Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.

Today, I’m chatting to the horror writer, Dawn De Braal. Dawn, like myself, is one of the writers featured in the Women of Horror Anthology, Vol 3 The One that Got Away published by Kandisha Press

Welcome to the tearoom, Dawn. As always my first question to my guests is what would you like to drink?

Thank you for the invite, Paula! This clubhouse is out of the way, isn’t it? I am so glad you sent a driver for me, but the blindfold was a bit much. Thank you, I’ll take that coffee with cream and sugar, though if it were later in the day, it would be a Bloody Mary. 

Now you have your Bloody Mary, Dawn. Can I ask you which writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better?

My strongest point in writing is that I have a vivid imagination. I can always come up with something to write about.

Tell us a little about latest writing project? Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?

I was honored to be invited to write again for Women in Horror III. I had nothing in mind when I found the theme “The one that got away.” Soon after Jill approached me the news broadcast a story about thousands of people who received unsolicited seeds from China. I thought what would happen if people planted them? And the story wrote itself.

Do you write a synopsis first, or write the first chapter? If you only write short stories, do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?

The characters lead me. I am surprised at the end of the story when the twist happens. It comes from nowhere!

When reading your work through do you ever find that your daily mood swings are reflected in your writing?

My mood always reflects in my writing. If I’m mad, I find killing off someone is a great way to release my frustration.

Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books or stories?

Whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc. Uncovering stories in your past good or bad is part of the writing process. Sometimes a memory can help you start a story.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

My schedule is not regimented. I write when I am moved sometimes hours sometimes just jotting down some thought that has potential to be a story.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I did write one story under a pseudonym. I plan to write others with this name to get that name out of the ditch I dug it into. It deserves so much more.

How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?

Naming characters isn’t hard. Unusual names stick with you. There are name generators online, you can go to a phone book. It’s important to building a character. There is power in a name.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I think the hardest scene to write is a battle scene. You can make it feel real, or you can cheat it from blooming. You don’t want to make is he did, then she did, then he did then they did. It becomes boring.

How long on average does it take you to write a book or story?

Writing a book is still a goal for me. I am not a long hauler. There is an art to writing short stories as well. When I write a short-story, I already have an ending in mind when I start. Writing Invasive Species, the name of my story for Women in Horror III. I had the idea. I wrote in in a couple of hours and let it sit for a few months. I pulled it out and thought of a better ending, so I extended the story just the right amount, I think.

Thank you for joining me in the tearoom, Dawn. To find out more about Dawn’s writing check out her author’s page at Black Hare Press

If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.

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