Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hometown Secrets

I’m Dawn Flemington and I’d like to thank Whitley for inviting me to talk on her blog today. She’s popped my ‘author cherry’ as this is my first interview for my first book, Hometown Secrets, which
debuted November 19th  from Loose Id Publishing. My second book, Blah, Humbug will be released December 1st from Dreamspinner Press. Yes, I have many things to be thankful for this holiday season and at the top of the list? Finally seeing a lifelong dream come true! I am book published! *SQUEE!*

Question – Are you a plotter or pantster?  Like all things in my life, instead of being either black or white, I tend to be a shade of grey… I call myself a ‘fencer’ – that is, I kinda do both plotting and pantsing. I must plot out the characters and have a vague outline of goals… then I pants it, which unfortunately leads me into some murky middles if I’m not careful.

Question - Tortured hero or tortured villain? I love to read stories and watch movies where the villain is totally a tortured soul. I’ve tried writing my version of a sympathetic villain, and alas, I haven’t mastered that yet. But I will keep trying…

Question - Easy on your characters or as hard as possible? Compared to my colorful, event-filled life, I don’t make my characters go through anything I haven’t been exposed to, so I believe I’m pathetically easy on my characters – however, my characters would vehemently disagree.  

Question - What do you consider to be the key elements of a great story? Hands down and no breath holding… it’s gotta be the characters. In my humble opinion, if you have wonderful, believable characters that touch a reader’s soul on an intimate level, you have it made. It doesn’t matter if you head hop or if your plot is quirky or if you start laminating in purple prose… if you have beloved characters and remain faithful to them, the reader will be more apt to forgive you for weaker story elements.

Question - What is the hardest part of writing your books? In all actuality, not letting real life get in the way. Ignoring procrastination and trying NOT to feel guilty over the laundry, the dishes, the simple dinners, and the abandoned vacuum cleaner/mop/feather duster. However, if we are talking about the actual mechanics of writing, I would say I have trouble surfing murky middles. If my middles are not sound, they have the tendency to become like quicksand and swallow me whole. Then the story never gets finished. (*sigh*) Sad, but true. I have a file drawer filled with great starts and beautiful endings, but the middle just sucked the life out of me.  

Question - How do you develop your plots? Do you use any set formula? If I told you, I’d have to kill you. (*snort*). Seriously, I have tried everything under the moon and then some, and for me, I haven’t found anything that compliments my mood at the moment, nor the current alignment of the stars or my bad hair days. More than likely I will continue to seek out the elusive magic ingredient guaranteed to make my writing life easier – and if I should stumble upon it, I would probably covet it for a period and call it ‘my precious’ before feeling guilty and then share it with the world…

Can you tell me a bit about your most recent release?  I started Hometown Secrets in as a submission for an anthology. Much to my chagrin and delight, the characters took on a life of their own and refused to be limited to 12,000 words. Never one to let an opportunity pass, I decided to flow with the voices to see where the characters wanted to take me. Wow – was I ever surprised.

As for my characters Pete, Asher, Virgil, Pastor Trumball and Trenton-Lee they; are as real to me as most of my family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances and the town of Delton became as memorable as my own hometown. Maybe that's because the location and all characters are a combination of places I lived in and people I grew up with or have met over the years. (A bit of trivia - Trenton-Lee is the name of my oldest grandson and has his Uncle Kelley's (my oldest son's) personality growing up. Vera is based on my grandmother and my fifth grade teacher.) Unlike past stories I've penned, it was hard to end this book.

I hope to someday revisit Hometown Secrets and expand, as I have a couple of secondary characters who are dying to tell their own stories and share their own secretes.

An old secret. A new secret. A surprising secret. A dirty secret.
Coming to terms with his sexuality, Pete Stubbs has found his 'Mr. Wonderful' and wants to celebrate his happiness by coming out. Yet admitting he is gay to his family is taking more courage than he originally thought, especially when his mother stuns him with her unexpected homophobic hatred. He starts to wonder if his coming out will be more selfish than freeing.

Out and proud Asher Gilford is tired of always being the 'throw away boy'. He deserves to be loved by a man who's not ashamed to be with him. Though his current lover reassures him it's only that 'more time is needed' before they can go public, Asher fears he's becoming someone's 'dirty little secret' yet again.

When a church sponsors Pete and Asher for a charity event, it explodes a series of startling secrets within their hometown. As Pete watches life crumble around him, he realizes that by remaining in the closet, he could lose more than his family. If he doesn't step up, he could lose Asher.

Buy link    Hometown Secrets
Dawn started out hobby writing fan fiction back in the 70’s and has had a few things published in fanzine form and on fan-fic websites. She has written a weekly column for a county newspaper and has had a few magazine articles printed.
Other than writing and reading, Dawn loves to quilt and crochet and has keen interest in green living, natural remedies, and self-reliance living skills.

Dawn is engaged to Scott Flemington, a retired HS English teacher who pines to be a co-author someday. They are life-long Michiganders and between the two of them, have five children, seven grandchildren, a fat spoiled cat and a turtle. They are highly active with their local GLBT and BDSM community.