Good morning, and welcome to another stop on Dawn McCullough White’s tour for The Trilogy of Shadows! I had the pleasure of playing 20 Questions with Dawn a couple weeks ago. Take a look, peruse the books and enjoy!
About the Author:
Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist.
Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gewürztraminer. She’s fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson. Dawn is represented by the Kleinworks agency.
SHR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
DMW: I was a teenager in the 80s, but I’m much more in love with the 90s. I’m married. I have a son. I live in western NY. I really like the changing seasons, and get a kick out of celebrating the holidays. I have every Sims game known to man. I loved the Avengers movie, and I have a lot of pets.
SHR: Tell us about your most recent work and where we can get it.
DMW: My most recent work is the Trilogy of Shadows, and it can be obtained through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.
It’s a dark fantasy, action/adventure novel about a dagger toting, pistol packing woman, Cameo, who was abused and left for dead but was discovered by a vampire and brought back to life. She spend most of her “life” as an assassin but an entanglement with an endearing, and pompous dandy gives her a change of heart and she leaves the people she’s been working for. She has no idea what the vampire did to her, and over the span of the trilogy Cameo struggles to discover what sort of paranormal creature she is, and whether or not she is truly good or evil… On this journey of self-discovery she’s accompanied by Black Opal, a dandy with a surprising history, Kyrian a boy with a gift for healing, who hopes to become a priest, and Jules the assassin who wants Cameo dead.
SHR: As an author, what’s next for you?
DMW: I’m working on my second trilogy~ Trilogy of the Tyrant. The first book in that series The Emblazoned Red will be out in the spring of 2013. This trilogy is set fifteen years in the future, in the same world as my previous books, and Cameo will be a featured character, though not the main character.
SHR: Do you write under your real name or a pen name?
DMW: Iwrote this under my real name, but yes I do have a pen name as well. It makes it kind of exhausting to keep up with two fan bases, and sometimes I regret ever doing this to myself.
SHR: How many genres do you write in? Which is your favorite?
DMW: Two, so far, Dark Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. They’re both my children, I can’t choose a favorite, I love them both but for different reasons.
SHR: Your inspiration- is it from your imagination or personal experience?
DMW: It is my belief that much of what I write is trauma that comes up from past lives. Some is directly from things that have happened to me in my current life and the rest is imagination, and if you don’t believe in past lives at all then I guess you could say that it’s all imagination and some personal experience, yes.
SHR: Give us your opinion- Editors, friends or enemies?
DMW: Oh my gosh, friends definitely! If only I had an editor with me all the time, at least a copy-editor, to make certain I didn’t comma splice on forums and Facebook. In all seriousness though, an editor can help you to see the problems that you can’t see because you’re just too close to it.
SHR: Plotter or Panster? Is there an advantage to either?
DMW: More of a plotter, though not a hardcore one. I write a loose outline, and fill in the blanks with ideas that come to me later.
SHR: What comes first, the plot, the characters or the setting?
DMW: Usually, an idea for a character comes to mind, I may even draw a picture to get a better connection to who I think this person might be- do they have light hair, dark hair, scars, sorrow or happiness in their eyes? And then I run them through different scenarios in my head, fleshing him or her out. A plot begins to take shape and that is how I start. I begin with a basic plot idea, scenes that will definitely take place are outlined, and as I write I have “ah ha” moments when I figure out bits and pieces of the main character’s history, or how the novel will all come together in the end.
SHR: Who is in control when you write, you or your characters?
DMW: Me. I try to feel them out before I start writing about them, you know, “would Cameo do this?” or “what would transpire if these two characters met?” (one of my favorite scenarios btw). It’s almost like a little game I play with myself as I write, trying to keep them within character as new personalities are brought in. If I let the characters just say or do whatever at that moment, I wouldn’t be being true to who they are, or to the plot.
SHR: Literary Hot Button: What are your thoughts on Writer’s Block? Does it exist? How do you overcome it?
DMW: Well, it exists that’s certain. I’ve had it several times. As a matter of fact, I’m just getting over it right now. Generally when I realize that I’m stumped and I just can’t seem to write, or get my creative juices flowing at all I panic at first, but then I settle down and realize it’s not a big deal. I know a lot of writers will tell you to just sit down and write something, anything, a paragraph… but why? It’s not as if I’m never going to write again. So, I just do other things… you know, play with my son, read a book, watch movies, play some Sims. Stuff I can’t do when I’m really in that “writing mode”. For me, it usually means that the book I thought I was ready to write just hadn’t cooked enough in my head, and it wasn’t ready to be written. Nothing to panic about at all. And anyhow, isn’t it nice to go about a few weeks, or months living a life, filling up your well so you have something to write about again later? I think so.
SHR: When choosing reading material, what factors are important to you?
DMW: The cover. Yes, the cover must look professional. Then onto the blurb, it must be written in first person and the writing must suck me in. Nine out of ten times it must be a memoir. That’s mainly what I read.
SHR: If you could live in any period throughout history, which would it be and why?
DMW: The 1700s in the US. I feel a real sense of belonging to that period in time, and I sort of feel like I missed out on it completely.
SHR: If you were told you could never write again, what would you do to fill your time?
DMW: I used to sketch quite a bit, and that really uses the same sort of muse for me, it’s another a passion of mine, so I’d probably become more serious about that.
SHR: Who is your favorite author?
DMW: Lauren F. Winner, Gabriela Popa and Anne Rice
SHR: What’s your favorite book?
DMW: Girl Meets God
SHR: What’s your favorite movie?
DMW: The Duellists
SHR: What’s your favorite song?
DMW: Man in a Box by Alice in Chains
SHR: If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, how would you react?
DMW: I would be surprisingly calm. Interesting little quirk about me, I’m always calm in emergency situations. You could be bleeding out the eyeballs and a complete calm would come over me as I dialed 911.
SHR: Give us one dirty little secret about yourself.
DMW: I’m in love with Tom Hiddleston. Well, okay that’s not really much of a secret, except maybe to Mister Hiddleston.
It was a pleasure to have Dawn here today! I look forward to seeing her around much more, too! Now that the game is over, check out her Trilogy of Shadows, and stop in later for more fun!
Cameo the Assassin~ The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order.
The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night… and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes… Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing.
Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.
Cameo and the Highwayman~ The land of Shandow is a place of arctic cold, the scene of the bloody revolution and the location of the item Cameo’s master wants so badly. In the dark of winter a vampire lies in wait… Opal is unable to run from his past… and Cameo must make a choice that will cost her the last shred of humanity she has left.
Cameo and the Vampire~ A vampire’s bite tormenting Cameo, she pushes forth on a journey that will find her descending into darkness and at Kyrian’s request she is forced into the confrontation she has been avoiding for over fifty years with the undead that made her…