I’m pleased to introduce to you all my next guest author, Dawn Baca. She is a busy woman with some interesting stories to tell, but let’s hear it from her, shall we? We’ll peek at her bio and then get right to the good part.
An insatiable reader of all genres since her childhood, Dawn is a globetrotter hungry to discover new places and experience unique adventures. She can be found indulging in her husband’s first love of summer camping in the mountains or luxuriating on the open seas while cruising to exotic destinations during the frigid winter months. When she’s not jet-setting she can be found in Central Valley California with her husband and their many rescue animals.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Dawn: I have two books published, and the third book in the series is expected to be out before this Christmas.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Dawn: I write contemporary romance stories laced with a heavy dose of women’s fiction, that revolve around dysfunctional family dynamics. Some write romance to create a happily ever after they only dream of for themselves, while others write what they know. I’m one of the latter. I am far more familiar with dysfunctional families than I’d care to admit sometimes. I started out writing more women’s fiction with the family stories, only to turn them into romances after and turned them into a series instead of a single book. I have found my happily ever after with a wonderful husband that I’ve known since high school and have been married to almost 18 years.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Dawn: I write characters that live or visit foreign countries. So far my characters have been to Russia, France, the United States, and Bali. The series will continue with more characters visiting places like Easter Island Australia, and Egypt as well. I love to travel so having my characters visiting the world gives my soul a little chance for wanderlust when I can’t go.
A loving woman’s desire . . .
Sophie Compte leads a charmed life. Blessed with brains, beauty, and wealth she’s spent her whole life preparing to someday take the reins of the family business, a horse breeding farm world-renowned for its championship lineage. Also lucky in love, Sophie expects to marry the only boy ever to win her heart—if she can convince the man he’s become to bury his foolish pride.
A strong man’s honor . . .
Claude Durand loves Sophie more than his next breath, but loving her and being worthy of her are two different things. He appreciates the long-term employment assured to him and his widowed mother by Sophie’s family, but he is determined to earn it for himself. For Claude, this means becoming an accomplished veterinarian so his value to the Compte business will never be questioned. He’ll marry Sophie because she owns his heart, but not until he’s proven to the world he’s the man she deserves.
Threatened by scandal and pride . . .
Turmoil erupts when the elite Compte horses are compromised by drugs. As the spiraling scandal threatens Sophie’s legacy, Claude’s hard-earned reputation, and puts their families at risk, the lovers race to find the culprit before all they’ve worked for is lost. Sophie believes their love is strong enough to survive anything but fears Claude’s stubborn pride is stronger. She’ll do anything to convince him that win or lose, he is her heart’s desire.
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Dawn: My husband set up our second attempt at a home office for Christmas a few years ago for me, a new desk and monitor with a docking station etc. It’s fabulous. (Our first home office ended up being a catch all dump station we shut the door on to avoid looking at!)
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Dawn: I usually have music or the TV on in the background while I write, and I try to listen to instrumental music or environmental sounds when I’m editing.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Dawn: My mentors are Amabel Daniels, Casey Hagen and Deb Julienne. They have been such a great support system. Joining RWA and going to the conferences has given me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful like-minded people.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Dawn: I think the ability to write on the go. To throw my thoughts down in my phone app while riding in the car with the husband or siting in the reception area of the doctors. It doesn’t matter, for me a few minutes to jot it all down is all I need. Unfortunately, this also means that I’m not a linear writer.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Dawn: For me as a non-linear writer, it’s all a whirlwind of thoughts. I have the characters pretty much set out for this series, but every once in a while a new character sneaks in and they end up becoming a central part of the series theme and they end up with a story of their own.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Dawn: Last year I was able to focus on just writing and editing, though this year has been a juggle between the day job, commuting, writing, and editing. So now it’s all about squeezing everything in while on the go.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Dawn: For each book I try to beat my previous writing time. This year I was on track to finish the third story by May until I started a new day job, got bogged down in editing gigs, and life at home went pear shaped. I couldn’t seem to write any new words for months no matter how many times I sat down at the keyboard.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Dawn: I did the first two years I was writing, and then the last couple of years I haven’t because we tend to go away for the holidays to Mexico and I want to be able to spend quality time with my husband and our friends.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Dawn: I’m reading Dead Eye by Alyssa Day
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Dawn: I don’t think I really have a favorite. For me it’s a mood thing. I love everything. I read romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, paranormal, young adult, every genre has something wonderful to offer.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Dawn: My book shelf currently hosts hard-cover copies of the Harry Potter Series, Julie Garwood’s Saving Grace, Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody Series, Deborah Harkness’s Discovery of Witches trilogy and Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code. I re-read these all about once a year. I also have dozens of books by James Patterson, Clive Cussler, Kay Hooper, and several paperback books by Casey Hagen and Amabel Daniels.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Dawn: I try not to read contemporary romances when writing, though I do find myself sometimes beta/critique reading for others when I’m in the middle of writing one of my own stories. And I have to be extra careful not to let their voice stay in my head when I’m trying to write.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Dawn: My day job is a program coordinator for a fortune one hundred company.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Dawn: There is so much to learn, never be afraid to ask questions, and find like-minded people in the industry to connect with, this alone is a life saver.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Dawn: First keep writing. If at first you don’t succeed, set it aside and write something new. The more you write, the more you learn, and the better you become. It takes courage and perseverance to make this dream come true. It was my third book written that was the first published. The first two books are still being heavily edited, and will come into the series in the middle. And second, keep reading. Read the popular, read the classics, read your favorite authors, read as much and as often as you can. Absorb it and let your mind grow.
Betty: Any hints of what your next writing project might be?
Dawn: My series was originally going to be the story of five sisters and their dysfunctional family dynamics. Then a couple of background characters came forward and demanded a book or two of their own, so now it’s morphed into a life of its own… Once Sophie’s second part comes out in December we are going to focus on giving her fiancé’s mother Leila a happily ever after of her own, establishing another intricate layer within the multiple families already introduced.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Dawn: Eventually I’d like to write more suspense, I’m slowly adding a little bit of mystery/suspense to my current series just to get the feel of it, but eventually I’d like to write a complete series.
Sounds like you’ve definitely have a plan! Thanks for stopping by to share with us your writing process and stories, Dawn.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers, along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!
Visit www.bettybolte.com for more on my books and upcoming events.