Author Spotlight – Autumn Dawn
I have been a long time Autumn Dawn fan (okay, major fan-girl moment) so I am thrilled that Autumn said yes to being in my newsletter. Thank you so much, Autumn!
Autumn Dawn writes futuristic,. With over twenty books and six series, she continues to thrill fans with her werewolves, dragons, elementals, gargoyles and trolls with a thing for Poe.
She spent most of her life in Alaska, including several winters in a cabin in the woods, where she became intimately acquainted with outhouses, generators and woodstoves. Her years of snow machines, boating and mosquitos convinced her to move her family to Washington, where she basks in the “tropical” winters.
- Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you write?I’ve been making up stories since I was a kid. My first novel was written on lined notepaper when I was a teen. I got pubbed with a small press at 27, was picked up by Dorchester in NY in my thirties and now I self-pub. I’m happy to say that I make a living at it, but that’s not common.
- What inspired you to write your first book?5th grade creative writing class; I was a natural. I love books, enjoy writing, and I have all these stories in my head. I love sharing my stories, letting readers peek into amazing worlds.
- Where do you get your inspiration from?A better question is, how do I turn it off? It’s hardwired. The only time the stories stop is when I’m extremely sick or stressed. Otherwise, driving is a hazard, because I have to concentrate to see the road. Stories are playing before my eyes, distracting me.
- Where/When do you do the most of your writing?At home, at my desk. Plotting happens anywhere, but often during my midday nap or as I’m falling asleep. It gives my busy brain something to do before my body shuts down for the day.
- What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?Honesty, being a wife and mother. I have the best kids, and that’s thanks to hard work (diligent parenting) and my awesome husband. Whatever I achieve in the book business is merely business, even if I win the highest accolades and loudest applause. A family legacy is forever, and I’ll see it in my kids and grandkids.My eldest son is 18 and high functioning autistic. There were times he shut down in school and I had to home school. It cost me money and momentum in my career, but I don’t regret it. Now my daughter, 17, is home schooled b/c public school finally overwhelmed her (super ADHD). She’d getting great grades and loving WA’s online school.I have a younger son, 15. He’s very smart and VERY strong willed and wants nothing to do with home school (thank you, Jesus!), but if he needed it, I’d make it happen. He just bought and fixed up his first car with his dad and is excited to get a job. That’s what he needed.
- What series/book did you write that has the biggest following.The Dark Lands. Ugh! I still get lots of requests for more in that series, but I’m a strict 3-4 books in a series and move on kind of girl. I love that people love it, but I can’t tie myself to doing the same thing all the time. There are so many books, so many worlds. If I wrote for the rest of my life, I’d never get them all down.That said, Bramble Burn is getting a lot of attention. I’m working on book 2, Breaker’s Ruin, right now.
- Who has influenced your writing the most?I read a lot. I think it would be easier to say the romance genre, followed by fantasy and sci-fi. I enjoy a good urban fantasy with humour when I can find one.Example of things I might read in a day include Fox news, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, cookbooks (read them like novels), random science articles, the Bible, romance novels, some graphic novels, books on herbal medicine or health (fascinated by the human biome), computer how-to, how to books in general, gardening, political stuff, art and the rare biography.I’m not a fan of horror (too vivid of an imagination/soft hearted), tear jerkers or books were everybody dies. I won’t watch the Titanic ever again, and I don’t like dramas (too sad). Although I’ve read many of the classics, high school reading lists suck the joy out of life. I did enjoy Mark Twain, however. At least he had a sense of humour.
- Do you have a favourite author?It’s like Doritos; no one can have just one. A few favs include Illona Andrews, Christopher Paolini, Stephanie Meyer, Larry Correia (Monster Hunters International), Pat Briggs, Iron Druid…
- Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?Interruptions. Getting sick, having teens or husbands randomly walk into the room and ask me questions, long visits from loving relatives… Formatting a cookbook sucked. Amazing what a time sink technical stuff can be.
- Are the experiences of your characters based on any of your own or people that you know?While there are elements of personal experiences, I don’t know anyone who has encountered a shapeshifting troll or tree mage lately. The glory of writing is that I can take someone to a completely alien world to take their mind off their sick dog, broken leg, visiting in-laws, etc.It helps that I can take my frustrations out by killing a few Jabberwockies while I’m at it. Fictional violence is completely legal and very refreshing.
- Do you have any advice for other authors?Nobody says, “I’m going to put my pants on and walk to the mailbox today.” They just get up and do it. Don’t say you’re going to write a book someday. Just do it!
- Is there a particular niche or direction you would like to expand your writing portfolio into?Nope. I’m where I want to be.
- Describe your latest WIPIt had been thirty years since the Convergence, when the dimensions aligned and combined Earth and the world of Gwyllon, known in human mythology as “Underhill”. Elven castles and ancient ruins sprouted in vacant lots, on major highways, sometimes merging with existing buildings, twisting into completely new structures. Roads and rail systems reformed, and after the rioting, starvation and death, agriculture finally sorted itself and food began to flow. A new government formed of elves and men had arisen, a society of human tech and elven magic. Cell phones and frost giants, race cars and elven steeds, dungeons and dragons…And everywhere, monsters.Dixie Jones has monster mojo. For three days, monsters love her and then they try to kill her. Dragon shifter Shozan won’t leave Dixie alone, but is it love at first sight, or is he the monster that will finally be her doom?
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