Friday Fast 5 with Historical Romance Author Donna Hechler Porter

August 7, 2015

Today I welcome historical romance author Donna Hechler Porter to the Friday Fast 5!

What author first inspired you to write your own stories?

That one is easy. Catherine Cookson. My mother introduced me to her in my early teen years, and I voraciously read all her books. The best part about a trip to Canada one year was finding more of her books that were not available in my library. This was, of course, before the days of Amazon.

Do you cast people to play the characters in your stories?

I write stories based around my family’s genealogy, so in that sense, yes. As for using people I know, I do not. I do, however, oftentimes use celebrities as prototypes for certain characters as far as how they look, their gestures, etc., with some tweaking.

How do you overcome writer’s block?

It depends. If I am working on the rough draft and I cannot seem to break through to the next part, oftentimes I will simply get up and do something else for a few minutes – switch the laundry, take the dog for a walk, clean some part of the house. More often than not, within five minutes the block is down. If that doesn’t work after several tries, I literally walk away from whatever I am working on until the next day. It’s amazing how clear things become after a good night’s sleep.

What time of day is your best writing time?  Up early with the birds or wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration and have to go write it down?

My best time seems to be in the morning, right after my cup of coffee and handling emails and social media responsibilities.

What advice would you give new authors?

Read as many books as you can on the craft. Take classes. Romances Writers of America has some great ones and they are nominally priced. And then practice what you have learned. Identify your weak areas, refine those, then move to the new weakness. Read other books and analyze what makes them great or where they fall short. And when you realize that first book is junk, toss it in the cabinet to laugh about later and move to a new project with all your new skills.

Don’t Miss Broken Promises

Broken PromisesA Haunted Young Woman

Annie McKechnie is desperate to go to the backcountry to her twin sister, Katie McKechnie Sawyer. She is convinced doing so is the only way to end the dreams that haunt her nights and follow her days. The one man who can help her find peace is David Cayle, and she hates him for it.

A Devoted Son

David Cayle, back from a tour of duty with the Virginia militia, is determined to mend the breach he created with his father. Taking the man into the backcountry to rescue his wayward sister, however, was not what he had in mind. Annie’s insistence on going makes matters worse, until it becomes obvious that leaving her behind is more dangerous than taking her along. Or is it?

A Harrowing Journey

A young nation fights for its destiny, and the backcountry is no place for the faint of heart. Only the stoutest souls and strongest minds endure.

But can David keep his promises? And what secrets is Annie still keeping?

Where to Find Broken Promises


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More About Donna Hechler Porter

A graduate of Texas A & M University and a teacher for many years, Donna Hechler Porter now homeschools her teenage boys. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, RWA’s Hearts Through History Chapter as well as Northwest Houston’s Lonestar Chapter. She has published four genealogy books on her family history and is currently working on a fifth. Her first novel, Keeping Secrets (Children of the Light 1), won the 2013 RWA Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest for Best Historical Fiction, was a finalist in the 2014 RWA Las Vegas I Heart Indie Contest for Best Front and Back Cover, placed 4th in Oklahoma RWA’s 2014 International Digital Awards in Historical Fiction, and was nominated for a 2015 RONE Award. It is now available in both Kindle and Paperback from Amazon. Breaking Promises, the second book in her Children of the Light Trilogy, is now available, and the third installment in that trilogy, Binding Fire, is due for release the fall of 2015. You can visit her at her website/blog at and on Facebook at

Other Places to Connect with Donna

Genealogy Blog:

Reviews on Roses and Thorns:

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