A cheery 'Hello' to you all!
I hope you've been enjoying the lovely weather for the past few days after all the recent rain!
And here we go again, it's author interview time! This Tuesday's interview is with Dawn Treacher, whose talents also include being a fabulous artist and illustrator! Dawn's interview is my eleventh in this series and there's many more to come!
Here's Dawn standing beside her homely writing den...Geraldine!
Eva: Welcome, Dawn! Thank you so much for agreeing to take part in my series of author interviews. Right, let's get started. First, tell us all about yourself (as in, a bit of a biography).
Dawn: Thank you Eva, for giving me this opportunity! Hi, everybody! Okay! My name is Dawn Treacher and I live in North Yorkshire. I am a children’s book author and illustrator, artist and plush artist. I love all things whimsical which is reflected in my art and my passion for writing children’s fantasy adventure stories.
How many books have you written up to now? Are they published or self-published? What genre are they?
I have published 5 books to date: A traditionally published picture book and middle grade children’s fantasy adventure. I have self published a children’s fantasy adventure and been paid to write two more which were published by an indie publisher. In addition I have written an adult cosy crime and another children’s fantasy adventure novel for which I am currently seeking a publisher. I am currently writing an adult magical realism novel.
Of all the genres there are, is there any genre/s that you feel you wouldn’t be able to write and why? Is there any genre that you really wish you could write, but feel you wouldn’t be able to do it justice?
I really couldn’t write historical fiction simply because I don’t have the patience to do all the necessary research. I much prefer to write purely from my imagination, the more bonkers the better really hence why I love fantasy. I would really like to write a psychological thriller but fear I’m not good enough at the moment to plot something so complex.
Do you have any favourite ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ words that you like to use in your books? What are those words? Also, what words used by other authors irritate you more than they should?
I’ve always liked to use some more complex words in my children’s fiction, such as cacophony and veritable as I feel children should be allowed to explore new words. I don’t really have any pet hates about words other authors use in their writing.
Do you sing at all, be it karaoke, in a choir or have done so professionally? Whether you have or not, have you ever written (or had the urge to write) any song lyrics? Have those lyrics been used at all?
I don’t sing at all but I was called upon to write a song for the promotion of one of my books, The Kringleset Chronicles- Rise up, Rise up. The song was recorded by a welsh school girl for us and it is available on YouTube.
What question would you like to pose, (if you were to ever interview your favourite author), which never seems to get asked in author interviews? And who is that favourite author?
I don’t have one particular favourite author, but what I would like to ask of all my favourites is whether they see their stories played out to them in their mind like a film when they write them, because I always do and I would love to know if others do to.
My favourite authors include, Anthony Horowitz, C.S Lewis and Maeve Binchey.
If you were to ever write a children’s book, (and those of you who already do) would you/do you do the illustrating yourself, make use of a family member or friend’s talent or pay an illustrator? Do you solely write or do you have any other creative pursuits?
I am a qualified children’s book illustrator so I am lucky enough to have illustrated some of my own published books and I have also illustrated other authors’ books for a local indie publisher too. (Eva: I'm so jealous of your drawing skills, Dawn!)
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite? And why?
My favourite character has to be, Goldermare, the goldicoot from my book, The Curse Of The Goldicoot. This is because it was a character I created when I was a small child and even began writing about but which didn’t emerge until I published my first book in 2020 when I was in my fifties.
Have you ever killed off a character in your books (I’m sure you have)? If so, was it because…it fitted nicely into the storyline? OR…Did you start to really dislike the character and, with too much work involved to re-write without that character, think it the easiest option to have that person die?
Yes, because I have written my first adult cosy crime in which I have 3 murders as for a crime novel dead bodies are really rather essential. Having written children’s novels for so long it was liberating to be able to do so.
Are any of your characters based on family members or friends? Have you kept their characters totally true to life or have you given them bonus traits that you wish they possessed in real life?
No, none of my characters are based on family or friends but some of my characters have been based on the characteristics of people I have met in my life.
Relationships/family life aside, what are your TWO main regrets in life?
My first big regret is that I accepted an art college’s opinion that my art was too whimsical back when I was a teenager. I took it to heart, accepted their rejection of me and did a degree in Law instead. It was only in later life that I became determined to prove them wrong and re-trained in illustration. I had never given up my art work but saw it purely as a personal hobby when now I wish I had persevered all those years ago.
My second regret is that I hadn’t taken writing seriously before I reached my late forties, I feel I’ve lost so much time and chances to take that somewhere.
What was your passion as a child? Did that passion stay with you during your adult life OR did you, as you grew up begin to detest what you once enjoyed?
My childhood passion was always drawing and creating and it is something I have always done and do every day to this day. My creativity is who I am.
What was your best subject throughout your school years? And your worst?
My best subject through school years was my art and by far my worst was maths, as I simply do not have a logical mind.
Tell me about your favourite teacher throughout your school years? Was it a crush you had? Were they just an excellent teacher of your favourite subject? Or some other reason…kind, fun, generous…?
My favourite teacher was an art teacher in secondary school called Mrs Watson. She was flamboyant, highly enthusiastic and the only teacher that ever told me I had the potential to succeed. I just wish I could trace her now to show her how far I have come.
Did either of your parents ever express a wish to write? Are they supportive and proud of your work? Or do they just choose to not get involved, but they are pleased for you?
Neither of my parents have ever written but they have both been very supportive of my writing.
Tell us about your ultimate ambition, be it personal, travel, writing, work, hobby related or other?
My ultimate ambition is to be able to call myself a writer rather than just someone who writes but I’m not sure when you reach that stage but I hope to find out. (Eva: I'd also love to know the answer to that one, Dawn!)
Do you have any phobias and if so, what are they? Have you ever conquered any phobia and if so, how did you do it?
I don’t have any phobias as such but I do have fears, the main one being water so you’ll never get me on a boat again.
Most people I know are not happy with something physical about themselves (face/body etc.,) but if you could change anything about your personality, what would you wish to change?
I would love to have an outgoing personality but shyness is the lot of an introvert which is why I love writing so much because then I can explore all the things I would probably never dare to do in life.
What is your ‘go to’ snack, whatever the time of day? And drink of your choice?
It’s always tea and chocolate biscuits no matter what the time of day and always when I’m writing.
Cats or dogs? What do you have? Do you introduce any pets into your books?
We have always had a cat and are presently on our fourth, a black and white cat called Luna. Animals always play a very big part in my books, even my adult books they are very much active characters that help shape a story.
AND FINALLY, Hit me up with all your Amazon book-links? And the links to your website and social media profiles?
What another fabulous interview! Thanks again, Dawn!
Up on Friday, we have author Liz Martinson in the hot seat, so don't forget to check here again on Friday morning!