Dawn Skyy: Greetings and Felicitations! My name is Dawn Skyy. I'm an Indie or independent author. I work the night shift for NYPD as a police clerical. By day after my errands and workout are done, I sleep like a vampire.
I'm a life-long Star Trek fan. In fact I'm considered to be one of "The Old Guard", one who literally grew up watching Star Trek from Kirk & Company to Voyager. I also love reading, science fiction, fantasy (especially if there be dragons in it!), spy, espionage, thriller and detective are the genres I enjoy the most. I also love classical music, old school R&B, jazz, and I've recently taken a liking country and blues.
Aside from reading and writing I'm also into photography, hand crafts (crocheting, knitting, beading) jogging, power walking, African dance, weight training, and I love animals, especially cats. I currently have two rescue cats I adopted nearly one year ago. Like typical cats, they have me perfectly trained.
Robin Leigh: Tell us about your latest published novel.
Dawn: It started out as a rant against a fan club I'd joined about three years ago. I wanted to warn people that certain fan clubs were not all they are cracked up to be. I'm not saying that all are as horrible or bad. Some fan clubs are well run and monitored organizations.
The one I hooked up with was the pits because it had none of the aforementioned qualities. Since it dealt with a real celebrity (whose name I would never reveal), I concocted a highly fictitious version of the events which transpired, names, and some places involved, and let it fly.
Robin Leigh: What is the latest book you’ve published?
Dawn: Cross Eyed: Part One is my first and only book.
Robin Leigh: Can you give us about a five sentence description from it.
Dawn: Darlene, a retired NYPD cop seeks out her best girlfriend Alexis for help in solving a mystery and help a celebrity. Alexis who is a retired NYPD detective and runs her own private detective agency agrees to go under cover and sort out the mess. Alexis goes undercover and gets far more than she bargained for.
Robin Leigh: What can you tell us about your current writing endeavor?
Dawn: I'm currently working on Cross Eyed: Part Two. I ended Part One with a cliffhanger which I plan to fully address. I will also be clearing up a lot of other issues which I'd vaguely touched on in part one.
Robin Leigh: Can you give us an excerpt from one of your favorite scenes in your latest novel?
Dawn: We didn't even have to ring the bell because Mom had the screen door open and was waiting for us. I stepped right into one of her rib crushing hugs. Mom was the type of woman who didn’t let you go unless you hugged her back with equal force. She didn't like wimpy hugs.
Without looking I could feel Dad standing behind her. I was also aware of what Russell had been doing behind me: removing his hood, taking off his hat and his sunglasses. Both Russell and Dad locked eyes and stared at each other for a half a second before recognition dawned on Dominic DeLaRosa's face. I wish I'd had my cellphone out to take that photo. My Dad stunned speechless with his mouth hanging open like a Striped Bass.....
"Holy s**t! You're, you're... Lexi, why didn't you tell me you were seeing .....THE Russell Cross?" Dad asked incredulously.
"And have you called me nuts?" I asked.
Robin Leigh: How did you decide what the title of this book would be? If this book is part of a series, then how many books will be in the series?
Dawn: The name Cross Eyed is the name of the fictitious fan club in the story. I named it that because the star's name is Russell Cross.
I originally didn't intend for it to be a series, but I got so caught in the story and charactors some will say the "plot bunnies" went wild. I'm writing a second book which I'm hoping will be a full sized 50,000 word novel. In comparison Cross Eyed: Part One is considered a novella.
Robin Leigh: Would you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser?
Dawn: I consider myself to be a little of both. I plot endlessly, and I have set scenes that must happen. However, getting to that set scene is another story. For instance, I must have Lexi go to the carwash. Now, she can take an uneventful drive to the carwash or there can be a twenty mile car chase on the way to the carwash. I can never predict what will happen until I sit down to write. That's what I've so meticulously plotted turns into a monster.
Robin Leigh: What made you decide to become an author?
Dawn: I'd been writing for most of my life. I actually started writing as a result of my love for Star Trek. I wrote for fanzines (fan magazines) and published one of my own for about a year. I also wrote extensively for what are called written role playing games, within the Star Trek community.
