Along the way to her science fiction suspense career she’s been married to a wonderful guy since just out of college, been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, raised a family (two girls, two grandkids), tried organic farming, worked as a freelance journalist and editor, been a community activist, and earned black belts in two different styles of martial arts.
Her first two SFR novels finaled in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® contest.
She lives on 44 beautiful mountain acres in Marshall, NC, with her husband and two talkative cats.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I just moved to 43 beautiful mountain acres in Marshall NC, near Asheville, so I’m busy exploring my new home with my husband and two cats. We love it here! Also, I’ve been a martial artist for many years (Okinawan karate and Yang-style taiji (tai chi)). I no longer teach, but I practice every day.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I come from a long line of Appalachian storytellers, so it’s just in the blood. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil. My first novel was a popular piece of Classic STAR TREK fan fiction published back in the 1990’s.
Is there an author or book that influenced you in any way?
I loved all the writers of the so-called New Age of SF, especially the women–Ursula K. LeGuin, Zenna Henderson, James G. Tiptree, Jr. (yeah, a woman), but also Theodore Sturgeon and Phillip K. Dick. Also Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Nowadays, I’ll read anything that Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant, J.R. Ward, Christine Feehan or Eloisa James release. Plus my published Golden Heart sisters. I’m kinda all over the place!
Where did you get the idea for the Interstellar Rescue series?
From the characters who talk to me in my head. That must sound crazy, but usually the characters come to me first, then the ideas. Not always, but usually.
Is there anything in the Interstellar Rescue series based on real-life experience or is it purely imagination?
Only so far as the setting. The idea for my first book and my heroine’s dilemma came to me as I was driving home after taking the babysitter home late one night. The country road was dark and deserted, I started wondering what would happen if I didn’t make it home, not because of a simple accident, but because of something far more sinister, and, well, that became the plot for Unchained Memory.
What was your favorite part to write?
I always enjoy writing the “alien” parts of my books the most. On alien worlds I can just let my imagination go and paint the reader a picture of something completely new and different, something she’s never seen before. Being anchored to Earth for most of the book has LOTS of advantages, but these glimpses of other worlds beyond our solar system give us a hint of that great big universe out there that is threatening our planet. It’s a lot of fun to imagine what the rest of the galaxy might be like!
Is there a character or theme you’d like to revisit?
Well, that’s the great thing about a series; it allows you to keep up with characters from past novels, or maybe give a secondary character his or her own book. Two of the ongoing characters from both Unchained Memory and Trouble in Mind, Rayna and Sam, will get their own spotlight in Book Three, Fools Rush In, which should be coming by next summer or fall.
What drew you to this genre of writing?
Well, I mentioned that I started out writing STAR TREK fan fiction. I thought I wanted to be a science fiction writer. But I when I discovered paranormal romance, I figured out I had really been writing science fiction romance. (I mean, what else do you call it when Kirk falls in love every week?) That story I had been trying to make into a straight SF tale suddenly wrote itself when I added the romance arc. That was Unchained Memory, which, like Trouble in Mind, was a Finalist in the 2012 RWA Golden Heart Contest for Unpublished Manuscripts.
What are you working on now?
I’m doing final edits on Book Three, Fools Rush In, and writing the first draft of Book Four, Follow the Sun, which is set mostly here in North Carolina.
Now that you are published, what’s been some of the hardest criticism you’ve dealt with? Best compliment?
You know, I try not to hold onto any negativity. I take what is useful from criticism and let the rest go.Compliments, however, I memorize and recite to myself in scary moments! For example, Publishers Weekly just gave Trouble in Mind an excellent review; RT Book Reviews gave both Unchained Memory and Trouble in Mind four star reviews; and Linnea Sinclair herself wrote an endorsement for Unchained Memory, calling it “an exciting read full of unexpected twists and turns highlighted by Donna Frelick’s excellent prose.”
Any advice you’d like to share with aspiring writers?
Never give up. Never surrender. Keep honing your craft, keep writing and have faith.
Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
I’d really LOVE to communicate more with you. Watch my Facebook page www.facebook.com/DonnaSFrelickAuthor for news of my new FB reader group dedicated to the Interstellar Rescue series, characters, giveaways, guest appearances and all the latest scoop!
Now for a few fun questions…
Favorite TV show?
STAR TREK (old) OUTLANDER/VIKINGS/THE EXPANSE, too many to name, really (new)
Favorite place to write?
LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE AN OFFICE
If you had to choose just one book, what would it be and why?
Lord of the Rings I’ve read it every few years since I was 16. It just thoroughly takes me away to a different world. I love the epic battle between good and evil. And I LOVE Aragorn. He is everything a hero should be. *sigh*
Last question and possibility the most important…what brand of cereal best describes you and why?
Ha! Well, I don’t eat wheat now, so this is a tough one. Guess it has to be KIND granola–a little too crunchy to be really comfortable, but just sweet enough.
Don’t Miss Trouble in Mind, Available Now!Trouble in Mind by Donna Frelick
Series: Interstellar Rescue, #2
Published by INK'd Press on 2016-02-16
Length: 488 pages
She couldn't get him out of her mind--and that's when the trouble started.
FBI Special Agent Alana Matheson is good at her job, despite a past that would make even a seasoned agent cringe. She has no time for the outside help the victims' family has brought in on a kidnapping case, no matter how good looking he is.
