"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Interview With Dawn Smith of Dark Dawn Creations

Dawn Smith of Dark Dawn Creations

"Right now anyone can publish but I don't think that will be true for long... "

Dawn Smith. 
Ebook cover designer. Paranormal writer. Poet. Biker. Boudicca look-a-like. Tattoo buff. Crackshot, proud mother, and a woman with strong opinions about Independent Publishing. She spoke to Green Wizard about this and more on Yahoo Messenger in a fascinating interview.

Hi! Tell Wizardwatchers about Dawn Smith? 
Hi! Wizardwatchers. I am married to a wonderful husband and have three beautiful daughters. I live in the dry dusty desert of Avondale, Arizona. I am a prodigious reader, a writer of ebooks and paperbacks, and latterly an ebook cover designer.  Agewise, I alternate between 29 and 32 depending on who I talk to (laughs).

Haha. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I can hold a pen!  Anything that came to my twisted little mind went down on paper in the form of short stories to poems. Four poems I have composed have won contests or been published in the last twenty years.Recently, a poem I composed reached the top twenty of the world poetry competition. I thought your readers might like to read this. 

It’s called The River of Hate.

In every time, there is a place, 

To turn our back against the race, 

Warm hearts turn cold with jaded eyes, 

Spitting out their hated lies, 


Cracked lips parting in the wind, 

The great deceiver in the end, 

Trumpets sound with blaring tones, 

Under feet the worn earth groans, 
Take a breath and shuddered sigh, 
In the darkness tripping by, 
The Gods have come to let me see, 
Who is there to remember me? 
No coins for me to pay my pass, 
The boatman sails by me and laughs, 
The river Styx flowing red, 
The cold damp earth to be my bed, 
Summerland a place of dreams, 
It’s Tartarus for me it seems, 
A taloned finger crooks to me, 
At Hades’ feet I live to bleed. 

That’s beautiful, Dawn. Thanks for that. 
You're welcome. I love my poetry. In the eighteenth century, poets were the rock and rollers of the world, but that didn't last long. I wish those days would come back!

Moving on. How did you come to found Dark Dawn Creations? 
I founded Dark Dawn Creations on the belief that even the poorest of Independent authors should have good cover art.  Through my journey as a self-published author I found one thing to be true. While the author is usaully not well paid, the suppliers of services like cover art and editing were robbing the author blind. I paid a lot of money for my first e-book cover and, quite frankly, I knew I could do better myself. So I set up DDC, which aims to offer a service affordable to all Independent authors and I’m proud of that.

Going over to your writing. What do you write? In what genre?
I write paranormal romance, urban fantasy  and paranormal erotica. Fiction.

Ultra -Minted Paranormalist, Amanda Hocking
What’s that? Sound’s interesting?
Paranormal erotica takes the love for the monsters that lurk in our heads to a whole new level, Literally. Think Twilight, but dirty… really dirty (laughs).

Is it a popular genre?  
It has proved to be a popular genre, much more popular than I thought when I started writing. The sudden interest in all things paranormal thanks to Stephanie Meyer and Amanda Hocking have stimulated the fascination.

Are you a novelist? A short story writer? What have you written?
I am a novelist. I have written The Children of fury series and the Bear Canyon Shifters series.

Children of Fury Trilogy
I understand one of your books did really well?
Yes. Hailey's Coyote the first book in the Bear Canyon Shifters series spent three months in the top fifty of it's genre and there's a sequel planned. There is a compilation with a friend of mine Kandy Reed

So with a track record like this, how did you come to set up a business designing e-book covers?
I've always had a love for art, that being said as a self-publisher my Minor in art and design came in handy. I started out designing my own covers and moved on to helping out fellow author friends eventually I took the bull by the horns and decided to turn cover art into a full time job

You work full time?
I do. More than full time actually

All this and three kids too? 
Haha. It is a challenge, but one I get ahead of each day with a smile on my face. (laughs). I have a tight routine. Right now it consists of waking up at 9 am, and heading straight to the computer and checking my email.  I'm doing website stuff and answering emails until about noon. I take a few hours break and get hubby off to work and then I'm back on and begin designing until about two am

Tibetan Bowl Stress Reduction
Yes that's right I've always been a night owl. This job helps facilitate my nocturnal tendencies

Do you work better at night or in the day?
At night definitely. With a five-year old and a two year old running around. It's hard to get any serious work done during the day and of course, you do all the housework and help with schoolwork too.

