An Interview with Donna Vitucci

The Local Authors Book Fair is almost here! We’re so excited about our fabulous list of guests and hope all of you will come out to support our vibrant local writing community. We’re so fortunate to live in a place with so many talented locals!

To whet your appetite for the readings and book fair, we’ll be offering interviews with some of our guests across the next few days. Let’s meet Donna Vitucci!


FOCPL: What should readers know before they pick up one of your books?

If you like characters with aching hearts, this work is for you. Let it grow on you, because it’s not a whizz-bang plot. It’s an echo that widens out from a dropped pebble in a pond. 

FOCPL: Why are you a writer? What drew you into a writing life?

I’ve always imagined other people’s lives, what they were up to behind the windows of their houses, who they were, what cooking smells invaded their kitchens, how their pillows felt under their heads, what blew in from their open windows during the night while they slept. So many times, from the back seat of the car while my daddy drove us home from someplace, with the outside now dark, we’d pass by houses with their inner lights illuminated, I’d catch the scant glimpse of a body, somebody, anybody. Just a moment, then, gone, but who were they? And I’d imagine circumstances and surroundings, their toys and the records they played, their games and their dreams and their punishments. Simply another way of describing character motivation, which drives all story.

FOCPL: Where do you write? Do you have a particular routine you follow?

I have an office, which is warm and nurturing in its decoration and its large windows, paintings, lemon lamplight on cloudy days. I also have a screened porch where I like to escape, and write among the birdsong, the chimes, the crickets, and yes, traffic in the distance. The surroundings are very green and lush and enveloping. That said, I can also write while sitting on the couch with Netflix chattering away on the TV. I used to write mostly in the afternoons and evenings, after work. Now I write any time of day.

FOCPL: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

“Take your time with this one. Let her story build up like inches of snow until you’re buried in it and you can’t get out.  You’re in over your head and you’re not remotely interested in finding a snow shovel.”

FOCPL: Have you had any important mentors in your writing life?

During grad school I had a champion, a professor by the name of Thomas Murray, for a magazine writing class. As I recall he didn’t read much of my fiction—if any—rather he supported my passion for writing and my dreams of doing it. It was early in my “formative” writing years, and I didn’t have a lot of stories under my belt yet. But he heard my as-yet unsung notes of want and need to capture characters in a way that readers would know them and love them, too. Later, when I began seeking the help and companionship found in the concentrated workshop setting, I met Ron Rash, who encouraged me heartily. I value his friendship, his kindness, and his pay-it-forward camaraderie to this day. I very much cotton to his view that setting is simply another character in the novel/story.

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