Name: Dawné Dominique (I also write under the penname of D. Thomas Jerlo)
Age: Old enough to know better, but still do it anyway. : )
Where are you from: Center of Canada
A little about yourself, your education, family life, etc.:
I’m the middle child of four, with a twin sister who’s forty-five minutes older than I am. (*sigh* my mom has always liked her best). I currently work as a contracted paralegal three days a week. The rest of my time is spent trying to write the next best-seller and creating cover art for several publishers and numerous Indie authors.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just received the rights back to my vampire series called The First. It’s not your typical paranormal, erotic, mystery, romance, and my vampires certainly don’t sparkle. It’s adult, bloody and sexy as hell. I blend biblical facts with fiction to give a plausible explanation as to where, how and why vampires and vilkacis (which I call wolves) came into existence.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been an avid reader my entire life. It was my way to escape the stuff that was happening in my life. From there I decided to write my own stories. It wasn’t until Grade 12, when my English teacher persuaded me to continue with it. She was the only one who told me I had talent.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finished writing my first fantasy novel. Throughout my life I can honestly say that I started about twenty plus novels. I just never finished any of them. Life usually got in the way. Then I joined a writing forum. In less than eight months I finished a 200k+ epic fantasy novel. That’s when I realized I had patience and perseverance to write a book and be an actual writer. So I quit my job, gave up everything to concentrate on becoming a published author. I learned all I could. It took me less than two years and both of my first submissions were accepted by two different publishers.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My job. I was so stressed that by writing and escaping into the world I’d created gave me peace and solace. It also gave me the gumption to finish my first novel.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I have to hope that I’ve developed my own style of writing, but I have been compared to Anne Rice. Greatest compliment ever!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Which one? *chuckles* Titles come to me as I write a novel. I never know what it will be called until about halfway through the writing process. It has to title itself, so to speak.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. I write for enjoyment. There is one constant, however: good versus evil. Not all my endings are happily ever after.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have to confess that there’s quite a bit of me in every book. My daughter was aghast after she read Dark Diary because she believed Aiden Blackmore, the cop in the book, was her father. OMG! (If you read the book, you’ll know why I write OMG!) I believe every writer, whether consciously or unconsciously, interjects a large portion of themselves into every novel they pen. They’ve given birth to it. It becomes their baby. It could be something as subtle as a personality trait or they write about a character they wish they could be (for me that would be Daniella Rolfe). Writers write what they know about. Plain and simple.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
The two most influential authors for me were J.R. Tolkien and Anne Rice. I know. Two large spectrums of genres and writing styles, but their novels swept into worlds I never wanted to leave. They were unique. I hope that my books do the same for my readers.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
See answer above. I’ve recently discovered Sheri Fredricks, Natasza Waters, Morgan Wyatt (she writes under several pseudos), Nora Ash, Bob Bickford, Colette Saucier, and Ophelia Bell, to name a few. They have unique writing styles and fantastic story-telling skills. If you haven’t read them, I suggest you do. You won’t be disappointed.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Traci Markou. We met in my writing forum. We used to write in the same genre and critiqued each other. She was offered a publishing contract before I was and I was so proud and happy of her. She pushed me; she encouraged me; she beta-read. She was everything an aspiring author needed. It wasn’t long before I became published myself. And I have her to thank for it.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I work three days a week as a contracted paralegal. The other four days are committed to writing and cover art.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’ve been nicknamed the Revision Queen, so that might tell you a lot. *smiles* There’s always something I want to change, whether it’s the cover (I’d be a cover artist’s worse nightmare), a sentence structure or two, but the story itself? No.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her. So I created my own version of her. I called her Patti Livingston.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m currently working on two projects: One is my vampire series called The First series. Eden’s Hell, Dark Diary, Kindred Blood and Crimson Cries had all been previously released, but since I received my rights back for them I’m making some changes to coincide with the fifth and final novel that I’m currently in the process of writing. I’m hoping to re-release them within a year.
The other project is one half of the epic fantasy novel I wrote called Dark Prisoner: The Divenean Key, which is currently in copyedits. I’m hoping to release this one this summer. It’s classic fantasy: mage’ic, wizards, kingdoms at war, battles and demons. This one has been a labor of love. I wrote it in 2001. It’s time to share it with the world.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I have a habit of missing small words like “that”, “the” etc. It’s very frustrating. My hands don’t catch up with my brain. Even when I proofread, my brain sees the word is there when it’s not.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I wish! But no. However, I am a research fanatic. For Kindred Blood I researched for months England and Scotland maps in order to get street names and locations correctly described. I’m kind of anal about research. If you’re writing a book you have to have your facts right.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
That would be me. *blushes* I’m known more for my cover art than as an author. You can check out a small portion of my cover art here: www.DusktilDawnDesigns.com
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Every book is unique in its writing challenges. One might be a character. Another the scenery. One thing I do find challenging is trying to catch up with my brain.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned never to give up. With every book there were (still are) times when I’ve though that all I’ve written for the past month is crap. Then I pull on my big-girl panties and forge ahead. Not everyone will like what I write and that’s okay. But one must learn to have faith in themselves and not give up.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
That would be my character Daniella Rolfe. And the actress would be Angelina Jolie, hands down. I’m not a big fan of hers, but Angelina has similar physical attributes as Daniella, a kick-ass attitude (think Tomb Raider), and that steely ice-green stare. I always thought she’d make a great 1000+ year vampire.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
As I mentioned above, don’t give up. Walk away from your computer and don’t look at your writing for a couple of days. Work on something else. Then go back to it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
It’s called Continuum by Sheri Fredricks. It’s a short erotic fairytale romp based on the classic tale of The Frog and the Princess. Damn, that woman can write. Erotica and hilarious.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Black Beauty. I’ve never forgotten it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when my friends and family are happy. I cry when they’re sad and hurting.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Abraham Lincoln. I’m Canadian, so I know that’s a little weird, but the man held ideals and beliefs that were beyond his time. He fascinates me.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Self-explanatory: Everything in this life happens for a reason and because of it we learn never to take anything for granted.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Cover Art. *giggles* I like to powerwalk when I can.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now, Lucifer. It’s a new show, but I love the guy who plays Lucifer. He’s perfect. The show is about the Devil that takes a vacation. Where does he go? California, of course. I also make time for Games of Thrones, and I’m biting at the bit for the return of Penny Dreadful. I don’t watch a lot of television. I do love any vampire and/or werewolf movie, but not the cheesy ones. It took everything in my power to get through Twilight.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Anything Italian
Colors: Red and black
Music: Classic Rock-and-Roll and Blues
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d like to have been an artist/painter. All the artwork in my house is my own, including the six foot painting in our living room.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I’d love for you visit me.