Message From The Author

Author's Message


"I wouldn't call The Painted Rose a gothic in the strictest sense, but I did borrow liberally from the gothic tradition. I think the themes, the mood and the mystery all lend to the gothic feel," says debut author Donna Birdsell about her 2003 Golden Heart finalist and September Berkley Sensation release.

The Painted Rose tells the story of a mysterious veiled woman and the artist who
comes to her estate to teach
her painting. The artist, Lucien Delacourte, is a new version of the gothic hero: sensitive, scarred, angsty. "I definitely prefer more cerebral, sensitive heroes. Artists and musicians have always intrigued me, because I see them as very passionate, expressive people," says Birdsell. "I hope I can make all of my heroes sensitive, no matter what they do for a living. I think there are lots of women who look for heroes that aren't such alpha figures."

Birdsell met her own real-life hero on a construction site, where she was reporting for a construction magazine. "He isn't a construction guy, but an IT guy. So he can't build me closets, but he can fix my computer!" she laughs. It was during her first pregnancy, in 1998, that Birdsell began to write in earnest. During her second pregnancy, she wrote The Painted Rose.

"I encourage everyone to write something, anything, no matter how bad you think it is. It's a great way to get in touch with yourself," says Birdsell, who is now working on a trilogy set in the Georgian era. "I especially believe that when women become wives and mothers, they tend to lose themselves, and writing is a great way to get back in touch with who you are as an individual."

Read Book Review ›