"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Multi-award-winning author, Dawn Thompson (also writing as Dawn MacTavish), writes Sensuous Historical Romance for Dorchester, which includes Regency-set Historicals, Paranormal Romance, and Celtic and Norse Medievals, incorporating the history, theology, legends and lore of her heritage.
And now, she turns up the heat with Erotic Fantasy for Kensington’s Aphrodisia line, where worlds are Otherworlds, lore comes to life, romance reigns, and unbridled passions know no bounds.
Dawn lives in Long Island, New York, with her extraordinary Tuxedo cat, Shadowfax (alias Miss Fuzz), and Espirit, her scandalous Senegal parrot an incurable flirt.
To learn more about Dawn and her books, visit her website at www.dawnthompson.com
An Interview with Dawn Thompson
PNR: Welcome back Dawn, when we last spoke with you in March 2006, you had just released THE WATERLORD and you have been very busy since then; could you tell readers what you have been up to?
Dawn T.: It’s good to be back. I’ve been busy, indeed! THE FALCON’S BRIDE, my first time travel for Dorchester, was next, and it won two PEARL nominations and two RIO (Reviewer’s International) awards. Then BLOOD MOON, the first in my vampire series was released, followed by THE BROTHERHOOD, second in the series. The third in the series, THE RAVENING will be released at the end of January.
Meanwhile, I signed a two-book contract with Kensington for LORD OF THE DEEP and LORD OF THE DARK, erotic fantasy romances for their Aphrodisia line. LORD OF THE DEEP was just released. LORD OF THE DARK will be released next July, and I’ve just signed another two-book contract for LORD OF THE FOREST and LORD OF THE FIRE, two more books in what has turned into an elementals series. Release dates TBA.
I have also done two novellas for Kensington’s Aphrodisia anthologies, THE DREAM WELL for their EROS ISLAND anthology to be released early next year, and PASSION OF THE CAT, for Sexy Beast IV, release date TBA.
I have also signed another three-book contract with Dorchester for my straight historical romances, THE MARSH HAWK, which was just released in July, THE PRIVATEER, WHICH WILL BE ON SALE January first, and PRISONER OF THE FLAMES, release date TBA. These I am writing as Dawn MacTavish (which in Scottish translates as Dawn Thompson).
PNR: Who or what has been your biggest influence as a writer? Who or what has been your biggest support?
Dawn T.: I would have to say that my greatest influence as a writer has come from early exposure to the wonderful world of literature thanks to my mother and father, both avid readers with diverse tastes. Books—everything from Zane Grey to Jane Austin—filled my days growing up, and I knew early on that I had to write.
As far as support goes, DeborahAnne MacGillivray has been a staunch supporter since my debut. She is a multitalented author in her own right, with four awesome books to her credit, two brilliant contemporary romances, THE INVASION OF FALGANNON ISLE, and RIDING THE THUNDER for Dorchester, and two magical Scottish historicals, A RESTLESS KNIGHT, and IN HER BED for Kensington. A gifted PR person and website designer as well, DeborahAnne has worked tirelessly to promote and support my work.
PNR: You have received numerous honors, including several PEARL nominations and a great deal of reader admiration for your writing. How does it feel to have such positive recognition for your work?
Dawn T.: It feels wonderful! The most important thing for me is that I create characters that walk off the pages and stay with the readers long after they close the cover on the books. My characters are very real to me, and I am so delighted that they are real to others as well.
PNR: Readers and reviewers are excited about THE LORD OF THE DEEP, released in August from Kensington Aphrodisia, the first title in your Elementals series; could you tell us where the idea came from and a little about your vision for the series?
Dawn T.: As many of you know from THE WATERLORD, I come from a seafaring family. My ancestors hail from Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and Sweden, and I was blessed with a family of gifted storytellers growing up, that were always ready to tell Norse and Celtic tales of legend and lore. I cut my teeth on the legends of every creature from Cornish “Knockers” to selkies and mermaids and sea creatures of all kinds. My research into these legends is ongoing and never ending. My background sparked the idea for the series.