It must be quite a pressured life. How do you relax?
It can be very stressful life, particularly when things go wrong. 

But I relax with Tibetan Singing Bowls on my Ipod, a cleansing Rosemary bath and lavender candles. Heaven!

I hear you're a bit of a metalhead too, is that right
I am, yes. Grew up on Ozzy and Pantera. I remember the first time I told my mom at fourteen that I was going to see KORN and Garbage in concert. She looked at  me like I was nuts.  My husband is a serious biker and I like nothing more than he and I getting the motor running and getting out on the open road! Easy Riders! I like everything fast, heavy and loud. 

Earlier this year, I fell into bad company and they started persuading me to listen to other forms of music such as Dubstep and Skrillex and Neo and stuff, but I got bored of that pretty pronto and kept the faith!! Now, where’s that Mosh Pit!
Pantera 1988

Haha. I listen to nothing else. You’re in good company. Nice one, Dawn. What was the last band you saw?
The last band I saw was KORN on the path of totality tour. Fear Factory is next on the 3rd of August It's going to be great

(Wizardwatchers can get a feel of the type of gigs Dawn attends here).

I am officially envious! Okay, three books, two CD's one DVD for your desert island, please.

Okay, for my books I'd take:

The Stand by Stephen King
Acheron By Sherrilynn Kenyon
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
For my CD's, I'd take:
Ozzy Ozbourne:  No More tears
The Seven Tibetan SInging Bowls

Movie? My, this is a hard one. It has to be Underworld. 

That's one movie I can watch over and over again and not get tired of it

The one with Kevin Costner? 
No, silly. That’s Waterworld!

Oh, sorry.
Underworld. The one with Kate Beckensale  and Micheal Speedman

Not seen that one!! I've seen the one with Kevin Costner in it. Nice selection, Dawn.  I’ve noticed that you’re seen as something of a guru in the independent publishing arena.  What do you see happening in the next two years in the ebook marketplace?
Ropey self published e-book
that got through the net

Well I'm not so sure I'm a guru (laughs) but I do see the trend. Ebook and Independent Publishing is still in their infancy. There are changes coming, which will make the industry both more self publisher friendly as well as more discriminatory against those that choose not to have their work polished. 

Right now anyone can publish, but I don't think that will be true for long. 

That’s going to be seen as a controversial statement? The whole subject is like the elephant in the room. It’s a big elephant, a real awesome African elephant that no one ever sees. There is far too much money at stake for the ones who are allowing self-publishing, and ebook and e-reader sales continue to rise. Eventually, there will be gatekeepers  just like the big six and poor, unedited, rushed, subpar work will no longer be accepted

 Who will be the gatekeepers?
Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and other companies They can already run checks on your formatting and for plagiarism. It won't be long as the industry grows that they will begin running checks for typing errors, grammar and the like

Traditional. publishers already decide what they want to publish and who can publish. Do you think that will happen in the Indie sector? 
I believe it will to an extent.

New Amazon Evil Editors
Oh MY!
 Hang on. I don't think they will turn you away just because they don't like your story, but you will have to find an editor. ‎ Definitely. While it costs them virtually nothing to have your book on the digital sales.  Unhappy customers with sub par books will eventually make them began to do so.  Amazon does not like unhappy customers

Upcoming Dawn Smith Novel
I see. So, if you were a first time author starting out today, would you self publish? Or go traditional?
I would so self publish  I'm too much of a control freak to go through a traditional publisher

Okay, and finally  what have the Dawn Smith massive got to look forward to in the coming months? 
Well first to come out will be the second book in the Bear Conyon Shifters series, Serina's Promise.  
Dark Fury the third Book in the Children Of Fury series should be out by January of next year.

...and what about DD creations? your e-book cover work? 
Dark Dawn Creations is growing rapidly. I've helped over twenty authors already with more coming in every day. Dark Dawn Creations is here to stay and eventaully become a staple in the self publishing Community.  (I Hope)

Dawn, I know that Wizardwatchers wish you all the best and I hope DDC and your writing business rocks and rolls in the coming year!!

Thank you, Wiz. It's been a blast!

Contact Dawn at:

e-mail: dawnsmithbooks389@gmail.com

Blog: (Full of useful information and about to be revamped.)

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