Permuted: Hi Dawn! Thanks for chatting with us. Let's start at the very beginning, will you tell us a little bit about yourself, what books you've written, etc?
Dawn: Thanks, it's great to talk to you! I live on the south coast of the UK, and work full time in IT. When not working, I write horror and fantasy fiction. You can find some of my work under the pen name Warren Fielding, however with Permuted I write YA fantasy, most recently the Empath series.
Permuted: Your Empath series follows the character of Quinn, a strong female protagonist. Did you model her after anyone? What was the inspiration behind writing Quinn?
Dawn: Quinn was never modeled after a specific person, personality-wise, however at the time I wrote her story I was still unsure about my own life in terms of my sexuality and confidence. Quinn's growth in character and assurance matches my own experiences as a teenager, trying to understand and cope with a world which seemed to be evolving every minute. Writing Quinn's story in full, as an adult, was incredibly cathartic.
Permuted: The Empath series features themes of fantasy and romance, what drew you to those genres? In your opinion, what makes fantasy novels so compelling?
Dawn: I was drawn to fantasy fiction from a young age, partially as an escape from the world at large. Initially with the Redwall books by the beloved Brian Jacques, I then found strong female leads to admire in books by Tamora Pierce, Katharine Kerr, Terry Goodkind, and more. These women, and the words the authors constructed, were fascinating and so far removed from the humdrum of daily life. I have always been in awe of the fact that the human brain is capable of crafting and populating entire civilizations, and that these can be brought to the reader with a few strokes of a pen (or, these days, button clicks).
Permuted: In your experience, what has been the most difficult part of being a writer?
Dawn: Actually sitting down and writing, day after day, ignoring the monkey on your schoulder that says you can't do it; self-doubt has always been the hardest thing to tackle, and I'm sure most authors in the majority of genres can sympathize with that.
Permuted: What is the best piece of advice you have every recieved?
Dawn: My Latin teacher taught us a proverb once; 'qui humi iacet non quo cadet' and this basically means that, if you just lie down, you haven't got anywhere else to fall. We are all born with the capicity to achieve, and if you don't get out there and strive for what you want, you'll regret it so much in the long run.
Permuted: Tell us about the first story you ever wrote: what was it about, how old were you, what did it mean for you?
Dawn: Oh wow. The first story I ever wrote, I was four or five. It was about a robot who had compartments for all the human emotions, and the robot made sure everyone had the right emotion they needed, to ensure everyone was "balanced" without every knowing what the emotions felt like. I don't think young Dawn quite knew how deep she was being! But I do recall my headteacher making a point of how good the story was. I'm pretty sure that was the day I decided I was going to be an author.
Permuted: What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Dawn: I was born three months prematurely, weighing in at less than 3lbs. I can touch type around 90wpm when i'm in the zone, and I rarely watch TV; I enjoy most of my entertainmetn on digital platforms such as Twitch, where I also livestream writing sessions.
Permuted: What authors have inspired your writing?
Dawn: I have devoured most series by Terry Pratchett, Terry Goodkind, and Katharine Kerr, more times than I can count; my desire to write fantasy was definitely fuelled by Kerr's early work and Jill from the Deverry saga is my favorite female protagonist of all time. In the new digital age of indie and hybrid publishing i'm in awe of the efforts of some of my contemporaries, and very much admire authors like Stant Litore, Kindra Sowder, Mark Tufo, and Rhiannon Frater.
Permuted: Can you tell us about your writing process?
Dawn: I'm a planner, and nothing can change that. Before I start a project, I'll have the world, characters, and full plot worked out in stages. Sometimes the characters evolve as I write. If that happens, I let the story flow, as long s the main plot arc isn't changed. When I've done a first draft I'll let the story stew for a little before going through and doing edits. Edits are the hardest part; I hate re-reading books I've written.
Permuted: Here's the big question: what's next for your writing?
Dawn: I have a few irons in the fire. I'm completing my Great Bitten zompoc series, which I hope to release in the spring, followed by the finale to my fantasy series the Graces. Quinn's story isn't done, either. so you can expect to hear more from her in 2017.
Permuted: Where can readers find more information about your work?
Dawn: My author website at www.dawnpeers.com will be live near Christmas; in the meantime, I can be reached through Twitter @dawnpeersauthor or on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/dawnpeersauthor.
Thanks, again, for joining us Dawn!