Author Spotlight: Dawn Vogel

  • a multi-genre author with interests in history, mythology, and K-pop!

Readers, thanks for checking out another Author Spotlight Interview. Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!

Dawn Vogel has written for children, teens, and adults, spanning genres, places, and time periods. More than 100 of her stories and poems have been published by small and large presses. Her specialties include young protagonists, siblings who bicker but love each other in the end, and things in the water that want you dead.

She is a member of Broad Universe, SFWA, and Codex Writers. She lives in Seattle with her awesome husband (and fellow author), Jeremy Zimmerman, and their herd of cats.

Dawn, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most author spotlight interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

It’s hard for me to pick only one, though most of my top options are real animals. I’d love to have a red panda or a penguin (any variety), because both of those seem reasonably sized for an apartment dweller. But if the sky’s the limit, I’d probably go for a big cat. Pretty much any one would do, but it would have to be one that likes curling around me while I sit or lay on the floor, supporting my back if I’m sitting and also keeping me warm.

Catticus agrees that cats are the best.

What do you write? And how did you get started?

Possibly because I’m the eldest child in my family, my parents kept all kinds of random things, including the first “book” I ever wrote. I think my mom typed it for me, but I illustrated it and made the cover from cardboard and ribbon. It involved a blueberry that came to life, and let’s just say that plot was not my strong suit. Of course, we think I wrote this when I was four or five, so maybe it was pretty good for someone of that age.

These days I write a little bit of everything, though I often return to fantastical history (alternate history that is less “what if” and more “set in the past, but with supernatural elements”), superheroes, and fantasy.

I think I got started at a similar age! My mom just found one of those blank books for me to fill in — less work for her.

What do you like to read?

My reading trends toward the darker side of things without dipping all the way into horror. I love Gothic stuff and creepy thrillers and mysteries. Some recent favorites have been The Locked Tomb series by Tamsyn Muir and The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller. A couple of alternate history/historical fantasy books that were fantastic are To Climates Unknown by Arturo Serrano and The Silence of Bones by June Hur. I also really enjoy reading anthologies, as shorter pieces are great to fit into smaller chunks of time!

Oooh, those all sound delightful.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you

Eliminate all adverbs.

Adverbs are not the enemy! I don’t like the idea of excluding an entire part of speech from my writing because they’ve been deemed “weak.” Sometimes, an adverb is exactly what a sentence needs!

So true! I trim them where I can, but I don’t rework entire sentences to avoid them. There’s a reason they’re in our toolbox.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice they can pry out of your cold, dead hands

Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.

Neil Gaiman

Even if I know that something I’m working on is destined to get completely redone or discarded, I have to get to the end. Then I have to let it sit, sometimes for a very long time, before I figure out what to do with it. But having it done is much better for me than having half-finished things and forgetting what I was planning.

It’s a hard truth, sometimes. Because our work is so much better in our heads than on paper. But, we need to find the shape of it, before we can make it shine.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Because I write a little bit of everything, I’ve got a large number of books and collections out, so my recommendations vary based on what genres you like to read. The answer is probably “yeah, I’ve got a book like that!”

Brass and Glass (3 books)

The Cask of Cranglimmering (#1)

In the windy skies of the Republic, it’s not always easy to chart your own course…

When Svetlana Tereshchenko, captain of the airship The Silent Monsoon, catches wind that a cask of mythical Cranglimmering whiskey has been stolen, she and her renegade crew of outcasts fly off in search of it. With the promise of a reward worthy of the cask’s legendary lineage from both the Heliopolis Port Authority and the head of the Kavisoli crime family, Svetlana and her crew embark on a breathless chase that takes The Silent Monsoon from one end of the Republic to the other.

What Svetlana assumes will be an easy search and recover mission quickly becomes more complicated as each step she takes uncovers secrets and lies about the cask and its contents. Now, with an ethereal Ghost Ship haunting their path, friends reveal themselves as enemies and alliances develop with the most unlikely associates. The lives of her crew hang in the balance as Svetlana makes the crucial choice of whom she can trust and whom she should fear.

The Sidewalk Diverges

Here, stories about magic sit alongside stories about superpowers, while ghosts, angels, and fae intermingle.

These contemporary fantasy stories and poems all showcase the points where the sidewalk diverges into the supernatural and strange parts of our world!

Promise Me Nothing

Supernatural Reform School or Horrifying Death Trap?

Dedwydd Academy is meant to be a third chance for Briar Williams, exiled from the fae realm of Idyll for her part in a rebellion against the aristocracy and removed from human society for a night of mayhem in the small town of Artis. Upon arrival, she begins to make friends, but she also finds a dangerous enemy in the volatile Jaylin.

Now she must navigate a new level of high school politics, one with deadly consequences. And what will her new friends think when they learn about what she’s done?

Mad Scientist Journal Presents (2 books)

Mad Scientist Journal has brought together eighteen tales of people who have either lived in this strange corner of New England or had the misfortune of visiting.

Mixed in with nods to classic Lovecraft icons are stories that bring a new eye to the genre. Tales of horse drawn carriages share space with orbital shuttles, alternate worlds, and football.

Avatar of Freya

It’s an honor to be chosen as the avatar of a god, raised to the ranks of superheroes in Cobalt City by their patronage.

But for Friday Jones, a fun-loving biochemistry major working to solve world hunger, it’s more of a burden than she expected. Follow Friday, aka Dulcamara, and her friends through four stories of the Cobalt City Universe, as she deals with a clone of her bestie, a literal dragon, a roommate too smart for anyone’s good, and a seriously rude customer.

Check out Dawn Vogel across the web!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | The Sidewalk Diverges| Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

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