Dawn Kirby’s book, Secrets, is available now.
If you want to support an author, one of the best things you can do is beta read for them. That’s what I did. I read SECRETS, by Dawn Kirby. Amazing. The story was, or should I say, is powerful. Soon, you’ll see that I’m not the only one who thinks so. Her publisher definitely agrees with me. I’m sure you will, too.
Anyway, when I found out that SECRETS was book one of a series, I knocked off the other three, too. I’m pleased to tell you that the series gets better and hotter by the volume. Of course, I had to get close to this awesome writer and storyteller, Dawn Kirby. When I did, I made a friend. Not only is Dawn a fantastic author, she’s a genuine Lady. Check her out;
Dawn, it’s a real pleasure to interview you and I’m really excited about your book. But what about you? Tell us about Dawn Kirby and what drove you to write?
The pleasure is all mine, AT. I admire you so much, I consider talking with you truly an honor.
There’s really not much to tell about me. I’m a mother of three great kids. My husband and I have been married for fifteen years and we live in West TX. During the day I work in a very grown up, normal world. At night I find myself in a paranormal world of my own creation.
I wish I could say I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember, but the truth is until I picked up a pencil almost four years ago I hadn’t written anything longer than a grocery list in over ten years. I only put lead to paper to get an idea out of head. Who knew that one idea would grow so much AND become such an integral part of my life?
Thank you, Dawn. I really appreciate your kind words. Now, you’ve been fairly busy in the four years you’ve been writing. I’ve read a lot of your ink and it’s very impressive, as well as extensive. Now you’re going into publishing, which means you got that call. What was it like?
When Dark Dragon Publishing Co. requested a full I was shocked. When they offered a contract I was over the moon. Actually, I still am. It just doesn’t seem real. To tell the truth, I don’t think the magnitude of it all will hit me until I’m actually holding a copy of SECRETS in my hot little hands. I think any writer feels the same way. We all dream of the day we open our email inbox and find that one life changing email, but after receiving one rejection after another for months, maybe even years, “no’s” are what we expect to see. Luckily, we eventually get a reprieve from them and get to live out our dream.
Your successes didn’t start and stop there, though. You contributed to 13 Tales Of The Paranormal. How did that come about?
I had seen a post on Firefly & Wisps facebook page listing the contests they were accepting subs for and decided to take a chance. I had written a Flash about a vampire looking for a partner she and her longtime lover could enjoy a few nights with. Instead she meets a man whose only concern is which bed he’ll wake up in the next morning. Her first instinct is to kill, but then she thinks of something far worse than death. He’ll spend an eternity seeing the one thing he craves and never be able to touch it.
Now you’re involved in The Seven Deadly Sins collaboration. It’s a pleasure to work with you, by the way. But tell us a little about Lust, the short you’ve written for the collaboration.
The pleasure is all mine. Working with the six of you has been an awesome experience.
Sinful Pleasures is about a female vampire who’s appetite for sex is virtually insatiable. She sees nothing wrong with bedding two or more men in one night. In fact she keeps a “safe” guy on call just in case her search for a “real” man turns up empty during her nightly prowls.
http://myfriendscallmekate.blogspot.com … There I write a weekly serial called TURNING, for none other than the amazing Sabrina Ogden. I’ve enjoyed the story so much, I’ve decided to expand on the shorts and turn them into a novel. My hope is to self-pub the book and donate a portion of the sales to a charity of Sabrina’s choosing.
http://paranormalutopia.com/2011/03/water-lily311/ … This is a short entitled WATER LILY, based on the myth of the Lady in White.
And of course my blog. http://dawnmkirby.wordpress.com/
When you finish a book, what effect does the completed work have on you? Is it relief, or is it a subject and theme that lingers on your mind?
I haven’t ever really thought about that question. Finishing a book is a relief, but for me it’s because I get to see how my readers respond. I love getting feedback. Good or bad…Thanks to them and their VERY frank opinions I have become a better writer.
Do you sometimes find an element in your last book something you may want to expand upon in the next volume, or in another title?
Oh, absolutely! SECRETS was originally a stand-alone title. Now I’m planning at least eight for the series. Thanks to the appearance of an unexpected character, I’m planning a spin-off sometime in the future.
When you write a story, what values do you adhere to? And if you adhere to any, do you sometimes want to break out and be chaotic?
I can honestly say I don’t like wrapping things up neatly at the end. Life is messy, so are the lives of the characters in my books. Nothing is ever as bad as it could be, but it’s never going to be perfect either.
As far as values, I don’t really stick to a certain set. I think keeping a mix of good, bad and in-between makes them seem a little more relatable.
How about characters? What method do you use to come up with character names and origins?
I like for their names to fit their personalities. I don’t relentlessly search databases, not at first anyway. I like to feel them out for a while and then name them.
Okay, now let’s talk about Secrets, specifically. You’ve written a great story around a creature known as a Damphir. What exactly is that?
A Damphir is a biological female offspring of human woman and a vampire. She has traits of both human and vamp. Some may inherit the thirst for blood, others may not.
Having read it, I can honestly attest that SECRETS is one of the best books I’ve read this year. When you penned the story, did you have any idea how passionate the theme would be?
I can’t thank you enough for that, AT. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
My answer would have to be no. But as I wrote more, I wanted to bring as much to each character, each situation as I possibly could. In one scene for example, Leah is standing at her window overlooking her driveway when she notices a dog sniffing around. Curiosity peaks when she realizes the dog isn’t sniffing the ground, but rather sniffing the cars parked there. As she watches the unusual behavior, an ominous feeling sweeps over her. The tension kicks up when she inadvertently taps the glass and gains the attention of a very unhappy animal.
When it comes to Leah, your main character, what was the inspiration for her development?
For Leah I wanted a strong character. She feels like any other woman, but she also knows falling apart while her world is in chaos won’t change things. Even though she’s no match for the strength of a werewolf or the power of a vampire, she’s more than willing to step in when most would run away.
Just so everyone knows, you’ve written four novels and Secrets is the first in the series. Now, did you outline the story or did you pants it? Or did you use a mixture of the two methods?
I’m a panster all the way. I know where I want each story to start and I have an idea where I want it to end, but it nearly always goes in another direction. I never know what I’ll write from one page to the next. Somehow it all comes together in the end.
Okay, Dawn, how did you decide on the mix of characters represented in Secrets? There seems to be something for everyone in the book.
I looked at the people around me and how they interacted with others. It was only natural to incorporate that into my characters. I wanted to write something that people could read and see someone they knew.
How did you decide to write urban fantasy?
It’s the one genre I’ve never been able to get enough of. Everything about it fascinates me. There’s so much play a writer can do with it. If you want your vamps to tap dance, you can. If you want your weres to stomp around in a pair of boots and a flannel shirt, that’s okay, too. No matter what, it’s your world and you get to create any way you want to.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest thing for me isn’t a crit really. It’s the rejections. Those sting more than any well meaning comment ever could.
The best? My fans…They make what I do worthwhile!
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write! Get out there…talk to other writers. Bounce ideas off one another. Learn everything you can, and most of all, don’t quit.
Dawn is a fantastically talented writer, and as you’ve read, she is obviously dedicated to her craft. She’s also one of the most supportive folks I’ve met. So, by all means, follow her and enjoy a fresh blast of the paranormal. Here’s how you do that;