Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome Dee Dawning! (TwoLips Reviews Interview)

Dee Dawning is an author that knows how to rock your world! By mixing genres, his stories range from hot romance to action packed spy thrillers with a paranormal twist, transporting you from the world of Islamic terrorism to fortune cookie magic in the blink of an eye. And grab yourself a fan to read some of the hottest sex scenes allowed. Dee Dawning

I am very happy to bring Dee Dawning, 2008 Eppie Finalist and this month’s Featured Author to TwoLips Reviews.

Hi, Dee! Thank you for joining us.

Thanks for having me Barb. TwoLips is one of my favorite review sites so it’s extra special to be interviewed here.

Tell us about the real Dee Dawning.

Oh, but the real Dee Dawning is so boring. Can I make something up? No.

Okay, here goes: I was born in Chicago many years ago, grew-up in Las Vegas, have lived in Phoenix the last eighteen years and haven’t melted yet. I’m about six foot, sandy brown hair, blue eyes, ruddy complexioned, a little overweight (like many of us) and if I’ve piqued your interest you can see my picture on www.myspace.com/dedawning

How long have you been writing?

I took up writing for pleasure in 2000—reviews, essays etc. Then in March of 2005, having read and been impressed by a very good YA book a friend wrote, called Divine Witness, I started writing my first book—The Right Hand of Allah.

I’m sure you’ve heard writing can be very addictive and I’m no exception. I write whenever I can. I write a little of this and a little of that. Long, short, in between, thrillers, chick-lit, romance, paranormal and lascivious erotica. Frankly, my writing has been all over the place. Eclectic, would be a good way to describe it. So far, the only common thread with varying degree, has been sex.

What did you do before you became a writer?

I was and still am a home designer/builder. Anyone curious enough to see my building company website, please email me.

Do you think of yourself as a storyteller or a story builder?

A storyteller. Definitely. I start with an idea and follow where the story leads me. I have never started a book knowing or having even a vague idea how it would end. Nevertheless, I think my endings are a strong point in my writing.

How do you keep the sex fresh? How do you keep it from feeling repetitive from story to story?

That is an excellent question. You didn’t think that one up just for me did you? LOL.

I’m sure you know sex/love scenes are the hardest and most time consuming part of writing. A good sex scene is a creation—a labor of love. Do I write about sex the way I have sex. Hell no! I write about sex the way I would like to experience it. The good thing about my writing is it’s so wide-ranging, that it forces the sex scenes to be varied as well. I have been credited with my fair share of torrid sex scenes.

Here is what another author said about the sex scenes in my latest book, Getting Naked at the Hilton.

“And lots of great SEX!. In public bathrooms, on a plane, and best of all the messing around on the floor of a casino. There’s more but I’ll let you find out on your own. Oh and I absolutely LOVE the ending.”

Here’s something another gal said about the same book.

“OMG, This book will have you screaming more! A clit popping great time is what you will have when you stay at Dee’s Hilton.”

What do you think is sexier? An implied love scene or the actual scene from the first kiss to the grand finale?

(Grin) Well, I guess I already answered that in the previous question.

How do you know when writing a love scene that it’s working?

Well, that depends if you mean a technical sense or an emotional sense.

If it’s a technical sense if it’s not flowing right my muse will catch it. If it’s an emotional sense, it’ll rev me up just like a reader when I read it through.

Do you ever reach a point in writing a book where you have to step back because you feel it is getting too intense? Whether sexually or the complexity of the story itself?

Do I? I practically have a library of unfinished books that I set aside to work on something else when I became uncomfortable with the way the story was going.

What really draws your attention to a good book? The cover art, the genre, the author or the blurb?

Well first off, I’m a literary groupie. If I decide I like an author, I will buy every book that comes out. Until I am burned a couple times, at least

With unknown authors if the cover and title grabs me I’ll read the blurb. I guess the blurb is the key. If I don’t like the blurb, I won’t buy the book, but the cover and title need to be interesting enough to pique my interest. How’s that for a non-answer.

Is there something you would refuse to write about?

I suppose. Being a straight male, I really have no interest in gay stories—reading or writing. Also nothing kinky. No S&M and only the lightest of bondage and only in a playful manner. And lastly I would never write anything demeaning about women, who as a whole, I adore.

Why do you think that straight males don’t read erotic romances? Or do you think there may be some “closet” readers out there?

Another great question Barb. As far as I’m concerned, straight males are a virtually untapped resource. The word romance scares off the macho types and the others probably figure it’s a woman thing. The fact that the existing epubs claim to cater to women doesn’t exactly dispel that notion.

I will say this. The men that read my stuff get a kick out of it. The slogan I use on Fortune Cookies, ‘It’s a Hoot’, came from one of those readers. I write about the two genders but I think of my books as gender neutral. I think and hope my writing appeals to both genders.

