MUST MEET MONDAY: DAWN ALEXANDER

  
I discovered Dawn’s blog and fell in love instantly! I love her Plot Swap Fridays. How she finds the oddest stories and hilarious texts is beyond me, but it keeps me in angst all week for it. She also does Tell Me Your Story Tuesdays, where she interviews other writers/authors. 

Dawn is super cool and I think you’ll dig her blog.

Dawn is a high school teacher by day and mystery writer by night. She has been married for 13 years to a wonderful, hockey playing, husband. They have two girls, ages 8 and 9,  born just under 13 months apart which she often says is proof that God often has plans that you don’t. 
J:I gotta say, Dawn, I’m a kinda glad those weren’t His plans for me! So dish, when did you get the writerโ€™s bug? Has it always been something in you? Did you pen your first story with a jumbo crayon?

D: I started writing stories in elementary school. I would make “books” using colored folders with brads. Each one had a title page, back of the book blurb and a place for reviewers to write their comments. 
           I stopped sharing my work sometime in high school, but I never stopped     writing. In the past five years or so, I decided it was time to let a few people in on what I had be doing. Much to my surprise, no one laughed. That inspired me to focus on improving my craft and pursuing publication.
J: Very cool. You still have those old “books”? And even more importantly, do you snack while writing? Is so, what do you munch on?

D: I actually rarely snack while writing. If I do, it is baby carrots or mixed nuts and a glass of ice water nearby is an absolute must.

J: Carrots and nuts? Do you write for rabbits? ๐Ÿ™‚ Kidding! What do you love most about writing? What do you find most challenging? 

D:I love the process of creating the story. I walk around for days with a little movie playing in my head about my latest plot. Most challenging? Definitely editing and revising.
        J:Honey, you ain’t just whistlin Dixie. Although, editing can be fun if I re-live the story and not just try to fix it.   How do you come up with story ideas?

 D:I get ideas from everywhere, news stories, conversations between the people behind me in line, pictures, songs, everywhere.
 J:Again, y’all have to check out her Friday Plot swap. Great and hilarious fodder there! So tell me this, Dawn, if you could be one hero/heroine from a book who would you choose and why?

D:Stephanie Plum. I love that she is so much like a real person, making mistakes and bumbling her way around. Of course, having two hot guys love me would be a nice bonus.
J:Uh, yeah it would! If you could be one villain from a book who would you choose and why?

D:This one really stumped me. I suddenly can’t remember a single villain from any book I have ever read.
J:Okay, well if you think of one, drop it in the comments. There must be one! What are you currently working on? Tell us a little about it.
D:I have three manuscripts going in various stages of completion/revision right now.  Here is the one I am working on today. ๐Ÿ™‚
After the death of her father, Haylie Bradford is facing life alone with her non-existent love life and half of a college education. When the decision to stay one more night in her father’s empty house ends with her witnessing a murder, she finds herself running from a professional killer to the only person she knows can keep her safe, Race Welburn.
Since their father’s were best friends, Race has known Haylie most of his life but he doesn’t believe himself capable of protecting her. After all, the last woman in his care died in front of him, along with his own father. But, Haylie is clearly in danger. Can he put his insecurities aside enough to keep them both out of the crosshairs of a hitman?
J:Okay, I’m all about it. I totally love guys who feel like crap about themselves but really they’re like the greatest thing ever. (That was my inner teenager talking btw!) 

Is there a question youโ€™d like to ask everyone? Because everyone who hangs out here, is the coolest and would love to answer your questions, right, everyone? See, they all cheered!

What is your favorite kind of hero? Strong and confident? Quiet and wounded? Sweet and funny?


You can connect with Dawn, and you so should by hanging out at her blog, find her on personal facebook page, her author facebook page, and twitter

  

Must Meet Monday: Sheri Salatin

Sheri Salatin writes inspirational romantic suspense with a farming flair!  She’s the real deal, folks. A true cowgirl. I met Sheri through My Book Therapy on a discussion board for critique partners. Since we both write romantic suspense, x-nay farming flair with me, we decided to swap stories and give it a go.
Sheri has the coolest style of writing and it turns out we love the same books, authors, and think very much alike. Please still like her! Online, we’ll lol because we’re saying almost verbatim the same thing. She’s great and super savvy–the girl next door you want to know!
Sheri tell everyone a little about yourself.

