm glad! :) It's nice to meet you. Appreciate you hopping over to see us.

    Diane,
    Wow, that's a long time to have stayed with it! :) Changes, yes, I've seen them as well, although I'm not the veteran blogger you are just yet! Thanks for coming by.

    Cecelia,
    I'm glad you enjoyed meeting Donna and visiting her blog. I agree, it is nice to meet other writers through blogging. We have much in common! Thanks so much for coming by. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen,
      Thank you so much for featuring my blog today. You are a kind and generous writer and your blog is a great resource for other writers.

      Delete
  10. Hi Karen - it's good to meet Donna ... and she's obviously got a sense of humour - while her blog will offer authors and bloggers food for thought.

    It is fascinating how blogging has huge advantages in all sorts of ways ... particularly in making friends around the world - and learn about new places, expanding our minds ... and learning the cultural differences.

    Thanks Karen - great to meet Donna ... now I'm off to see her blog - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary,
      Good to meet you, and thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

      Delete
  11. Hi Donna and Karen! Donna, you sound like such a down to earth writer. Congratulations on winning the Erma Bombeck Award! My daughter attended the Univ. of Dayton, so that is close to my heart.
    I think being friendly is the key to blogging. It's such a warm community of people. I also started blogging as a platform, but found it to be rewarding in itself. I haven't started a book again (after a rough start, much like your own), but maybe someday.
    Blessings on your continued work!
    Ceil

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  12. Hilary,
    I'm glad you got a chance to meet Donna. It's such a small world with blogging, isn't it? :) So blessed to call you both friends! Thanks for coming by to see us!

    Ceil,
    Hi back! Yes, I agree, being friendly is a big key to blogging. Who wants to stop at a blog that has a grouchy atmosphere, right? lol I'm glad you got to meet Donna. Appreciate you stopping by!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. Nice to meet you, Donna. I had two blogs at one point. What was I thinking??? LOL!

    I just popped over to your blog and hit, "Follow." Have a great week. Thanks, Karen, for featuring Donna.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Susan,
    Yes, two blogs, I imagine, would be a bit much for me too.:) Glad you got to meet Donna!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!