Name: Dawn Skyy

Age: 58

Where are you from: New York City

A little about your self and your education Family life etc:

I am an only child and first generation West Indian. Both parents immigrated to the NYC from the Caribbean island of Nieves (the island is so tiny you must Google it to find it). Life was hard because we were poor. Back then I didn’t know we were poor because we had everything we needed. But there was no fluff. Both of my parents worked and worked hard. In fact, I was a Latch Key kid before the term was ever coined. My mom worked during the day, and my dad worked the night shift. So there was always a parent home but they were asleep. Little tyke me would come home, fix a sandwich, do my homework and watch television.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news:

On November 24, 2013 I officially published my first book, “Cross Eyed: Part 1”!  I’ve been wanting to publish a book for decades and I finally did it! Concurrently, I also launched my own website and co-hosted my first ever book launch party.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have to approximate when I started writing. It had to be in the early 1980s. I was (and still am) a die hard Star Trek fan and was a member of a couple of Trek writing clubs called ships. One was the USS Exeter.

What the Exeter’s Captain would do is send us all a mission via snail mail. We would collaborate with a partner via snail mail and write a response to said to mission in charactor (I was a Lieutenant Commander of Security). We would all send our missions back to the Captain and she would put all of the responses together in a booklet and send copies out to all of the members. I found this to be a very enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, the aforementioned club broke up about three years later. But this sparked my interest in writing solo.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

About seven years ago I was encouraged by a co-worker to join a writers forum site called Writing Dot Com. He told me if you really like to write you should join this site which is a supportive community of writers. You can either join niche communities which fit your intrest or write solo, etc. I joined and selected a free membership first. This is where I officially learned how to write a blog, and for the first time ever I entered and won NaNoWriMo (National November Write Month). This is a free contest where writers race to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I officially completed that task November 2011! Personally I didn’t believe I had it in me. Thanks to NaNoWriMo I officially became a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?  Honestly?

I was angry.  Remember that old saying “Never ever cheese off an author because they will write you into a story and kill you off?” Well, this is what happened, sort of. The bad guy progressively gets their just desserts.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

Not really. I just get an idea and run with it as far as I can go.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I named my book “Cross Eyed” because one of the main charactors is who is a jazz musician named Russell Cross, and his fan club named “Cross Eyed”.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. Not all things are as innocent as they may seem. In this case it was a fan club.

Fiona: How much of “Cross Eyed” is realistic?

Three quarters of the book is realistic. Only people who know me very well would know which are the real parts.

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes they are. I always try to include real experiences from my life in my stories. In my current book the character Russell Cross has a band named Square Watermelon. People may say there is no such thing but I’ve seen them in my neighborhood. You can Google them and see that they are specifically grown by the  Japanese in square containers. Apparently the Japanese give them to each other the way Americans give flowers to one another. So, the square shape is conducive to gift giving.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

The Bible, and the classics. Shakespeare, etc.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Tom Clancy for the spy and espionage genre and Peter David for writing what at one time was considered taboo, funny Star Trek novels.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

“A is for Argonaut” by Michael L. Stedman. It is a spy, action adventure novel.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

There are so many. I’ve been reading a lot of Indie authors and the list would be endless.

Fiona: What are your current projects?

I’m currently writing “Cross Eyed: Part 2”. Unlike my previous book, this one will be a full length novel. I also have  a vampire novel on the back burner. I was all set to publish it first when I was distracted by personal events in my life. After I publish “Cross Eyed: Part 2” I will publish “Knight Riders” which is the tentative name for my vampire novel.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

The website “Writing Dot Com” and various Star Trek forum sites.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do. I’m planning to retire at 62 and I’d love to spend the rest of my days writing, meeting people, giving talks, etcetera.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I would’ve loved to have written a tell all book. But, to protect the names of the innocent, I wrote a highly fictionalized account of some events I actually experienced.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, this a tidbit from “Cross Eyed:Part 2”

Halfway through episode two, Mom suddenly reached over and grabbed my arm. We both heard footsteps and male whispering as Dad and Russell trudged up the basement steps. Mom immediately shut off the video as they cleared the steps.

They stood a few feet away from us and gazed at us as we gazed at them.

“What the hell……” I wondered to myself and l scowled at Mom.

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The most challenging is finding time to write. I work full time and on the night shift. By the time I arrive home and settle down, I’m too tired to write. So most of my writing is done on the go.

Most of the time when it is quiet, my work is complete by one or two am. Then I have time to work on a chapter or two. I do this either on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet or Samsung Galaxy cellphone using the “Evernote” app. “Cross Eyed: Part 1” was written entirely by this method. I used to carry around a laptop but that became far too clumbersome. I found the aforementioned to be far more effective.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Tom Clancy. When he first started writing his military/spy/espianoge novels they read so true that he was visited by the FBI and CIA because they thought he was stealing military secrets. So, they wanted to know where he got his information. He told them he got it from the Library of Congress’ declassified documents. They left him alone after that.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, not currently.

Fiona: Who designed the cover?

A wonderful friend named Elizabeth Delena Rosa. She also designed my website.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Finding time, and staying in the zone.

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned a lot from the publishing process. I had to select a pen name and matching avatar. I had to look at stock photos and pick out photos of people who would best represent my characters. I had to select the music for the book trailer. Of course Elizabeth was extremely patient and very, very, helpful through the entire process. If I had to do this all by myself, I would’ve quit long ago.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Always be ready to write. It’s easy with cellphone and tablet apps to take notes. Or you can go low tech and carry a pen and paper tablet. You never know when inspiration will strike you. In my case it is always outside my home, on the bus, train, in the park. Always be prepared.

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you have enjoyed my book(s), and I love feedback.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first books I read were the Doctor Zeus books. “Green Eggs and Ham”.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

African dancing (beginning), cats, hand crafts, jogging, working out, race walking, photography, Star Trek, American History and politics, computers (self made Geek).

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