I’m married to my best friend, Daniel and we have 3 kids – Travis 7, Andrew 5 and Lauryn 3. We are full time alternative farmers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on our multi-generational family farm – Polyface. I’m passionate about farming as well as writing. We use creation as our template for raising clean healthy animals.
I’m active in our church, serving as nursery director and AWANA Sparks Director.  When I’m not reading or writing, you can find me baking, sewing, gardening, canning, quilting, knitting and homeschooling.
Sheri, I love baking and covering up with quilts. My birthday is in October. hint hint! I also enjoy eating baked goods. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tell us when the writer bug bit yah.
I have been writing stories since I was old enough to spell.  I remember as a child, I used to create stories to send to my Great Uncle John every week. He always wrote back and I miss him still.
Another funny thing. I wrote a story about a young girl named Katie Salaton when I was 14. If you notice my current last name (spelled just slightly different) – this was before I met my husband. I had forgotten all about that story until after we started dating and I was looking through my old story notebook. I still get goosebumps with this one.
Oooh…I got goosebumps too. The writer bug and the love bug in one! Who else can say that? ๐Ÿ™‚ When you’re writing do you snack?
Nope, I’m not a snacker. Actually, I’m just the opposite. When I get enthralled in something, I tend to forget to eat or drink.  I can go all day before remembering that I have eaten anything yet. I know –  I’m weird.
Nah, you’re not weird. I can’t snack and write either. I need two hands! How do you come up with story ideas?

Lately, it’s been from my dreams. lol.  I usually dream a story, then start asking questions. i.e. Why was she running? Why, why, why.  It all seems to flow from there and by the time I’m done it doesn’t resemble the dream at all anymore.
             If you could be one hero/heroine from a book who would you choose and why?
Hmm. I would have to say Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (maybe I’ve been watching Disney too long with my kids) It would be awesome to be in an enchanted castle and the beast only stays that way for so long. Ha!
So true, then you get a lifetime with a hunky prince! And Belle likes to read at the speed of lightning…just like you! So, if you had to choose a villain, who would you want to be?
Phew, this is a hard question. I’ve never wanted to be a villain before.  Okay, I’m going to go movie/book again. I think it would be fun to be Shere Kahn, the tiger from Jungle Book. How cool would it be to roam the jungles and have no fear of anything other than fire?
Really? You’ve never wanted to be a villain? Wow, I have a top five! ha! What do you love most about writing?
I love the creating part of it. Pulling ideas and stories from mid-air and putting them to words.  I love the fact that no one else has my story – it’s mine until I share it.
        What are you currently working on? Tell us a little about it.
      Laura Taylor is desperate for answers to her past but her sister’s life hangs in the balance if she tries to find them. Determined to save her sister and uncover what really happened to her parents, she will have to trust Matt Knight, a convicted felon and a cowboy who wants to lasso her heart. But he’s not as dangerous as the Servant who will go to any length to keep the truth a secret. Can Laura save her sister and discover the meaning of unconditional love before it’s too late?
      Sounds like a page turner. I’m enjoying the opportunity to watch it all unfold. What would you like to ask everyone reading this post?
      What do you think makes for an interesting blog? That is – what is the first thing that you notice when you visit a blog and what makes you stay to read the articles posted there?
Excellent question. Sheri has just started a new blog and I encourage you to pop over and follow. She always writes interesting things.  Here’s how you can connect with Sheri:
@SheriSalatin on twitter
The Hen house (her polyface farm blog)
Thanks for joining me today, Sheri. I’ve had a blast. Thanks everyone for coming back and listening to my drivel 3 days a week. I appreciate it and LOVE to read your comments. ๐Ÿ™‚