Welcome everyone! Today I’m hosting a stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Dawn Eastman’s newest book, Unnatural Causes. I have an author interview for you today. I was supposed to have a review for you, but there was a small mixup in getting the book so the review will come in another week or so! I’m still planning on reviewing it because it’s set in the same area of Michigan as where I live so I’m looking forward to reading it!
The usual links for purchasing, Goodreads, and the Rafflecopter Giveaway will be located under the interview with the author.
Before I begin with the questions and answers, I want to thank Ms. Eastman for being willing to answer my questions for us today!
Q1: Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? Do you enjoy your day job?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: Yes. I serve as an unpaid personal assistant to Rowdy, my bichon-shih tzu. I can’t say that I always enjoy my day job.
Q2: Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I try to write everyday or at least work on plot. However, life often interferes with this plan, so I stick to it more when a deadline is looming. I have a quota of around 1,000 words per day but that will adjust up or down depending on where I am in the process. I often listen to classical music while writing, but anything with words is too distracting.
Q3: When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reigns” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I am definitely in the plotter (or outliner) camp. The outline is loose, however, so sometimes characters do make decisions I hadn’t planned for. Also, sometimes a secondary character will start to demand more time on the page. There are certain characters that take over every scene they are in.
Q4: How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I took an online workshop and that teacher recommended her agent. Before that, I think I queried fifteen to twenty agents with no results. At the time I was querying, I didn’t think about quitting because I was in a great writer’s group. We are all very supportive of one another. I think at some point or another we’ve all thought about quitting, but we convince each other to keep going. Also, I know that even if I was not published, I would write. So, there’s no point in quitting – it wouldn’t last long.
Q5: In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: In general, it’s probably four or five revisions. I submit an edited version to my writing group and then incorporate their suggestions. Then the editors at my publisher take a look and we might go through another one or two revisions (more if needed). I would love to set the books aside for awhile, but often with the way the deadlines creep up on me (even though I have plenty of access to calendars) I don’t always get as much time as I would like.
Q6: A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: So far, there have been no real-life inspirations for the villains. It seems many of my villains are somewhat sympathetic. They murder out of a sense of desperation or to protect someone or something they love. I think everyone has a dark side, so I like my villains to be relatively normal people who are pushed too far.
Q7: Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: It’s fictional, but certain traits or habits might show up that are inspired by people I know. The character of Seth in the Family Fortune series was loosely based on my son.
Q8: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: Queen Elizabeth I has always fascinated me. She was a strong female leader at a time when women had very little power. I love to read about her (either non-fiction or historical fiction). I think others have done such a great job that I probably won’t ever jump into that pool.
Q9: What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I am currently in love with Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series. I’ve also been devouring Deborah Crombie’s series. A non-mystery I listened to recently was Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory. I loved how each point of view in that book was spot on and hilarious.
Q10: What books have influenced your life the most?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I remember reading Little Women when I was young and that book first inspired me to want to be a writer. Then I discovered Agatha Christie and fell in love with mysteries. Later, the Harry Potter novels influenced my life because I have kids who love them as much as I do and a lot of our great memories as a family have to do with Harry Potter (themed birthday parties, Halloween, visiting Harry Potter world, visiting the Harry Potter studios outside of London).
Q11: If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I feel like I already spend whole days with characters from my books. We usually solve murders together. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Aunt Vi from the Family Fortune series because I’m sure it would be entertaining. From the Katie LeClair books I’d pick Matt Gregor. We’d listen to Frank Sinatra and drink whisky.
Q12: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?
Ms. Eastman’s Answer: I read reviews if my publisher sends them to me. I also will read reviews of bloggers on a blog tour like this one. I typically don’t respond to reviews unless the reviewer sends it to me.
Thank you again to Ms. Eastman for being willing to answer my questions today!
Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.
Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.
When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.
Thanks for joining me for today’s stop on a Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Unnatural Causes by Dawn Eastman! To visit other stops on the tour, please click on the banner below. That will take you to the main tour page where there is a list of participants!