In which we have guests, part 7

For the second year in a row, I am turning over the blog to guest posters for the month of December. And for the second year in a row, we’ve had a great response–thirty-three requests for spots! For the next month you’ll be hearing from writers, editors, and other pros on a variety of topics. I always let the guest writers choose their own subject and give them carte blanche while they’re here. There are no limitations on topic or language, and this time we’ve got everything from favorite words to sexsomnia! Since I will be hunkered down doing revisions on the first of my new books for NAL/Penguin, I am turning comments off for the month. Most posters will include links to their own sites if you want to follow up with them. So, I wish you all the best of holiday seasons–peace, prosperity, good health, and a fabulous start to 2015. See you in the new year!

Today we welcome Donna Alward.

In Which I Discuss How Writing  Romance Keeps me Young… aka I’m Terrified of Getting Old

When I started writing romances, I was in my twenties, with two babies at home. I’m now in my early forties (13 years later) and it’s shocking to realize how much has happened in that time…and how different I am now from the person I was then. Also, those babies are now teenagers. Trust me when I say I think I’ve aged ten years in the last ten months! LOL

But know what? My heroes and heroines are still in their twenties and thirties (for the most part). They have their own issues, some of which I’ve learned about the hard way, others that I’ve researched, but they still experience that butterflies-in-the-stomach rush of falling in love, of kissing someone for the first time, all the excitement that happens when you meet the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with.

They think about things like starting their career, starting a family, buying a house, bringing up small children… particular times that are in the past for me. But I live in that world a lot of the time, and it’s sort of fun. It’s like I get do-overs each time I write a new book.

Then there’s vocabulary that is particular to a younger age group. And ways of acting with friends. And truthfully, I don’t want to grow up. Around home I might be stodgy and harp on about picking up clothes lying around or dirty dishes, but truthfully, one of the reasons I love Deanna so much is that we hit it off when we met and she made me feel like it was okay to be a me who wasn’t forty and tired all the time. I still like to have fun and be silly and…well, act like I’m not forty but maybe more “Sex in the City”-ish only I’m a small town girl from Canada who has never owned a pair of Manolos and prefers yoga pants to pencil skirts.

Deanna manages that…youthful exuberance and still is just so damned CLASSY. She’s flipping awesome.

So the truth is, I don’t wanna get old.  I actually hate that my body has more creaks and moans than it used to, that perimenopause means gravity is being more of a bitch than usual.  I accept covering greys as part of my “beauty routine” and so on.  But if age really is more about how you feel and your outlook on life rather than a number, I’m doing okay. I love dancing with my girls and listening to *mostly* the same music.  They might get on my case about being a terrible texter, but now and again I can still solve a computer issue that means I’m not a complete troglodyte when it comes to technology. I can put on leggings and a slouchy sweater (that hides all sorts of sins) and they say I’m “adorbs”.  And a lot of that comes from sincerely enjoying having nearly-grown kids (most of the time anyway) and from writing stories about women finding their true love…especially since I found mine over twenty years ago.

If age is a state of mind, I’m perfectly safe. In some ways, I’m not sure I’ll ever grow up – and I’m not sure I want to anyway.

You can pop over to my site and visit me (my blog is my homepage) at or follow me on Twitter (@DonnaAlward) or my facebook page (

Grampie's Birthday

Fiona Donna