Tuesday, March 1, 2016

An Interview with author Dawn Cahill

Hi, Dawn, welcome to Whispers in Purple. So happy to have you drop in for a visit. Let’s chat a while.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote a lot of short stories as a kid, so,…a long time! But once I got serious about it, I actually finished a novel for the first time. That was 3 years ago.

Has your writing journey been as you envisioned it? If so, tell us a bit about it. If not, how is it different?

It’s been a funny journey (funny as in unexpected). When I finished my first novel, I immediately submitted it to a First Novel contest, and my family was highly confident it would do well. LOL! I learned it usually does not happen that way. It didn’t do poorly, but nowhere near as well as I’d hoped. I still had much to learn about the craft. Since then, I’ve taken an online fiction writing course, joined critique groups, attended umpteen writers conferences, gotten professional feedback.

Finally, earlier this year, entering contests at last paid off. My first novel (still unpublished) finished in the semifinals in the Genesis contest. And then, my second novel (Sapphire Secrets, featured today) finished in the finals in the First Impressions contest.

What sparks your creativity when feeling drained?

A good book and a long nap! But when I need inspiration, a long walk or hike does the trick.

What have you learned recently about yourself, and how has it affected your writing?

I’ve discovered, through various means, that God wired me to write, and by abandoning my writing dream while raising children, I was violating my true God-given nature.

Here are some quotes by George Orwell that resonate with me. Do they resonate with you as well?

Orwell: "I had the lonely child's habit of making up stories and holding conversations with imaginary persons."

"From ... the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer. ... I tried to abandon this idea, but I did so with the consciousness that I was outraging my true nature and that sooner or later I should have to settle down and write books."

How much of yourself do you put into your books?

Funny you should ask! I just wrote a blog post about that. In Sapphire Secrets, while writing my protagonist’s conversion, I relived my own salvation experience. And some of my character Scott’s funny quirks I “borrowed” from myself. For instance, I hum a lot, and sometimes the song I hum reveals what I’m thinking. Scott is the same way, except he whistles. And sometimes, he gives himself away. It makes for some semi-embarrassing moments. ;)

Do you write in one place or switch off to different locations? Describe your favorite writing place.

I write in the bedroom that I used to rent out. Prior to that it was my son’s before he went off to college. Once he took his old bed, it became the perfect writing spot. Plenty of daylight, big table, lots of room. My cats love to hang out in here with me while I write.

Let’s pretend: An anonymous donor has gifted you with a 5-day stay at a place of your choice, and you can bring four other contemporary (not family) with you.

A: Where would you go, and why?

To Ireland, because I’m so fascinated with the Irish people, their history and culture. I’m part Irish myself, and love a good limerick and all shades of green. Smile

B: Who would you take with you, and why?

If I could take family, I’d take my three sons, because they’d feel right at home. They look Irish, and all three have Irish names! But since I can’t bring them, I’d bring four of my single women friends because they deserve a vacation.

Tell us something about your book.

  • SapphireSecretsFrontCover· Title: Sapphire Secrets
  • · Publisher: Kindle Direct
  • · Release Date: January 13, 2016
  • · Genre: Women’s fiction
  • · Series or Stand-alone: Book 1, Seattle Trilogy
  • · Target Audience: Christian fiction readers aged 20 to 50+

· Back cover blurb: Filled with mystery, romance, and unforgettable characters, Sapphire Secrets is the story of a Seattle woman’s relentless pursuit of truth and God’s power to heal and transform broken lives.
Twins Livy and DeeDee McCreary open a dance studio in honor of their late mother, whom they lost when they were six. Problem is, Livy remembers nothing of the day her mother died. The more she questions her family about that awful day, the more she suspects she’s been lied to all her life. While she’s seeking answers to what really happened, she keeps crossing paths with handsome engineer Scott Lorenzo, who compels her to question the New Age philosophy she was raised on. What if there is a personal God out there who cares about her?
Before Livy can discover answers, a brutal accident interrupts her search. Her life flips upside down as she faces a future she is not prepared for. Yet the unanswered questions continue to haunt her. Can she find the strength to keep on with her quest, even if it means losing the two people most dear to her—her twin, and the man she loves?

2015 Finalist, ACFW First Impressions Contest

· Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Secrets-Christian-contemporary-Seattle-ebook/dp/B01AL7VIO8

Finally, where can readers find you?

About the Author:

Author Dawn V. Cahill pens “Stories of Victorious Faith for the 21st Century,” nearly always with a crossword puzzle, sudoku, or dark chocolate nearby. “The characters in my stories face situations that would have been unthinkable even 20 years ago. We live in a vastly different world than our parents did, and that’s the world I write about.”

Seeing an unfilled niche in the Christian fiction market, Ms Cahill birthed Hot Topic Fiction at an intensive four-day writers conference. HTF isn’t afraid to explore the question, how does God want us to live out our faith in this not-so-brave new world? Without insulting the reader by offering pat or easy answers–because there aren’t any–HTF tells stories of ordinary Christians following hard after Christ in a world of terror and violence, of upside-down morality, of hostility to Judeo-Christian values.

Ms. Cahill also blogs about puppies, substance abuse, and single parenting…sometimes all in the same day. She’s going to finish that novel she started at age 11 called Mitch and the Martians…someday. She has written several newspaper articles, two Christian contemporary novels, and more limericks than she can count. Email her at dawn@dawnvcahill.com, or find her on Facebook. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Dawn, thank you so much for being my guest today. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you.

You are very welcome! It was my pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Peg! I'm looking forward to chatting with your readers.