Dawn Forte: Authoress & Pen Slayer .
Dawn Forte….It’s not everyday that one get’s a blessed opportunity to sit down with one of his or her fellow hometown authors and pick one another’s brains. Yet, I had the honored privilege of doing just that. Hearing the excitement in Dawn’s voice as she welcomed me into her world of words was as amazing as it was exciting. And, during the interview I even got the chance to get a freebie out the deal which I guess would be taboo for most interviewers. But I will say this, “There’s no shame in my game for asking…” if, you understand my past.
Q: You’re from Plainfield, NJ, did growing up there influence your writing and if so, how?
A: I think growing up in Plainfield gave me a lot of material to write about… I have been writing since I was in elementary school.
Have you read any books from any authors from your hometown and have they influenced you in any manner?
No I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t read any books from Plainfield Authors, but I’m about to change that and read “The Bastard Child” Just released by Sean Hoggs and “Who Am I” By Dion Cheese.
What is the main embodiment within your story that you feel is the most important aspect of your novel?
Hmmm… Good question… There are a few… the main one is the main character Evan is the personification of mistrust and of what not to be as a man. His idea of relationships and monogamy is extremely unhealthy. Another is how you can come from a terrible place and completely reform your life. I also want to let my readers know that there are always consequences to our actions.
Your book starts off in a very feisty manner what inspired that scene?
That was the first scene that popped in my head. I clearly envisioned these two characters having this argument and I wanted to catch the reader’s attention immediately. When I saw it… it caught my attention. I decided to use it because it was intriguing.
I see from reading your personal bio that you deal with a disease called Fibromyalgia, which is a Chronic Pain disorder how do you deal with it and does it affect your ability to write page turning novels?
Unfortunately I suffer from a few ailments that make it extremely difficult to write on a consistent basis. Fibromyalgia is extremely debilitating and some days I can’t even get out of the bed to do any writing. It also causes memory issues so I have what we call Foggy’ days where I can barely function normally. It’s very difficult to do daily chores, or even do simple things like dress yourself or cook. This of course limits me on when and how frequently I write. I am also on a lot of medication which brings its own limitations.
As a mother how do you feel when you saw your children reading your novel especially since most Urban Fiction is filled with heat filled sex scenes? Does it turn out to be one of those silent awkward moments? LOL
Well thank God my children are all adults!! So they were mature enough to handle the racy scenes I wrote. I think my sons were a little more shocked than my daughters were. My daughters were very understanding and very supportive. My sons were supportive but at the same time, I’m mommy so it took a little more time for them to read my book and not look at me with that shocked look on their faces. Lol!! The funny thing is my sons were 27 & 20 when the book came out and my daughters 23 & 25. They still give me those funny looks!! LOL
I see that you are a signed author how did you managed to get a deal, and why didn’t you self-publish?
By the grace of God someone introduced me to my Publisher before I even finished my book so when it was complete I sent to my publishing company and they were extremely excited about my work. They immediately decided to publish me. Honestly I didn’t have the tools I needed at the time to self publish, and everyone kept telling me how lucky I was to find a publisher so quick so I went with the publisher in hopes of learning the ropes on how to publish.
Do you feel that selling novels is easier when you are signed and were your sales as expected for a first time author?
I only had the experience as a signed Author. Sales were nothing like I expected as a first time Author.
What was the best moment that you have ever had at a book signing? And are you currently in the process of doing more?
My best moment was when my kids and my dad were sitting at the table during my signing reading my book and just watching everyone I grew up with stop in and support me. The looks on my family’s faces as everyone came in and purchased the book and took pictures with me and how proud they looked was priceless!
What is the furthest distance you’ve had to travel in order to get to a book signing, and was it a pleasant trip?
So far, I’ve only done book signings locally. I’m looking forward to traveling more and setting up more signings. I hope to one day get my book out there and do a book tour. Unfortunately my physical limitations have caused me to only do things locally.
What advice would you give to other authors searching for a book contract?
Do your research!!! Do your homework!!! Don’t go with the first Publisher that comes to you!! Value yourself and your work. Pay close attention to your contracts and have a lawyer look them over and explain to you what it says and means! If you can, control your own money! Remember you did the work and you deserve to get paid for your work. Don’t let other people use you or devalue your work for their own personal gain. Set goals for yourself… but don’t limit yourself.
What is your biggest do and don’t about writing?
Don’t let other people dictate your creativity. Also accept criticism!! You can’t believe that everyone is going to like your book, you must realize that some people are going to find as much wrong with it as possible. Also do your research when you’re writing your book. Editing is extremely important! Make sure your editor knows what he or she is doing! We are writers not editors! Know your craft and your limitations! If you’re a new writer, try to find a mentor or at least consult a consultant if you can. Lastly, Don’t let anyone take away your creative control. Only you know what you want to write… don’t let people dictate to you what you feel or want in your work.
Do you feel that Urban Fiction is a credible field of literature?
Absolutely… Unfortunately Urban Fiction has been criticized so much and devalued so much that real Urban Fiction writers don’t survive in the game. There are only a handful of successful Urban Fiction writers. Everyone thinks they can write this Genre and everyone can’t. That’s why sometimes you see the same book covers or read the same type of stories over and over again.
What do you have to say to the naysayers who claim that Urban Fiction is trash and that it has a bad influence on the African American culture?’
I’ll say this… we are always being stereotyped. It doesn’t matter what form of art or expression it is, we are always going to be stereotyped. Know your place and your work. I’ll be honest, there is some work I just can’t read. It’s just too much violence, too much of the same type of story told over and over and over again. I like something different when I read. I don’t like anything too predictable. I appreciate a writer who can keep my attention and take me on a different ride. So when you write don’t worry about what the last person wrote, be your own person. Write your own story. Who wants to take the same ride over and over again? Expand your creativity and let’s change the negative views on Urban Fiction.
I see that you’ve consistently received a fair amount of five star reviews on your first novel do you feel that reviews are important, and why?
Yes, reviews are very important from what I understand. They help big Publishing companies find new talent and new work. They help you get on that best sellers list. They help the next reader find you and want to read you.
I see that you have won awards for poetry writing how many have you won thus far?
I haven’t won any so far, I’ve been asked to come out and perform a few times. My poetry is my life. Although believe it or not, I’m very shy, I like performing poetry. I still get nervous when I perform believe it or not.
I know that this last question is a little off topic but do you think that it’s okay for a woman to take a man out for a refreshing plutonic out gathering and pay for his meal?
Yes… I think it’s refreshing for a woman to ask a man out… not all the time, but by all means ask him out, treat him to a meal or a movie… or sit together on the couch and read each other “The Sum of My Mistakes by Dawn L Forte’.
I’m glad that you are a progressionist, let’s go eat, and thanks for the meal. We are out! Thank you.
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