MEOW! My guest today is bestselling author Dawn Eastman!
Dawn Eastman lived in Michigan for many years, in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her family and one extremely bossy small dog. She is the national bestselling author of the Family Fortune Mystery series, which features psychics, animal communication, quirky characters and murders.
R: Welcome to the blog, Dawn! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Thank you, Rocco, for inviting me to your blog!
I think most writers begin as readers and for me, those hours spent happily turning pages as a kid led me to want to write my own stories. As I got older I explored more “reasonable” careers, and went to medical school and became a family medicine doctor. I left medicine to raise my family and returned to writing during that time for my own entertainment. I found that my initial plan, formed when I was about ten, was still attractive to me and decided to pursue publication.
R: How did the idea for the “Family Fortune” mysteries come about?
I like the idea of flipping ideas around and thought it would be interesting to create a town where psychics were the norm and skeptics the minority. I also love watching families navigate the various changes that occur as time moves along – probably partly inspired by my time as a physician.
R: Tell us about your recent release, BE CARFUL WHAT YOU WITCH FOR
Be Careful What You Witch For is the second book in the Family Fortune Mysteries series. Clytemnestra (Clyde) Fortune has left police work and moved home to Crystal Haven, Michigan. During a ceremony on Halloween night, a local Wiccan dies. As it becomes clear that the death was no accident, some of Clyde’s friends are suspects. She again has to put her psychic and police skills to use to solve the murder and clear her friends from suspicion. The whole gang bands together for sleuthing, surveillance, and psychic intervention.
R: Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
I did the usual querying agents and collecting rejections. Then I took an online workshop with a wonderful mystery writer. She liked my Family Fortune series ideas and gave me the name of her agent. That agent read my manuscript, loved the characters, and took me on as a client. I was so thrilled to have an agent, I hardly thought about the next steps. I think it was a month or so later that she called to say we had an offer from Berkley. That was a truly thrilling moment. I had been writing for many years at that point. To hear that I would finally see one of my books in print and that it would have that little Prime Crime handprint on the spine was a dream-come-true moment.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
I usually start with a cup of tea, but it rapidly disappears. I have found the best aid for the creative process is a looming deadline.
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
There are so many. I love reading about history and love historical fiction. I think my favorite times are Elizabethan England (although I’m very attached to indoor plumbing, and might not want to spend a lot of time there) and the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s. There was an explosion of technology and science. I think it would have been a very exciting time.
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
My back-up plan when I was ten was to go to Africa and help Jane Goodall with the chimps.
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Rocco, you are sneaky – I’m going to take the fifth on that one. But being interviewed by a cat is right up there.
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
I hope they will be entertained and that the stories will bring them a few moments of laughter. Books have saved me at different times and in different ways. For me, the experience of being transported elsewhere by a good story is essential to a happy life.
R: What are you working on at the moment / next?
A Fright to the Death, the third book in the series, is in the editing phase. It will be in stores in April. And I’m plotting out some new adventures for Clyde and her gang.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Definitely a plotter. I like to know where I’m going.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
I’m a fairly obsessive knitter and always have something on the needles. If only I lived with a cat who could help me with yarn management…
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Read. Write as much as you can and when you are ready, try to find a good critique group that is encouraging, but also critical.
R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I’d probably try to be a professional knitter.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Both, plus horses, turtles, chimps, rabbits, etc.
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Steak
Favorite Drink? Tea
Favorite Book? There are too many to choose, but if forced I would say Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Favorite TV Series? Castle and Dr. Who
Favorite Movie? A Christmas Story
Favorite Actor: David Tennant
Favorite Actress: Lucille Ball
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Alaska
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be my grandfather, who died in France during World War II.
If I had just one wish, it would be a time machine would be nice.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be I wouldn’t trade with anyone.
Thanks for a great interview, Dawn!
Dawn will give away a signed copy of Be Careful What You Witch For to one lucky reader!
To enter, leave a comment on this blog post with your name and email address (entries without email will be disqualified). For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:
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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Contest ends midnight, August 17. Open to US residents only. Good luck!