Saturday, July 17, 2010

Debuting in the World of E-Publishing with author K. Dawn Byrd

Good morning everyone. Pepper here, and I want to introduce you to my friend and newly published author, K. Dawn Byrd. Dawn and I became buddies about six months ago, when we found out we were only about an hour’s drive from each other. Since we both live in a very rural part of the world, it was nice to make another Christian writer discovery.

Since then, she’s suffered through phone conversations with me – in the middle of my typical (and quite chaotic) life. Btw, if you’ve ever been on the phone with a fellow author, the bill can go up rather quickly. Once we finally have the opportunity to share our story ideas with people who don’t immediately get a glazed expression, we have a tendency to get overly excited. Anyone else know what I’m talkin’ about here? ;-)

So – to welcome in Dawn, we’re going to have bagels (various kinds – from cinnamon and raisin to chocolate chip) and a special GIVEAWAY!! Dawn is offering one lucky commenter an x-large gray t-shirt with the cover of her last book, Queen of Hearts, on the front or if the winner doesn't wear an XL, a mousepad and signed poster.

Dawn’s debut book, Queen of Hearts, came out in June through Desert Breeze Publishing. Her next ebook, Killing Time, comes out in August. Besides fiction, Dawn has a few nonfiction projects in the works too, including a book for motorcyclists.

Okay, so let’s get started. Dawn, so glad to have you here today with us on The Writers Alley.

1. I’m new to ebooks, so I’m curious about your love for them. What do you find so exciting about the whole ‘ebook’ industry?

The thing I love about ebooks is that they can be read anywhere, any time. I read them on my Blackberry. If I carry a purse that's too small to hold a book, I always have my Blackberry with me. Right now, there are twenty-eight books in my Blackberry. Can you imagine carrying twenty-eight books with you everywhere you go?

I love the fact that I can adjust the font. Right now, the words on my Blackberry screen are larger than a paperback's print. Sometimes I read in bed at night and don't have to worry about disturbing my husband because my screen is backlit.

2. Lots of people have stories about publication taking years and years. Your story is bit different. Tell us a little about your journey to publication?

I've been writing for over two years. I'm very much a perfectionist and I spent a long time studying every book I could find on craft. I spent countless hours researching the internet, soaking "craft" up like a sponge. I'm a perfectionist, but I'm not saying I'm the best writer in the world, I'm just saying that I'm not happy unless I've done the best job that I can do at that moment. I want to turn out stories that I can be proud of and hope that I become a better writer with every book.

3. Queen of Hearts was your first release. Can you give us a blurb about it?

Here's the blurb from my publisher:

Daphne Dean is proud to be serving her country stateside during WWII as a reporter and an Office of Strategic Services operative. When the photograph she takes of the crowd at a murder scene places her on the mob's hit list, she's forced into hiding in a vacant mental asylum in the middle of nowhere with terrifying secrets of its own.

Daphne believed herself to still be in love with her ex-fiancée, Kenneth, until she spends several days locked away in the asylum with Vito, the mob boss' son. Can she put the terrifying events that occurred there behind her and allow herself to pursue a relationship with Vito? Or, will she return to Kenneth who has turned his back on his country by becoming a draft dodger and a black market racketeer? One thing's for sure, it won't matter if she can't escape the mental institution alive.

4. Queen of Hearts is not your first novel, although it’s your first published one. Your first book is coming out in August, isn’t it? What’s it about?

My first book, Killing Time, will release from Desert Breeze Publishing. Here's the blurb:

Mindy McLaurin, thinks it's the end of the world when she's incarcerated on trumped-up embezzlement charges. While in jail, she investigates the death of an inmate who allegedly died of an overdose. Mindy suspects foul play when her cellmate dies and she learns that both women had ingested the same drug. Mindy trusts no one, including Drew Stone, the handsome counselor she can’t stop thinking about. She faces many challenges, including constant interrogation by the Major and emotional abuse from the other inmates. Upon release, someone is stalking her and framing her for the murder. Can she prove to Counselor Stone that she’s innocent of all charges before she loses him forever?