I was really bitten by the writing bug when I was encouraged to join a writing community site named Writing Dot Com. There I learned how to create and keep my first blog. I was also introduced to and encouraged to enter and win NaNoWriMo.
Robin Leigh: What is NaNoWriMo?
Dawn: It stands for National November Write Month. It is an international writing event which happens every November. It's a race where writers participate by attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. In order to meet this goal one must write a certain word goal every day (I believe it's approximately 3,000 words per day, but don't take it as gospel). To me this was a real challenge because at that time I was schlepping a laptop and would write furiously on my breaks, at home and everywhere I could. On Thanksgiving Day I didn't write a sentence as it would've been impolite because I was a guest for dinner at a friend’s home. I made up for it and won in 2011, though. That novel is currently sitting on the back burner waiting to be published.
Robin Leigh: In your latest novel, who’s your favorite character male/female? Tell us why.
Dawn: Of course all of my "Cross Eyed" characters are all my babies, because I created them. I like Russell the best because he is so laid back; you really don't who he is until you really get up close. Then it's like, "gasp"! I also like Alexis' stepdad, Dominic DeLaRosa. He is a force to be reckoned with.
Robin Leigh: Do you set aside a specific amount of time to write, write/answer emails, and market/promote your book[s]?
Dawn: I really haven't been on a specific schedule. I pretty much write when I have a few minutes here and there between my studies, work, chores, and sleep. Thank goodness for smartphones and tablets. Both allow me to do significant amounts of writing and web surfing on the go, instead of waiting to get home to write read emails the way I used to.
Robin Leigh: Do you read books outside the genre you write in? What are they?
Dawn: The titles are too numerous to name. I used to read a lot of well-known authors religiously; I'm talking waiting for their next book with baited breath. That meant long spaces in between as most authors can't crank out a book a month (like the pulp fiction days). But since I've become a member of the independent author community I've found so many excellent authors within that realm, I must confess, I haven't bought a mass published book in two years.
Oh yes, I read anything but horror, zombie, erotica.
Robin Leigh: What must you have around you when you write; food, drink, music, etc.?
Dawn: When I used to write at home I had to have my music, my water and my furry writing assistants (cats) at my feet.
Robin Leigh: When you were an aspiring author you needed advice. What advice would you give to those aspiring author in those shoes today?
Dawn: For an inspiring writer/author I suggest you should join a supportive writing community like Writing Dot Com; they’re like a Facebook for Writers, only it is closely regulated and monitored. You can join for free and you get a profile which includes a blog. You can post your writing and invite members to come by and critique and help you to improve. At WDC you are also free to critique and help others. There are also clubs, forums and contests you can enter to help hone your craft. Then there is the utter madness of NaNoWriMo. This is the perfect place to get your feet wet because everyone there shares the same goal.
I also advise anyone who wants to become an independent author, to familiarize yourself with the top social networking sites. Namely: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Good Reads. Why? Because these are going to be the avenues which you will use to publicize your book(s), touch base with other Writers and Authors and connect with your fans.
Robin Leigh: Is there anything else you’d like to briefly tell us about your book, your writing, or yourself.
Dawn: I'm so, so grateful to the Independent Authors community, I would've never made it without them. I'd wanted to publish a book for about twenty years but I was terrified of the query letter, manuscript, rejection process. I went through years ago with a fan fiction magazine. I'd sent said (long defunct) publisher my story and I received a rejection letter! I couldn't believe it! A rejection letter from a fanzine? I was devastated! It made me so angry that I decided to publish my own fanzine. I did that for a year until I went broke doing it. Back then I did not have the options we have in abundance today. I encourage you to get out there and use them.
Where can we find your book?
Cross-Eyed: Part One is on Amazon http://tinyurl.com/l93f8jn
Where can we find you on internet?
BLOG: http://me4cats.blogspot.com [My blog about my rescue cats named "Cats Gone] There are also several blogs on my website. Click "Skyys the Limit Blog" and mouse over the drop downs for the different categories.
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/dawnskyy
Thank you so much Robin Leigh for interviewing me!
AND THANKS Dawn for giving me your time in allowing me to interview you.