This weekend I’m talking to Dawn Hosmer, writer of psychological thrillers with Ant Colony Press, Dawn has turned the diagnoses of Crohns disease into an opportunity to throw herself into her passion, writing. Sparked by a true story after years of experience within social work, Dawn’s peppered her stories with truths she’s learned giving her books an eerily closer to reality and suspenseful atmosphere.
Ok, easy one to start that requires only silly answers to break the ice, what is your favourite Disney film?
It’s not a Disney but my favourite “kids” flick movie is Shrek. First of all, that soundtrack is amazing. My family may hate watching it with me because, of course, I must sing along. Secondly, I love that Fiona chose to stay an ogre rather than a princess, as Disney storylines tend to go. Shrek is also one of the few movies that had sequels that were equally as good as the first one.
What is your current WIP and what excites you the most about it?
My current work in progress is a Psychological Suspense that for now is entitled, Somewhere In Between. I love that it has a unique storyline and so many delightful twists and turns for the reader. It also has some elements of time-travel (in a sense) which has been fun trying to learn to navigate. Who am I kidding? It’s been an absolute nightmare trying to navigate the time travel scenes, but I’m slowly figuring it out (and hopefully doing it well)
The End of Echoes released in August 2019. It is truly the book of my heart and the first novel I wrote. I am passionate about it for many reasons. It touches on so many important issues in today’s society—domestic violence, alcoholism/addiction, grief, missing children, and family relationships. One of the key themes in the book is about what type of legacies we are leaving for future generations. It examines how one tragedy can impact so many people, in so many different ways. No two people respond to loss or grief in the same way. It also looks at how, often times, change begins with one small choice. With one person standing up and saying “No more”! The cycle stops with me!” I’m not saying that breaking destructive cycles is easy, but it is possible. The End of Echoes is told from first-person points of view from five main characters. It also moves back and forth in time to show how two tragedies are linked together. I felt like this was a story that must be told from multiple perspectives to show how each individual moves through the stages of grief (unfortunately in some unhealthy ways). It is also a story of hope, healing, and redemption, but I tried to make all of these things realistic. I didn’t want it to seem like the characters woke up one day and, like magic, they were better. Grieving takes time and is different for each person. Many times, it’s a process of taking one step towards healing and then five steps backward. I tried to depict that realistically with my characters.
I spent my career in social work and I am passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. I hope that my writing is able to make at least a small difference to others.
What do you do when you get writers block?
For me, writer’s block only happens when I’m putting too much pressure on myself to write a perfect first draft. I am a pantser, so there will never be a perfect first draft. When I accept that and allow myself permission to write poorly, the writer’s block lifts. When I’m writing a first draft, I try to write each day. Sometimes life interferes with that plan, of course. I tend to write short chapters because that’s what I prefer as a reader. My goal during each writing session is to write one chapter. I write until that chapter is done or until the words stop flowing, and then I let myself quit (for the day or for that session). I’ve tried to push myself past that natural break point before, and that’s when frustration rears its ugly head.
As a pantser, I generally start with one plot idea and one character in mind, then I sit down and write. I don’t do any plotting per se (unless you count obsessively thinking about my story in between writing sessions as plotting).
This process has helped me write four and a half books so far.
What’s been the most challenging thing about being a writer, and the most rewarding?
The most challenging thing about being a writer is that so much patience is required. No part of the writing and/or publishing process comes quickly or easily. I am not a patient person by nature, so this has been a struggle for me. Also, querying was absolute hell. I queried two manuscripts over ten years and received hundreds of rejections. Those rejections really affected me in a negative way, unfortunately. I was unable to write for almost two years.
The most rewarding thing is seeing two of my books out into the world within a year. Also, hearing feedback from readers about how my books impacted them makes every painful, lonely writing moment worth it. If my books sweep someone away from reality for a little while and give them an escape from life, then that’s the best compliment I can receive.
What advice would you give to writers out there?