5. What do you love best about your hero and heroine in Queen of Hearts?

I love Daphne Dean for several reasons. She's loyal to her country and her employer. She's a Christian with high morals. Another thing that I really like about her is that she's not perfect. She tries so hard to be a good spy, but it seems like she can't do anything right. This makes her more human and more likeable in my eyes.

There are two male counterparts in the novel and the way it's set up, the reader will have a hard time figuring out who she'll end up with in the end. Daphne doesn't even know for a long time because she struggles with feelings for both of them.

Kenneth is Daphne's ex-boyfriend. They've been boyfriend/girlfriend since childhood. He was an all around good guy until becoming involved with the mob. I like Kenneth because he cares for Daphne, but I don't like the choices he makes.

Vito is the mobster's son. He's gorgeous and a Christian whose father can barely tolerate him because of his faith. He's charming, but at times Daphne doesn't trust him and doesn't know whose side he's on.

6. What do you love best about hero and heroine in Killing Time?

Mindy McLaurin is a very strong Christian who is wrongly accused and incarcerated. She's harassed in jail by a bully and her boyfriend detective refuses to bail her out because he needs her to investigate the murder of an inmate. Upon release, Mindy is stalked, held against her will, and almost murdered. Even though she becomes angry at God at times, she never loses her faith.

The hero, Drew Stone, is a jail counselor. His wife died of cancer and Mindy senses that he's suffered a tragedy that he's not fully recovered from upon meeting him when he books her into jail. He falls in love with Mindy, but is very cautious due to the fact that it could cause him to lose his job. At one point, he believes that he's being framed for the murder of the inmate.

Mindy's detective boyfriend, Mitch, is handsome, charming, and an opportunist. He's recently been hired by the murdered inmate's mother who wants to know what really happened to her daughter. The jail ruled it as suicide. She's not buying it. Mitch refuses to bail Mindy out because he needs someone on the inside to investigate.

Who will she choose in the end? The handsome counselor she can't stop thinking about or the detective that's really the first gorgeous man who's ever taken an interest in her?

Oh boy, sounds great Dawn. Thanks for sharing this info with us and introducing us to your work. Btw, did I tell everyone that Dawn is my ACFW room-mate. You all will know how to pray for her now, right?

So, what have you guys read any ebooks? Did you enjoy the easy access? What did you think? We’d love to get your opinions.


Casey said...

One tweet, but I am the first commenter? What is wrong with these stats?? :)

Great interview ladies and yes, I will be saying a quick prayer for Dawn's sanity. :) JUST KIDDING! You ladies will have a great time.

I do read ebooks, mainly because there are so many free ones that I normally wouldn't have read except for that reason. I tolerate reading them off my computer, but don't loooove it. I like to knit while I am reading and that is a plus. But I am old fashioned I love to hold the book in my hands. Just me. :)

Krista Phillips said...

Great Interview! The books sound amazing:-)

I'm with Casey. I'd read them much more, personally, if I had an e-reader, but reading on my regular ol' computer is hard-- especially when I have to read my own manuscripts there until I print them off.

Someday I'll splurge on an e-reader... :-)

rbooth43 said...

The first e-book I read was No Other by Shawna K. Williams. The book was great, but would have been easier to read If I had an e-reader instead of my computer.

Sandra Stiles said...

Thanks for the great interview. I am glad I followed Dawn's link here. I will be folowing your site now. I find it interesting and helpful. By the way I do read e-books. I got a nook for my birthday in June and I have "The Queen of Hearts" on it. I look forward to reading "Killing Time". My husband bought me my e-reader because whenever we went on vacation I took a small suitcase with just my books. This way I can carry a large number of books with me. I still buy the physical books for my shelves at school.

Unknown said...

Good morning. I tweeted @gahome2mom. I have not read an e-book. I have read PDF files. Does this count? :) gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

windycindy said...

I am always keeping up with K Dawn Byrd...
This is such a fabulous interview and more
insight into this author and her new book!
The t-shirt sounds fabulous to me!
Many thanks, Cindi

Casey said...

LOL Sandra, that is too funny about the suitcase, SOUNDS LIKE ME!! :D

Flossysmom said...

It is thanks to this website that I discovered all the free Kindle books. I have downloaded a few of them to my laptop. Heh , I would love a free tee-shirt.



K. Dawn Byrd said...

Hey, guys! It's good to see all of you here.