My original vision was the romances of two mythical creatures, Simeon, LORD OF THE DEEP, a selkie prince who rules beneath the waves, and falls in love with a human woman, and Gideon, LORD OF THE DARK, a fallen angel, punished by the gods with a curse of libidinous lust. Then Kensington wanted two more, and so the elementals series was expanded to include Marius, LORD OF THE FOREST, A Jack-in-the-green, cursed to shapeshift into a centaur during the dark of the moon, and Vane, LORD OF THE FIRE, cursed to self combust and set fire to anything he touches, including a woman, whenever he is aroused or enraged.
I created their world as an archipelago, where Gideon, Marius, and Vane each preside over their own isle, so I could have a touch of the sea in all the books, while Simeon, LORD OF THE DEEP, presides over the water, and kicks off the series in grand style. All four books are under contract to Kensington for their Aphrodisia line.
PNR: You turn up the heat for the Aphrodisia erotic romance line. How would you describe the sensuality level in LORD OF THE DEEP compared to your previous releases? Do you find it difficult to write the love scenes in your books?
Dawn T.: Everything I write is considered “hot”. My Aphrodisia titles all come with a boxed notice on the back cover that reads: “WARNING! This is a REALLY HOT book. (Sexually Explicit).” This is the standard for the Aphrodisia line.
There are more sex scenes in the books, and they are explicit, but my aim is for tastefully done erotic romance, not gratuitous sex. Romance is always key in my books and love is the catalyst that brings my heroes and heroines to their happy ending.
Though explicit, what you won’t find in my Kensington titles is the crude, shock value language that in my opinion is neither erotic, nor romantic. What you will find is steamy hot and sensuous romance.
No, I don’t find it difficult writing the love scenes in my books, because that’s what they are—love scenes, and love is what makes the magic.
PNR: In LORD OF THE DEEP you enter the historical fantasy genre; did you find it difficult adding fantasy elements to the historical setting?
Dawn T.: No, not at all. Historical Romance is my genre. Fantasy works beautifully in a historical setting, and it allows me to use the language and voice I prefer in my books.
PNR: Can you tell us about the challenges you face in world building and making it work with the ideas you have in mind for the progression of your characters and the series? Do you write your characters to fit the world you have created or vice versa?
Dawn T.: Building any world from scratch is an exciting challenge. You have to make that world and the characters that inhabit it believable. While all the books in my elementals series stand alone, I needed to introduce all four of my hottie heroes right from the start, so I wanted to give the upcoming stars cameos in the books as they progressed. My biggest challenge was writing the other three books in my head while writing LORD OF THE DEEP in order to give the other heroes a proper and provocative introduction.
My characters always come first. I create the world to fit their needs.
PNR: Do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? How do you balance these two elements?
Dawn T.: I want to make my characters larger than life, so they drive my writing. They help me out with the plot. The minute I turn them loose they give me plenty of twists and turns, believe me!
I always start with my characters, a scene I visualize that gives me the general premise and plotline in the form of a hook, the turning point, and the end. Then I turn them loose and hang on for the ride!
PNR: You are known for writing incredible heroes and heroines that readers really connect to; what do you feel is their appeal for readers?
Dawn T.: Believability is their greatest appeal. My characters are human. They make mistakes, just as we all make mistakes. People can relate to them—even the fantasy creatures. I try to give the reader something in my characters that they recognize in themselves—some weakness or strength or mistake they’ve made that they can empathize with because they’ve faced it at one point in their own life. Once I establish that affinity, the characters become real to the reader, and I’ve done what I set out to do: create characters that the reader will remember long after they’ve finished the book.
PNR: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who has been your favorite character to write? The most challenging?
Dawn T.: I develop my characters through their conflict. They are all multi-layered, and the fun for me is peeling away those layers as the story unfolds and they meet their challenges head on until they reach their full potential.
My favorite character to date has to be Milosh, the sexy, enigmatic four-hundred-year-old Gypsy vampire/vampire-hunter who steals the show in all three books of the Blood Moon series until his own romance is told in THE RAVENING.
The most challenging is going to be Vane, LORD OF THE FIRE, but oh, what a challenge! I can’t wait to tell his tale.
PNR: Mythology of the mer and selkie has long captured the imagination of readers. Why do you feel mythology in general, and mer and selkie specifically, is such a popular theme with readers? As a writer, what is it about this genre that captures your imagination?
