Today I am depositing the moist egg of Dawn Peers on the fertile ground of Illustrious Peeps!
If I’m not mistaken, you’re in the UK. What is it like working with a US-based publisher?
Without having a basis for comparison here in the UK, I can still confidently (I think) say working with Permuted Press has been a breeze. It’s only a 5 hour time difference, so the majority of correspondence still goes back and forth at a reasonably humane time. I think that, as Permuted do have a geographically wide author base, they’re used to dealing with authors in different time zones. Certainly the entire process, from acquisition to release, has been a genuine pleasure. The one thing I do miss is the volume of conventions you guys have; they’re few and far between this side of the pond, and though I am making an appearance at Wyntercon in Eastbourne this year, that’s the only thing on my radar. I may have to make some time to come pay a visit to some of the big events in the US next year!
How long have you been writing?
Being one of those stereotypical “I’ve always wanted to be a writer” types, this is where I give you the cliche of ‘all my life’. I started writing full-length novels (well, attempting to write) when I was sixteen years old. I didn’t finish that first novel until I was almost thirty, thanks to life getting in the way, and developing Class A procrastination skills. That first novel I finished, I did release, though to more of a mute squeak than an indie fanfare. I learnt a lot that first time that I won’t be repeating again. I didn’t start writing horror fiction until that time, however now I can’t stop. It’s addictive!
Which of your writing projects is your all-time favourite? (Notice that Queen’s English spelling, will you?) Even if it has yet to be published.
I had a dream a few months ago about shadow people; it’s managed to evolve in to a novella that I’m chomping at the bit to get down on paper. That’s not really a ‘project’ though and I have to admit that first fantasy – which is going to be a trilogy – is still my favourite at heart. It’s an expansive world that I can let my imagination run riot around. I can do the same with zombie fiction – but there are always certain constraints within this genre that mean you still have to do your research and keep within certain boundaries. It’s fun of a completely different nature.
As a reader, what are your genre preferences?
Horror and fantasy; all the time, any time of the day. I was brought up on Brian Jacques and Tamora Pierce, then moved on to Katharine Kerr, Terry Goodkind and Terry Pratchett. I discovered horror through Stephen King (though the unedited The Stand was… long…) and from there discovered zombie fiction via Permuted’s own ZA Recht. Within these genres, I’m a sucker for a story with a strong female lead – anything that goes against the writing tropes of having a damsel in distress for the sake of it will get an automatic +1 from me. Life has evolved past the ‘token’ female in fiction and many women writing in horror these days know how to put these kinds of characters to the front of their work. It’s a great time to be in either genre, with some of the dystopian YA fiction being produced at the moment.
What would you like potential readers to know about you, as a person?
Apart from the amusing fact that I can’t watch horror movies (or, for that matter, TV shows)… I love discussing the theories behind books. So if you read GB and feel like you’d like to discuss any of the subject matter within it – why a certain character is a certain way, or why I based the story where it is – I am more than happy to discuss it. I was always curious about the worlds my favourite authors created, and in this day and age of social networking and availability, I think it would be great to open a dialogue with readers that wanted to know about my work.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t read self-help books or blogs instructing you how to ‘be an author’; don’t spend so much time comparing yourself to other writers and wondering how you’ll measure up next to them that you never actually get around to finishing your own work. I spent a lot of time avoiding finishing my first novel because I was afraid of the inevitable ‘what if’. Also if you want to write just to make money, get off the train now; it’s probably not going to your stop.
What is your next big writing project?
Well GB is the first in a 5 book series, so that’s still very much a live project. However I’m going to be spending the rest of the year penning a YA fantasy trilogy (based in a new world from the one mentioned earlier). It’s from a fresh viewpoint compared to the writing I’ve done so far, and aimed at a different audience, so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to that one!
If you would like to make Dawn Peers part of your author-o-logical survey of peeps in the UK, you can spot her here: