Author Interview

Author Interview with Dawn Hosmer

Bio

Dawn Hosmer

Dawn Hosmer is a lifelong resident of Ohio. She and her husband have been married for 18 years and they have 4 children, although 3 of them are now adults. She has spent her career in social work and has a passion for helping others. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 15 years ago which has been both a blessing and a curse. Her illness has prevented her from continuing to work (the curse) which allows her to pursue her passion for writing with many less time-restrictions and focus her energy on being a wife and mother (the blessing). 

Dawn’s writing is often sparked by a true story which creates a cast of fictional characters/situations in her mind. In addition, Dawn sprinkles pieces of people’s true -life stories they’ve shared with her throughout the years into her fiction as a way to honor many of the tragedies and joys that people live through. Her first novel, Bits & Pieces, is Psychological Suspense but Dawn writes in a variety of genres.

In addition to God, her family and writing, Dawn loves coffee, traveling, reading, HGTV and naps. Dawn believes that a story lives in all of us and that it’s important to share ours with others, never knowing who will benefit from what each of us has to say. Sharing our stories not only helps others, it changes us as well.

You can follow her writing journey and read her blog posts at http://www.dawnhosmer.com.

Bits & Pieces

A chance encounter with a stranger traps Tessa within the mind of a madman.

Tessa was born with a gift. Through a simple touch she picks up pieces of others. A “flash” of color devours her—the only indication that she’s gained something new from another person. Red equals pain; purple, a talent; yellow, a premonition; orange, a painful memory; and blue, a pleasant one. Each flash blurs the lines between her inherent traits and those she’s acquired from others. Whenever she gains bits of something new, she loses more pieces of herself.

While assisting in search efforts for a local missing college student, Tessa is paralyzed by a flash that rips through her like a lightning bolt, slicing apart her soul. A blinding light takes away her vision. A buzzing louder than any noise she’s ever heard overwhelms her, penetrates her mind. As the bolt works its way through her body, images and feelings from someone else take over. Women’s dead eyes stare at her as her hands encircle their throats. Their screams consume her mind. Memories of the brutal murders of five women invade her.

Will she be able to find the killer and help save the next victim? Can she do so without completely losing herself?

BITS & PIECES is a fast-paced, riveting psychological suspense with supernatural elements that leaves the reader guessing until the end.

**Trigger Warning**
This book contains some violence, including that of a sexual nature.

End of Echoes

Two families, forever linked by tragedy.

Ruby Dunkin is in an abusive marriage. Her best efforts aren’t enough to shield her two children from an abusive father whose cruelty knows no bounds. Their volatile situation ends in tragedy when Ruby’s eldest son, Billy is torn away from everything he loves. Consumed by hatred and self-loathing Billy becomes the thing he hates the most—his father.

Chelsea Wyatt, a senior in high school, goes missing after work one night, never to return. Her parents are devastated, only knowing this kind of tragedy from the news. Crimes like this are unheard of in their quiet, midwestern town. Consumed by the tragic fate of their friend, family member and neighbor, their lives and futures are forever altered.

 For over eighteen years, no one knows the connection between Ruby Dunkin and Chelsea Wyatt. A journey through time reveals the common thread stitching their heartbreak together. Yesterday echoes throughout each character’s life as they decide how, and if, they will break the chains of the past.

Will they continue to leave a legacy of pain and loss for future generations? Will they break the cycles of abuse that have destroyed so many lives?

Social Media Links

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/dawnhosmer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DawnHosmer7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dawnh71/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dawnhosmerauthor7

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18534695.Dawn_Hosmer

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/dawn-hosmer

Website: https://dawnhosmer.com/

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What inspired you to first start writing? Is your motivation to write now different or the same as before?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint an exact motivation to write. Now that I’m a bit older and have had the time to ponder this question a bit, I believe that writing gives me a place to dump my fears and anxieties. It also helps me make sense of a world that is oftentimes completely non-sensical. I tend to write about dark and painful subject matter. I think it is because I am a highly anxious person and putting it on paper helps me not fear it as much since I’ve “worked it out” and “survived it” on the page.

Writers are projected as loners or introverts. Is this true for you?

I once was a complete extrovert. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of an ambivert. I thoroughly enjoy people and I’m comfortable in a crowd, but I also need my alone time to re-fuel.

What genre do you like to write in? Why?

I like to write Psychological Thrillers and Suspense. This is also my favorite genre to read. I think that I enjoy writing them because I can delve deeper into the minds/psyches of the characters. I have always been intrigued by the “why” behind people’s actions—writing allows me to explore that within my characters.

Was there anything or anyone who discouraged you from writing? How did you overcome that?

There was no individual person that’s ever discouraged me from writing. I did have a college professor in a Lit class that made me hate books for a while. We had to analyze almost every sentence written to determine the author’s “deeper meaning.” I remember getting so annoyed thinking that perhaps the author just wanted to tell a good story and had no deeper meaning than what was on the page. I don’t think I could read for pleasure for a solid year after that class.

Who was your favorite author growing up? Did that change over time? What influence of that writer did you take into your own writing?

When I was younger, I loved Judy Blume; then, as a teenager, I loved V.C. Andrews. Perhaps some of my love for darker themes came from V.C. Andrews.

Now, some of my favorite authors are Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Liane Moriarty, Ruth Ware, Mary Kubica, and Heather Gudenkauf. I love to read their books for pleasure, but I have also learned so much from each of them in the art of storytelling.

Can you share any tips on inspiring other writers to pursue their dreams?

I know it sounds cliché but write the story you have to tell. The one that’s in your heart, that no one else can write but you. Don’t analyze whether or not there’s an audience for it or compare yourself to other writers. Just get the words down on paper, and if it’s from your heart, I promise you someone will love it.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer? Why?

I am a pantser and usually start with only one character and one vague idea. I love sitting down and writing to see where the story and characters take me. I also love hearing feedback from readers about how the book impacted them.

When you first started writing, what was your vision of where you wanted to take it?

For many years, my dream was to pursue traditional publication and to be able to see my book in all the bookstores, like Barnes and Noble. Of course, I also dreamed (and perhaps still do a bit) of seeing one of my books made into a movie.

Does a bad review affect your writing?

I know many writers say to never read your reviews, but I can’t resist. It’s often the only feedback we receive as authors. I do consider what reviews (both good and bad) have to say and mull over the comments to see if my writing needs to be changed or if, perhaps, the book just wasn’t the right fit for that particular reader. I don’t let a bad review stop me from writing or allow it to keep me from pursuing my dream.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what were your aspirations?

On some level, yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I remember telling a friend in elementary school that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I think that I got side-tracked by life a bit along the way, but the dream has always been there.

What book have you read that has been the most life changing? Do you have more than one?

There are so many that I really can’t pick even the top 10. I feel like most books I read transform me in some way, even if it’s only by taking me out of my worries for a while and allowing my mind to rest.

Are you working on anything right now? If so, what can you share?

I am working on the re-writes of my 3rd novel which is a psychological thriller. I completed the first draft at the end of May but haven’t had time to get around to the re-writes until now. It has a unique concept with loads of family drama and twists & turns along the way.

Who is in your support system? How do they help keep you motivated?

My biggest supporters are my husband, my children, and my mother. My husband has had to remind me OFTEN throughout the years to not give up. I queried both Bits & Pieces and The End of Echoes over a ten-year time period. It got very difficult to keep going after facing so much rejection. Also, I tend to panic right before I release a book, so my family helps calm me down so that I have the courage to put my work out there despite my fear.

I have also found so much support in the Writing Community on Twitter. It truly has been a godsend for me and has helped keep me writing on days I wanted to quit. I’ve also made so many dear friends through Twitter.

Do you keep a blog or a journal? How does it help you as a writer?

I used to journal, and it helped me get through some very rough times in my life, but I don’t anymore. I have a website and did several blog posts when I first started it but fell out of the habit. It’s something I’d like to devote more time to.

Do you have any daily mantra’s? What do you tell yourself to keep your inspiration alive?