Here you go Barb, I love this question. I’ve even put some thought into starting a unisex epub. Fem/MaleRotica.

Have you ever not met a deadline?

No. Since I have yet to sign my first multi-million dollar six book contract, I don’t really have writing deadlines. And editing deadlines are easily met.

Is it difficult to separate yourself from your story while you are writing?

Sometimes. I’m especially vulnerable when I’m writing something very happy for my characters or showing an innate goodness in my characters. During those times a keep a box of Kleenex handy.

What is the biggest misconception about writing erotic romance?

I suppose there’s a lot of misconception. I think some mainstream writers look down on the trade. Let them try to write a sizzling scene and see how hard it is. I’ve written both and there’s no comparison.

Also some consider erotica and by association erotic romance a form of pornography. By definition, I suppose explicit well done sex scenes are pornographic in that whether on purpose or not, (with me, it’s definitely on purpose) they cause the reader to be aroused. But the explicit/erotic sex scene is only one element of the story. If you did away with them totally, you would still have a story.

What other creative outlets do you have besides writing?

My home designs are very creative. I also dabble in watercolor painting and graphic arts. I designed the cover for my forthcoming book, Love and Seduction in Las Vegas, which is scheduled for release from BookStrand Inc. in August.

What other goals have you set for yourself?

What else? The Great American Novel!

On a more modest level, I’ve just finished a screenplay of my Eppies finalist, Fortune Cookies. I’m hoping it can be made into a movie. Everyone always said it has a Sex in the City flavor to it.

What advice do you have for others as they struggle to reach their goals?

Forbearance and perseverance. It’s tough. I’m somewhat established and it’s still tough, so unless someone tells you you’re awful and you get a second opinion and they say the same thing, just keep plugging away. Persistence has way of winning out.

Is there a genre that you don’t ever see yourself writing?

Once upon a time I would have said Romance, so no, I’ll never say never. My first book was a mainstream action/thriller and one male reviewer called it a “guy book” because of the action and “guilty pleasure” because of the sex. (there were a half dozen or so fairly mild sex scenes, but to someone who’s not used to them, they’re not mild.)

Anyway, one lady who gave me feedback, loved it. She said the women were an absolute gas, (The two women, Jane and Mariam were smart and deadly—the real heroes of the book) and I ought to think about writing erotic romance. So, when the idea for Fortune Cookies popped into my head, I was off and running on a career as a romance writer.

Do you have a muse?

You know I’m not sure. Other writers refer to their muse all the time so I looked it up and guess what? I still wasn’t sure what a muse was.

I guess if they all have muses, I must have one too. I certainly don’t want to be left out (unless a muse is bad) One thing for sure. It sure is amusing. LOL

Tell me, do you have any special rituals that you do before you begin to write? (Like a favorite T-shirt or setting up your troll collection a certain way. )

I was going to say no, but then I remembered the Folgers. I do most of my writing early (starting at 2 to 3 AM) in the morning and weekends so the first thing I do is make a pot of coffee. I guess that qualifies as a ritual.

It’s been a long week of writing, editing and coming up with new ideas. Now the weekend is here and you can actually relax. How would you spend the next 24 hours? One restriction, you’re unable to pick up a book!

Are you kidding me. Here’s how I spell relax. W-R-I-T-I-N-G.

TwoLips Pillow Talk

…go ahead this won’t hurt a bit!!!

What’s more important girth or length?

Funny you should ask that? I wrote a humorous blog about that in March, called Does Size Matter?; http://midnightseductionsauthors.blogspot.com/2008/03/does-size-matter-dees-initial-midnight_09.html

Check it out and see what I think.

What is the one word or phrase that will get you hot and bothered when you’re reading a book?

Spread those gorgeous legs.

Has there ever been a position or description in a sex scene that you just thought…NO WAY IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Sorry, I can’t think of any. Shouldn’t be anything like that in my writing, I’m a standard five or six position guy. Plus oral sex and playful foreplay.

As a writer what are some of the ways you have used to describe a penis?

Since I often write in a humorous vein, sometimes I flirt with purple prose. Here are some of the more colorful names the editors left alone. The descriptions below are names I pulled up from the first half of my playfully humorous chick-lit book Fortune Cookies.

Weapon, torpedo, velvety engorged organ, bold cock, wondrous object, erectus giantus, penis maximus, prodigious projectile, one eyed snake, colossus, ding dong, glorious staff, personal pleasure pole, regal staff, schlong, mighty snake.

Is there such a thing as too much sex?

You bet. Not so much too much sex in a book but too long a sex scene. I hate two and three thousand word continuous sex scenes. They’re too long to be good and even if they were, they would lose the reader after awhile. Yet, I’ve seen clueless authors bragging about their ten page sex scene.


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