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Today’s stop on the All Things Romantic Suspense blog tour brings us a visit with author Dawn Brown, who is surely glad to take a trip from her polar Canadian perch down south for some of our famed hospitality. (Well, that and it’s warm here today.)  She even brought a freebie, so stay tuned and see if you can grab it.

Welcome, Dawn!  At the tender age of nine, you told ghost stories in your garage to the neighborhood kids.  (I love this about you!)  Give me the scoop on your favorite story.  What was it about?

Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about them. It was a long time ago. I vaguely remember something about a witch in a bell tower stealing kids, but not much else. I did have someone contact me through my website a few years ago that knew me back then. She said that because of those stories she was afraid of the dark and old houses to this day.

OMG!  Sorry Former Friend – that’s hilarious!  Fellow writers the world over are drooling over your attic office.  I bet the aforementioned FF wouldn’t go near it, but for those of us not previously traumatized, LOL, are guests allowed?  Tell us what it’s like up there!

I love my attic. I think that the room played a big part in our decision to buy the house we’re in. It’s nothing fancy, really. Actually, it only has a single window so it’s pretty dingy. There’s my desk, a few bookshelves and a cabinet to store supplies in. I have a big comfy chair that I had initially planned to use when reading through manuscripts, but my cat seems to be under the impression I put it there for her. I also have an electric wood stove to keep warm in the winter. In the summer I usually can’t work in there past 11am. It just gets too hot. Guests are welcome for short duration, but are usually scowled at for interrupting.

*Backs away from the attic room, sheepish.*  It sounds awesome, but now that you’ve run us out, how about the stance you take with your characters?  Have you ever battled with any of them over their personality traits?  If so, who won – you or the character?

Of course. There’s lots of times I’ve wished my character would behave differently because it would fit my idea of how I want the story to move forward, but they won’t. In the end, the character always wins. It’s their story, after all.

Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

Whenever I get feedback from crit partners, I try to be as open minded as possible. (I generally don’t let people critique a first draft because I’m too close to the story and I don’t want anyone else’s input at that stage. It’s when I’m working on the rewrite that I start seeking feedback.) If six people critique a chapter and all six of them hate a particular point, I’ll go back and revise. If it’s an even split, I get the deciding vote. But usually, if someone’s suggestion makes sense to me, I’ll make the change. If it doesn’t, I won’t.

Great way to handle it.  As a suspense writer, how do you keep track of the clues and plot twists?

I’m not a plotter, so I end up having to do a lot of clean up and tightening on the rewrite to make sure that everything makes sense. I have a lot of yellow Post-It notes stuck to my desk and manuscript pages. It’s probably not the most efficient system, but it works for me.

And that’s the most important part!  (I shudder to think what my kids would do with the Post-It notes they were not allowed to touch, LOL.)  What are you currently working on?

I am working rewrites for a book called The Devil’s Eye. It has a lot of gothic undertones like The Curse of Culcraig, but a strong paranormal element as well.  I’ve also started work on a new novel call Thicker Than Blood. It’s a real departure for me in style and genre, but I’m having a lot of fun writing it.

Intrigued? (I am!)  Leave a comment for a chance to win an e-copy of THE CURSE OF CULCRAIG.  <<Contest closed – congratulations to Melissa!>> (Seriously, you’d better.  I’m not one to tangle with a curse, ya’ll.)  Dawn, thanks so much for joining us today.  I guess you wouldn’t want to stay too long (I don’t think you’d enjoy your attic room at ANY hour in the summer here!) but I hope you enjoyed your visit and don’t have any scary stories to tell – about me, anyway – when you get back home.

Readers, don’t forget to comment for a chance to win!  Then keep up with Dawn by following her blog, visiting her website, or socializing on Facebook and Twitter.  To grab your own copy of THE CURSE OF CULCRAIG click here or here for Kindle. But don’t stop there!  She’s got another romantic suspense called LIVING LIES available in e-format or for Kindle.