One of the biggest things I must remind myself of is to just do the best I can each day and to not give up on my dreams. Because I have a chronic illness (Crohn’s disease) and suffer from chronic pain, some days the most I can do is get out of bed and do the bare minimum to take care of my family. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to not feel productive everyday and to not compare myself to others, especially those who don’t suffer from chronic illness. It does make establishing any type of regular writing routine a bit hard so I’m trying to learn to just be happy with what I am able to accomplish each day. I’m also trying to learn to extend grace to myself on the days that I can’t do much at all.

What is your biggest success as a writer? What have you learned?

I would say my biggest success is having two books published within 9 months. If someone had told me one year ago that two of my books would be out in the world, I wouldn’t have believed them. I’ve learned that perseverance and determination is key in the writing world. Success means not giving up no matter how many times you are told no.

Has your writing taken you to other cities, states, or countries? If so, where?

Not yet but I love to travel so I’m hopeful that this will happen in the future.

Have you ever attended a writer’s conference? If so, what can you share about what you learned? Any advice on how to navigate one?

I have not attended a writer’s conference, but it is one of my goals to do so in the future.

What advice would you give your younger self about writing?

You’re going to hear “no” more times than you can count. Believe in yourself and your dreams despite rejection. Keep putting words on the page and don’t give up.

Have you slipped personal places, people, or animals into your writing? What is the best thing you’ve mentioned? Have people noticed? Did you kill off someone you didn’t like very much?

I have (sometimes subconsciously). In Bits & Pieces, I mentioned Tessa and Cyle eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches which is one of our family favorites. My family members did notice, and it has launched some interesting discussions on Twitter – I’ve actually gotten a few folks to try it and, so far, they’ve all liked the concoction.

I didn’t realize it until my aunt read The End of Echoes recently, but I used five of my mother’s siblings’ names in the book as characters. I was stunned because I didn’t even do it intentionally. I was also surprised that after reading it so many times, I didn’t pick up on it.

I will never admit to killing off someone I didn’t like very much. 😊

How did you celebrate the launch of your first book? Was it different than your second?

To celebrate the launch of Bits & Pieces, I had a nice family dinner out and then scheduled two launch parties – one in my hometown and one near my current home.

To celebrate the launch of The End of Echoes, I had a nice family dinner out (hmmm…sensing a theme here). I am still in the process of planning a launch party. My dream would be to hold one at a Barnes and Noble so I’m going to approach a local store in the upcoming week about this possibility.

If given the chance, what author would you interview? What is the most important question you would ask?

If given the chance, I would want to interview Jodi Picoult. She is one of my favorite authors. I would want her to tell me a bit about her writing process. Many times, she will do extensive research into animals or other cultures that she includes in her books. I want to know if she starts with a story idea and then builds some of these other facts into the book or vice versa.

What inspired you to write Bits & Pieces? Where did your ideas come from and how did they develop?

I am a fan of true-crime TV as well as shows like Law and Order and Criminal Minds so some of my ideas develop from them. The main storyline was inspired by a real-life event. When my son was a freshman in college, a fellow student went missing and was later found murdered. Her murder was linked to several other rapes and murders in the area. I was glued to the television during the time she went missing until her body was found because I had a personal connection in that she attended my son’s school.

I mentioned earlier that I am a pantser. I started Bits & Pieces with two ideas: 1) a woman was born with a gift that felt more like a curse. She was able to pick up pieces of others through touch and the only way she knew how she’d been changed was through a flash of color; and 2) The main character would somehow be involved in a case on a college campus that involved missing women. With those two ideas in mind, I sat down and let the words flow. I believe I wrote the first draft of Bits & Pieces in under 30 writing days. The huge twist in the book, shocked me as much as it does the reader. I didn’t know what was going to happen until the words came out onto the page. I was stunned and a bit upset because it meant I had to do quite a bit of fixing during re-writes.

What would you tell others who are considering traditional/self-publishing? Any advice?

There is no right path for every writer. Ultimately, you must choose what fits best for your career goals and life. There are pros and cons to all routes – self-publishing, working with a small indie publisher, and traditional publishing. Look at the pros & cons of each and then trust your gut.

What do you want to be remembered for as a writer?

For writing books that make readers forget about real life for a while. There is nothing I love more than getting completely lost in a good book and forgetting to do everything else because I must know what happens next. I want to provide that same escape to others.

Thank you, Dawn!

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