Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Please welcome my guest author for February. Dana E. Donovan is the author of the Tony Marcella detective series including The Witch’s Ladder, Eye of the Witch, The Witch’s Key, Bones of a Witch and Witch House. He has also penned the novels: Abandoned, Skinny, Resurrection, Death & other Little Inconveniences and A Talisman’s Tale, available in trade paperback and ebook at Lulu http://www.lulu.com/dana and Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/encyber respectively.

Besides being an accomplished author, Dana is also an excellent photographer. He makes all his own book covers with the help of Photoshop. I asked him to tell us how he put some of his covers together.

I love taking photos, and using them for my book covers. Abandoned is about a boy who supposedly drowned in a river and I thought that this picture captured the feel, what with that weird cloud rising in front of the sun. I shot it right outside my back door.

Excerpt from Abandoned
Dana E. Donovan © 2004

The three of us found a seat, two on the sofa and one in the chair. Charlie
favored Rodriquez over me and even took up company by his side, curling up
at his feet like a common defector. I gave Charlie a dirty look but he only
snubbed me and turned away.

“Mr. Riley, you don’t remember me, do you?” Marcella said.
I looked at him and shook my head. “No, I’m sorry. I don’t. Should I?”
“Oh, I don’t suppose so. You were pretty young when last we met. I was
still a street cop and you had just lost your brother.”

“Oh, right, Marcella, of course. I’m sorry the name escaped me for a

He smiled. “That’s all right. Trust me. Considering the circumstances that
brought us together, I’m surprised you have any recollection at all. That kind
of trauma can make a young boy forget all kinds of things.”

I smiled back and nodded, but my eyes broke away and drifted down
toward the floor. “You would think,” I said to him. “But strangely, I
remember everything about that day. It was Friday the thirteenth. It rained that
morning but the skies were trying to clear. You pulled up in your squad car
riding shotgun with Officer Greene. You had a bandage on your thumb, your
left I believe. I heard you tell Fireman Reynolds you slammed it in the car
door the night before. He joked how your swollen thumb now matched your
inflated ego. You both laughed at that until you saw the nine-year-old brother
of the missing boy.”

“You.” said Marcella.

I nodded.
“I’m sorry about that. I meant to apologize.”

Other book covers created by Dana:

The image for Skinny was shot on the road I now live on.

Resurrection is about zombies and witchcraft. I wanted something voodoo like and even played with the idea of making a voodoo doll for the cover, but that didn’t work. I ended up staging the props for the shoot in my garage.

My favorite is Bones of a Witch. I bought the rights to use that picture because I thought it was perfect, so I did not have to do much else with it.

The cover for Witch House, my latest book is really a shot of my swimming pool. If you look closely you can see the shadow from the handrail.

Another favorite of mine is the cover for Death & Other little Inconveniences. Everyone on the front & back cover is dead. Some I knew. Some I didn’t. I just thought it would be cool do use the photos of dead people for a book called Death & Other Little Inconveniences.

If you still have time after reading this, learn more about Dana Donovan and what he’s up to at http://www.danadonovan.com

Now...I hope you'll visit the next site on the blog chain sponsored by the National Writing for Children Center. That site is; http://ireneroth.wordpress.com/. For a list of all the links on the chain, go to www.writingforchildrencenter.com

Kathy's websites:

Moving Through all Seven Days link:http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html
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Dana Donovan said...

Great post, Kathy! Thank you so much for hosting me, and thanks to everyone for stopping by.

Vivian Zabel said...

How interesting. I like that title Death and Other Inconveniences and all the cover images.


kathy stemke said...

Thanks for visiting Vivian and Dana.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


Wonderful covers and titles also. I enjoyed seeing this.


Martha said...

Wow, I love the fact you do your own covers. They are fantastic. What talent you have both as an author and photographer.
Martha Swirzinski

Darcia Helle said...

Great photos/covers, Dana. They definitely capture the feel of your books. And, judging by the photo on the cover of Abandon, you must have a beautiful view from your home to inspire your writing!

Nancy Famolari said...

Great covers, Dana. Makes me want to find out what's inside!

Enjoyed the post, good job, Kathy.

Margaret Fieland said...

Kathy, great interview. Dana, love your book covers -- the photos are all seem so well suited to the contents.

Katie Hines said...

Wow, what great book covers! I especially like the one for "Abandoned." Very cool. Good luck with your sales and works-in-progress.

Mayra Calvani said...

Great covers and I enjoyed reading the excerpt!

Debra Eckerling said...

I think it's fabulous that you utilize your creativity both on the outside and inside of your books. Really awesome images!

Thanks for sharing, Kathy and Dana!

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Great post, Kathy.

Dana, your books sound intriguing...I really like the covers.

And, I agree with Vivian, that title is GREAT!


Nancy I. Sanders said...

Kathy, you really put a lot of work into this post. It's chock-full of information! -Nancy

Dana Donovan said...

Hey Kathy, thanks again for hosting me. You put a lot together in a short time. Also, I want to say thanks again to everyone who stopped by and left such nice comments. You guys rock!

Gary Eby,MSW said...

Great to meet Dana and Kathy. I'm new to VBT but I'm enjoying this networking process. Excellent interview, Kathy. Best wishes for your success Dana: your photography is awesome and your books have a paranormal feel to them. (smile) Gary Eby, author of The Eby Way.

kathy stemke said...

Writers on the Move VBT has a great group of people.

Janet Ann Collins said...

The art form of photography always amazes me.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, hope I'm not too late. Dana, you have a true talent. I had to pay good money to have my dustcover done. Best wishes for your continued success.

Stephen Tremp

Gayle said...

Dana: I, too, am really impressed with your photography-to-covers skills. Bravo!

Dallas said...

Wow those book covers are astounding! Loved the excerpt as well. Thanks, Kathy and Dana!



Dianne G. Sagan said...

These covers are wonderful! You are really multi-talented.

Accountant, Author & Freelance Writer said...

I love the fact you design your own covers. It allows your creativity to grab the readers attention before they even open the book. Interesting stories too!

Kristi Bernard said...

Dana, your books seem very interesting. I love your artwork.

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