Interview With Donna Roe Daniell, Author of A Midlife Voyage to Transformation

Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming a writer/published author? Any interests or early signs as a child that hinted you would later put pen to paper?

I was an English major in college, adored books and authors, and have written some children’s books, poetry and short stories but nothing published until now. My maternal Aunt started writing in her 50’s and encouraged me to put writing on my TO DO list several times. I had to live more and do my internal work, ie, my spiritual healing path, to be able to trust my gifts and allow them to come forth. Now they are flowing and I hope to write another book soon.

What inspired you to write A Midlife Voyage to Transformation and why was this the right time? Was it difficult to write and publish something so very personal?

My “Parts” really wanted to write this book – my young “little girl” who felt pushed down by me and all my other creative and intuitive ones wanted their stories to come out too. I was inspired by the energy I felt inside that was bursting forth in my writing of these important moments of my midlife when I came alive after deep struggles. That was the parts coming forward to be witnessed! I didn’t have a plan until I found a memoir class and learned about memoir writing. I really wanted to write a guidebook for midlife but my parts really wanted a deeply personal truth-telling. I was in conflict inside all the way to the end, but ultimately this book was a powerful step in healing my relationship with my Mom and that was enough.

Were the journals you kept a key resource as you worked through what to share and how?

Yes, and no. I referred to them early on, but as I continued the writing process key scenes just appeared from inside of me and I wrote them from memory with some elaboration and interpretation added. Later, as I was in the editing stage, I did go back and refer to my journals to be sure I was remembering dates and scenes sequentially, but choosing what to share was guided totally from my compassionate Self or Leader of my Parts (as we call it in IFS).

How does the writing process work for you? Do you schedule a time every day, work madly when inspiration hits or ?

I schedule 2 mornings a week first thing into my calendar to keep the creative juices flowing, but when I feel creative and open or ideas are flowing, I also switch my schedule and try to sit down right then to catch that flow. So I guess that’s when inspiration hits?

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As an author - what do you enjoy most about the writing process or comes easily to you? What feels most like a chore - a struggle?

What I enjoy most is how fulfilling and juicy it feels when I am in the flow and creativity is coming together into a piece. This isn’t happening every time I write, obviously, so the times that feel like a struggle are when I’m trying to get myself back to that juiciness. And then, I realize trying isn’t what I need to do – so I am working more at allowing the process to be whatever it is. That’s working better.   

What do you most hope readers will take away from reading A Midlife Voyage to Transformation?

I hope my readers will allow themselves to drop deeper into their own hearts as they read my book and begin to be more curious about their own feelings and where they might lead them. I hope women who read my book will seek personal healing and see that it’s a door to spiritual maturity, self-love and inner peace.

I would love to close with a quote - one that personally touches you and you hold close.

Then, as if inspired by all those sensations and feelings and the freed turtles showing their spirit, I began to leap over the waves coming in, and I leaped like a beautiful Lipizzaner horse, my right foot soaring up and over the waves that were sparkling and catching the moonlight. The ball of my foot touched down first, and then my heel came down, kissing the sand as it landed.  I felt tingling in my belly–an excitement about who I was becoming.  I was freeing my spirit so it could soar."  - Chapter 13 - pg. 153-4.

That was it.  My body had given me an answer. I was free to decide my fate. I was capable of making myself happy, living my dreams, and moving on from a marriage that had once been successful but was now stuck and dysfunctional–-a marriage that did not make me feel respected and loved.  I needed to continue being loving of who I was and who I was becoming so I could live my strength and my wisdom.”  (this scene is depicted on the cover picture) 

connect with the author: website facebook goodreads


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