Author Interview with Dawn Metcalf

Get to know Dawn…

The role of Dawn Metcalf will be played by the tall brunette in the off-the-shoulder, floor-length leather straight-jacket. Makeup by Clinique, buckles by Jada Pinkett-Smith, hair by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

I have no good excuse for the way I write. I lived in a normal, loving, suburban home, studied hard, went to college, went to graduate school, got married, had babies, and settled down in northern Connecticut. Despite this wholesome lifestyle, I’ve been clearly corrupted by fairy tales, puppet visionaries, graphic novels and British humor. As a result, I write dark, quirky, and sometimes humorous speculative fiction. Check out her official site and blog!

Let the conversation begin!

What initially drew you to writing?

Books. I love reading. And I don’t remember NOT writing. I wrote when the words wouldn’t come aloud and I write every day. It’s like brushing your teeth, but is more fun and takes longer.

Do you still have the same passion you had when you first began?

The passion is different. Before, I was writing for me and the dust bunnies and it didn’t matter what I wrote or how long it took or what I did next. Now I’m aware that I’m writing for other people, including people who are willing to pay for it, so I’ve become hyper-aware of things I once took for granted. That’s a different kind of pressure and it changes how you think about writing, mostly due to things called “edits” and “deadlines.”

When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

I write. In fact, I remember when my children were infants and they’d finally take a nap, I’d think to myself: “Okay, I have 30 minutes. Do I eat, shower, or write?” I’d write. It’s a very good thing that writing is a solitary activity!

If you had to be a teacher of something, what would you teach?

Self-esteem or Cultural Anthropology. I have degrees in both and love these things with unabashed passion.

What did you like best about your hometown?

Their commitment to the Arts. My hometown is quite famous for it, actually. My favorite thing about high school (besides my group of friends) was that every other year the school suspended classes for the week and instead we got to take electives in the Arts; you can take a creative writing class, learn about film editing, sign up to audition for a stand-up comedian, watch a piece of modern dance or classical ballet, meet an author, help paint a mural, take theater direction from someone in the business–it’s open to the public and is an incredible opportunity for everyone to think creatively outside the box.

Something interesting you might not know about me is:

I first learned to belly dance when I was two and I’ve always wanted to play the harmonica.

What’s your favorite sport?

Karate.

Which member of your family has had the greatest influence on your current way of thinking?

My mother. Given that I’m a carbon copy of her, it’s not a huge surprise, but she’s also my best friend, confidante, co-conspirator and cheerleader.

What punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why?

? (If you met me, this would be obvious.)

If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?

I love Hawaii and Italy and Greece, but have yet to go to New Zealand and Australia, so it would be a toss up of faves vs. new adventures!

What is something you have that is of sentimental value?

My entire house is filled with such things. I am a sentimental person and also a pack-rat. But one interesting thing is a plastic pull-tab from an orange juice carton that sits inside a ring box. My boyfriend-now-husband tore it off of a juice box after we’d gone shopping and slipped it over my finger and asked me to marry him. I said “yes.” We laughed. That wasn’t the actual proposal (which was quite a story), but I saved the little white plastic ring.

Listener or talker?

Talker. I talk when I’m nervous.

Can you comfortably eat in a restaurant by yourself? Go to movie?

Yes, although I prefer to go with someone because I’m a big believer in a shared experience. I think the best things in life are collaborative and co-created.

What was the first car you drove?

A blue Chevy van.

What is one modern convenience you cannot live without?

Contacts/glasses and possibly allergy meds.

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