- What your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
Dawn Davis, www.towerroomseries.com
- Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
I spend a lot of time walking through the ravine, in the neighborhood, looking at things and listening. I visit with my daughter and friends and I like to cook and bake both for others and myself. I also take ballroom dance lessons (tango my favorite) which I find to be a great way to work out and have fun at the same time. I study jazz piano, take lessons and play with other people. I have always been deeply moved and influenced by Bill Evans who is by far, the greatest piano player I have ever heard. In a sometimes messy and overly loud world he is perfection.
- How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
I have been writing most of my life. I was a teacher for many years and am used to taking notes, writing lesson plans, etc. I have written poems, plays, comedy sketches and most currently, novels.
- What has been your greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
I find that everything relates to writing; conversations, sights, sounds, tastes, smells. I have always listened carefully to what people say and how they say it. I remember what people say and am constantly amazed that so many people do not remember what I say – in this very noisy world I think people block out a lot but ironically, need to be surrounded by sound at all times. As for writers, there are many – Dickens, Tolstoy, Chekov, Dostoyevsky, Vonnegut, Jr., Anne Tyler, Kate Atkinson, J.D. Salinger John Mortimer, John Le Carre, Patrick Dennis, Tom Wolfe…..the list goes on and on. I read for at least two hours everyday and am so grateful there are more books than I will ever have time to read in this lifetime.
I am working on the third book in the Tower Room series. It is called “Little by Little” and it tells the story of Dilys Frank’s first “travel from the tower room.” It is initially set in Toronto in 1929 and goes back in time to 1850, Buffalo, New York, and tells the story of two children escaping via ‘the underground railroad’ to Canada.
- How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with an initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
First, I research either on-line, in the library and read a lot of material regarding the time and place of the book. I then create a very detailed outline and immediately ignore it when I start writing. I write a first draft and then review what I need to remove and what I need to add. The basic story remains the same but some characters are eliminated, sideline stories are either developed or deleted. I generally write about six drafts before the novel is finished, or as finished as it will be.
- What aspect of writing do you consider your strength? Your weaknesss?
Dialogue is my strength, description is my weakness. I hear much better than I see. When I am working on a book the voices of the characters are always in my head but the way they look? That is sometimes shadowy.
- After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
I email my friends that I have written and new book (about 15 people) add the book to my website and then hire a publicist. I am not a good self promoter.
- What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
Don’t look back – look forward. Regarding first drafts – I find I can get very bogged down if I am constantly revising what I have written the day before.