Interview with Dawn Hosmer
NEW RELEASES FROM GESTALT MEDIA
Dark Tides: A Charity Horror Anthology
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Ghost Story: The Road Home by Jason Stokes
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RIVER BY RYEN LESLI
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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DAWN HOSMER
Today, I’m interviewing myself! Sounds like great fun, huh? Actually, I sought the help of some friends to come up with questions for me to answer. Thanks so much to Alain Davis, Jason Stokes and Anna Stokes for helping with the questions.
Why do you write?
I could answer this question in about a million different ways. I’ll try to keep it brief. First, I truly believe that writing is what I’ve always been meant to do. It comes as naturally to me as breathing. Even when I’m not putting words on paper, I’m constantly “writing” in my head. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t make me sound nuts.
I also write to help make sense of the world around me, while at the same time escaping from it for a while. I suffer from anxiety and, as a result, I’m often plagued by worries and fears that are usually irrational. I think that one of the reasons I tend to write about such dark, heavy subjects is because putting my characters through situations/trauma that I fear helps me work out my own anxieties about it. Because as an author, I’m in control of how it works out (or at least I delude myself into thinking that as my characters chuckle in the background).
I also firmly believe that we all have our own stories to tell. Some people tell their stories through painting or singing. Others verbally share their stories. Others live out their stories through their careers or children. I bleed out my stories onto the page. When an idea plants itself in my brain and refuses to let go, that’s when I know it has to be written.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? What is your basic writing process?
I am 100% a pantser. Whenever I’ve tried to plot, my ideas completely dry up, and I can’t write a word. All of my stories start with one basic plot idea and one character, then I sit down to write. I’m always surprised when a whole book can emerge from just those two basic ideas. It feels like magic.
For my writing sessions, I generally don’t set a word count goal other than to complete one chapter. That seems like all my brain can handle at one time. As a reader, I prefer short chapters, and as a writer, I love them (just kidding—kind of). When I’m writing a first draft, my goal is to write five days per week because that helps keep me in the groove and makes it so that I don’t have to re-read any of the previous chapters. I try not to go back and re-read a word I’ve written until I finish the first draft because otherwise I would get so caught up in perfecting/editing what I’ve already written that I’d never finish anything.
Since I’m a pantser, I sit down and type with a notebook on hand. I jot down any relevant dates, names, places, and character traits that come up in each chapter, along with anything I need to make sure to follow up on later in the book. If I have any ideas for plot points or twists, I also jot them down in my handy dandy notebook (yes, that was a Blues Clues reference). I think I’d be as lost without my notebook as if I lost my first draft.
I love being a pantser because it is such an amazing feeling to see a story, and characters come to life from nothing other than a couple of vague ideas.
What word or phrase do you find you use most frequently (that you discover during edits)?
Do you want the whole list because I have it? Just kidding, I won’t bore you! “Just” is a big one for me as well as action verbs like “walked,” “looked,” “saw,” “felt.” I have a whole list to check during edits.
You spend so much time with your characters, do you ever dream about them?
When I’m heavily into writing the first draft, my characters do invade my dreams but never in ways that help me work out plot points where I’m stuck or anything magical like that. I wish I could train them to write their stories in my brain while I slept so that when I woke up, I could just type it up! I think the feelings from my books tend to creep into my dreams more than the characters themselves. For instance, when I was writing The End of Echoes, I had many dreams where I’d wake up surrounded by an overwhelming sense of grief.
You’ve written two books, The End of Echoes, and Bits & Pieces. What did you like most about writing each one?
The End of Echoes was the first novel I wrote and, therefore, it’s the one closest to my heart. To tell the story that needed to be told, I felt like I had to write it in multiple, first-person point of view perspectives and travel forward and backward in time. I loved getting to know all of the characters on such a deep level. I felt like I didn’t really have a favorite character because I knew them all so well, and they each held a special place in my heart. I also loved that despite the heavy subjects in the book, there was a realistic resolution for each character which holds some hope for healing in the future.
In Bits & Pieces, I loved Tessa as a character and her abilities both amazed and horrified me. I can’t imagine going through life and not being able to touch others out of fear that it would change who I am, my memories, my past, my future. But, on another level, I feel like we can all relate to Tessa on some level because each of us is changed by those we encounter and our experiences, in both good and bad ways. We must all face battles of how to remain true to ourselves despite what we’ve gone through or what others have done to us, just like Tessa. I also loved all of the twists and turns in the book (many of which surprised me as much as readers). I enjoyed writing about Tessa’s resiliency and strength, even though most of the time, she couldn’t see these qualities in herself. Also, the concept of a found family or support system resonated with me. Often times, those that are in our corner and have our backs are not the people we share blood with. I enjoyed writing this book entirely from Tessa’s point of view because I felt like the reader needed to get deep inside of her head to truly understand and experience the horrors she had to face.
Do you hear your characters having conversations when you’re not writing?
I wouldn’t say I hear them have conversations, but I’m constantly thinking about them when I’m in the process of writing the first draft. I find they reveal parts of themselves to me as I think about them throughout the day, usually when I’m in the shower. This is why my daughter bought me a waterproof notepad and pencil to hang in the shower so I can jot down notes as they come to me. Sometimes places where I’m stuck work themselves out in my head as I’m doing mundane tasks like cooking dinner or doing laundry.
Are you currently writing another book? If so, what will this one be about?
Yes, I am. I don’t want to give too much away about it at this point, but it is a psychological thriller, with a unique premise and some elements of time travel. It also has some quirky, interesting characters and lots of family drama. I hope that it will keep readers guessing until the end. I’ve finished the first draft, and I’m currently working on a hefty re-write based on some alpha reader feedback.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m so excited to announce that the second edition of Bits & Pieces is now published with Gestalt Media. It made more sense to have both of my books with the same publishing company, and I’m thrilled to work with Gestalt to get Bits into even more readers’ hands. We’ve made a few changes to the cover and a few internal changes/corrections, but the rest of the book has stayed the same.
Where to find me:
Facebook Author Page @dawnhosmerauthor7
The End of Echoes http://bit.ly/TheEndofEchoes
Bits & Pieces http://bit.ly/BitsPieces2