Dawn T.: The sea is raw, palpable sensuality, as are the mysterious creatures that live in it—both real and imaginary. The way the waves move and crash and gobble up the shoreline, the storms, the unpredictability—pure sexual energy. What better vehicle for romance fiction? People are attracted to it, frightened of it, respectful of it, and enamored of it because it’s something they can’t control.
Mermaids have always been a hot topic among readers, and I remember Submariner from comic books when I was a child. The sea has been compared to a woman. How many times have we heard a sailor say his mistress is the sea—in books, movies, and in person? The mysterious sea and her creatures have been, and always will be the ideal setting for romance. It has taken on the female gender. We call it “she” and she has captured and commanded my attention all my life.
PNR: I have to mention your extremely popular BLOOD MOON series; what is your inspiration? What are your plans for the series?
Dawn T.: My mother loved vampire tales, anything vaguely spooky, actually, but vampires were her favorite. She passed away several years ago. I wanted to write something she would have loved, and at the same time put my own stamp on the vampire myth. So I adhered to the original concept, combined it with the Saberhagian concept then gave it a twist that made it my own. I think I’ve managed to do that in a way that will please both traditionalists and newcomers to the vampire mystique.
My original plan was to write a three book series. I have done that. But who knows what might happen next on this wild ride. We’ll just have to wait and see.
PNR: You also write under the pen name, Dawn MacTavish; could you tell us about your decision to use a pseudonym?
Dawn T.: That was Dorchester’s call. When I sold them three of my straight historicals, they asked that I write those under a pseudonym to keep them separate from the paranormals. They have, however, been very good about letting everyone know it’s me in their advertising.
PNR: You have written in several genres including historical, fantasy, paranormal, and erotic. Is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?
Dawn T.: I’ve often said I’d like to write a western, just once. I’ve done that. I just haven’t circulated it. But there is something else I’d like to do. I have several books that, while they are romantic, do not have the happy ending needed to qualify as romance. They would have to be marketed as mainstream historical fiction. One is paranormal, the other medieval, with a sequel. I would really like to find a home for those.
PNR: Please tell us about the projects you are currently working on; what can readers expect to see in the coming months?
Dawn T.: I’m currently working on LORD OF THE FOREST and LORD OF THE FIRE for Kensington, and THE CONJURED WOMAN, the first of three more paranormals I’m planning.
Next to be released from Dorchester will be THE PRIVATEER (Dawn MacTavish), on sale January first, and THE RAVENING, on sale February first.
Next to be released from Kensington will be the EROS ISLAND anthology coming in the spring, followed by LORD OF THE DARK in July.
PNR: Thank you, Dawn, for taking time out to speak with us. Where can readers find out what's new and how can they contact you?
Dawn T.: Thank you for having me. It’s been my pleasure. I love to hear from my fans. Readers can e-mail me at email@example.com, and check out my website at www.dawnthompson.com for news, reviews, cover art and chapters.
Finalist 2005 PEARL Award
Best New Author
August 28, 2007
Desire that knows no limits....
Accused of witchcraft and banished to the Isle of Mists, Meg is utterly alone, until the night the selkies appear for a moonlight orgy, glistening wet, proudly naked. As beautiful bodies entwine and shapes shift within the sea, a man comes forth from the waves--and what a man he is...
Strong and masterful, the Lord of the Deep enchants her...and Meg must surrender. Only he can satisfy her virgin longings--and her darkest desires...
Lady Rebecca's life changed forever in the blink of an eye. One moment she was fleeing her father across a storm- swept Bodmin Moor, in the next, her carriage overturned on a steep gorge. But she did not die. Somehow, she was pulled clear. There was an eerie luminosity about her savior, a fluid silver aura like the lightning filling the night sky. And while his voice was deep, mellow— comforting, like the music of the waterfall he haunted, it, too, held a hint of the Otherworldly. Who was this strange savior, this displaced foreign nobleman? Everything about the Count was an enigma. Becca had heard myths of the Fossegrim: creatures that traveled between the astral and the physical planes through waterfalls, driven to find ecstasy with human women then vanish forever. From their world, humans never returned. This man, Becca was willing to follow.
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