Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Because I often get the same questions from many of my readers, I’ve created this area as a sort of catch-all. Before emailing me a question, you might want to check below to see if the answer is there. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, email me your question/questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Contacting, Contracting, Inviting, Interviewing, or Mailing Donny

  • How can I buy a signed copy of Gone From These Woods? Email me.
  • How can I get permission to use an excerpt from  Go here.

About Donny Bailey Seagraves

  • Are you really a native of Athens, Georgia? Yes!
  • How long have you lived in Winterville, Georgia? Most of my adult life and part of my childhood. I presently live in Cleveland, Tennessee, near Chattanooga.

Advice to Authors

  • How did you sell your first book to Random House? I attended a SCBWI SpringMingle Writers conference in Atlanta, GA in February 2007. One of the editors there was Michelle Poploff, VP and Editorial Director of Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. As a result, I was able to sell the manuscript that would eventually become Gone From These Woods to Michelle without an agent. Note: This almost never happens. But it happened to me. To read exactly how it happened for me, read my breakthrough article from the October 2011 issue of The Writer Magazine.
  • How can I get published? Study your craft by reading books on writing, attend conferences where you can listen to and meet editors and agents and published writers, and never give up. For more tips, go here.
  • What are your tips on writing and rewriting? For me, writing is rewriting. I realized after going through the eight month rewriting and editing process with my editor that I had never gone far enough in my rewriting on the nine books I wrote before Gone From These Woods. 

Books, and Other Published Writing



  • Why did you write this book? I wanted to tell a story based on a real life event that had haunted me since my childhood.
  • Is it based on a true story? Yes. Gone From These Woods was inspired by a real life event that happened in the family of my second grade teacher many years ago in Athens, Georgia. Even though my story is based on a real event, it is not a retelling of that event. My characters, plot, and setting all are fictional.
  • Is Gone From These Woods just a retelling of the real story? Nope. It’s a totally fictional novel. In the real event, there was no hunting, woods, alcoholic dad, etc. I made my characters, setting and story up. Really.
  • How did you come up with the setting for your book? It came from my early morning exercise walks around my rural neighborhood in Winterville, Georgia.
  • How did you create your fictional characters? I used memories of my uncle who died young for the uncle in my book. I combined parts of my son, brother, nephew and neighbors down the street for the main character, Daniel. Many of the other characters also were inspired by real life people I knew or know.
  • Is Gone From These Woods a kid book or an adult book? It’s a children’s middle grade novel for young readers aged 9 – 12. It also appeals to some young adults and adults.
  • What research did you do to write Gone From These Woods? I had to learn how to shoot a gun and I had to learn a lot about hunting. I also had to make sure all the details in my book fit with the 1992 era my book is set in, meaning no cellphones, computers etc. I also researched the stages of grief.
  • Do you have lesson plans and/or study guides for Gone From These Woods? Yes. Discussion questions/guide here and more coming soon.
  • Is there a paperback edition of Gone From These Woods? Yes. The Yearling paperback edition of Gone From these Woods was published February 8, 2011. Both the Delacorte Press hardback and the Yearling paperback editions of Gone From These Wood are now out of print but are still available here (Yearling paperback) and on other websites including The e-book edition for Kindle and some other formats still are available
  • Is there a sequel to Gone From These Woods? Not yet, but hopefully some day.
  • Is there a movie of Gone From These Woods? Not yet, but hopefully some day.


  • What did you write before Gone From These Woods? I wrote nine other books that are not yet published and hundreds of magazine articles, newpaper columns, poems, and short stories, many of which are published. I’ll be posting some of those here soon.
  • Where can I read your other published work? Here, soon.
  • Tell me about your next book? Stay tuned.

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for? Ask Donny a question here.


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