Character Interview: Roses are Red, Diamond are Blue by: Donna Alice Patton

Today, Out of Control Characters hosts a very special guest. Donna Alice Patton and I met through a critique group many, many years ago, and I had the very special privilege to assist her not only with Roses are Red but several other projects. We cemented our friendship by attending Springmingle 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia.

We're talking to Laura Barkley, the main character in Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue. But first we'll let Donna have the forum, so we get to know a bit more about her.

KCS: Talk to us about Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue.

DAP: Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue is a historical suspense novel set in the 1970s. My main character, Laura Barkley, has to find a rare blue diamond so that her life can get back on track after the death of her husband. It was a fun book to write because it’s set during the ‘70’s (which I remember well!) The clues in the book are based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. I adored the Little House books as a child and still read them once a year. It was fun to add in some Laura lore and to see if my readers can guess the outcome.

Author Bio:  Donna Alice Patton is a freelance writer living in rural Ohio. She is also the author of two books for children – The Search for the Madonna and The Gift of Summer Snow: A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries. An avid history buff, she writes regularly for publications such as History Magazine and enjoys the challenge of tracking down an elusive fact for research. With two other writers, she co-edits a monthly page for children, “Cookies and Milk” syndicated in four Ohio counties.  Her hobbies including gardening, scrapbooking and sewing vintage doll clothes.

And now we're inviting Laura Barkley to take over, and let us know a few things about herself and her author:

KCS: Introduce yourself to our readers. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

LB: Hi, my name is Laura Barkley and the story pretty much revolves around me. My husband, Peter, was curator at a museum – Wainwright Historical Museum – and he was murdered. Some people (even the police) think he might have either stolen the rare Anastasia Diamond – or helped someone else take it. I’m not sure. All I know at the beginning of the book is that I need to keep my twin daughters safe.

KCS: What do you think about the author? Tell us everything. We want to know.

LB: Well, I think she’s a pretty good writer because I let her tell my story! We both have this kind of fixation about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love the Laura books and so does Donna. It was just a natural that my Peter would use clues from the books to help me solve the mysteries. I do think she could write faster and keep better track of how long books take her to write. People always ask that question and she doesn’t know. It drives me batty!!

KCS: What are your feelings about this story? 

LB: It was hard to live through but I’m happy with the solution to the mystery.
KCS: How do you feel about being a character in this book?

LB: It was fun! (Now that it’s over.) But I do wish that the climax hadn’t included a blizzard. . . and that’s all I’m going to say on that subject!

KCS: What do you see in your future? (No spoilers please!)

LB: Hm . . . it would be spoiling to tell so you’ll have to read to the end.

KCS: Say a movie producer comes knocking. What actor/actress would you want to play you and why?

LB: Oh, gosh – you’re asking me about movie actors in 2013!  Since my story takes place in the 1970’s I’m not sure I’d have any idea of who is popular today. I mean it was so far out learning Ronald Reagan became president in the future!  This would be a better question for Donna. . . or for Aunt Bessie. I’m sure she’d pick James Garner, her favorite, for one role – even though he was way too old to be one of the main characters. Maybe he could play the police detective?

Delightful! And now we're going to let you know where you can pick up this enjoyable book:

Donna has several books available, and she's a very talented writer of not only fiction, but also non-fiction. You can find her on the web here:



Ah, Donna! I'm nearly finished reading your book and absolutely loving it! I love the hippies since I'm from that era too. I also loved 'Little House on the Prairie'. I'm very proud to have played a role in helping critique this fabulous novel. I'm a huge fan of yours, Donna!
Roseanne Dowell said…
what a great interview. Your book sounds great. I love character interviews.
Andi Carter said…
What a clever way to conduct and interview. "Laura" I loved your answers! Keep on writing, my friend!

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