Ugh, Monday again, right? But cheer up! You can have something to keep you entertained over that first (fourth?) coffee? Another author interview! Today I have the gorgeous Trish Dawson with me, along with a review of her book, I Hope you Find Me!
Trish was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where she lives now with her family and pets. She’s been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, Trish began her first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When Trish isn’t writing, she’s homeschooling her amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever she can get her hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, Trish holds a special place in her heart for animal rights and dashes into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from her mini-lab/australian shepherd/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.
Hello Trish, it’s a pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog.
It’s a pleasure to be here! Thank you for having me!
As everyone knows in my interviews-random question first! You say you’ve had over fifteen years of crazy dreams-can you remember any in particular?
LOL The problem isn’t remembering them…it’s forgetting them! I read my first Stephen King book ‘It’ when I was 12…the dreams started then. I guess the most influential would have been reading King’s ‘The Stand’. I’ve always been fascinated (and honestly more than a little scared of) the End Of The World. I was a lucid dreamer when I was younger, and even today I remember most of my dreams after having them…which I suppose is why I don’t sleep well.
My friends had to endure countless tales about me being a sole survivor in my dreams…and I still have those dreams, which was part of the inspiration for my first book.
Your novel, I Hope You Find Me, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
Of course! ‘I Hope You Find Me’ is the first of a series I’m calling the ‘Find Me’ series. I like to say it’s an End Of The World thriller with a Paranormal twist. If you like post-apocalyptic reads you might enjoy this one. But with that said, I tried to give it a different feel – I mean how many stories are out there about the world being devastated by a natural disaster or a viral outbreak? And rather than have zombies running around…it’s the dead that don’t leave.
I won’t spoil too much of the plot, but the story begins with the main character losing her family to a global viral outbreak, and having to make a choice about what to do now that she and her doggy companion are left alone in the city of San Diego. She decides to move on, and leaves notes everywhere she goes…hoping there is someone else out there that is looking for her. There are a handful of other survivors she encounters, some drama, some romance, some surprises. But the underlying theme is that none of them are truly alone…since the dead are still watching.
I didn’t want to get too much into the scientific aspect of the story, but rather focus on the human (and canine) elements of what it would be like to experience something catastrophic like surviving a major viral outbreak, and losing everyone you ever knew.
So what inspired this novel?
I had been wanting to write a book since I was fifteen years old. I dabbled with poetry and short stories for years and even have several projects that I tried to start…but went no further than the research stage. Why? I’m not really sure…perhaps I had writer’s block for the last decade or so.
But something extraordinary happened last winter, and instead of sitting down with pen and paper and drafting out outlines, creating characters and sketching the plot…I simply had a dream. I woke up the next day and combined it with a story I had already written down in the notebook beside the bed – which is where I jot my dreams down in the morning – and I took those two dreams and combined them. I have to admit I had just finished reading ‘Dark World’ by Zak Bagans and had also been watching ’28 Days Later’ with Cillian Murphy obsessively for about two months (believe it or not, last fall was the first time I had seen that movie…yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that). So anyway, with all of that in my head, I sat down at the computer, and the only thing – the ONLY thing I had written out beforehand was a list of names for my main characters. I knew exactly how the book would start. I didn’t actually move to pen and paper till well into the fourth chapter, when I realized I needed more organization.
When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?
I kind of answered this already but I’d like to mention one additional thing. My sophomore English teacher, Mr. Kirk, told me to never stop writing. I wish I had listened to him then, and continued the path that he opened up for me with his creative writing assignments when I was younger, but I know now that I just wasn’t ready. Hopefully wherever he is today, he would be proud that I finally ‘did’ it.
What advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?
Just do it. Sit down and write. No one will ever be able to enjoy your stories if you don’t share them. It really IS that simple.
Where can we find your novels?
‘I Hope You Find Me’ is available as an eBook on Amazon as well as Smashwords. I just completed the process for making it available in print form too through CreateSpace. The print edition should be out this month.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Well! My brain never stops, seriously…I thought that since getting the first book OUT I would be able to clear my mind and take a break. Nope. My brain just filled that empty space with more ideas, which took me to my second project. ‘Dying To Forget’ is the first book of a new series called The Station. It’s more of a Young Adult book, but with some serious adult content. It’s about a high school graduate who has some unfortunate things happen to her, and she ends up dying, only to wake up and find herself in a place called ‘The Station’. It’s a fantasy for sure, since the world is created up mostly in my head…but it’s ‘different’ and I’m excited for the masses to read it. It should be this fall.
The second book of the ‘Find Me’ series (called ‘Lost & Found’) is under development, and I hope to have this available by next spring…if not sooner. I know that people really want to know what happens to Riley next.
I also have many ideas that are swimming around in my head, so after these two series are completed, I’ll be able to spend more time on them.
Last question of randomness! If you could only watch one film, or read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
WHAT?! Only one?! This is almost impossible to answer. LOL Wow. There are dozens of movies that I could watch over and over, and probably more books that I could read over and over. But my favourites change so often it’s hard to keep up. Too many things come to mind book-wise so I’ll take the easy route and pick a movie.
It has nothing to do with the genre I write either! But I have to watch when it’s on the T.V. and I have worn the DVD thin: Pride & Prejudice (with Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen). The story, the acting, the music, the cinematography. I love it all.
Thank you for having me! It’s been exciting to share ‘I Hope You Find Me’ with others, and I cannot wait to continue the journey with everyone…I do hope you find me again.
I’m sure we will! It’s been fantastic having you here. 🙂
Life for Riley ends when her young children die in her arms…victims of a global viral outbreak that claims the lives of everyone she’s ever known. Left to fend for herself with only a dog as her companion, she sets out on a journey to find others, leaving notes everywhere she goes…hoping that one day someone will come looking for her. When Riley meets the handsome yet mysterious Connor on the streets of Downtown San Diego, they form a bond unlike either has experienced before. When the things that go bump in the night turn out to be more than nightmares, the trio sets off for the mountains in search of an isolated resort where they can hunker down, away from the ominous shadows of the dead city streets. The peace and tranquility of the woods isn’t enough to keep the darkness away for long though and soon Riley and Connor are forced to accept that the World and the few people left alive in it will never be the same. The shadows of their past may haunt them forever…threatening to destroy what little dreams they have left of a future unless they fight to stay in the light and never lose their hope.
Okay, my first thought is that this is a very clever book. On the surface, you might be mistaken for thinking that this is going to be heavily laced with romance, to prop up the rest of the storyline-but it just isn’t true! There was plenty of action and plenty of twists and turns keeping the story alive as it paced along. And I admit I jumped more than once at little sounds in my living room as I was reading this through, as the suspense really had the hairs on the back of my neck up. The characters were brought to life so vividly that you felt you know them, and you could feel their emotions so clearly through the page; Trish Dawson really does know how to twist your emotions in such a way as to be sucked into her book! I also loved that the book was told through Riley’s eyes, as so many books now are told in third person-it really added a new dimension to the story, and made it even more personal to her.
My only bad point was the format that my PDF review copy was in. As it has also been set up for print with Createspace, the pages jumped from left to right. I don’t know if the Kindle version would be the same or not, and although it was strange, it certainly didn’t distract from what is a brilliant story. And I don’t mark books down for poor formatting, as I don’t feel that’s the important part.
I thought this was an amazing idea! It was so original, and the pieces of the puzzle don’t begin to click together until the very end, and then-bang! It ended and I still wanted more. If you are looking for a story that blends together action, suspense, and perhaps a little romance with a great idea, then this is your book. It is one of my firm favourites now, and I cannot wait for the next one!
I give this book……5/5 stars!