We read stories of tragedy and heartache, as well as achievements and love. For Donna, losing her daughter to cancer sparked something inside of her to write. The event may have caused her pain and difficulties, but in the end, Donna found happiness and was able to write what she believed in. Donna created happy endings and a sense of hope in her novels, allowing others to find peace of mind after tragic events, just as she did.
After losing my 31-year-old daughter to cancer, I truly learned that there are some things in life you cannot change even if you work hard, love greatly, and are the most positive upbeat person you know.
Until I accepted I did not control my life or anyone else’s, I prided myself on my ability to change my mind, my approach, or whatever was required in any given moment to survive. In fact for most of my life, I turned on a dime when necessary and did a phoenix-rising-from-the ashes routine with the grace of prima ballerina dipping and twirling to Swan Lake. I honestly thought I knew what it meant to accept change until I saw someone I loved make the ultimate one and leave this world.
My daughter died in June of 2010 and in August I finished my first novel. Even though it was a romance like my other work, that first book was a tough story full of mysticism, philosophy, and large soul-searching questions about life after death. I wrote what I needed or wanted to believe was possible. It was cathartic to write, but it’s still in my desk drawer. Why? I decided that there were enough tough stories out there. I decided that I wanted to make people laugh. Life is hard and terribly short for many people. I decided that if I was really going to earn a living from writing, I would give people the best few hours I could in their life with a story that would be entertaining, full of fun, incredibly sexy, and ultimately uplifting. At least this was my hope.
Now I get empty faster and the negative space inside me isn’t so easily filled up anymore. Fortunately after a year of caring for her followed by another year grieving her death, I am finding that life does goes on just like everyone says, even when you’re not sure how it’s doing so. Maybe that’s why I am drawn to hopeful stories about people going through change. I’ve become the person standing in line to see the sappy movie with the happy ending over and over because I accept that I personally don’t have all the answers. I understand now that I need the help of others to show me the way.
Some six novels and a year later, I think I have done that. My first series of four books features older characters between 40 and 50 years old. Their stories are all about starting over in life, about changing, about accepting. The heroes of two of the four books are dealing with the loss of a wife to cancer. I can’t avoid reality, but I don’t dwell on their pain. Instead I show them finding love again. I show the best result of change. Though I have accepted I cannot control real life, I am happy that in my writing I can control the world of my characters and make sure they get a happy ending no matter what.
To find out more about Donna, please visit her website www.donnamcdonaldauthor.com.