Dawn Kirby lives in West TX with her husband of 17 years and their three children. Thanks to Twisted Core Press, she has published two of the seven novels planned in the Serenity Series, Secrets and Deceit. The third, Tribulations is slated to be released sometime this spring.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lisette. It’s always such a pleasure to chat with you.

Lisette: It’s my absolute pleasure, Dawn!

What is your latest book?

My latest is Tribulations. It’s the third book in the Serenity Series. Edits are forthcoming so I hope to be able to announce a pub date sometime soon.

In the meantime, I’ve begun work on a new book. For once I’ve decided to steer clear of vampires and werewolves. This one is all about finding your destiny in the most unlikely place…Dreams.


Is your recent book part of a series?

Heaven on Earth is going to be a stand alone title. I’m enjoying it so much, it won’t be my last.

What else have you written?

I’ve written several shorts for 7DS Books. The first, Sinful Pleasures (LUST) in Seven Deadly Sins II is probably my favorite and dearest to my heart. Others include stories in Seven Deathly Soles, Seven Dress Sizes, A Man’s Promise and Linger.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?

The part I enjoy the most is finishing it so I can hand it off to my betas. I love the relationship I have with mine. They aren’t afraid to tell me what they like and what they don’t. At the same time they know I won’t change the storyline simply because they don’t want a specific character to go through a specific thing. It is fun to see my characters from different POV though. One reader may connect with one while another might connect with another. Either way, both betas are passionate about the ones they love.

The part I hate is probably waiting on edits. It’s a nerve-racking experience no matter how many times you’ve gone through it.


Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it? The title?

The title? Yes. The ending? Not so much. I’m a punster. Most of what I write I write on the fly. If I do plot out the ending it usually turns out to be the ending I want to avoid.

Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?

For me it depends on how the flow happens to be that day. If it’s good I keep going. There’s always tomorrow to go back and check for mistakes. If it’s a stare-at-the-screen kinda day I tend to go all the way back to the beginning and slowly torture myself.


Do you have any advice for first-time authors?

Don’t quit. This is a tough row to hoe. Connect with people who are as passionate as you are. Seek out people who can teach you how to navigate all the different paths that lie in front of you. Never assume you know everything there is to know. This is a constantly changing profession. Something new will always be right around the corner.

Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

I’ve met some fabulous people through Social Media. Some I’ve met, some I hope to meet in the future. These are the people that have really helped me put my writing career on the right track. Some have touched me personally and I can’t imagine not having them in my life. Distance be damned. There have been a few people who I’ve had to block, but for the most part I’d have to say I’ve had a great experience—so far.

Meeting people is my favorite part. Trying to keep up with all the different outlets is the hard part. Sometimes you just don’t have anything to say. Other times writing takes precedence. It’s taken me a few years to realize that having a presence online doesn’t mean having to post something every single day. It means posting something relevant. Something people can discuss. An image that makes people smile or think. Sure we need to toss in a link now and then to our work, but I honestly believe building a rapport with people is a lot more important than blasting them with one link after another.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?

Until five years ago I never considered writing. I’d had my hands full taking care of my kids, my nieces and nephews and daily life in general. The last thing I needed was something else drawing on time I didn’t have. I loved to read when I was in school, but I hadn’t picked up a book in over ten years at that point. Then this idea I had when I was in school started to grate on me. Over the course of months I couldn’t shake it. It woke me up at night until I finally sat down and put it on paper. By the time I finished I’d been sitting at the kitchen table for 8 hours and was determined to write more. Once I finished it I knew writing was something I had to do.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

Handling a bad review is as easy as realizing that not every book is for everybody. Good reviews are great. Bad reviews can be too. Especially if the person reviewing the book takes the time to explain what they didn’t like. Look at them as another beta. If it’s something a writer can fix while writing their next book (editing, plot holes), work on it. If it’s the genre or an element of the story the reviewer couldn’t get into, shake it off. At the end of the day our books are our stories. Only we can tell them. We can’t control what happens once they leave our protective hands.

Are you an early bird writer or night owl? And do you have any must haves like coffee, chocolates, wine, music or something else?

I’m a night owl. There’s something about the dark that helps the words flow. Add a little music to the calmness of the night and you’ve got the most magical environment possible to create a new world.

Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?

I live in West Texas. I honestly don’t think I’d ever leave for good. My family is here. BUT there are so many places I’d like to visit. If I could, I’d start here in Texas and work my way out to other states. After that—look out world!

Trains, planes, automobiles, or boats?

Automobiles definitely. Planes just scare me. It would take one hell of a journey to get me on one. Boats? Unless the water is crystal clear and I can get out quick, count me out. I want to see what I’m swimming around with or possibly away from. Trains could be fun, but they aren’t really an option here in Wt. Texas.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Least favorite food?

My favorite is Hot Tamales. Pure cinnamon heaven.

Least favorite? Potato chips. Any kind of chip.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?

I would go to my favorite park and spend the day there. With three kids to keep up with it’s not often I get to slow down and really enjoy the beautiful things that surround us everyday.

What are the most important traits you look for in a friend?

Honesty. Give me that and you have a loyal friend for life.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

Country music makes me cry. Whether the song is happy or sad doesn’t matter, it brings me to tears every time.

What makes you angry?

