Taking romance home; meet Skye McDonald

I’ve been afraid of prose most of my life. This made a decision to become a writer awkward. I chose, instead, to write screenplays. After twenty years in screenwriting, some awards and some international travel, I decided to face my fears.

This month, I published my first novel. I chose the steamy romance genre because it felt natural; it felt exactly where my story belonged.

I loved it.

My freeing experience made me wonder about the other women writing in this genre — an excitedly vast one — so I reached out to a few others authors of steamy romance and decided to get to know them a little bit more.

We start with Skye McDonald, online at www.skyemcdonaldwrites.com and on Twitter at @WriterSkyeMcD. She’s an English teacher in Brooklyn, but writes about her hometown of Nashville.

When I asked what genre describes her writing, Skye told me; “I write contemporary romance with a strong focus on the development and self-realizations of the female character. Always with an “HEA” though.”

Yes, I had to google that, too. In romance writing parlance, HEA means happily ever after and another you might hear is HFN which is happy for now. True romance fanatics will tell you that a romance story must end with either, though HEA is the preferred.

Given the many options today, I was curious about why this genre.

“Two things,” Skye explained by email. “Simply put, (the romance genre) is what I envisioned when I got the inspiration for these characters and story and my hometown of Nashville has exploded in culture and style in the past decade. I wanted to use this new Nashville as a sweet but hip backdrop for the plot.”

So with her genre and location in place, and her characters and story set, I wondered what might be be a stumbling block — we all have them — or a weakness that she’s intent to confront with this project.

“I’ve written for professional purposes or nonfiction/essays,” Skye said. “Writing fiction — and receiving feedback on it — has challenged me to be patient and revise like I never have before.”

She elaborated a little on this topic, which I think most every writer is confronted with.

“Editing, querying, and feedback in general requires a lot of patience and humility, which are not part of my natural personality,” Skye said. “I’m learning, though, and I know it’s a process.”

Spoken like a true superstar.

I was curious about her writing time, her day-to-day creative schedule. Skye told me she’s an after-work writer, but sometimes work gets in the way of that. So can be known to squirrel time away in the morning.

“No matter the time of day, I have a few routines. First, I need a drink with me (water, coffee, whiskey). I also need the right tunes on Spotify, usually in my headphones because that tells my husband ‘can’t talk, working.’” Skye explained. “Finally, I need my Corgi to curl up by my feet so I can pet him when I need a break.”

Sounds delightful.

One thing is very true about all the stories we tell, we hope that they connect with our readers. Or, in the case of a new writer like me, we hope to find the readers who love what we do.

So I asked Skye what her wish was for readers of her Nashville stories?

“I hope readers of romance love the story and the sizzle,” Skye said. “I also hope that readers who haven’t considered romance their thing before will be compelled by the emotional journey of my main character. I’d love to see my project be a gateway into a new genre for readers.”

What a great sentiment. I hope so too, Skye.

To follow Skye’s journey and stay abreast of her publishing date, find her on Twitter at @WriterSkyeMcD.

Redding Walters is a Californian with a debut novel in the steamy romance genre, find “Even seahorses are free” on Amazon and Kindle now.