Writing has always been a passion for Dr Donna Usher of VC Dental in East Gosford, NSW—now she’s turning it into a second career.
There are times when I’m writing when the story doesn’t seem to be coming from me; it feels like it’s coming through me. The charac-ters are playing off each other, the dialogue is sparking and it’s like I’m reading not writing. “A few years ago, I sold my practice in Sydney, moved to Cairns and took time to reconnect with an old passion—writing. I enrolled in an online course through the Queensland Writers Centre and worked towards completing a novel in 12 months. I was also reading lots of books about writing and structure. I discovered that I’m definitely a plotter—I need to plot the whole story before I start writing. “Writing, like dentistry, is a creative art and I try to write or edit every day. On my days off, I write about 6,000 words. Once the novel is complete, I put it aside for a few weeks and then do a structural edit, then I’ll print it out and do a line edit. When I think it’s perfect, I give it to my editor. “When I finished my first book, The Seven Steps To Closure in 2011, I looked for a publishing house but soon realised that required more effort than I was willing to give. My friend who also did the course self-published her book and that inspired me to self-publish mine. “I have since self-published two more chick-lit books—Coco and Chanel, and Goons and Roses—and a book on self-publishing. I’m also about to publish Faery Born, the first book in a young adult trilogy. In addition to my writing, I maintain a website (www.donnajoyusher.com) that has links to purchasing my books, reviews and a blog. “The majority of my readers are American and the books have done very well. The Seven Steps To Closure has been downloaded over 100,000 times and I have won the elite Publishing Award, the Indie Excellence Award and the Shirley You Jest! Book Award. “I love everything about writing and have plans for more Chanel books, a sci-fi chick-lit book and to finish the War Faery trilogy.