But galactic tracker Gabriel Cruz is no ordinary private investigator, and the skills he brings to the job will save both their lives. Because Lana and Gabriel are not the only ones seeking an unusual little boy and his mother. Their rivals in the chase are not of this world, and only an alliance built on the bonds of love can ensure that Lana and Gabriel beat the alien hunters to their prey.
A Golden Heart Finalist, TROUBLE IN MIND is the page-turning sequel to Donna S. Frelick's debut, UNCHAINED MEMORY.
Praise for the Interstellar Rescue Series
“Part political thriller, part sci-fi, part romance, Unchained Memory is an exciting read full of unexpected twists and turns highlighted by Donna Frelick’s excellent prose.”
– Linnea Sinclair, author, The Dock Five Series
Gabriel Cruz had spent time dirtside on most of the planets clustered around the galaxy’s busier jump nodes. He’d pulled a few tours on some of the worlds of the distant Outer Reaches. His job required plenty of travel and a familiarity with many of the galaxy’s exotic locales and bustling centers of commerce, the slums and the luxury resorts, the slave markets and the sex trade. Gabriel hadn’t seen it all, but he’d seen a lot of it. And he could still find much to admire in a summer morning in a temperate climate zone on the planet its inhabitants called Earth.
The yellow sun was shining out of a flawless blue sky as he got out of the car and followed Rayna up the sidewalk toward Ethan’s house. It would be hot soon, but Gabriel didn’t mind the heat. He hated the cold of ships and space stations and dank colonial outposts, always balancing the scarcity of resources against the needs of many. Here he could smell the rich earth, the vegetation growing in it, the asphalt and the car exhaust. He could hear the birds singing, the neighbors mowing lawns and taking out the garbage. For one minute, he could pretend his life was like anyone else’s. Gabriel took that minute. Then he took a deep breath and went up the steps into Ethan’s house.
A young man in the white uniform shirt of a Metro Nashville PD officer stopped them at the front door with the usual bluff and bluster. Gabriel could see Ethan start toward them from the office inside on the right, but FBI Special Agent Alana Matheson was quicker.
She waved them in from a desk in the smaller office to the left, dismissing the uniform. “It’s all right, Officer. They’re friends of the family.” She nodded as she came to join them. “Morning, folks.”
“Agent Matheson.” Gabriel was intrigued by the way her grass-green eyes locked on to his. They studied him, as if they’d never quite encountered anything like him before. He didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted by the thought, but he recognized he had that much in common with the FBI agent. He’d never seen local law enforcement like her before either.
Slightly unnerved, he said the first thing that came to mind. “Have you been here all night?”
She smiled, her fatigue showing. “No, I did get a little sleep. Don’t think your friend got any at all, though. He’s looking pretty slammed.” She indicated the office where the doctor was talking with Rayna.
Gabriel noted the signs of weariness in Ethan’s body that went beyond the obvious need for sleep and healing, his bone-cracking tension and heart-rending pain, his desperation. He felt his own chest tighten in sympathy. He turned back to Alana to see her watching him.
“How long have you known Ethan Roberts, Mr. Cruz?”
He held her gaze to see what her reaction would be and was delighted to see the color rise in her face in the seconds before he answered her question. “Not long. Sam and Rayna are mutual friends. They asked me to see if I could be of help.”
“In what way?”
“You might say I specialize in recovering what is lost.”
“As in missing persons.” She gave him that thorough once-over again. “I’m aware you’re a private investigator. Has Roberts hired you to find his wife and son?”
Gabriel smiled. It hadn’t taken her long to find his data plant.
“As I said, Sam and Rayna asked me to help. I’m not being paid.”
“Mr. Cruz, I hope I don’t have to tell you that interfering with a Federal investigation is against the law.”
Somehow he found her warning intensely sexy. “I have no intention of interfering. I’m simply here helping a friend recover something he’s lost. In this case, starting with his memory of what happened yesterday at the river.”
Alana’s gaze narrowed. “Are you also a psychiatrist of some sort, sir?”
“Then how do you expect to be able to help?”
He shrugged. “I have my ways. Some people would consider them somewhat . . . unconventional.”
Her lips curved. His breath stopped.
“Really. Okay. Maybe I should sit in on your meeting today, see for myself.”
He almost laughed. He hadn’t planned on this, but he could see no real harm in it. He would leave her behind long before he got to the point where the chase got dangerous.
Her smile widened, revealing white, even teeth, and she waved a hand toward the office. “After you, Mr. Cruz.”
“Thank you, Agent Matheson. And, please, call me Gabriel.”
“Might as well call me Lana,” she murmured as he passed her. “We’re going to be very close friends from now on.”
Start the series now with Unchained Memory!Unchained Memory by Donna Frelick
Series: Interstellar Rescue,
Published by INK'd Press on 2015-02-24
Length: 462 pages
Three hours ripped away her past. His love promised her the future.
From the night she wakes up in her pickup on the side of the road, three hours gone and everything of value lost to her, Asia Burdette is caught in a clash of invisible forces. She has only one ally in her struggle to understand why-Ethan Roberts, a man she shouldn't love, a psychiatrist who risks everything to help her.
With black ops kidnappers dogging their trail, the lovers race to navigate a maze of mind control, alien abduction, and interstellar slavery. If they keep following the signs, they'll find a battle that's been raging since the first silver saucer was spotted in the skies above Earth.