Author Interview – Donna Schlachter

Happy Monday!

Hope you had an awesome weekend! Today I have an author interview with Donna Schlachter. Check out this great interview and discover more about her novella, A Train Ride to Heartbreak. Let’s get started!

About the Book

A Train Ride to Heartbreak Blurb: “1895, Train to California
John Stewart needs a wife. Mary Johannson needs a home. On her way west, Mary falls in love with another. Now both must choose between commitment and true love.

October 1895
Mary Johannson has scars on her body that can’t compare with the scars on her heart. She is alone in the world, with no family, no prospects, and no home.

John Stewart is at his wit’s end. His wife of three years died in childbirth, leaving him with a toddler and an infant, both girls. Theirs was the love of fairy tales, and while he has no illusions about finding another like her, his children need a mother.

Though separated by thousands of miles, they commit to a mail-order marriage. But on their journey to Heartbreak, they meet another and realize the life they’d planned would be a lie. Can they find their way back from the precipice and into the love of God and each other, or are they destined to keep their word and deny their heart?”

Links: Amazon, B&N, CBD, Goodreads


Toni: Welcome, Donna! Thank you for joining me today. Before we talk about your latest release, let’s learn more about you. Are you a…
Morning or night person?

Donna: Morning. I go down with the sun.

Toni: Lol. Cat or dog lover?

Donna: Cat, but I get along fine with dogs, too. I have two cats, Samson and Gideon.

Toni: Awesome names. Car or airplane traveler?

Donna: Car, definitely. Just flew to Florida and it was an ordeal – not the flight – the whole airport thing. And traffic. And hurrying and rushing.

Toni: I prefer a car too. Spring or fall fan?

Donna: Spring. I love the promise of the summer to come.

Toni: Good answer. What are three ingredients that are always present in your writing?

Donna: Some kind of mystery or suspense. A flawed character. Our second—or third—or fourth chance God.

Toni: Amen! Tell us what kind of research you did for A Train Ride to Heartbreak.

Donna: I researched train travel in the 1890’s including dining cars, did some reading about herbal and home remedies for whooping cough, and read about snowshoeing.

Toni: Awesome! How did the idea for this novella come about and how long did it take you to write it?

Donna: The idea for the collection came from my good friend Mary Davis, and as I’d just talked to a friend who traveled from Denver to San Francisco on the train, thought that would be a good setting for the story. Coming up with flawed characters is never a problem for me, since I have so many of my own 🙂 It took me two months to write and edit, with a few follow-up edits from my agent and then from the publisher.

Toni: Speedy! If you lived in 1895, would you ever be a mail-order bride? Why or why not?

Donna: I am a modern-day mail-order bride of sorts, since my husband and I met online, courted online, and married within a month of when we first physically met. So yes, I guess I could see me doing that in 1895.

Toni: That’s so awesome! Last but not least, how can readers help you on your writing journey?

Donna: Apart from the usual, such as recommend my books for book clubs and reading groups they’re part of; telling their friends about the books; and posting review online, I think the biggest thing they can do is pray for me as a writer, that I would be faithful to tell the story God wants told. I don’t measure my writing success by numbers, although books sold and monies made are tangible feedback of a sort. Rather, an email from a reader who tells me the story touched her in her heart, or helped her see how much God loves her, and restored her faith in a God who truly knows her—that’s true success.

Toni: Praying for you! Readers, do you have any questions for Donna?

About the Author

Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid author who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters In Crime; facilitates a local critique group, and teaches writing classes and courses. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She loves history and research, and travels extensively for both. Donna is proud to be represented by Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary Management.

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