Jacqueline Woods interviews her latest guest, Dawn Marie Smith who specializes in historical-supernatural fiction.
Please tell us about your novel, Heart of A Dreadwolf?
Heart of a Dreadwolf started out to be a stand alone romance novel, that quickly turned into an outlined series that has moral values instead of being entirely about the romances going on. By the time I got it written, I had a total of seven outlines for “the rest of the story,” to quote Paul Harvey.
You have the next novel in the series coming out on Valentines Day, which is super exciting. Tell us about that, as I’m sure your readers are eagerly awaiting it’s arrival!
My next story is actually the beginning of the series as it turns out. The MC is Tozi, and she’s trying to get an army together to fight against the Aztecs. The only problem is no one seems to want to fight an army as large as the Jaguar Warriors of the Aztec Kingdom. When the Aztecs start trapping wolves, and jaguars Tozi takes matters into her own hands. The Goddess Xochiquetzal wants to help Tozi’s people but the Gods think she needs to stay out it, don’t want her to interfere with the lives of humans.
Like myself, you grew up with a love of reading. Why don’t you tell us about what is was growing up as a bookworm, and what you read. Did it influence what you write today?
I did love to read growing up. I read stories that tended to be series, so I guess in a way it did effect my writing in that manner. However I like mysteries such as Nancy Drew, and Encyclopedia Brown, but I also have to give credit to the movies I watched. I love Vampire and Werewolf movies. But I wanted a different kind of werewolves, so you won’t find any Dreadwolves changing with the full moon. It’s their emotions that control their changes. I have say though that I think my love of wolves play a big part in it too, because I have a love of animals, and wolves are right up there on the top of my list. I can’t save all of the wolves that are hunted these days, but my girl Tozi can free every one she comes across that’s trapped.
What is a novel you have always wanted to write, but have shied away from doing so because of it’s challenging nature?
I’ve always want to write time traveling novels. As I grew older time traveling romances were my favorite for the longest time. And although I tried writing a time travel novel it got pushed onto the back burner when I started my Dreadwolf stories. So I’d say it’s time traveling romances. Some history was horrible, which was the case in the era I was going to write about. I wanted to send my hero back in time to save a slave, that turned out to be her great, great, grandmother. Her skin color was light enough to pass as a native or even a Caucasian, but I hated my villain, and didn’t want to write about something that was so very wrong in my opinion. I feel like I can’t do it justice.
You love animals and have some neat hobbies! Tell us more about that, and what makes you unique as a person and a writer.
I like to sew, crochet, and bake. I am getting ready to put my embroidery skills to use, since my youngest daughter is about to make me a grandmother. I’m super excited about that, and as a surprise I plan on making her a baby quilt, with the babies name, and birth date embroidered on it. She’s going with owls, so I am going to have find some material that I can work with. I think sewing for my grand-baby makes me unique. Nobody seems to sew anymore.
I do love animals, and I would rescue them all if I could. I hate it when people are mean to animals and children. Makes me want to be mean to them for the child or animal they are hurting. I’m only 4’10 but that doesn’t matter, when someone crosses the line when it comes to children or animals. I’d get in Hulk Hogan’s face if he was being mean to a child or animal in my presence. If I ever hit the lotto I would like to make a sanctuary for wolves, among other animals. I would buy a huge chunk of land and post no hunting signs all over the pace so hunters would be sure to see the signs.
You mentioned that you wrote poetry, is it also of a historical nature?
My poetry is all about my feelings, or the feelings of others. They tend to be about my emotions. Mostly about love, abuse, happiness, sadness. Anything to do with emotions. For example my poem “Crushing Blows” is about emotional abuse, and having the courage to walk away.
Tell the reader about a time in your life that was challenging, and how it influenced your Dreadwolves series?
After my Grandmother died, I was devastated. I went through a very depressing time in my life. I wound up pushing away my husband. I feared losing him, as it seemed like I was losing everyone I loved. In my books I do have couples that fall for each other, but I don’t make it the main focus in my books, there’s always a “bigger story” behind the romances. Also the fact that some characters have their hearts cut out, I think is symbolic in a way. When we lose someone we love, it feels like our hearts are torn from our chests the pain is so deep, and in my book the priest actually cuts out the heart of not only humans, but wolves as well. And my MC hero wants to save them all.
Do you feel that you have moral support as an emerging author?
Yes, I think I do have moral support. I get some from my friends, and family. They tell me they are proud of me.
What do you see in the future for your Dreadwolves series and for yourself as an author?
I think it would be cool to see my series on Tv or in the theaters, but I’d be happy just to leave my readers wanting more, so they’ll pick up the next book. I would be happy with a fan base for my Dreadwolves. As an author my biggest dream is to be as well known as Stephen King, or Laura Ingalls Wilder. But the coolest thing I think that I could ever hope for would be to meet Stephen King in person. He’s one of my all time favorite authors.
What city in the US or Europe do you find most inspiring for a writer, and how so?
I don’t think there’s actually one city, but rather states are my writing inspiration. Mexico, and the top area of Michigan. And small towns no one has heard of before, such as Homer Michigan. Little towns like that seem to be left back in time. Oh and the ghost towns in Arizona are quite inspiring as well, especially in the ones where it looks like the town has been left in the past.
I was curious, what draws you to the historical-supernatural genre?
My love for history, myths, and werewolves is what drew me to historical-supernatural. Werewolves are perfect. Not only will he change into a wolf, but he’s a man as well. Then placing him back in time when life was better in my opinion even if I’ve never lived during the time when Natives roamed the land, living off it, and giving thanks for everything they had. I think it would have been great to live in those times. Besides who wouldn’t think a Native American man with his bronze skin, and long black hair isn’t hot? Not me that’s for sure. And the fact that they are brave, only makes them that much more sexy. So I’d say my love for Natives, and wolves is what drew me to write Historical-Supernatural stories.
Finally, what goals do you have for the Dreadwolves series, and what surprises should readers expect in your upcoming novel?
I’d have to say the surprise is my MC Tozi. She’s brave for a woman in her time, and you can expect the unexpected from both the men in her life I think. Also I’ve left a little cliff hanger that will continue on into the next book, Dreadwolves: A Warrior Princess. It’s going to be Teya’s story as much as it Tozi’s. I believe Teya will be the biggest surprise. Her full name is Teyacapan, but I tend to call her Teya at times.
Dawn Marie Smith’s Bio
I have three adult children. My youngest daughter is about to make me a Grandmother, and I can hardly wait. If I’m half the Grandmother mine was then I know my grand baby is going to love it’s Granny.
I was a beautician and housewife for 20 years. Now I’m divorced and retired. Being retired was hard at first, especially since it was an early retirement due to my issues. However it’s also given me time to do the things I love. Such as quilting, baking with my great niece, and helping my niece raise her three children while she works.
I always seem to have a dog in my life, and right now it’s Sam, a deer legged chihuahua. My five year old great niece was a baby when I got him, and they’ve grown up together. She calls him Shammy Sham, because she couldn’t say it without adding the h. She’s a great kid, and I love her to pieces. I call her my little Lady Bug. And I tell her it’s because she’s the best at bugging me.
I’m a homebody, and deadlines give me the perfect excuse to stay home. Of course I do have to leave the house sometimes. I take my dog for a walk a few times a day, but only while it’s daylight out. I really don’t like to go out at night alone.
Dawn Marie Smith’s books can be purchased through Amazon from the below links