Political Correctness. I understand where it came from in the beginning, but it is so far out of control it’s led to most of the people in this country wearing their feelings on their shirtsleeve. Are we entitled to have our own opinions? Yes, as long as those opinions come with a filter that wipes out anything that could possibly offend another person.

If you could add a room onto your current home, what would you put in it?

An office. I’d love to have a place that I could write, leave and come back to find everything as I left it. Research as you know takes up a lot of space. Kids take up even more. Those two things tend to clash when your office space consists of a corner of your living room couch.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Being lied to.

What music soothes your soul?

I listen to all types. In a way it all speaks to me in some way. Lately though I’ve been listening to more instrumentals. Classical or contemporary, it doesn’t matter. It’s absolutely amazing to me how much a single song can change your whole perspective.









AT_RussellA.T. Russell is a retired Navy Chief currently residing near Chicago with his wife of 25 years. A lifelong reader, the passion of writing came to him midlife. A.T. writes Urban Fantasy and aspires to write across many genres.

“History is a point of reference, not an anchor.” ~A.T.

 Time to chat with A.T.!

What is your latest book?

My latest book is Apex. As for writing and the other stories I’ve written, this one is probably the most challenging, and for me that makes this one the most exciting to write.


Is your recent book part of a series?

It is. In fact, Apex is the first of four planned books. I’m actually franchising the series, and I’m very excited to report that Dawn Kirby and Frantiska Oliver will be writing two of the volumes. The last position will be decided by a process that Twisted Core Press is designing and I think it’ll be a trendsetting model for years to come.

What else have you written?

 As some may know, I’m a member of 7DS Books, a short story platform and imprint of Twisted Core Press. I’ve had the great opportunity to write Greed for Seven Deadly Sins, Sleepy for Seven Dwarf Stories, Eddie’s Ring for Seven Dress Sizes, and No Man for A Man’s Promise. Above all, however, my greatest pleasure came from writing my first two books, New Alpha Rising: Ascension Parts I & II




How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

You know, I have one character that has been the most thrilling challenge I’ve faced in storytelling. Little Wolf says what she wants when she wants to, and no one can stop her, not even me. Thing is, she’s the only character I’ve written that has had that effect on me, and writing around her, even in scenes I didn’t want her to be a part of, is where the challenge lies. She’s a main character in New Alpha Rising Saga and I look forward to sharing her madness with the world in the third book.

How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?

I believe choosing a character’s name is critical to any story. From my perspective, names should be memorable, respective of the character’s personality, and above all, brand-able.

Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?

This is a great question for me, because the answer is, I have no idea. All I know is that I have to write. The passion came along in 1994 and words began to hit the page in 2009, totaling over three million that year. Ever since, I’ve been head down and punching keys.

Having our work out there to be judged by strangers is often daunting for writers. Do you have any tips on handling a negative review?

My best advice to handling a negative review is simply remembering that your imagination belongs to you. When you share it with others, their imaginations may not be a good match. If and when that is the case, remember that stories written by the historical greats were ripped worse than yours, and that was by people who really mattered in the literary industry. Nowadays everybody is a critic, and tearing others down is a sad truth about our overall culture today. After all, isn’t that what reality tv is all about? Judge this and judge that, then let’s see who can rip the hardest. Seems like a lot of people channel Simon Cowell these days.

Every day brings forth new changes and shifts in the world of publishing. Any predictions about the future?

I think Amazon will become the BIG ONE.

Have you ever wished that you could bring a character to life? If so, which one and why?

I would love to bring Little Wolf to life. She’s a doctor, a killer, and an Omega Wolf. She loves hanging out with puppies and watching cartoons, and world peace would piss her off. Other than those things, she’s about as cool as any creature I can, did actually, imagine. If I could wish, though, the whole world would know Little Wolf as well as I do.

What genre have you never written in that you’d like to try?

I typically have a romantic element in every story I write, but I really want to tackle a full-on romance. Trouble is, every time I write, the theme of the story pervades many aspects of my daily life. With my luck, pouring my passion into romance, my wife of 25 years might think I’m flipping the script on the second half of my life and have me committed or something … or worse.

Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?

Social media is a wide open expanse, a tremendous pool of laughs and thoughts, though sometimes myopic and quite scary. You see, some authors use their platforms for their family members and personal friends to interact with them. That’s cool, but when their profile is supportive of their books, services, etc… they shouldn’t complain when a fan or interested customer comes along and steps across a line they’ve blurred. I’ve seen a number of people trip over that line and get burned in the process. No, it hasn’t happened to me.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I’m very humble and I don’t say much on social media platforms. I think, maybe it’s shyness on my part. Heck, it could be fear of the unknown. I mean, I am shading 50, so it’s possible I have old school hesitancy. I’m getting better at interacting with others, though.

What’s your favorite film of all times? Favorite book?

My favorite film is Something The Lord Made. The best I can say is, watch it. It’ll open your heart and mind to a truth that affects every human being on the face of the earth. As for my favorite book; I love J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover. It is the only book I’ve ever read (thoroughly enjoyed the entire series, by the way) that made me want to scream at the author…violently. In less than five chapters, she managed to kill my favorite character, and that was the first book of the series! George R.R. Martin wasn’t able to have that kind of impact on me, and he kills everybody off!






Seven Deadly Sins

Seven Dwarf Stories

A Man’s Promise

Seven Dress Sizes

New Alpha Rising: Ascension Part I

New Alpha Rising: Ascension Part II

Twisted Core Press

7DS Books