An Interview With Dawn Dalton

October 28th, 2014 Books

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Dawn Dalton!  I am so glad she was able to stop in and let us get to know her a little better.

I snagged this photo from her website and just thought it was awesome!  I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little bit more about Dawn and take some time to enjoy her writing!

dawn dalton

Q:  Why did you begin writing?  

My “how I started writing” story is borderline cliché—, as a kid, I stayed up late reading (everything I could get my hands on) every night, and then started making up stories in my head before jotting them down in notebook after notebook after notebook. My parents still tease me about my notebook obsession. Then, in Grade 5, an exceptional teacher pulled me aside and gave my parents the “she’s got talent” spiel, and even paid for some out-of-school creative writing courses. Now when I write, I think of that teacher, and am grateful she steered me toward what truly is the best career in the world.

Q:  What process do you use when beginning a book?  (Storyboard, just sit and write, outline, etc)

I would have answered this question so differently even just a couple of years ago because I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. This led to dozens of three-chapter manuscripts — as in, I’d get to about the third chapter and get stuck, or realize the idea wasn’t that great. Now, I like a rough outline that at least tells me WHERE the story should go, and some of the key checkpoints. If I invest the time to outline, chances are, the story has legs. I still prefer to flush out the characters as I go, and allow them to guide me — to a point. I’m slowly learning to reign them in a bit.

Q:  What inspired your paranormal novel?

I’ve always been a fan of paranormal fiction, but before Judith Graves and I wrote KILLER’S INSTINCT, we’d brainstormed a whole series of non-fiction monster-hunting survival guides for the young adult market. The characters, and a plot, evolved from there. Even though I love the survival guides concept, I really enjoyed writing about these characters and being able to infuse some of the paranormal lore throughout the story.

Q:  Have you had a real life spooky experience?

I wish I could say yes. But aside from my well-known fear of spiders, and a few pranks my friends have pulled on me, I haven’t been genuinely spooked. It takes a lot to scare me. However, my husband and I have a lot of fun at Halloween, where we create a very spooky graveyard in our front yard for the trick-or-treaters. My husband even made a coffin he hides in to scare the older kids. Plus, we always put on a Halloween feast for family and friends, complete with ghoulish appetizers and treats. THIS truly is the most spooktacular time of the year!

Q:  Is there a character that you’ve created that you have a special bond with or that you can really relate to?

I love creating characters and find I bond with all of them on some level. I think to spend as much time with them as you do when writing a book, you have to love pieces of them—even the bad guys. Each character has a bit of me in them—a shared hobby, a character trait, etc. The protagonists often have traits I WISH I had. In KILLER’S INSTINCT, for instance, I love Hope’s courage. She’s pretty kick-ass.

Q:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Thinking about writing. Wishing I was writing. I go through spurts where I don’t write for a few days, and by the end of the week, my husband is locking me in the office and ordering me to write…something. I’m not “me” when I’m not writing — I become irritable and almost depressed. But it’s tough making a living writing fiction, and so I’ve always had back-up plans (thanks, Mom!) that include elements of writing. I’m a Journalist, Editor, and a Communications / Public Relations professional. Because these are still creative pursuits (to some extent), this is where you’d most likely find me.

But if you’re asking for dream jobs…

  1. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be an astronaut.
  2. I wish I could be a painter / illustrator. I am in awe of those who can draw.
  3. Take me to a race track and teach me how to race cars!
  4. And, if I could be a professional reader of books I enjoy, I’d be in heaven.

Q:  Aside from writing, what other talents or special gifts do you have?

I don’t think anyone would consider them special gifts or talents, but I do enjoy crafting, cooking, gardening, and driving sports cars.

Q:  Which characters are the most fun to create, good or evil?

There are definitely merits to both, but I LOVE the challenge of creating evil characters with redeeming qualities. It’s a fine balance.

Q:  If you could be any character from a book, who would you choose?

Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. What an adventure she went on! That story is one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer, and to this day, my mom still calls me “Alice” (her little dreamer).

Q:  What would you like to write next?

I’m working on an Alice-inspired short story for a new anthology LEAP is publishing next year. Given how much ALICE IN WONDERLAND has impacted my career, I’d be overjoyed if my story was selected for the anthology.

I’m also under contract with Teen Pulse, a Simon & Schuster imprint, for two contemporary YA novels. My first, ANNE & HENRY, the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn re-told as a high school romance, debuts Fall 2015 under the pen name Dawn Ius. I’m working on final revisions to that, and have outlined the second book, which is a high-octane YA thriller pitched as a cross between THE HEIST SOCIETY and the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. I’m so stoked to get writing!

I also write scripts, adult thriller, and educational graphic novels for the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. So far, I’ve written eight books, and I am contracted for at least two more. There never seems to be a shortage of IDEAS…only time.

I’m still working on my website, but you can currently keep in contact with me via these social media platforms:


Twitter: @dawn_dalton




Twitter: @dawnmius




Dawn Dalton wrote her first book at the age of eight when she discovered writing about monsters was way less scary than looking for the beasties under her bed. Since then, she’s still leery of things that go bump in the night, but she’d like to think her storytelling skills have improved. After earning a degree in journalism, Dawn ventured into corporate communications, marketing, and public relations. She is the co-editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

But her heart belongs to fiction.

Though she’ll always be a BC girl, Dawn now lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband, teenage stepdaughter, and three bullmastiff hounds. You know, just skulking around.

killer's instinctKILLER’S INSTINCT

Where there is NO life – there’s Hope…

Hope has always been a bit of a freak. But when her mother crawls from her grave and her undead corpse goes MIA, Hope’s last thread of normal snaps with a vengeance.

Enrolling in a militia-style school for monster hunters seems her best bet for tracking down Mommy-dearest and putting what’s left of her mother to rest. But the stakes are raised when she’s partnered with three unique male recruits – each with their own personal demons to slay if they want to survive basic training.

But does Hope have a true killer’s instinct? If she finds her mother, will she have the guts to do what must be done to save her soul? In a place like Le Manoir, all bets are off.

Killer’s Instinct

Dawn Dalton & Judith Graves

ISBN 13: 978-1-61603-024-7
ISBN: 1-61603-024-0

Order Now!

LeapBooksAmazon, and Barnes & Noble  


Anthology edited by Kat O’Shea

Contributing authors include: Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Linda Joy Singleton, Heather Kenealy, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Carmen Tudor, John W. Otte, Halli Dee Lilburn, and Mark Finnemore

Augmented Reality by Karl Gee

All proceeds from the sale of SPIRITED will be donated to 826 National.

Print book available only from the Leap Books store.


Edited by Kat O’Shea
“Threads of the Past” by Dawn Dalton

Order Now!

LeapBooksAmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords

Thank you Dawn for taking the time to stop by and thank you fans!  Y’all rock!

Cici ♥


3 Responses to “An Interview With Dawn Dalton”

  • Dawn Dalton [ 28Oct14]

    Thanks for the great interview, Cici! Great questions.
    Happy Halloween!

  • Kitty Keswick [ 28Oct14]

    What a fun interview! Looking forward to Anne & Henry! Dawn rocks! <3 Kitty

  • simone [ 29Oct14]

    Great interview – even after working with Dawn for years as the publisher of the children’s graphic novels that she writes for us, there were things that I learnt about this amazing author. So proud to call her my friend as well.


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