Donna-KauffmanUSA Today bestselling author Donna Kauffman is a RITA finalist, who has seen her books reviewed in venues ranging from Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal to Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan.

She lives just outside of DC in the lovely Virginia countryside, where she is currently stocking up on all things flour, eggs & butter for her hands-on research for this series. (So far she’s been more Lucy than Martha in the kitchen.) To read all about her (mis)adventures in baking—and get some really great cupcake recipes while you’re at it!—visit her at When she’s not covered in powdered sugar or greeting the local firemen at her door (again) she loves to hear from readers! You can contact her
through her regular website at

MTAR: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Donna Kauffman: I was born in D.C., grew up in Maryland, and have been on the Virginia side of the Potomac for about 28 years now.  Which makes I’m one of the rare Nation’s Capital area natives. I still love it here, love the changes of the seasons and being close to mountains and water.  I’m tucked away next to the Potomac, so it’s wonderful being both rural, right on the river, and yet close enough to get into DC easily and make regular rounds of the Smithsonian museums, the restaurants, Kennedy Center shows…which was great for raising my two sons here, as well.

MTAR: What do you do when you are not writing?  
Donna Kauffman: I’m an avid hiker.  I hike local river trails as well as a nearby wetland sanctuary pretty much every day, weather permitting.  A great way to start the day, clear my head.  I’ve plotted many books on those trails!  I also grew up in a family owned craft business and I still teach craft classes in a local shop here on a regular basis.  (Helps to keep me from staying home and playing with my imaginary friends all of the time…)

MTAR: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Donna Kauffman: I’ve been an diehard reader of all kinds of fiction since I was very young, but the stories that always grabbed me the most were those that involved relationships, romance.  I think falling in love and beginning a sustaining relationship is one of the most powerful things we experience.  I love reading about it, so writing about that was a natural progression for me.  It’s been more than 20 years of steadily writing love stories and I still can’t imagine anything more exhilarating.

MTAR: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Donna Kauffman: I was very fortunate in that I had a wonderful local writers group (Washington Romance Writers) who were not only strong in numbers, but quite a prolific and smart group.  I became immediately involved in the organization upon joining it, all while I was writing my first book.  I learned a significant amount about the industry I was trying to break into (a crucial step often overlooked by aspiring writers, I think) so I was fortunate to meet and get to know a wide number of folks, from editors and agents, to librarians and booksellers, and numerous published authors who had already found success in this crazy business.  When I did finally finish my first book (another critical step…you have to actually finish the thing in order to sell it!) I already had a great network of connections set up.  I was still beyond lucky to eventually go on to sell that first book, and from the time of that three book contract, I’ve never been steadily contracted since.  (Please hold while I go knock on wood!)

MTAR: Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Donna Kauffman: For the past two years, I’ve been happily ensconced in the fictional world of my quirky cupcake bakers and the hot men who love them on Sugarberry Island, Georgia.  The new release, Honey Pie, (out April 30) is Book 4 in The Cupcake Club series and I’m so excited to see what readers think about it.  It’s a little different, with just a hint of paranormal (sort of like sprinkles on a cupcake.) Each book in the series stands alone, so no need to read in order. I am also currently researching my next series, which launches in the fall.  Pelican Point, Book 1 of the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove, comes out in October and I hope everyone will make the trip up the coast from Georgia to Maine with me!  (And don’t worry!  There will be more Cupcake Club adventures coming as well!)

MTAR: How did you come up with the title?
Donna Kauffman: The titles  of the first two Cupcake Club books, Sugar Rush and Sweet Stuff, were meant to be fun, sexy, and—for obvious reasons—yummy!  The cupcakes on the cover (and the recipes in the back!) certainly helped in that direction.  Book 3 is Babycakes, which is yummy, but, in addition, that one was special as it’s also the name of the new cupcake business on the island.  In the case of Book 4, the title was an easy one for me.  Honey Pie is the heroine’s nickname!

MTAR: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Donna Kauffman: Finish your book.  Educate yourself about the industry you are trying to join.  They are equally important.  And don’t give up.  Which is probably the hardest step of all.

MTAR: What book are you reading now?
Donna Kauffman: I just finished Harlan Coben’s newest Six Years (awesome, as always!) and can’t wait to dive in to Nora Robert’s upcoming release, Whiskey Beach.  We’re doing a joint signing (along with Maya Banks and MaryKay McComas) at Turn the Page Bookstore on Saturday April 6.  (Yes, I’ll be signing Honey Pie three weeks before it’s release date!!)  TTP is a wonderful bookstore, located in Boonsboro Md.  And for those who can’t make the signing, they hold a virtual signing on their website (already open for this event!) where readers can purchase any book being signed that day.  We’ll sign those previously ordered books while there and the shop will ship them out right after the signing.  Pretty cool, huh?  One of the many wonderful reasons why their manager, Janeen Solberg, was RWA’s Bookseller of the Year last year!

MTAR: Do you see writing as a career?
Donna Kauffman: I absolutely do.  It’s been my full time job now for 20 years.  I hope I’m not even at the halfway point yet!