Today’s Author Spotlight is: Dawn Husted
– A writer for both young adults and women writers, and the owner/operator of the independent press Yaupon Berry Press.
Readers, let’s welcome to my blog, Dawn. Writer, publisher, and small business owner. She’s agreed to visit and share with us today some dreams, some advice, and some reading recommendations.
Dawn, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I’m a huge animal lover, but I’d love furball Crookshanks (from Harry Potter) as a pet! His face is adorable and he’s smart too.
I like a person who knows not only what type of pet but which one they want! Very decisive. I should have expected nothing less from you.
What do you write and how did you get started?
I write in various YA genres, and I recently released a non-fiction “how to write” book for aspiring, female authors. Surprisingly, the series that jumpstarted my passion for writing is Twilight.
I know, I know. I can hear all the grumbles from other writers, but I was never a huge reader prior to 2008. My friend suggested I read those books, and as soon as I started, I couldn’t put them down.
Soon after that, I dove into writing some really terrible stories that should never see the light of day. It took a couple of years for me to learn how to write better!
I’m a huge fan of YA myself, so I’m always happy for more writers there.
NOTE: Long-time-readers of this blog should be familiar with my smack-down of Twilight bashing, but for the rest of you: there are tons of popular authors with more questionable books than you find Twilight, but instead of being judgemental, as a librarian’s daughter, I see popular books as gateway drugs.
What do you like to read?
I mostly read YA (sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary, dystopian, etc.), however, I enjoy an Adult book every so often. I also enjoy reading a good memoir, such as Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Currently, I’m reading Imposters by Scott Westerfeld
Ohh! They sound pretty solid, so I’ll have to look those up. Glad you still make time for your reading. I know it can be hard when there’s always the internal (and/or external) pressure on you to write-edit-market.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Advice: “Let the chapters be however long your story needs them to be.”
I’m not a fan of that advice. I’m extremely strategic when I begin writing a new book. I like to have a word count for each chapter so that I can target an overall word count goal for the whole book. By the time I finish writing, I’ll toggle with chapters as I revise, but I like the chapter length to remain consistent.
A plotter! I’ve done some editing to make my chapter lengths more congruent. But! I’ve read advice that short chapters read faster–both literally and figuratively–so I often add more breaks in my more action-packed chapters, for both cliffhangers and pacing. As a reader, though, I do appreciate even chapters. It makes it easier to figure out how much book is left on my kindle.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can’t pry out of your cold, dead hands.
I enjoy outlining my books prior to writing them. If I don’t outline, my stories stray into dead ends and stop making sense.
A-ha! I knew it. I’m a shameless plantser, but I do understand the appeal.
In 2018, I filed with the county and opened a small, independent press: Yaupon Berry Press. Since then, I’ve released two books and will be opening an online shop for female writers that includes many products with the empowering phrase: Wordy Woman. I want these items to inspire women in the industry by giving them a way to display their writerly confidence to the world.
You can get an early sneak-peek at the Wordy Woman products (prior to the official grand opening on November 1st) HERE. (And here’s a 15% off discount code: WEEKDAYTREAT).
Plus, in February 2019, I’m speaking as a nominated panelist at Teen BookFest by the Bay, so stop by if you live near Corpus Christi, TX! My books are located on my website.