Gothic Bite Magazine always feels grateful when an amazing author passes by and this week, we have Donna Maria & Robert A. Lilley
Who is Donna Maria?
Donna Maria is the seventh child in a family of six boys.
Her life has been one adventure after another, though maybe she would like to know you a little better before disclosing.
She has had a productive career history working for the MOD in a secret capacity, 25 years has elapsed so she can give some information, and also near Ranulph Fiennes the Arctic Explorer
She has a love of the classics be they modern or old and her favorite author is Hilary Mantel but also loves Anne Rice. Among her favorite books are Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Bring Up The Bodies and Interview With The Vampire.
Donna’s writing is always Gothic. She recently found what she calls an ‘Epic Co-Author’ Robert Lilley, whom she says has taken her writing to
Who is Robert A. Lilley?
Robert A. Lilley was born in the lovely town of Epping in the United Kingdom. He has lived in various places in Southern England but favors a quiet countryside location over a busy town.
He has one little boy who means the world to him. Robert has traveled to many countries from Europe to Asia to the USA, enjoying the diverse cultures within the cities and when traveling out in the wilderness or mountains.
Alexa Wayne (A.W.): When did you both find out you would want to write novels?
ROBERT: While talking book ideas over, Donna pulled me on board of her next creation to merge our thoughts and creative juices.
With us, both guiding the characters and stories mixed with her dark, demonic thoughts and my kinked erotic needs gives this writing an unusual and scary flow.
Taking you along a path that drops into to depraved sexuality of partners offering everything of themselves but wanting more than just pleasure.
DONNA: I have always had a passion for the word and kept journals, though never thought or dreamed they would result in a publishing career.
I write because I need and feel the drive to rid my mind of strange and dark ideas and the simple fact that some enjoy reading, is the cherry on
A.W.: How is it to collaborate when writing?
ROBERT: collaboration was good, sharing ideas and following the natural path of the story. Playing with ideas to grow the characters, get our readers on the side, either side, wishing to know the conclusion and our characters future.
DONNA: It is incredible. I never thought I would be able to or even want to collaborate. I’m a very insular and introspective writer, but on discovering that RL was my muse for our current project and asking him for his reactions to given situations, I found his talent for dark prose and description so exciting. There our collaboration begins.
A.W.: What is your process to both write the same novels?
ROBERT: Initially we were throwing ideas at each other, different parts of the story to be told. Allowing the characters to find their feet and the introduction of other characters that were important to building the
DONNA: We bounce off each other regularly, sharing Google documents, we are so in tune. Sometimes it seems we are entirely thinking the same thing, but it takes the other to disclose it, to hoof it out of each other’s dark realms.
A.W.: Talking about your work, all set in paranormal or Gothic settings, would you let our readers know why you are both more attracted to that genre?
ROBERT: I would put this in a modern Gothic setting. The setting allows the dark to weave into the story smoothly.
DONNA: This is Gothic in its purist form, a dark foreboding, but elegant atmosphere resides.
I love the beauty of this genre which can make the most horrific of subjects strangely beautiful to read. That’s the pure magic and essence of Gothic.
A.W.: When writing about paranormal, do you both do research and if so, how far do you go with your research?
ROBERT: With the power of the many details and information found from many sides of belief, but it is essential to draw from personal experience and knowledge. Sometimes it means stepping into something new to allow that experience to travel through the book to the reader.
DONNA: I research death and it’s a process. Also religion, but I believe all books should be organic.
A.W.: What is most important to both of you when writing your novels?
ROBERT: This being the first novel I am hoping to take the readers on a believable journey, not necessarily a happy one but one that could be happening just around the corner to them.
DONNA: To keep it real, no matter what the setting. As RL says, any of it could be happening to you or someone you know.
A.W.: Which authors influenced your writing?
ROBERT: I do not feel locked to individual authors but different stories by different writers. I am also a big movie watcher living movies from Misery to The Road. I love how Misery‘s fear level grows from salvation to terror, and the desperate need to escape reaches its realization.
DONNA: I read everything and anything, even labels! I think a full life and broad literature knowledge is so essential when pitching at a
If I had to say one book, though I don’t like doing that, it would be Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel such a sinister book.
A.W.: Which of your novels is your favorite and why is it your favorite?
ROBERT: This one!
DONNA: This collaboration has stretched me and reinvigorated my love for the word. It’s entirely out of my comfort zone, and I find it intoxicating.
A.W.: Do you believe in the paranormal, by that I mean in hauntings, that there are creatures out in the wild we still don’t know the existence of?
ROBERT: Being that we hold energy within ourselves that on death is released into the world to circulate, I believe this as our paranormal. Energy not circulated but trapped could be our hauntings, with others trying to guide us.
DONNA: I am a believer. I lived through many experiences in different mediums.
Dabbled in most things and sometimes been so horrified by what I found that I wondered if I’d be the same after, maybe I wasn’t?
A.W.: What was your reaction when you learned a publisher wanted you as part of their authors?
ROBERT & DONNA: We have massive Interest in this current project from my current publisher and others. It’s incredibly exciting.
A.W.: What sets you apart from other paranormal and Gothic authors?
ROBERT: I think the collaboration of two different thinking authors does set us apart. Also, this first book is maybe pushing the boundaries of erotica, pleasure, and terror, but hopefully readers agree this is required in this story and enjoy the sexuality and terror mix.
DONNA: A fusion of two very different approaches to horror. A tantalizing juxtaposition. It’s a real treat to write, and hopefully, that transmits
A.W.: What can readers look forward to from Donna & Robert in 2019?
ROBERT: We have more boundaries to push and other areas to experience, but the story must work and must be believable by readers and us authors.
DONNA: We are already planning new ventures. It’s incredibly difficult not to write them, but this project takes precedence.