Monday, February 1, 2010

Author Interview ~ April Dawn

Today on the couch we are pleased to have with us, April Dawn! Welcome to The Menagerie, and make yourself at home I’m sure we have a cabana boy or two hanging around… oh, there they are. Boys, please make our dear guest April feel right at home. Lovely, thank you.

April, thank you so much for hanging out with us today, I hope you’re comfy there on the couch. We do like to keep our authors comfy. Why don’t we get started before the boys distract you: When and why did you begin writing?

When I was a girl, I loved romance novels. I would often find my supply, all filched from under my sister’s bed, understandably low. This being the case, I had to make up my own. I would write scenes on my computer about beautiful women falling in love with handsome captains, or adventurous highwaymen.

LOL, well, at least you were an enterprising young lady. If you can’t find your favorite story… make a better one up! My kind of girl. Do you have a specific writing style?

I try to write typical overused plots with an unexpected twist. Bound by Love, for example, is the overused ‘sea captain takes a woman on board’ turned on its ear. I asked myself what would happen if the ship was taken, while the girl was on board, and the novel was my answer.

Oh, I love plot twists… Fractured Fairytales were some of my favorite cartoons growing up. Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think that Crushing Desire is based on an experience everyone has had. Everyone knows the feelings that take over when you have that first crush. The overwhelming intensity of it. Some are lucky, and it is requited, others are not so lucky, but I feel that everyone had felt the feelings one way or another.

Absolutely! Let’s not go into those stories now, though. LOL. What are your current projects?

I have two novels with Breathless Press Crushing Desire is about a long time crush finally realized. Bound by Freedom, Unbound by Love is about a woman who finds that fate often has a stronger pull than the best laid plans.

My newest work in progress is called the Piratess. It was fun and adventurous to write, and I hope there will be more information forthcoming regarding this title.

They sound very interesting! Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I find it difficult to cut scenes that I like. I originally began Crushing Desire with a flashback, but it didn’t feel right for the pace. I had to cut the scene despite my love for a number of the lines I had written in it. It is painful to do. Stephen King, in On Writing, likens it to killing your darlings, and I can certainly see his point of view.

Ugh, yeah I hate doing that. *sigh* But unfortunately is does have to be done sometimes. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

My biggest advice for writers is to edit, edit, edit. When you are done, you should go back through and look for repetitive words, repetitive sentence intros, and punctuation problems. You should also watch your point of view. Don’t jump from person to person without including a section or chapter break. Also, be sure to show and not tell.
For example:
Don’t say:
She was frightened as she walked quickly along the dark alleyway.
Her eyes went wide and her breathing quickened as she hurried along the murky alleyway.
If you check for all of these corrections, you will have less edits from your editors.

Excellent advice… that falls right in there with “show don’t tell”. What do you think makes a good story?

My motto is: Passion and adventure make great romance. I like a good drawing room tale if the author is very witty, but my favorite romance contains some adventure. A highwayman, some pirates, even a storm can make for some fun friction. Of course adventure is nothing without great love scenes and lots of sexual tension.

Absolutely, bring on the tension! Lol. And now for our “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: What were you doing at midnight last night?

I was up with my one year old. He decided that Mommy sleeps too much, and should stand by his crib with her hand on his back all night.

Isn’t it so much fun when they decide these things in their infinite wisdom! It does get better, though… and that’s the amazing part. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate alligator in a French restaurant once. Other than an unusual texture, it was actually rather good. The light meat tasted like chicken, and the dark meat tasted like steak.

Wow, alligator! I’ve never had alligator and I’m southern with family in the bayous… Are you a morning person or a night person?

I am a morning person. Most of my writing gets done in the early morning when my husband and son are sleeping. It is quiet… I can think, and no one is asking me to change a diaper while I write a love scene.

Ugh, you’re one of THOSE people… *sigh* LOL. Do you like thunderstorms?

I love them from a distance. My husband and I lived in Arizona when we were first married. One night a monsoon hit while we were on our way home. Lightning and thunder were joined by path altering winds. A huge bolt of lightning hit the bare ground not more than thirty feet from our car. The ground burst into a ball of flame. Before that, I never suspected that lightning exploded on impact. My husband was laughing with giddy glee, and I was about to have a heart attack. I wouldn’t want to live through it again, but it makes for a good story.

LOL, that it does. And WOW, what an experience to have in your story book. If you could wish for anything, what would you wish for?

Wow, what to wish for… The ability to think words on the screen? How about the good fortune to never repeat words or make grammar mistakes? A magic editing wand?

Well, I hope every day that I will have the insight to write a story that my readers love, but to wish for it would seem like cheating. I guess most people would wish to be rich and famous, or come up on something they always wanted, but I have what I always wanted-- A wonderful husband who gets my strange sense of humor, a beautiful and well behaved -for the most part- son, and a loving and supportive family.
So I guess I would have to wish for something frivolous… How about an automatic diaper changer. Ahhh… To have someone else to change every single diaper... That would make my life heavenly.

Ah… all good things, and how wonderful that you have most of them… and hey, the diapers won’t be around for much longer! I promise. :-D Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, April. It was a great treat to get to know you better and to watch the Cabana Boys flirt. Go ahead and hang out with us today, there’s plenty of drinks in the cooler and the boys will help you with whatever else you need. Just give me a holler if there’s anything else you need. Thanks again for dropping by The Menagerie and go ahead and introduce yourself to everyone else.

Hello, my name is April Dawn. I live in California with my loving husband and a beautiful baby boy who was born in '08.

I enjoy reading, travel, and music. I have always loved to read. I have read voraciously for more than twenty years now. (OOPs, guess I'm showing my age there.) I have a love of suspense, fantasy, PI and police crime novels, and so many others, but I have a real soft spot for historical romance.

I think I wrote my first official romance scene when I was about fifteen or so. It consisted of a girl being taken aboard a pirate ship and falling madly for the captain. I wish I still had that writing, because it would be real fun to read what I wrote like back then. I started writing seriously in 2002, and finished my first novel that year which retained the title "Romance Novel" for more than five years. Now it is titled Bound by Love, and available through Breathless Press. I have since finished two other novels that were lucky enough to be named something other than "Romance Novel" including Crushing Desire which is also available through Breathless Press.

In the future, I hope to be able to bring more of my characters into the world as I work to finish and publish the other novels that I have begun. Stay tuned to meet all the pirates, gunslingers and thieves that run through my head. Hopefully you will love them as much as I do.

You can reach April online at also join aprildawnbooks on myspace (, facebook (, or twitter (

Crushing Desire by April Dawn

Reena Harrison is anything but the fashion, but despite her flaws, she has several suitors. Unfortunately, the one man she has always loved is not one of them. After things go dreadfully wrong with a suitor and her family, she finds herself asking Joshua a peculiar favor.

Joshua Sinclair has long had a fascination with the tall beauty. After years of denying his feelings for Reena in pure military fashion, he finds himself thrown together with her in an out of control scheme. How can he possibly rule his emotions when he finds himself posing as the sensuous woman’s husband?

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