Dawn Brotherton’s latest book is the first in the ten-part Lady Tigers’ Series—Trish’s Team. Previously Dawn focused on her Jackie Austin Mystery Series, but she has now turned her attention to writing youth fiction about a girls’ fastpitch softball team. She comes by her love of softball honestly, having played, coached, and umpired throughout her life. She has even designed her own Scorebook to teach others how to keep score. When she isn’t writing, she is serving her country in the United States Air Force as a colonel at the Pentagon. If you are interested in the military, you may find A-10s Over Kosovo, a compilation of stories about being deployed for Operation ALLIED FORCE, an interesting read. Dawn was a contributing author to that book.
Find out more on Amazon.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
My first book was based on a lot of weird things that happened to me when I was a second lieutenant in the Air Force. I had a stalker, and someone was breaking into my house…pretty scary stuff. When I would tell my friends about it, they would insist that I write it down because it made for a great story. I finally did. Truth isn’t always as captivating as fiction, so I had to add a few murders to make the story more interesting. I’m in the middle of re-writing that one now so it will be re-released soon.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
Perks—working in my flannel pajamas.
Demands—marketing. I can’t believe how much of a writer’s time is spent on the business-side rather than the actual writing.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I went a step beyond self-publishing and set up my own indie press (Blue Dragon Publishing). I looked at the pros and cons and, unless you are already famous, the author spends a lot of money and a lot of time promoting himself, just to have a traditional publishing house take a huge chunk of the profit. I decided to try it on my own. Now I have helped a number of other authors get their start, so I’m very satisfied.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
I have two teenage daughters. My younger one is helping me with the editing of the Lady Tigers’ Series. My older one is editing the re-write of my first book. They understand I love it. Truth be told, they are both better writers than I am!
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
My family lives in Williamsburg, Va and I am stationed at the Pentagon so I have an apartment in Arlington. I have no excuse not to get some writing done during the week, although I can always find a distraction.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Getting books back from the printer where the pages were mangled and printing offset to the point of cutting off the words. But that wasn’t the craziest part. Having to go all the way to the Vice President of the company to get my money back was the insane thing!
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
At the risk of creating a huge writing foul, I really don’t like to do social media. I don’t have time for it. I have a Facebook account for my family, but a person can get lost jumping from one interesting post to another. Before I know it, my night is gone and I haven’t done any writing (see? Distractions). I also have a LinkedIn page but I don’t post enough on either. I promise to try harder.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
Because of my own lack of time, mostly I’ve been just getting by. With Trish’s Team, I really think I have hit my stride. I’m going all out on this one to introduce the Lady Tigers to the world. I already have the second one through the editor and I’m working on the third. I’m enjoying this series.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
Besides social media? When I find stupid mistakes in my work I should have caught. After 6 years of writing, I went back and read my first book again. I was so embarrassed by the rookie mistakes that I pulled it off the shelves until I can rewrite it. While I still believe it’s a great story, my writing has gotten much better so I see every flaw.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished—and helped others accomplish. I like having a finished product that I can be proud of. And I like working on my own schedule. I will retire from the Air Force soon and plan on working on many of the projects I have lined up, like the other seven Lady Tiger books, and one last Jackie Austin Mystery—Truth Has No Agenda. So check back with me in a year and we’ll see how much I’ve gotten done.