Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
Sure Tam. First, I would like to thank you and the Night Owl staff for the opportunity you have afforded me. Your website is first class and you've always treated me with cordiality.
Now, About myself? I'm a six one, two hundred pound male, who has aged like fine wine and loves women. I guess that's why I write (erotic) romance. I don't mean to come off like I'm a player-I've been married to the same lovely, exceptional woman for twenty-five years and she's my closest friend. Actually, I'm more of a cut up, something, I believe, that shows up in my work.
I was born in Chicago, grew-up in Las Vegas , have lived in Phoenix the last eighteen years and haven't melted yet. I started writing fiction a little over two and a half years ago. I think of my writing as the third phase of my adult life. Prior to trying my hand at fiction I posted reviews on music, books, movies, cars and assorted other things on some websites.
Who or what influences you when you write?
It varies quite a bit. People I've known or know, like and don't like. Experiences, fantasies, news, other books, acts of kindness, acts of malice, even physical things. I'll never admit it to her but the starting point for my book Legs was my wife's very own fine pair or legs.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
Write, write, and write. I've pretty much given up TV and movies and have substantially cut back on my reading. I have a day job, which impedes my writing to some extent, so I've evolved into some rather weird hours. I retire between eight and nine and awake between two and three. This early morning, quiet time is perfect for writing.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
Sometimes, I take a break. Sometimes, I start working on something else and sometimes, I force myself to work through it. However, I seldom find myself in a true block. I suffer lapses, call them detours, where the writing isn't quite right, could be better or I've gone off on a tangent.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
I thought you'd never ask. Coming out in February from eXtasy Books, is my latest, Getting Naked at the Hilton. Frankly, the title pretty much describes the book, though sex was not the original reason they got naked. It's a lighthearted, sexual romp disguised as a Contemporary Romance, set in my old hometown sin city. Oh, it's romantic all right, but our heroine, Rachel is very imaginative about sex and it has a fairly surprising ending. It's also somewhat multi-racial as Scott, the man, is Anglo and Rachel, the girl, is mixed. (white and black)
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I have recently completed a novella with the tentative title, Lovers and Friends. (I'm soliciting suggestions) It's about a middle aged Las Vegas cocktail waitress, who enjoys men and makes no bones about it. One evening she finds herself in the peculiar, but enviable position of being asked to tutor a handsome young man on her specialty-sex and seduction.
I have another finished product, a novelette called, By the Book, a zany story about a couple who try to spice their sex life up by enacting one scene weekly from the fictional erotic novel, Lascivious Liaisons by Madame X. I'm going to enter this one in a contest. Works in progress include a sequel to the popular Legs and a contemporary paranormal called, Hollywood Witches.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Now, this is a tough question. In my books, it would be hard to distinguish who's more of a hero, the man (men) or woman. (women)In my first book, The Right Hand of Allah, Jane is a beautiful but deady, ass kicking, killing machine, while the man, Kelly, also a covert agent and good, but is overshadowed by Jane.
In my second book, Fortune Cookies, which is a finalist for the Eppies, Has a plethora of likeable characters. I suppose I was the fondest of Rita, the beautiful but down to earth model, who had a heart of gold. In Legs, what can you say about Drew and Mallory, who constantly put themselves in danger trying to save the other.
What would you like to tell your readers?
It's you I write for. Your approval, your praise. It's keeps me going. It inspires me. If you like what I wrote tell me about it. If you didn't like something I want to hear it too.
I take my compliments wherever I can get them. My editor on Fortune Cookies said she wanted to edit everything I do. My editor on the forthcoming Getting Naked at the Hilton apologized for taking so long because she got so involved in the story she had to keep going back to reread and do her job.
To those who have yet to read me, a word. Yes, I write about sex, but I won't get into extreme sex. I would never write anything demeaning to women. Like I said, I love women. I consider myself an entertainer. People say my books are entertaining and that's just fine. If you read one of my books and are entertained, the next time you want to be entertained, you'll probably grab another Dee Dawning book. They're all different, but then again they're all the same-entertaining.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best; One of the ladies that reviewed Fortune Cookies, after giving it a glowing review, strongly suggested I enter it in the upcoming Eppies contest. Worst; To vote for George Bush. Just kidding. My wife wanted me to take up painting seriously, instead of writing. She's proud of me now, but wishes I'd write mainstream instead of erotic romance. But then I wouldn't get to interact with all you lovely ladies.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I guess I really wing it. I've never started a book knowing how it was going end let along where it was going to end. I start with a simple idea and start typing as if I was following an unknown path. Hopefully, I end up in a beautiful place with a lagoon and tropical foliage and not a landfill.
As an example my latest book, Getting Naked at the Hilton started with the premise that a man gets stood up. In reality the man was me, dozens of years ago, but where it goes is totally fabricated. Truthfully I do that with my painting and home design. I think it works to my and the readers advantage as I end up with a looser, more spontaneous product.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
Not counting my self-published, The Right Hand of Allah, the previously mentioned Fortune Cookies was first, being published a year ago in December. I'm proud of this work but my pride swelled when I was notified, in December that Fortune Cookies had made the cut and was now a full fledged finalist for the prestigious Eppie Awards, the Oscars of digital publishing.
I hope it's all right. I would like to show the blurb here.
Meeting for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, Jill's friends are shocked by the improbable, amazing tale of good fortune she spins. Lust, sex, love, pregnancy, and a planned marriage to a strapping young hunk, all from eating a red fortune cookie? A FORTUNE COOKIE? Give me a break! The owner of the Chinese restaurant sets one of the miracle red fortune cookies in front of each of Jill's friends. Gail, the hi-powered attorney, Rita, the gorgeous model, and Saundra, the uppity socialite, look at each other, then at Chad, Jill's dreamboat fianc‚e. What should they do? What would you do?
Fortune Cookies is a deliciously naughty, whimsical, tongue in cheek, romantic story that leads four friends on a paranormal journey into the supernatural in search of love, fulfillment and happiness. It is a novel for couples, about couples. Erotic and funny, Fortune Cookies will send you searching Chinese restaurants for the elusive red fortune cookie!
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
I have all of these.
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King