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Spine Tingling Tales of Mystery and Romance – Author Dawn Brown

Kiss and Thrill welcomes romantic suspense author Dawn Brown!

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Dawn Brown’s first sojourn into storytelling began when she was nine. She would gather neighborhood kids into her garage and regale them with ghost stories, believing even then that atmosphere played an important role in a good story.

She has a diploma in journalism, but oddly found herself pursuing a career in the less than exciting world of computer leasing. After the birth of her son, she gave up the corporate world to be a mom and write full time, trading in her dreary cubicle for a dreary atmospheric room in the attic.

Now Dawn spends her days creating dark, romantic mysteries with edgy heroes, clever heroines and villains she hopes will keep her readers sleeping with the light on.

Living Lies was the second book she wrote and was published in 2008 by Samhain Publishing. Her next book, The Curse of Culcraig, was published with The Wild Rose Press in 2009. And her most recent release, Blood and Bone, came out in October of this past year, also with Samhain Publishing.

I heard about Dawn from our mutual agent, Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, Ltd. Dawn and I chatted via email and after ‘meeting’ her that way and then reading up about her novels, I was thrilled to ask her to come visit with us on Kiss and Thrill. I can’t wait to read her latest, Blood and Bone, especially after reading her 4.5 Star review from RT:

In a genre saturated with amped-up covert or rogue heroes, it is refreshing to see Brown return to the very roots of romantic suspense. Her plotting is of the highest caliber — making for a terrorizing, fervent illustration of depravity with an impressive cast of characters and a ferocious pace that doesn’t waver even for a second.

Isn’t that an awesome review?

To get to know Dawn better, I asked her a few questions.

Lena: Since you’re a fairly new author, care to share your call story?
Dawn: My call was actually an email from my editor at Samhain. I was so used to getting rejections by then I had to read it twice before it really sank in that she was offering me a contract. And after an embarrassing little happy dance, I found my husband and we sat outside and had a drink to celebrate.

Lena: Any contest finals or wins that are dear to your heart? What is your opinion on contests and whether they help/hurt?
Dawn: I only ever entered one contest. I scored well, but didn’t final. The feed back was good and the experience wasn’t terrible, but I felt that I could get the same feedback from my critique group.

Lena: Who are your favorite authors?
Dawn: I have a lot of favorites. Nora Roberts, Amanda Stevens, Stephen King, J.R. Ward, Kelley Armstrong and Minette Walters are on the top of my auto buy list.

Lena: Can you give us a blurb about your latest release? When is it coming out?
Dawn: Absolutely. Blood and Bone is available in ebook now and will be out in print September 4th of this year.

Crime writer Shayne Reynolds is looking for the next book that’ll get her out of her parents’ basement and on track to rebuilding her life. She’s found it in Robert Anderson, a confessed murderer who’s out on parole. Something’s never added up about that case.

From the moment she sets foot in Dark Water, nothing goes as planned. Anderson’s family wants her to drop the story—especially surviving son Des. A man who ignites sizzling heat even as he stands firmly in her way.

Laboring under his father’s crushing legacy and his grandmother’s iron resolve to get rid of the nosy writer at any cost, Des struggles to save the self-destructive sister who once saved him. There’s something honest and forthright about Shayne, though, that tempts him to help her get to the truth. Even if it means double-crossing his powerful grandmother.

Despite their resolve to keep it strictly business, sexual sparks quickly set fire to tangled emotions. And threads of a fragile bond that someone with a vendetta could use to weave their death shroud…

Lena: Sounds great! I am definitely getting a copy! Have you gotten to keep your original book titles? If not, care to share what they were as opposed to now, and the reasons behind them being changed if you can?
Dawn: I was able to keep my original titles for Living Lies and Blood and Bone, but not for The Curse of Culcraig. It was originally called The Witch’s Stone, but my editor felt it could give readers the wrong impression that it was a paranormal.

Lena: What’s your writing process? Fast draft? Love writing drafts, hate revisions? Or love revisions? Plotter? Pantser?
Dawn: I’m a pantser, nothing kills a story faster for me than outlining. Though, I do like to have fairly good idea of who my characters are, especially their goals, motivations and conflicts before I start writing.

I write my first draft, which is really loose and rough when I finish. Then on to the second draft where I clean up, fill in any plot holes and research the details. After that I go through it all a final time to make sure it’s as clean and tight as possible.
Lena: Favorite TV shows?
Dawn: I’m ridiculously addicted to The Walking Dead. I can’t begin to explain how happy I am about new episodes starting this month. I’ve been counting down since January.

Lena: Hey, I’m all about zombies. Love that show too. What do you do for fun?
Dawn: Between work, writing and family there isn’t much time left over for hobbies or anything. Fortunately, I’m such a nerd writing is fun to me so that works out. I like to read and get together with friends and family. My husband plays in a band and I’ll go watch when they play.

Lena: Beach or mountains?
Dawn: Beach, definitely. Preferably with a frothy drink in my hand and just the sound of the waves against the sand.

Lena: Dream vacation would be what/where?
Dawn: I’ve always wanted to go to Greece. But right now, the beach and the quiet is sounding pretty darn good.

Lena: How did you get your agent? Why did you decide to get an agent in the first place?
Dawn: I decided to look for an agent because I felt like I was at the point in my career where I needed one to really move forward. I researched agencies interested in representing the genre I was writing in and sent out queries. When Nalini Akolekar from Spencerhill Associates contacted me, she was really excited about the book and it seemed we would be a good fit. It’s been great having someone advocate for me and my work.

Lena: Craft book that inspires you?
Dawn: On Writing by Stephen King. His advice works the best with my process.

Lena: Workshop you recommend to others, such as from RWA nationals? Or a particular conference you recommend (like a local conference)?
Dawn: A few years back I took the Margie Lawson workshop for deep editing—the one with all the hi-liters—and found it worked great for pace and digging deeper into the characters’. I still use a lot of the techniques she touched on.

Lena: Future plans for new books? Anything you can share?
Dawn: I’ve just wrapped up a book that I think will be the first in a three book series. It’s a romantic mystery, but with a strong paranormal twist that will carry through the other two books. I’m really excited about it.

Lena: I love series, and they are so hot right now. Good luck! Can you give your future readers more details about what to expect – heat level of your books/violence (on-page? Off page body count?).
Dawn: My books are moderately hot, but not shockingly so. As for the violence, it’s a mix. Most occurs off page, but not all.

Dawn is giving away an ebook copy of Blood and Bone to one lucky commenter, and an ebook copy of The Curse of Culcraig to another lucky commenter!

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