Interview with Donnie Ray Whetstone, author of 'Fit to Kill'


Donnie Whetstone resides in Rochester, Washington with his wife Diane. He is a full time personal trainer with over twenty years of experience and more than 70,000 training hours in homes, gyms and his own private training studio. Donnie is currently the co-owner of Fit Stop 24 Fitness Centers located in both Olympia and Yelm, Washington.
Though Fit to Kill is his first novel, he is no stranger to writing, having written numerous articles on nutrition, weight training and fitness; appearing in newspapers, magazines and the Internet. In Fit to Kill, his experience as a trainer allowed him to truly immerse the reader into the world of fitness in this detective thriller.
Donnie also has 13 years of military service in both the US Marines and US Army serving as a platoon sergeant and acting first sergeant. His experience as a trainer and veteran was extremely helpful in writing Fit to Kill. He is currently in the process writing a new novel with the working title of Night Spear. It combines both the supernatural and military drama.
For more information about Donnie please visit
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Donnie Whetstone.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: I’m a professional fitness trainer, a co-owner of two Fit Stop 24 fitness centers and a national level master’s competitive bodybuilder. I’ve been writing off and on since high school, mainly articles on training and fitness. Fit to Kill is my first effort at writing a novel. 

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: My book is about an elite fitness trainer, who fantasizes about killing his clients, and acts out the fantasy on a proxy in one of the nation’s fittest cities, heralded for its trainers. Tara Tanner is a top notched detective, wife and mother who must solve this baffling case, while grappling with a past case in which she feels responsible for its tragic outcome, as well as her insatiable desires for her own trainer. The story is filled with conflict, twists and turns and an amazing finish. It was a project I’d been on the fence about for years. I just decided one day to just do it.  

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A: For me, the biggest challenge was writing the storyline. That took a little over a month to write. A lot of authors can write on the fly, letting the chips fall where they may. I have to at least have some sense of where I’m going.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A: Most of my networking is via my website and social sites like Face Book, My Space and Twitter.

 Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I spoke to a group of people about my book at my book signing party, which had a very good turnout. We attended a packed outdoor book festival in Portland in which I talked to several patrons and fellow writers, with more scheduled this year. I’ve never appeared on radio or TV, but I’m definitely planning on creating a buzz loud enough to get their attention.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A: To answer the first part of your question, no, I don’t have an agent. To answer the second part, again no, but it wasn’t like I didn’t try. I sent out a hundred query letters, only to get rejected by the ones that even decided to respond. I knew I had a good story, so I self published. As of now, Fit to Kill is a semi finalist for Kindles 2012 indie book of the year. On the last part of your question, I’m going to hold on answering that until I see how this turns out.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: Well, my wife Di did our media blitz, but we discovered our process was backwards. The media blitz, in terms of press releases, book party dates, reviewer requests and book trailers starts a few months before the launch date. That way, any positive reviews will be on your book cover on launch day, live and learn. 

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Yep, a suspense thriller entitled Night Spear, I’m on chapter 12.
Q: Thank you for your interview, Donnie.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: Sure thing, go to Fit to Kill is available in print and eBook editions. You can read the first 3 chapters for free, and it only gets better from there.


How do you stop a personal trainer, who fantasizes about killing his clients, then carries out his gruesome desire on someone else? Making matters worse, how do you stop desires for your own trainer, jeopardizing your marriage? More troubling, do you want to? That’s what Detective Tara Tanner must solve in this crime thriller.
La Flore is renowned for its elite personal trainers. This model city however, faces a crisis. Someone is on a killing binge. The killer is vicious and cunning. He harbors a profound irony for one of the nation’s fittest cities, and the way he selects his victims makes him untraceable, but this predator has a weakness.
Fit to Kill is a non-stop thriller of fantasy, temptation and redemption, a deadly game of chase, in which the line is marred between predator and prey, a game that reveals how far one will go to kill, and how far the other will go, to survive.

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