Dawn Kopman Whidden is a native New York author who grew up in the close-knit community of Little Neck Douglaston during the baby boomer era. She graduated from Queensboro Community college.
Twenty years ago, she traded in her days of living in the bustling city for a more serene and tranquil life on a small farm in the town of Bell, located in North Central Florida.
She is retired and shares her life and love with her husband of fourteen years and an adopted stray dog she named Casey. She has also been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.
Dawn: Yes, the photo of me is in our back yard.
Julie: Those flowers are beautiful! Okay, are you ready to go?
Dawn: Yup, I’m an open book... ask me anything except my bra size.
Julie: Lol! I won’t ask you that, then. Dawn, I have interviewed you before. Has anything changed since that interview? Do you have any good news for us?
Dawn: I don't remember if my second novel was out yet or not… But I’m about finished with my third in the series. STOLEN. A CHILD IS TORN is the first book, FACELESS is the second.
Julie: So you have been very busy since that last interview! What inspired you to create the series?
Dawn: I fell in love with the characters in A CHILD IS TORN. I couldn't let them just disappear. I wanted to watch them grow.
Julie: That seems to happen to most of us… it's so hard to let go of a creation!
Dawn: Yes, they become family members.
Julie: Who is the main character in Faceless?
Dawn: In A CHILD IS TORN, Hope was the main character and it was written from her perspective. Jean Whitley, one of the detectives in A CHILD is the main character and FACELESS is written from her perspective.
Julie: Where does the story go from there, does Jean Whitley appear in STOLEN?
Dawn: Yes. Jean's partner Marty, who is also Hope's main squeeze is the main character in STOLEN… Jean and Hope are still there as well as a few others.
Julie: This sounds like something I need to read soon!
Dawn: I certainly Hope so. Although they are mysteries the books delve into some very unique and complicated relationships. Just like real life.
Julie: That's the great thing about fiction, you can use facts and real experiences to incorporate in your books. Are any of the characters based or modeled after you?
Dawn: I think that Hope is the most like me, although I am sure Jean and Marty and all the others are pieces of my own personality.
Julie: If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask how sales are doing for you. Are you having any problems with promotions and postings since Facebook has begun to curtail all of our efforts?
Dawn: My sales for A CHILD IS TORN have been steady and good. FACELESS, although it has gotten excellent reviews is coming up slowly but lagging behind. I haven't noticed FACEBOOK curtailing any of my postings . There are so many groups. I have started going to foreign sites though, googling translations of my synopsis and posting in their language.
Julie: That’s a great idea! I wonder if others have thought to do that as well. So, that's working for you?
Dawn: I don't know if it's working (the foreign posts). I do know that my sales have been increasing.
Julie: Do you have any other immediate goals besides the coming release of STOLEN?
Dawn: I have a friend who is taking my books to a family member who is involved in the movie industry. I'm not counting on anything but it would be nice.
Julie: I wish you all the best in that! It would be great to recognize the title! Good Luck to you!
Dawn: Thanks. Trying to market a book is like a good marriage. It takes a lot of work
Julie: Many Indie authors find it hard to promote and get things going. What's the best method for you?
Dawn: I just keep plugging it on my page and in groups. I have gotten to know some wonderful other authors and I promote theirs as often as I can and I have been lucky to have met some that reciprocate. Respecting other authors has been the one thing that has helped. They know when you are sincere.
Julie: That's true. I have met a few good people through a lot of the author groups I’ve found on Facebook. Occasionally you will run into a cut throat though, lol. Have you encountered any like that since you have been writing?
Dawn: I have been really lucky. I think I got one poor review on GOODREADS and that wasn't too bad. It was more about my publisher allowing errors to pass through. That has been my biggest problem. Typos.
Julie: Typos are certainly annoying, especially when you have someone else editing. Are they usually fixed right away after being discovered?
Dawn: Both my novels went through multitudes of revisions. Still, so many got through for the EBOOKS. We worked so much harder for the print copies.
Julie: Speaking of, how are the print copies doing? Are the sales for those larger or smaller than the e- books?
Dawn: FACELESS is doing much better in EBOOK. A CHILD IS TORN is pretty even. The cover of FACELESS leaves a lot to be desired. I never liked it , but I was talked into letting the publisher do it. A CHILD IS TORN has a great cover, but it makes the reader think it is a horror story. So that is a bit of a problem. I have had people tell me someone they knew wouldn't read it because of the cover.
Julie: Well, on the positive side, I would be compelled to read because of the cover. I am a horror fan though.
Dawn: Yes, it does invite those that like Horror and that is a very big genre now.
Julie: That it is! I think that just about any horror fan who picks it up is probably a bit of a mystery fan as well so, I don’t believe they’ll be disappointed. Is there anything you would like to add about the series?
Dawn: My three books will leave you with something to think about. A CHILD IS TORN is about the subject of NATURE VS NURTURE… who are we really and what makes us who we are. FACELESS subject touches on the very serious topic of bullying. STOLEN ,...well you'll just have to wait and see!
Julie: Do you have any parting advice for other authors??
Dawn: YES, Follow your dreams. The greatest thing of all is that if you never give up you may see them come true. Mine certainly have.
Julie: Thank you so much for chatting with me, Dawn! Have a great night!
This interview was conducted through Facebook chat. It is always a pleasure to chat with Dawn and today I have the pleasure of sharing our conversation with you!