Despite an insane schedule Dawn Jackson graciously agreed to do an interview during Intergalactic Science Fiction Romance Week here on Spacefreighters. She’s on the verge of publishing her first short story, and this has resulted in a lot of interest in her other work—primarily military SciFiRoms. Dawn’s background in the Army gives her characters wonderful authenticity. Dawn is a definite “one to watch” in the future SciFiRom arena.
Q: Now that you're in the process of selling a short--Sex, Shoes and Combat Boots--for the anthology Sex and Shoes being published with Ravenous Romance in December, what would you like to do for an encore?
A: I've been tinkering around with a story about a female Army sniper. Since the Army doesn't have women in combat arms positions, I saw in my mind the potential for great conflict and story line. I think the world outside the military, the civilian population, knows little about how it is to walk a mile in a female soldier’s boots. I'd like to give them a peek into that world and a sexy story at the same time. I also write science fiction romance and young adult. I would eventually like to find a home for them. Where I work on multiple WIPs at a time, it gives me a chance to hit on all the genres I love.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: That’s a tough one to pin down. I’ve been telling stories since I was knee high to my father. He often called me ‘Windy’ because I talked non-stop. Now I still tell stories, but it’s on paper. I wrote several notebooks full of stories when I was twelve or thirteen, then boys happened, after that, the Army, children, life. I decided two years ago I’d put my writing off too long and made a goal to get published before my 40th birthday.
Q: Why do you write?
A: Somebody has to stop the voices in my head. LOL. Just kidding. Because I can and I love doing it. When I first picked it back up two years ago, it was so bad. Eighteen, nineteen years of being out of school and I actually had to think about grammar. Yikes. No one could pay me enough to show you the manuscript I’ve crammed under my bed. 110k of disaster. In the last two years, I’d like to think I’ve grown and improved. I certainly hope so. I have a lot more in me, now I just need the time to do it. You wouldn’t believe the stories churning around in my brain, waiting for their turn to get out.
Q: Do you have other hobbies or activities in which you invest a lot of time?
A: Well, I practice the martial arts. I’m a recommended black belt and would’ve been testing the day before Thanksgiving. Life interfered. So that’s on hold. I’m also selling one house, moving, and building another. I work full time, so that doesn’t leave me much time for hobbies. Hopefully I’ll be getting my belt in the spring. Art. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. Mostly wildlife, but every now and then I throw a fantasy painting together. I love painting dragons. I sew. I taught myself by making quilts. Crochet. Cook… [Laurie adds: I’ve seen Dawn’s artwork first hand. Her work is awesome.]
Q: What genre or genres are your favorite to write? To read?
A: That’s easy. Science Fiction and Fantasy Romance, hands down. I love the bizarre elements I can incorporate into these kinds of stories and still have characters falling in love.
Q: What elements do you put in your stories that you think will appeal to readers?
A: I think I do well with world building, action scenes. I like to blow things up. (On paper, that is.) I love strong female heroines and you won’t see a story I write with a weak kneed wimp. They all have backbone in one fashion or another.
Q: How many writing projects are you working on?
A: LOL. Shopping one completed novel, three re-writes, five novels half done, three short stories, two novellas and a partridge in a pear tree. There might be more, but these are the ones I’m working on.
Q: Who are your favorite authors or who has inspired you?
A: Depends on what I’m in the mood for. I love romance, but I’ll read anything that isn’t nailed down. I like Karen Marie Moning, Jim Butcher, Jane Austin, Stephen King, Susan Grant. I could probably go on and on.
Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: Yeah, but the author isn’t published.
Q: Who is your favorite character from your stories and why?
A: Male characters—I have so many. That’s hard. Probably Nero. He’s definitely got personality and the interaction between Nero and Darius, his brother, was a blast to write. He’s that crazy buddy we all have, that drives you nuts, but when things get bad, he’s always there. You never know what’s going to come out of his mouth and when. Regardless, he always knows how to talk himself out of whatever he’s gotten into.
Female characters—Eva from clone. She’s a female sociopath, anti-heroin and my most challenging personality to nail down. Cold, calculating and without feeling, she’s one scary chick. What can I say? I adore her.
Q: If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose and why?
A: An Alien’s Guide to Abducting a Bride. It has the best of two worlds. Travel between planets, family on both worlds, hot men… Seriously, with all the stuff I blow up and some of the nasty creatures I’ve spun from my imagination, I’d be scared to live on some of the worlds I created. When Souls Collide is a perfect example. Genocide, a plague… Nasty stuff. Here on Earth is fine with me. And what girl doesn’t want to be abducted by a hot alien?
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a writer? What don't you enjoy?
Thank you, Dawn! I’ll look forward to seeing your short published in December and, of course, to seeing all your wonderful novels in print very soon.