The Darkest Hour – Donna Maree Hanson

Woman reaching outToday I have Donna Maree Hanson here to tell us her Darkest Hour story, which like many writers, centres around the theme of persistence. I first met Donna in the early days of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild just before I edited one of her early short stories for an anthology called Machinations. I’ve watched her writing go from strength to strength ever since.

As part of spreading the word about her Dragon Wine books, Donna is offering a giveaway of a hard copy of Shatterwing as part of her blog tour. The winner will be drawn from the people who comment during the tour.

So leave a comment  at the end for your chance to win! (Dragon Wine Book 1: Shatterwing is free in e-book for a short time.)

Donna Maree Hanson



Dragon wine could save them. Or bring about their destruction.

Since the moon shattered, the once peaceful and plentiful world has become a desolate wasteland. Factions fight for ownership of the remaining resources as pieces of the broken moon rain down, bringing chaos, destruction and death.

The most precious of these resources is dragon wine – a life-giving drink made from the essence of dragons. But making the wine is perilous and so is undertaken by prisoners. Perhaps even more dangerous than the wine production is the Inspector, the sadistic ruler of the prison vineyard who plans to use the precious drink to rule the world.

There are only two people that stand in his way. Brill, a young royal rebel who seeks to bring about revolution, and Salinda, the prison’s best vintner and possessor of a powerful and ancient gift that she is only beginning to understand. To stop the Inspector, Salinda must learn to harness her power so that she and Brill can escape, and stop the dragon wine from falling into the wrong hands.

Dragon Wine Book 2: Skywatcher, the follow on book is also available in ebook and print.

Thank you Chris for having me on your blog.

My writing story isn’t like a one hour TV drama with the climax coming then breaking over and then washing away.

I think my writing career has been a series of darkest hours, a veritable ping pong of darkest hours whizzing by at various speeds.

They do say perseverance pays off or that you’ve got to be in it to win etc etc etc… but hey, sometimes that’s the hard part—sticking it out.

Now, I’ve been through the low self-esteem part of writing, with self-doubt like wallpaper on the inside of my head.

I’ve had the internal whispers that say give it up, don’t continue and wouldn’t you just like to watch telly instead?

I’ve had near-acceptances turn into rejections.

All the highs and the crushing low blows.

However, I’ve always had a motto in my life. When life kicks you, get back up and kick it back.

So I’m determined and I’m a fighter and I’ve been on a learning curve trying to be a better writer. I’ve been doing this for 15 years now.

Yet nasty things still happen. For example, relationships break up. My love of writing is a factor in that.

I got RSI, and discovered I have arthritis in the neck. So less time being able to write.

That hurdle gets surmounted by taking breaks and using dictation software.

The spine has a few more issues so now. I’m onto standing desks which I can alternate sitting and standing.

Who knows what the future will bring there.

I’ve had a few books published and each one was a celebration.

The first book I had published as an eBook was an awesome experience.

So too was the long-worked-on dark fantasy Dragon Wine that came out in eBook and print on demand.

That gave me a physical book and made me so happy. It’s like a dream come true.

The trick though is selling your books once they are published. It’s a new paradigm out there and finding an audience is difficult.

To keep publishing you need to sell books and grow your audience.

I’ve had my share of darkest hours on that score, too.

The good thing in this particular darkest hour is that I’m not giving up.

I’m still writing and I’ll keep on writing and I’ll write better books.

One day I may even sell enough books to live on or pay for my writing-related activities.

Donna Maree Hanson is a Canberra-based writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and under a pseudonym paranormal romance. Her dark fantasy series (which some reviewers have called ‘grim dark)’, Dragon Wine, is published by Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan digital imprint). Book 1: Shatterwing and Book 2: Skywatcher are out now in digital and print on demand. In April 2015, Donna was awarded the A. Bertram Chandler Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction” for her work in running science fiction conventions, publishing and broader SF community contribution. Donna also writes young adult science fiction, with Rayessa and the Space Pirates and Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures out with Escape Publishing.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Shatterwing!

If you have a Darkest Hour story you’d like to share here, please contact me. You might also like to read the previous Darkest Hour post by Andy Goldman.

1 thought on “The Darkest Hour – Donna Maree Hanson

  1. Ha, I’m very familiar with the darkest hour. I think it’s the same for anyone who decides to pursue their creative side with the plan to share it with the world. Stubbornly working through the fear and doubts is the only way through for me. Glad to hear you’re a fighter too, Donna.

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